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Build a Simple Solar Heater After walking into my workshop one December morning and feeling a bone-chilling 10 degrees, I decided to install a heating system. Given the rising costs of propane and my family’s environmental concerns about using nonrenewable fossil fuels, a solar solution seemed fitting. I’m a retired aircraft engineer, but you don’t need a similar background to tackle this project. In fact, a solar hot-air collector built into new construction or added to an existing building can be an easy and inexpensive heating solution. Following the simple principles and plan outlined here, you can heat your workshop, barn or even your home with free heat from the sun. I reviewed many solar collector concepts and decided to install a thermosiphon air collector on the south wall of the workshop. To minimize costs, I integrated the collector with the structure and used readily available materials. How It Works At night, airflow reverses as air in the collector cools to outside temperatures. Nuts & Bolts Pros: Cons:

Home Made Wind Turbine Want to build a wind turbine for your home? I have gathered several PDFs for those who want to build there own wind turbines and have links to them at the bottom of this post. They cover all types of wind turbines and issues that you may run in to such as wind speeds and noise. From reading these my self I have found that the Hi-VAWT takes all into consideration and is easy to replicate. In VENTURI horizontal axis Wind Turbines wind turbines the blades rotate and describe a circular surface. DIY Solar Water Heater For About $30 In PVC Supplies And Paint Did you know that 70% of your home energy cost are on water heating? In response to this, a Brazilian Eco Designer developed a low cost and intelligent method of reducing energy costs and preserving the environment reusing waste. He created a simple passive solar water heating using PET bottles and and some PVC pipe. According to his calculations this is an extremely low cost and safe project that you can do yourself at home. This project has become popular on the web and has been adapted to homes and even schools.

Light Clay-Straw & Solar Hal Brill and Allison Elliot’s light clay-straw home brings together passive solar design, active solar technologies, natural materials, and an efficient layout for an energy-saving, durable dwelling. Home Power (HP): Besides incorporating solar technologies, your home has some unique features. What served as your initial inspiration? Allison Elliot: The development process took several years. Key inspiration came from architect Michael Frerking’s house that was featured in a 2005 issue of Sunset magazine. We fell in love with the curved roof, and that really landed the design for us. The overall design is dominated by this curve, which evokes Anasazi cliff dwellings and our experiences in the canyons of Utah on raft trips. HP: Why did you decide to use clay-straw (or “light-clay”) as the wall infill material? Elliot: Through the years, we attended numerous sustainable building conferences, including the International Straw Builders Conference. Clay-straw seemed to be the middle ground.

DIY Solar Projects Part 1: Build a Solar Heater Using Recycled Cans A few months ago we did an article about Cansolair Inc’s brilliant solar home heating solution that uses recycled aluminum cans in a forced convection solar heating unit. These units work by pulling cool air from a room, passing it through a panel of aluminum cans that are heated by the sun, and blowing the heated air back into the room. Just about anyone can make one of these heaters, and they can be constructed from mostly recycled materials. This is a fairly simple project for DIY’ers that can be used to heat a home, a greenhouse, a camper, a garage, a cabin, or just about anything else you can think of. Comments comments How to Build Your Own Solar Panels in Only Two Hours and Have Free Electricity For the Rest of Your Life! by Rich M.,AskAPrepper Solar is inarguably the most commonly chosen form of alternative power. The one problem with solar is its cost: installing enough solar panels on your home to power everything can cost upwards of $30,000. Even so, solar is still the king for alternative power. While most people buy ready-made solar panels or even buy them from a solar contractor, this isn’t the most cost effective way of getting solar for your home. An Important Bit of Theory Before we try to build anything, we’d better understand what we need. , connected and mounted together, so that they produce a usable output. In order to ensure that there is enough electrical power to charge 12 volt batteries, it is necessary to produce at least 14 volts. Each solar cell produces 0.5 volts, regardless of its size. produce more watts of power, but they are still producing 0.5 volts. There are two different ways of connecting solar cells together, what is known as “in series” or “in parallel.” .” . . . .

