For now at least, the sun is owned by everyone and no one, so why not use it’s power to become a little more independent?
Going solar is a worthy homesteading goal, and a simple one to begin.
We aren’t completely off grid yet, but we do hope to go solar soon as we become more involved with our homesteading activities.
Of course, we’ll create our own solar generators, furnaces, ovens, and hot water heaters as much as we can (although we’re okay calling in experts if we have to!)
I’ve scoured the internet, and found some simple solutions to going solar.
Here’s 4 projects you can start today to make homesteading a little more self-sufficient!
1. Make Your Own Solar Powered Generator*
While I’m no electrician, these directions for a simple DIY solar powered generator look easy enough.
For this project, you’ll need:
- Solar Panel (recommended: 40wp, 17.2v)
- Charge Controller
- Deep Cycle Battery
- Wire Connectors
You can produce 150 W of electricity, not enough to support electricity-guzzling appliances, but it’s more than enough to power a 60 W light blub for 6 hours or an energy saving light bulb for 25 hours.
In a grid-down situation, you’ll be able to power your laptop for 5 to 8 hours. Not too shabby!
*I’m not an electrician, and I haven’t put together this DIY solar panel together myself. These statements aren’t intended to take the place of a certified electrician. If you attempt this project, you do so at your own risk.
2. Build a Solar Powered Heater Out of Aluminum Cans
Seriously, I’ve already started collecting aluminum cans for this one since it seems so simple even I can do it.
Last year, the horse barn was FREEZING in the winter, and I’ve vowed that this winter, it will be at least 40 degrees inside.
I’m just not sure I want to do homesteading activities, like milking a goat, in 14 degree weather.
I’m sure you understand.
The nice thing about building your own solar powered heater? You’re reusing something that’s otherwise going to a landfill.
For this project you’ll need:
- 240 aluminum cans
- (3) 2x4x8 studs
- 4 ft. x 8 ft. x 1/2 in. sheet of plywood
- High temperature silicone
- 4 ft. x 8 ft. sheet of Plexiglas or Lexan
- A can of heat-resistant flat black spray paint
- Plastic tubing
- Drill Press with wide drill bits
- Optional Air Blower (consider a solar-powered unit)
Even though the air blower is optional, I recommend it because from my research, it will heat your space faster and more effectively.
Here’s how to construct it: