Go Solar With These 4 Simple Homesteading Projects You Can Do In A Weekend! Here's how to do it, what you'll need, and exactly what to buy! From FrugalChicken

Go Solar With These 4 Simple Homesteading Ideas

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
  • Inverter
  • Wires
  • 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


Go Solar With These 4 Simple Homesteading Projects You Can Do In A Weekend! Here's how to do it, what you'll need, and exactly what to buy! From FrugalChicken

Photo from FairCompanies.com

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
  • Screws
  • 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:




  • Great post, love the suggestions. Might have to try the oven one this summer (I’m renting so I don’t know if I could get away with the other’s…) For the water heater, you might want to consider using black pvc pipe to help keep the cost down (instead of copper) and placing it on the roof. My aunt has this set up for her pool and it works great. By placing it on the roof you prevent most critters from inadvertently damaging it…. I have another friend that has a similar set up (also for their pool) but on the ground and she is constantly fixing it because something stepped on the tubing.
    Love the suggestions, and they look easy enough to do.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Ricki, thanks for your comment. I hadn’t thought of black PVC. And that makes sense about putting it where it can’t get stepped on – I’m sure some critter would make short work of it at my place if I left it on the ground!

  • What abreast list to get started using alternative energy. I hadn’t thought of some of these ideas,Thanks.

  • Thank you for an informative article. I so want my own homestead and to be off grid. I have been wanting a solar water heater, something small to get the feel for solar so when I do get a homestead property I will have some knowledge of what’s expected.

  • Thanks for the details . I usually relate these weblogs and they are really very useful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *