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Need DIY plans for a "auto sun tracker" for my solar projects. Once saw one using a bottle of propane. Does anybody else remember this?

Topic by larryloh    |  last reply

Diy solar panels Answered

I saw the has simple solar panel instructions, but it is an expensive book. I did not see his dvd series on youtube, but if you can find that that seems easiest for me. If there is something close enough online free I will appreciate those links also. THANKS

Question by jbaker22    |  last reply

how to make solar diy cell?

How to make siliconcell solar power?

Question by tayzar    |  last reply

pump for a diy solar thermal collector?

I am building a diy solar thermal collector using a house radiator painted a black matt paint and i was wondering what would be a good cheap pump to use to circulate the water?  thanks.

Question by rich5007    |  last reply

photovoltaic CIGS solar cells DIY ..

Hello, I have been reading this document lately: CIS(CIGS) thin films prepared for solar cells by one-step electrodeposition in alcohol solution and I have been wondering ever since if such procedure might be handled by a DIYer ,without any lab machine (as Graetzel cells are made) . Non toxic materials handled and high efficiency levels would be plus.

Topic by gabdab    |  last reply

DIY Screen printed solar panels Answered

I bought a manual from about making solar panels. I feel like I've been misled. The first two solar panel technologies are not viable for home power generation. The screen printed PV panels may be. There were listings of materials and a copy of patent application along with some hand written notes. Not much else. I need to know how to layout the collectors that are printed on the substrate (glass) how to mix the materials that are being screen printed etc. I would be helpful to have a ball park figure on the output so that I could determine if it will be cost effective. I have fabrication and screen printing facilities and will be making panels for personal use. I need a 3-5 kw system (big I know)

Question by daveh189    |  last reply

DIY Hot Tub Solar Heating

Hi. I have a solar tub heating system 3/4s complete. It's based on a 100W PV panel to drive a pump, charge the battery and supply the electronics. A 16.5 sq ft solar water collector to heat the water. The heart of the system is a (made in China) DST1020 water temperature controller. My first thoughts are to open the flow of hot water to the tub at around 25degC, and cut it of at around 34degC. Problem - this controller has a reputation as a great little device, but it's a b**ch to program, the various instructions online just don't work. All I want it to do is close the heating dry relay contact at 25C and open at 34C. Easy? No. Has anyone got experience of this controller?

Question by Tubincyprus    |  last reply

Auto Solar tracker

Need a DIY plan for maintaining the most sun exposure for my solar panel projects. Saw one a few years ago using a bottle of propane gas. Anybody out there have any ideas?

Topic by larryloh    |  last reply

Solar Chimney anyone?

Hi, I have seen so many solar instructables, but none on Solar Chimney. I am not a good DIYer so I have no idea which materials to use and how. I don't know If I myself will do this or not, but I thought the great DIYers on this site might find it a great funand usefull project. So I post it here in the forum. Happy DIYing! :-)

Topic by kamathln    |  last reply

has anyone done the DIY solar progam

Just wanted to see if someone has bought the diy solar program offered by greendiysolar or 4earthsolar or something like that was the program worth the money ?

Question by leepinlarr    |  last reply

Solar - Powered Batteries

Check out these cool batteries! Their creator is Knut Karlsen.See what he said:At home i always have some batteries lying around, either rechargeable or normal ones. Usually they are empty, but i'd like them to be always fully charged. I could use a normal charger and there is a lot of solar devices that charge rechargeable batteries. I wanted it simpler; why hasn't anyone made a battery with integrated solar cells? The idea of the "SunCat" batteries where born. The batteries should just bask in the sun like a cat and left for a while, in a sunny window, they would slowly recharge.For more details visit this site.Thanks!Stanislav

Topic by comodore    |  last reply

DIY Solar Cells through screen printing

I was wondering if anyone has seen the "plans" offered by on producing solar cells cheaply and at home through screen printing. They claim efficiencies of 12-14% can be achieved. I know most solar cells are screen printed, but I know the doping can be difficult. Has anyone seen/done this? I have seen the American patent held by a Japanese company that outlines the process. I didn't have much time to peruse it however. I did notice they were using correct terminology, but it was obviously geared towards commercial enterprise. Any thoughts?

