Solar Power: The Ultimate Guide to Solar Power Energy and Lower Bills: (Off Grid Solar Power Systems, Home Solar Power System) - Mark Prentice, James Bickel (2016)
Book 2. Proven Methods To Build Your Own Solar Power System That You Can Afford
Chapter 3. Some Extra Solar Power DIY Goodies!
In this chapter I would like to discuss some other little known DIY solar power projects. Lately there are several of these real and imagined projects floating around the internet. I just wanted to take the time to separate some of the fact from the fiction.
Now compiled here in this chapter find some of the best (and wackiest) DIY solar powered projects you could ever dream up! Experiment with these projects for some extra bang for your buck as well as some extra firepower for your solar power DIY arsenal!
Flashlight Solar Power
We could always use a flashlight right? Well what about a solar powered flashlight? It’s a great bonus to have on hand in case you ever run out of illumination! If you have ever found yourself fumbling for a flashlight only to find that its batteries were completely dead, this DIY makes sure that you never have to worry about that anymore!
Bypassing batteries directly this flashlight maintains its power through a built in capacitor which is instantly energized by one conveniently placed solar cell right on the bottom of the flashlight.
To make this DIY all you have to do is gut a standard flashlight. In other words, take out the battery and all of the material associated with battery power. Once you have done this just connect the wiring to a solar receiving cell and affix your cell to the bottom of our flashlight. This is a DIY that even MacGyver would appreciate!
Solar Powered Running Shoes
This one has been floating around in the blogosphere for a while now, but yes, you heard right, thanks to this clever DIY you can now have solar powered sneakers.
The way it works is by taking two solar cells and strategically insert them right on top of the toes of your shoes so that they can collect light, now run a wire from your solar cell and then pull it back to a LED light positioned in the back of your sneakers.
Now you can light up the mean streets with an even meaner pair of solar powered shoes! And that’s not all! Just attach a small USB port and you can have folks charging up right on your sneakers!
Solar Panel Picture Frame
This Solar Panel DIY is so simplistic that upon seeing it you can’t help but say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” The natural design of a picture frame is perfectly suited just the way it is to house our solar cells.
Obviously a picture frame constitutes a much smaller space however and you are not going to be able to put a whole lot of them together. Just fit as many as you can and you will have a great lower level power source for your home.
Next, take out a drill and start drilling into the frame until you have a small hole that goes all the way through the side. This is where your USB port will go. After obtaining a standard USB port and wiring from a computer store pop this little bit of hardware right into your hole, seal it in place with glue, and you have yourself a solar powered USB port for all of your phones and tablets!
Solar Panel Soda Pops
If you like your cans of soda pop then you are going to love this project! Because as it turns out, all of those soda pop cans you toss out on in the trash can really serve a solar powered purpose!
Believe it or not the surface of these soda cans can (pun fully intended) be transformed into fully operational solar cells! Who would have thought right? Simply enough—to get started on this one get some cans!
If you really like your soda you could always buy them. Just four 24 packs of soda would get you 72 cans of soda. That’s certainly a start since our project requires 75 cans.
You could always pick up the three remaining stragglers somewhere else. If you don’t like the idea of buying and drinking 72 cans of soda however, and are seeking a much faster pay off of cans you will have to go can hunting.
The best place to find cans are usually sporting events and state parks. I live in Indianapolis, Indiana, where they hold the Indy 500 every summer. It’s a major extravaganza for Indiana and as the say, it really is the biggest racing spectacle in the world. It’s also one of the biggest messes.
And after nearly 1 million fans leave that race track, it usually looks like a small tornado touched down leaving tons of garbage in its wake.
Anyway—to make this long story a little shorter—I signed on as part of the clean up crew the next day and got enough cans for my project in less than 30 minutes. But you get my point.
If you need to collect your cans, just find some large outside setting where people drink a lot of soda! Sanitize your cans once you get tem, besides the obvious health hazards, cans with soda still caked to their surface lowers the cans ability to absorb solar radiation.
After cleaning your cans, take out a pair of wire cutters and putting its mouth into the mouth of the can cut the can open on one side all the way to the bottom. Repeat this same process again on the other side. You should now be able to flatten your can out into one solid, flat piece of aluminum. I know it is time consuming, but do this with all 75 of your cans. These will be your solar cells.
Once you’ve done this get a piece of peg board just like you did with the solar cell project mentioned earlier in this book. Now with strong, heat resistant, wood working glue, begin gluing these cans to the pegboard.
The method of actually distributing electricity for this Solar Power DIY is rather primitive, but it’s effective. What you need to do is take a pair of jumper cables, and simply hook one end to the panels and the other end to your batteries. Not exactly brilliant—but hey—it gets the job done!
Solar Powered Coffee Maker
Yes folks, it has arrived! The Solar Powered Coffee Maker! All you have to do is set it out on your window sill and it will start brewing your coffee! This nifty little solar DIY was created by attaching a couple of solar cells right on top of a coffee machine and running a wire from the cells down to the coffee maker main combustion unit.
Just add water and this Solar Powered Coffee Maker is ready to start brewing its goods! All you need for this project is one or two solar cells, some electrical wiring and—well yes, you guessed it—coffee!
Solar Panel Shingles
I would love to see a roofer get a hold of these! I have friends in the construction business, and I bet that they never imagined that someone would actually think to put solar collecting shells right in the shingles of the home! But it really is that easy folks! Solar Panel Shingles can be slapped right on your rooftop and start absorbing solar energy!
The design is ingenious, rather than large cumbersome solar panels, just fit some solar cells right into your shingles! To be more precise these shingles are solar cells inserted into small, individualized panels that can in the same place on your roof that your shingles fit into. These shingles are small but they will save you at least 50% on your electric bill.
The hardest part of this solar power DIY is actually going to be the wiring. In order to collect the energy that the shingles collect you are going to have to drill a small hole through your roof so that can run wiring from the solar cell and on down into your house—most likely in the corner—and on down to a receiving battery.
It’s not a big deal, and feats of wiring like this are done all the time. Just make sure that your connections are good and your solar panel shingles are ready to go.
The DIY Solar Coaster
Just set your drink right down on a solar cell, and rest your beverage while this DIY powers up everything else! To make this DIY yourself just take a standard coaster—it doesn’t matter if it is made of wood or plastic—and separate it’s two halves (most coasters come apart for cleaning) and then insert the solar cell.
Next just attach a USB port to the cell and soon this power coaster will be up and running as a great new external charger. Just keep your solar power coaster in a well let room and it will routinely absorb enough energy to give a good charge to your phones and tablets.
Solar Powered Clock
With just one solar cell you can convert your clock to run on solar power. Just connect a standard rechargeable battery to the clock’s solar cell and it will begin absorbing light to power the clock’s own ticking. Just put this clock out in the sunshine and you will never have to wonder what time it is ever again!