DIY Solar Projects Part 2: Simple All-In-One Solar Water & Space Heater One of the biggest challenges people face when looking to incorporate solar systems into their homes is the cost. The systems themselves, although (slowly) becoming more affordable, are expensive when purchased commercially and the installation costs can be even more so. DIY solar projects are a great way to take advantage of the free energy provided by the sun for a fraction of the price of a manufactured system. Gary Reysa of Build it Solar has amassed a huge collection of solar energy projects for do-it-yourselfers on his website, including this incredible solar water and space heater in one system. He built this for about $2k out of all high-quality, readily available materials. Gary’s objectives with this design were to keep the system simple and inexpensive, make it easy to construct for average DIY’ers, use materials available in most local stores, and produce an end result that is not only aesthetically appealing but one that requires little maintenance and lasts a long time.

Mobile home makeover: Before and after Looks like "Fixer Upper" Joanna Gaines may have some friendly competition when it comes to home makeovers. Amy Shock Amy's mobile home before the makeover. Gaszton Gal Los Angeles-based designer Amy Shock took a low-end $5,200 mobile home in Ojai, California, and turned it into a high-end dream house, complete with floor-to-ceiling walls of glass, a modern kitchen and a large, inviting deck. RELATED: Carmen Electra's new home is surprisingly traditional — until you step inside Amy's mobile home after the makeover. According to the LA Times, the 800-square-foot property took 12 months and about $175,000 to renovate. "The situation was attractive to me," she told TODAY of choosing to buy the mobile home. "The idea that I could purchase the opportunity for $5K was mind-numbing to me," she said. And resuscitate she did. A graduate of the Cornell University School of Architecture and residential designer, Shock conceived the idea for the update on her own.

Installing your own small, remote off-grid solar system by Jeffrey Yago, P.E., CEM A typical residential-size solar system installation will involve properly sized and installed AC and DC electrical wiring to reduce the risk of electrical fire, a proper grounding system to prevent shock and lightning damage, proper battery installation and venting to prevent gas explosions, and a properly installed solar array to maximize performance while avoiding roof damage. In almost all of my past articles I have described many different types of solar power systems, but did not go into detail on how to install them yourself, since most systems should be sized and wired by licensed solar professionals. However, the Backwoods Home website continues to receive many e-mail questions related to smaller do-it-yourself solar projects for remote weekend or vacation cabins in areas not served by power lines. Otherwise—don't try this at home. I am staying with all 12-volt DC equipment which has a limited shock hazard and allows using many of the electrical components you can find locally.

Solar Grill Stores Latent Heat For 25 Hour Cook Time At 450 degrees Image credit: Derek Ham/Barbeque Lovers We've seen a DIY solar cooker built from old CDs, and we've seen plenty of commercially available solar ovens too. We've even seen one solar-powered grill. But we haven't seen many solar cooking options that can store heat for longer cooking times or hotter temperatures. Until now Derek Ham writes over at Barbeque Lovers about a solar-powered grill project he has been working on that uses latent heat storage to both extend cooking times, create hotter temperatures, and reduce the problem of intermittent sun. If successful, this grill could both alleviate the well-known environmental impact of traditional charcoal grilling, and also offer a cleaner, greener and more socially sustainable cooking option in the developing world: Of course this design is unlikely to excite the purists who are addicted to the taste of hickory. The students are currently conducting an online survey to gauge the grilling habits of potential customers. via: Treehugger

The Wood 103 This page is all about a rather silly, quick project where in about 1 day I built a small wind generator using the following items, and nothing else.... (1) Wood (2) Copper wire (3) Surplus Neodymium magnets (4) Dirt (5) 10" piece of 3/8" steel shaft (6) Two bolts, but these are optional. ...and that's all, unless we count glue, and linseed oil which I used for finishing. Pictured above is one of the magnets I used. Above you can see the armature for the alternator. Pictured above you see the wooden pillow block bearings. The stator, on which the coils are wound was cut from two pieces of 2" X 4" lumber. I dragged a magnet around in the dirt of my driveway, so that it would attract the magnetite sand. The dirt was mixed with epoxy, so that I had a thick paste. The completed alternator! To stay with the "style" of the project I decided to build the whole windmill out of wood, it's a fairly simple design and should be self explanatory. The prop is wooden, made from 1" X 4" lumber.

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