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Solar power is getting big these days. It can be pretty expensive, but if you like making stuff yourself, the solar powered projects below could help you get off the grid quicker than you can say electricity.
Spend a little on materials (nowhere near as much as the solar companies charge), and you could be saving money and living more self-reliant in no time.
All of these simple DIY projects are easy and cheap to build. Most will only take you a few hours, and some just a day or two. Why not take advantage of the free energy beaming down on us?
Interesting Books About Solar Powered Projects
Reading a book or two about DIY solar powered projects might help you get your mind around how solar power works and spark some unique ideas.
There are many practical uses for solar power energy that is portable, particularly when SHTF.
Building a DIY solar powered radio is not difficult, and it’s an extremely useful item to have on hand in the event of a disaster. And no batteries required!
You can buy a new solar radio from Amazon for around $20, which is pretty affordable. But if you like to tinker, have an old radio lying around and you are particularly frugal, this is the DIY project for you.
You could theoretically make the solar powered radio for free if you have the aforementioned radio, and are able to find a discarded solar light.
People toss their faulty solar lights frequently without realizing that it’s likely the factory battery has died, but the panel still works just fine.
Check out this how to and build one for yourself!
When a big storm (or other natural disasters) blew through my area leaving us without power for days. I was incredibly grateful to have a hand-crank/solar-powered radio.
It kept my family abreast of the news and provided some musical entertainment. It also inspired me to figure out how to make some solar appliances for future power outages.
I heard stories on the radio of people buying up batteries, and it occurred to me that I would prefer not to have to rely on them.
See how to make your own relatively cheap solar battery charger below:
If you’re living off the grid or homesteading, you probably already know how challenging it can be to come up with food stores. Preserving food is always an option, but can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, especially if you’re off the grid. Luckily, Instructables has a tutorial on how to construct a solar powered dehydrator to solve this very problem.
On top of being energy efficient, this dehydrator is economical because it can be constructed using mostly recycled materials.
It might take a bit of time and resourceful thinking to find the materials. But if you are persistent, you can build this dehydrator for next to nothing. The design does call for a recycled computer fan, which can be easily powered even if you’re off the grid.
Big batches of fruit, veggies, and even meals like chili can be easily dried and saved for winter months or camping trips in this dehydrator.
Free power- How to convert an old washing machine into a water powered generator
This generator can be a powerful back up to your solar or wind turbine generators. It could even work with a small volume of water if a dam is built.
Here is a great step by step guide showing how to convert a smart drive washing machine into a pelton wheel dc generator making 780 watts – enough power to live off the grid. All you need is a head of water.
You can buy these from Amazon… but why buy one when you can make one 🙂? This project is pretty easy and a lot of the time more powerful than the store brought ones.
If you have any rain barrels you should consider this project as you can take advantage of all that water and save money on using tap water for your garden.
If SHTF you can rest assured that you still have power to pump out valuable water from your water barrels to irrigate your survival garden. With this pump, you can get a lot more water further away from your barrel. This is Ideal if you want to extend your garden.
If the power goes out there is very little chance that you can produce enough hot water to fill your needs through wood fire alone. There are many methods of warming water with no power.
The easiest and most simple is to just spray paint a 5-gallon water bottle with black paint and leave it in the sun until you get the correct temp but this method is not always the most efficient.
In the link below you will get a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a solar powered water heater that you can heat a whole rain barrel full of water throughout the day.
I think this is a great way to save money and if you want to live “off the grid” this could save you a lot of energy by letting the sun do all of the work.
This is a great project to purify any water to get drinking water. It uses no electricity or man-made heat, just the power of the sun. These stills even work in winter.
This project from offthegridnews.com shows you how to build one. After reading the full article, I would highly recommend reading the comments at the end of the page. They gave me more info on how to adapt and make this work even better.
Solar stills have been used for hundreds of years, obviously not like this still but using simple clear plastic and stones. This still will have you hydrated and feeling good about having a way to purify water in a SHTF situation.
In the event of a power outage wouldn’t it be great to relax and stay cool, knowing you have other options? I found a great YouTube video that shows us a simple solar-powered ice maker setup that will let you keep food and drinks chilled with ice, even without power from the grid!
This solar powered system is fast, easy to set up and reliable. Once you have your ice maker running, you’ll have a way to stay self-sufficient and save all that money you normally spend for your inefficient freezer to make ice. Grid power isn’t getting any cheaper!
Have you ever thought about what you would do if you found yourself without electricity indefinitely? Specifically, have you thought about how you would cook and/or heat food?
With no electricity, conventional ovens and stoves would be out of the question. Unless you owned a portable propane-powered stove, there would be no way to cook meals. Technically, you could always build a fire and cook that way, but that requires a lot of work and some knowledge of how to do it.
One option that I recommend is learning how to build a solar oven. The method that you’re going to learn about today will teach you how to build a solar oven using a pizza box.
What are the benefits of doing this?
Well, the sun is an example of a renewable resource. Each day when it comes up, we can use the sun’s energy to power various things (hence why solar panels are so popular).
With a solar oven, you’ll essentially use the sun’s energy to cook your food. Pretty simple concept, wouldn’t you agree?
Another thing that’s great about this method is that you can build it pretty much free since most of the required tools are already most likely in your home.
How hot will a DIY solar oven get? It depends. If you live in a really hot area, like Arizona or Nevada, it might exceed 200-degrees Fahrenheit. On average, though, expect yours to hover between 125- and 185-degrees Fahrenheit depending on the conditions.
With a homemade solar oven, you’ll be able to cook things like hot dogs, rice, heat soups, and if it gets hot enough, even bake cookies! At the very least, it’s a fun project to do with the kids on a Saturday afternoon. To learn how to do it, click on the link below.