Topic by bowakowa    |  last reply

How to build solar panels ?

Hello I have a question. I am searching for a possibility to build a solar panel at home. I only find E-books that you need to pay for. Do you know if there are any free offers ? I mean something really simple, like these Ebooks because I am not really a Handyman. :D Do you know if this site is trustable and if it is worth to buy one of these Ebooks ? I really dont want to spend that much money but I am really interessted in this topic and I am not so good in searching the Internet for the right sources or collecting them in a way I can really build something out of this mess of Information at the end :confused:. thank you in advance

Topic by DariusN    |  last reply

Solar Light box

Hi, I would like to make a lightbox and charge it from a Solar cell . I saw a 5v ledstrip online , but I am wondering wich battery and wich Solar cell I have to buy? I mean how much voltage en watt does this ledstrip need? Wich diode do I need?  Another question: I want the Solar cell to charge during the day and I need it's power during the night , do I have to do something special with it ? I mean in the most cases you will have the energie richt away, that is not my plan .... I rather not use an on and of switch , I want to use it automaticaly.    I  just started with the diy adventure? Forgive me :)  greetings deborah

Topic by DeborahM8    |  last reply

anyone come up with a diy solar blanket for a pool?

Anyone come up with a diy solar blanket for a pool?

Question by tocatech    |  last reply

Solar Boombox Upgrade

Ok so im looking to upgrade my DIY portable boombox for the 2nd time and one of the things i want to add is a solar panel to supplement the battery power from my 12v 7ah sla battery, that by itself will currently run the thing for about 3hrs at full blast. The new version will have Directed CSX-650 component speakers: (bottom of this page) and the amp will be one of these:;=43 , so what id like to know is what tech spec should i be looking for in a solar panel that would be capable of charging the battery while the boombox is not in use and will supplement the battery power to extend the run time while it is in use? Also will i need some kind of circuit/component to prevent overcharge of the battery? Oh and is there some kind of simple light/gauge i can wire in to show the charge level of the battery?

Topic by ambientvoid    |  last reply

Solar/Wind Forum for DIYers?

Does anyone know of a good DIY forum for solar/wind? I need a community to help with some real basic questions and this site while it is amazing has a low social to it. Looking for a group of solar/wind enthusiasts.

Topic by braddd    |  last reply

Non-Arduino Solar Charger

Do you think there is a great alternative to the current solar charger? Today, there are many DIY Solar Chargers that are alternatives to the current commercial products. Do you think there is a better design for a solar charger that is not run by an arduino?

Topic by hthnc-student    |  last reply

Solar Generators - for emergencies and more

I've started an IndiGoGo campaign - 'Solar for Sandy' - to provide emergency solar generators to those devastated by Super Storm Sandy. I've started it because our Congress is useless.  It really, really, really bugged the hell out of me the way our Congress both disregarded and greatly delayed relief to the families suffering from Super Storm Sandy.  They made a bad situation much much more worse. So - unlike Congress - I decided to do something about it.  First, deliver mutual aid to New Jersey families with portable solar generators.  And the next time a climate disaster strikes we won't have to wait on Congress to do the right thing.  We'll route around their inaction and just get it done. I'm asking the Green Community on Instructables to join me.  Become a funder or spread the word widely so we can make this happen and provide relief.  One of the perks is a complete building manual for our iPower Station solar generator. Thanks for hearing me out - and providing a helping hand. Solar for Sandy  Excerpt from 'Build Your Own Solar Generator'

Topic by Jonlo    |  last reply

How do I reduce 12v power supply to 6v, DIY? Answered

I've got a problem with a LED setup i'm busy with, i've figured out the LED setup, just the 12v i'm powering it off is to much, I'm in a dark part of Tanzania, solar 12v is no problem but buying something to reduce the volts to 6 volts is, so i need to do it diy, any suggestions

Question by fjchorn    |  last reply


Hey guys,  I have been thinking, and I am going to build some solar speakers.  Now this is not my first time building solar speakers, so I know how to wire everything.  The only difference is this time I want to want to build my own amplifier.  I want to build a 2 channel 60-80watt amplifier.  I haven't found any schematics online that are similar to those, and I would want to wire in an off switch, a volume knob, a bass knob, and a treble knob.  Also, I would want to wire in an 3.5MM jack at the minimum.  If anybody could help me with some schematics and a list of parts, that would be wonderful.  Also, if anyone knows how, is it possible to wire a USB port onto here that will not only charge the device, but would also play music from the device to the amp.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Question by Athelestan    |  last reply

how do I diy my own solar charger without a battery?

