Everything is Better Homemade!
Turning the energy from the sun into a heat and electricity for the homeowner is not that complex for people who wish to take advantage of this resource. Black plastic hoses coiled in the heat of the day will heat the water inside to a temperature that will be more than needed to shower or warm a pool. This is the simplest form of capturing the rays from the sun which of course, heat our world.
Primitive Solar Energy Systems
Making a box lined with aluminum foil will create an effective but slow grill or broiler for the barbecue as well. Not a great need for technological skill here, but try this on hot summer days and amaze the neighbors!
Moving up one step to capturing homemade solar energy is nearly as simple. Thermal panels can be constructed from a black painted radiator. This is then set in a box facing the sun at an angle of 30˚.
Copper tubes are attached to the rear of the radiator and with a small pump the heated water can be collected in a well insulated storage tank for use within the home.
Showers, kitchen faucets and most washing purposes can be supplied on a continual basis even if the sun hasn’t been very strong for a day or so.
Using Vacuum Tubes
An even more effective form of homemade solar energy is the evacuated tube collection system, quite easy for the DIY enthusiast to take on as a project. It is very similar to the flat plate collector to look at, but with a vacuum tube that has a heat conductor attached to more efficiently trap the sun’s energy. This is similar to a heat exchange system, and while certainly more expensive the energy can be stored and utilized more effectively.
Photo Voltaic Cells
The Cadillac in homemade solar energy is the photo voltaic cell to produce electric power. This is one of the cleanest and efficient forms of renewable energy with a positive effect on the environment.
Simple systems using a minimum of technical expertise will provide a substantial amount of the energy needs for the household during most of the year. The bigger the cells and the more that are linked together, then the greater potential to supply the power needs of the home.
Homemade solar energy will requires very little disruption to the look or structure of the home.
Installation on the roof is an obvious site. Most roofs will support the small amount of extra structure required. Generally, reinforcement won’t be needed. You just need to avoid shaded areas and overhanging tree branches.
Solar panels can even be incorporated into the sculptural and landscape design of the home or in raised beds in the garden as a bold statement of environmental conscience.
The advances in systems for creating homemade solar energy have been immense in the last decade. These are not just expensive toys for the enthusiast, but efficient and convenient ways to save on utility bills.
New technologies and advancements are more reliable and dependent only on having strong sunlight. Storage makes them useful even during the cold of a winter’s day. Homemade solar energy can be employed all year round, and at less than 50 per cent of the cost of a few decades ago.
Of course, solar energy has been used for thousands of years to dry meat and grains for use out of season! There is really little “new under the sun” after all.