Want to Build a Solar Something?
Are you looking for a fun, do it yourself, solar powered project? Or, maybe you are looking out of some sort of necessity like saving money on heating bills? Either way, I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 best solar DIY websites & a review of each. I’ve chosen not to put them in any particular order because placement would depend on relevance to your objective. (for example: a project to complete with the kids or looking to solar power your home in an emergency even) At my other website, I have a list of specific DIY endeavors that I find interesting – Solar Powered DIY Projects. Anyway, here’s the best..
Instructables – This site came online in 2006 and houses over 100,000 DIY projects. The projects are uploaded by the community and vary widely in scope. The vast majority of them contain excellent step by step instructions and photos. Many contain videos and access to the maker through posts. They’ll include a list of tools and materials required to make the object. Some have external websites dedicated to their build. Basically, the things shown at Instructables are typically very well documented and easy to follow. The link provided will take you to the DIY solar channel of the site.
Build it Solar – Site started in 2005 by Gary, a retired airplane product development engineer. Contains TONS of links to DIY solar topics & great onsite guides for solar projects. It seems many are geared toward home energy, like solar thermal & electric. One benefit of this site is that it contains links to many different projects where the creators may be making the same things but, approaching it in different ways. This site contains allot of very useful information & is extensive in size. If your looking to build or make a homemade solar anything, definitely worth a view. Careful not to fall into a rabbit hole when visiting this one though!
Hack a Day – This site has been around for a few years that I am familiar with but, the website doesn’t give any indication as to when it was started. I may be a bit bias in adding this to the list as many of the projects don’t contain clearly defined instructions or documentation. However, the projects are usually very “techie” and that is right in my wheel house so I find them appealing. There is a forum to exchange ideas / questions and the site is very active – frequently updated.
Make – Started in 2005 by Dale Dougherty. Extensive site contains DIY makers projects, kit reviews, forums and blog. There is also a quarterly magazine for $36 a year. (I check mine out from the library) Solar projects you can make are categorized into easy, moderate and difficult. All of the things to build here are documented very well, broken into steps & presented in a very professional manner. Certainly worth a visit.
DIY Network – If you have cable or satellite I’m sure you have seen this channel listed in your guide. The website has step by step guides, fluffy articles and several well produced videos of DIY solar projects. They are mostly general overviews and do not contain extensive materials or tool lists. However, if used as an informational resource in conjunction with a project from above it can be a very handy supplement.
Ok, there are the top 5 best solar power project websites I know of! If you have a site that you think should be included in this list, let me know!