I would like to build my own small  solar charger but I don't want to have a solar panel charge a battery and have that battery charge my phone. I want just the panel>buck converter>iPhone charger all in one.

Question by scout0001    |  last reply

Anyone knows how to DIY a Solar Turn Table?

 Hi All, I have been trying to DIY a solar powered turn table, those made for spinning small figurines round and round. However, the research I've done so far on turning dc motors as slow speeds have not been so successful. Things like using PWM, variable resistors, all doesn't seem to work well with a solar panel. Does anyone have any idea how I can approach this? Thanks! A sample is

Topic by edwardchuajh    |  last reply

Help: DIY Solar Li-Ion Battery Charger

Heylo, I’m a mechanical engineer by trade but lately I have taken up a fascination in building some fun DIY electronics. I wanted to make a device that could charge 18650’s via solar and then could use those batteries to charge my phone. So I found an instructables tutorial that seemed legit so I bought the following things and tried to wire it all up: Dual 18650 Battery Holder TP4056 Protection Circuit MT3608 5V 2A Boost Circuit Voltmeter Screen So I wanted to kind of figure things out on my own so I wired things up without referencing anything and I’ve done it multiple times but I cannot get anything to work. I have attached photos for reference. Basically, I bought 2 18650 holders and pulled the switch from one and wired it to the other. My thinking was that if I had switches on both the positive and negative terminals, I could switch it between solar charging mode and battery powered mode. It doesn’t work at all and I’m not sure what I did wrong. None of the lights even turn on, on the TP4056 yet alone the LED on 5V 2A circuit. I feel like everything I did was sound. But it’s probably not. Please don’t judge my soldering ability, I know it’s awful. I’m learning and I have awful hand tremors which makes soldering especially difficult. Anyways, thanks for your help in advance. If you need any more photos please let me know.

Topic by Thats Wild    |  last reply

Solar Cell/Panel Wiring?

Here I have 2 questions inside a question. 1. How to connect 2 or more solar cells/panels; series, parallel or some other, third way so....for example if I have 3 solar cells that give 5 Volts each, I connect them in some way and in the end have 15 Volt coming out... My question is hot to connect the solar panels to the the output described??? 2. Now that I have, for example 15 Volts coming out from these 3 small panels, I need to store that electric energy somewhere...So would a diode just to ,point, the electricity and a ultra capacitor to store it ,or does it have to be a circuit that involves rechargeable batteries and a special recharger circuit.

Question by comodore    |  last reply

a DIY optical port

I have been intrested in optical computer for a while but found them rather expensive to build so I tried to look for cheaper ways to build some key features like the gates. The basic idea is to use solar cells that power a led. For and OR-Port you use solarcells where it is enough that one of the side gets light to make the led burn. To make and AND-port, you can put a resitor in between so that it really needs the power form both channel sot make a led burn. For a NOT-port you put an invertor in, so that when it burns it gives no signal, and wheren it does not receive light it burns this because of a battery it caries. A NOT-port is almost like a led-throwie.I do hav emore but wanted to know if this would be a good place or not, or if someones intrested in hearing on how to build a full optical computer, still basic, but almost completly optical, or if it would be better to post this on the microprocessor group at the opencourseware of the MIT ?

Topic by Floris Vermeir    |  last reply

Solar Thermal Design and efficiency?

I have finished building and testing my diy solar thermal collector. i decided to paint the outside framework black, will this make a difference? also i was wondering how to work out the efficiency and power it can produce? the temperature difference was 17 deg going in and 29 going out at a flow rate of .36 litres a minute and the solar radiation was 800 watts per m^2. the temp difference might seem low and there a 2 reasons for this. 1)im in ireland and 2)i never bled the radiator so i have a feeling the water only flew across the bottom rather than circulate. Thanks

Question by rich5007    |  last reply

how do you make a solar panel? can they be made smaller than those great big panels?

