Product Reviewed: homemadeenergy.org
Another guide that I tested was the HomeMadeEnergy guide that teaches
both - how to build solar and wind powered systems. After reviewing
the guide, I decided that it has great instructions and built a solar
panel to test it.
HomeMadeEnergy teaches how to build a wind powered system for around $100 and a solar powered system for roughly $200. This guide explains how to negotiate the price and save money when buying materials for your systems (I did not negotiate anything with anyone, but the negotiating process seems logical).
The founder (Ben Ford - scientist and energy consultant) states that
he tested his guide on average people to ensure that the test subjects
would succeed in producing energy using this guide, before releasing
it. After studying the guide, I can say that it's definitely written
for an average person (in fact, the instructions made me feel that I
was building a cheap and easy IKEA package).
I dedicated a weekend (it took me about 5 hours with a lunch break) to build my test solar panel using the instructions from this guide. It was a breeze. I mounted the unit in my yard (right next to the other units that I have built in the past). I would say that a few of these panels could eliminate the electric bill for a medium-sized household, located in a sunny area. My total costs were less than two hundred dollars, and I estimated the cost of a commercial PV panel of this size to be over one thousand dollars.
The guide also has sound instructions for building windmills. Talking about windmills, I want to mention that I heard someone say that they installed their windmill on an open balcony in their apartment. I can see how it can be done. However, you would obviously be limited in the amount of electricity that you can produce if you only have a balcony to mount your windmills. Trust me, windmills are better to install in a yard than on a balcony.
All in all, HomeMadeEnergy is a good guide, which lets you choose between building wind-based or solar-based electricity generators with the aid of diagrams. The guide gives advice on what's best to build, depending on your location and other factors. You can purchase the components needed for both systems from most hardware stores. Many people (including me) use both systems to generate more energy and to have a power back-up.
Here is the round-up of the two guides:
1. Solar Powered System
Full instructions to build your solar panel for $200 or less (if you successfully negotiate the price of the materials with the seller). It teaches how to power your home appliances with this generator. You can also take it with you while camping, as it's portable. It has simple instructions and diagrams. In order to go off the grid, you would need to build a few of these panels.
2. Wind Powered System
Full instructions on how to build a professional power-generating windmill for around $100. It also comes with simple instructions and diagrams.
The systems described in HomeMadeEnergy pay for themselves approximately within 1-2 months (you can save around $200 per month with them).
DIY Solar Panels
- Solar Panels DIY Guide
- Best Solar Panel Guides
- Earth4Energy Review
- Solar Panels For Home Use - Install Them Yourself
- DIY Solar Kits
- Solar Panel Construction
- Solar Panel Design
- HomeMadeEnergy Review
- Solar Panel Installation
- Solar Panel Wiring
- Solar Panel Regulators
- Grid Tie Inverter - How To Connect Your System To The Power Grid
- Solar Panel Mounts - Build Your Own To Save Money
- Solar Panel Efficiency
- Energy2Green Review
- GreenDIYenergy Review
- All About Organic Solar Cells And How To Make Them
- Solar Roof Tiles
- Green Power Easy Review
Solar Panels 101
- Solar Panel Technology Explained
- Photovoltaic Solar Energy
- Photovoltaic Solar Panels
- How Solar Cells Work
- Guide To Solar Panels Cells
- Advantages Of Thin Solar Panel Film
- Solar Panel Shingles - What Are The Benefits?
- Guide To Flexible Solar Panels
- Silicon Solar Cells - The Most Efficient Solar Material Today