I want to build my own solar panels for heat and electricity. can I make/build solar panels myself? Thank you.

Question by PawsPals    |  last reply

Agua-luna solar panel ripoff

I bought a manual from about making solar panels. I've been misled and ripped off. The first two solar panel technologies are not viable for home power generation. The screen printed PV panels may be. There were listings of materials and a copy of a patent application along with some hand written notes. Not much else. There's absolutely no way that a person with electrical and fabrication skills could make printed PV panels from this document. I tried there msn address, no response. I posted a message in their forums, no response. Beware.

Topic by daveh189    |  last reply

Low-Footprint Lamp, DIY Wind Turbine, Energy Usage Meter

  Low-Footprint Lamp DIY Wind Turbine Energy Usage Monitor Build a Solar Tracker Stationary Bike Power Garden Rain Barrels DIY Solar Panel Recycled Window Greenhouse Pringles Wind Turbine Bike Wheel Generator Home Solar Panels Homemade Sun Jar Water Flow Sensor Solar Thermal Collector Energy Saving Tools  

Topic by randofo  

How many wattage of solar panel I need to diy to charge 12 volts 70 amps battery? Answered

Kindly refer the supplied block diagram below.

Question by GearUp    |  last reply

Power supply alternatives for Desktop ? Answered

 I  want to know wind or solar power is good to power up my PC,DIY link please ? Do you know any other alternative solution ? 

Question by milans    |  last reply

Advice needed on adding a Wind Turbine (generator) to a DIY PV Solar System.

I have bought a 12 volt FD-300 300 watt wind turbine to add to my 12 volt DIY solar setup. The solar setup consists of 3 home made 70 watt panels on a single axis tracker charging 6x 12 volt 85 ah batteries wired in parallel (510 ah total) through a 20 amp controller. I run a 12 volt fridge/freezer (120 liter) and my now 12 volt (was 240 volt) evaporative air cooler (cools our 3 bedroom house) off the controller load output. The wind turbine has an inbuilt regulator. The instructions for the wind turbine tell me to attach it's + and - wires directly to it's own dedicated terminals on the battery bank. This is of great concern to me. How can this be done when the batteries are already connected to each other and to my systems controller? If it can be done without damage to the batteries would I still run the appliances through the load output on my controller? Would the different charge limiters cause an issue? My controller cuts out at 13.7 volts while the turbines controller would want to allow a charge of 14.1 volts. The two controllers also have different lower limits. As you can see I'm confused and in desperate need of quality advice. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Topic by Rob Patterson    |  last reply

How to ground a solar charge controller and solar panels to a vehicle? More details... Solar Powered, Electric Tractor? Answered

Solar Charge Controller problem... For my university capstone project, my team and I are converting last year's DIY conversion electric tractor into a self-sustainable solar powered, electric tractor. Yes, we will be mounting solar panels on a tractor. It will not be for agricultural uses (yet) but it will operate as a campus' fleet service. We have four 12v deep-cycle batteries (total 48v) that will be charged with two 290v polycrystalline solar panels. The solar charge controller manual said that we needed a GFDI (ground-fault detector interrupter) because of an UL compliance but we learned that it's for residential installations... One of teammate was told that we should not ground the controller onto the tractor but he doesn't know why... is that true? We are all solar amateurs. We know how a car is ground and why things need to be ground, but if we don't ground the controller into the tractor, where can we ground it? Help...? Please and thank yous. :) I will gladly provide more information if needed. 

Question by v.duong    |  last reply

Solar heating DIY system using tubes from various sourses, good idea. problem with connecting exsisting water heating

I have found that the expansion of water in the heating solar heating system, creates a very high pressure, and cannot be connected to your existing water heater supply. Some kind of expansion tank is required, or a blow off value. The water supply should be 2 bar or 28 psi. Any direct water heating on this water line will increase the pressure, both in the house system and back up the cold water supply system. What's the cheap way of resolving this

Question by dert  

Making a Inverter with 12V Solar panel.

Hello There, Some One Tell me how can i Power Up my Desktop PC with 12Volt Solar Panel that is rated Max Current Of 10Amps, so i want to make a DIY Inverter with i can Ran my Desktop PC , The load of PC is  Approx. 500 Watts. I know how to Convert DC to AC but the Problem is Power(LOAD). How can i Make it to work With Max power of 500 watts? Help me  Plz Regards, AB

Question by asattark.solangi    |  last reply

Simple, efficient, low-cost, solar energy equipment

I am looking for a DIY simple, low-cost solar water heater and solar light that will work in any kind of weather and still be able to supply atleast some working heat and light. Please suggest.

Topic by rseni    |  last reply

Solar panel maxes at 1A, but expected 3.6A?

I ordered a DIY kit from amazon. They are super flimsy and easy to break, but I was careful. Each cell was supposed to be 1.8W and .5V, ergo 3.6A by the math. But all put together now (in series) I get 5-5.6 Volts and about 1A max (with meter leads directly on each panel terminal). Voltage seems right, but current seems low. I'd expect somewhere in the area of 10%-15% over/under the estimated max, but this seems very wrong. I am guessing one panel in it is bad or cracked and I can't see it, and is limiting the whole deal. Does that sound right? Can I test the panels using the volt meter on the in/out leads on each cell, or do the other cells interfere after they're connected?

Question by Phoenix17    |  last reply

I cant run power to my shed so I want to know can I use the solar cells from the outdoor lights to make a solar panel? Answered

I want to make a solar panel out of those outdoor LED solar yard lights to make a Light for my shed, Can I use the Solar panels on them to make this? I have seen the DIY solar panel and I am going to try to do this but I want to know if I can use the outdoor lights to try this. Chris

Question by chrisandamanda    |  last reply

Solar charger in altoids tin for 9v??

Well, if you have seen the altoids solar battery charger, and the altoids 9v usb charger, then you must have thought, "why not put em together???". Now, Im not electronics buff, but I'd be willing to bet that since the 9v charger instructable is so small, that it could be incorperated with the solar panel kit. Now, my question is, would i have to do anything ridiculous to convert the solar charger (which is ment to charge 2 AA batterys) into a 9v usb charger w/solar panel while still being inside an altoids tin. PS: I still don't know why I have this wierd fascination with altoids tin DIYs, but I do...

Topic by altoidsrox  

Solar panel: Shattered glass - epoxy or replace the glass? Answered

Hello, I see many projects/videos about making solar panels or repairing shattered glass on solar panel with things like epoxy. But I have found nothing about chaging the glass of the solar panel. The cost of epoxy  for a repair seems quite high (30$+?) and maybe not always suited long term. Assuming the cost of the glass wasnt much higher, is there something practical stoping a repair by chaging the glass rather than using epoxy? Thank you!

Question by RincewindT    |  last reply

Solar cells in series sum voltage and current?

I am very confused! I built a 10-cell panel (laid out on corrugated plastic for testing). They were rated at 1.8W and .5V. In the sun, putting the volt meter on a SINGLE cell yields about .55 V and 136mA. This is the same for every one I tested, on the panel and individual cells. What the heck? Shouldn't they be about 3.6A? So I soldered 10 in series and put the leads across the final terminals- sure enough I get about 5.5 volts! But I also get about .96A. And current is negative. WHAT THE HECK?! Am I understanding it wrong? I have to be. I thought putting cells in series adds voltage but current is going to be the same as whichever cell is producing the least. Somehow I'm going from .55V/ea to 5.5V/panel. and 136A/ea to .96A/panel. 10 cells. Should have had an 18W panel. Each cell should be giving me 3.6A. "This should be fairly simple" I thought.

Topic by Phoenix17    |  last reply

Anyone have suggestions on resources for DYI solar panel construction? Materials, Cells, inverters etc.

I'm in the process of planning and getting the materials needed to build several solar panels to install on-grid. Any out there have any good information on the best and most economical place to purchase the needed materials for this project? Solar cells, inverters etc. Also, any suggestions are much appreciated. GEAUX TIGERS!!

Question by lsutigertuff    |  last reply

Solar Panel Sun Tracker, Kite Boat, Homemade Wind Turbine

Solar Panel Sun Tracker Kite Boat Homemade Wind Turbine Solar Lawn Mower Breath-Powered USB Charger The California Cooler   DIY Solar Setup Solar Thermal Water Heater Truly Insulate Your Home 440 Watt Bicycle Generator Vertical Wind Turbine USB Bike Charger Solar Heater Algae Bioreactor Air Duct Turbine  

Topic by randofo    |  last reply

Can I use liquid silicone to secure solar cells to a sheet of plexiglass?

Ok so i have the bright idea of sandwiching my solar cells in between 2 sheets of some sort of acrylic material, coating everything with silicone to secure and seal it. anyone have any experience with this? will the silicone block any light? i'm also welcome to ANY and all suggestions regarding DIY solar power!!!!! 

Question by matthewb1427    |  last reply

Looking for some cheap material to build solar panels, do you know where I can get them?

 I've gotten some instructions on how to build your own solar panels, and I found a great site that shows you where to get some great DIY videos on solar energy - Small Solar Panels.  I want to find a good online store to buy the material - some of the places I've gone to are kind of expensive.  Any ideas?

Question by smallsolarpanels    |  last reply

How to build a Gazebo solar heater ?

Ok this is my first post Was looking for heater for DIY wooden gazebo to take the chill off but don't want chiminea fire, smoke I'm just starting up on solar set-up so looking for low power heater was thinking at first car 12v cigarette socket heater witch is an option But what i would really like to do is make something unusual So hear goes thinking about small oil radiator with element replaced for 12v 120w travel kettle element Now the closest thing I can think of to this is a towel rail but that's 240v I'm trying to keep it simple system 12v lights heater music USB gadget charger something like image attached I do hope 1 person out there thinks this is a good idea Questions 1. would it work 2. would it get hot or just warm 3. how long would it take to heat up again if at all giving image as example size and style  Description Specification 5 Fin oil-filled radiator heater with single heat setting Ideal for heating small offices or in the home. Voltage: 220-240V Wattage: 500W Frequency: 50Hz Plug Amp: 13A Low Wattage & Cost Effective Power heat 0.5kW Built-in Carry Handle Weight: 3KG

Question by brem69    |  last reply

iphone external backup battery DIY with old nokia batteries as cells? Answered

I wanna charge my iphone via diy backup battery made from old nokia cells or ipad battery or even couple of iphone 4 batteries i have a step up board and a cheap backup 18650 battery board wich one should i use and how should i connect the batteries with the battery board or without

Question by turbiny    |  last reply

Question about solar panel circuit

I'm putting together a solar powered cell phone charger and I need some advice from someone who knows a thing or two about photovoltaics. I've spent the better part of my free time the past three days or so absorbing as much information about electrical charging over USB and solar cell output as possible. I've seen a lot of helpful DIYs, and they would be great if I was following their method exactly. Unfortunately my project has serious space and power constraints. It's not for trickle charging an additional battery, it's for providing direct power to a USB phone. Here are my specifications. I need 5V and preferably ~500mA. Anything over 400mA should work fine. I *think* I've come up with a way to get that within my space requirements but I'm not positive it will work because I'm mixing two different size solar cells in one circuit. I can't seem to find a definitive answer as to whether or not this is OK, and what the results will be. I've attached a diagram of my plan. Two 5.5V/70mA solar cells wired in parallel with seven 1.5V/50mA cells. If I'm assuming correctly, this will give me an output of 5.5V (before the regulator) and 490mA. I don't know how or if the lower voltages of the smaller cells will effect the output. Can I use a combination of high voltage and high amperage cells in one circuit to get the output I need? I've talked with people in the Science and Tech forums and I've gotten a long way on the electrical circuit aspects and USB issues, but I'm hoping someone here will know a thing or two more about solar cells to tell me if my plan is viable as it is or if I will have to modify it. Thanks for any help.

Topic by HittingSmoke    |  last reply

New DIY Instructables contest: Going Green

Well, over the past week I was thinking about the environment... and now I'm watching that "6 degrees can changed the world" on NATGEO and it's scary...So I was thinking, why not a new contest? The GO GREEN!! Contest. The challenge would be to make DIY stuff that has to do with using less energy and making the planet better. An example of an entry wcould be a solar oven . What do you think? P.s. Have a waffle ;)

Topic by Waffles Will Rule    |  last reply