Our collection of DIY videos to make your own wind turbine has generated a lot of interest. However, many folks don’t want a spinning wind turbine in their neighborhood. Also, the price of solar panel arrays has come down into the range of $0.50/watt of rated power. Solar is becoming attractive for its lower cost and simplicity of installation.
So if you’re interested in hosting your own solar panels on your roof, cabin, or is part of your RV or boat kit, these videos will offer a great information resource. This type of DIY project is a great way to learn something new and reduce your electricity bills. It also can give you peace of mind to reduce the impact of power outages.
#1 Whole House DIY Solar Panel Project
Frugal Repair takes on a whole house solar project panel installation. Reese goes through the entire process step by step with video instructions on how he planned, designed, and installed his solar power system using metal frame roof mounts. This video includes the entire installation process; the building permit, inspection, and testing. The result is a professional-looking installation that has resulted in no electric bills, a 14% ROI, and a respectable cost savings payback period of five to seven years. This includes the benefit of a federal tax credit.
Reece used one of the neat tools in planning and sizing his project was an online tool called PVWatts. This tool estimates the energy production and cost of energy of grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) energy systems. You can tailor the results specific to the location of your solar project. It allows you to develop estimates of the performance of potential PV installations easily
#2 Simple Solar Power System for an off grid Cabin
This is a great example of a super cheap solar panel system for a remote cabin in the woods that is off the grid. Dave Whipple’s first step is to scrounge parts for the project, such as a battery from an unused Chevy van, copper wire from the local dump, and a solar controller from Harbor Freight.
This is a fine example of a solar project that can be set up just about anywhere. Perfect for a fishing or hunting cabin out in the woods. It’s powerful enough to charge smartphones, run laptops, small appliances, and even a lamp. This eliminates the need to run a gas generator for small electrical needs.
#3 DIY Solar Panel Kit
Will Prose takes us through the process of installing a pre-configured solar kit. This highly rated video is less of an actual solar installation. Still, it shows the proper sequence of hooking up a small-scale solar kit. This is a perfect tutorial for beginners without knowledge of electrical systems. With this bit of knowledge, there is no need for solar installers.
This type of kit is perfect for RVs, boats, cabins, and campers who want power small appliances, tools, and radios. Will also offers some additional tips and information, such as monitoring the battery’s temperature and not killing your battery by running it down to zero.
#4 How To Size Your Solar Power System
Will Prowse takes us through the process of how to size your DIY solar array project. This is a perfect tutorial on computing energy usage. Perfect for those who wish to attempt an off-grid solar setup to declare some independence from the utility company.
The Mobile Solar Power website is a good resource for solar system blueprints, recommended components, and tools to use.
#5 Review of the 100W Harbor Freight Solar Panel Kit
This is a series of videos that review a solar cell kit available at Harbor Freight. A tool store is known for its inexpensive tools and hardware.
There are a lot of critics for all things Harbor Freight. Some of it is justified. However, this is a great way to explore solar technology without spending much money. With a basic DIY kit and a solar inverter, you can create free energy for not a lot of time nor a lot of money.
#6 Basic Solar Parts Needed for a DIY Camper Van or RV Solar Install
This is a basic video that reviews all the component needed for a RV or camper DIY solar panel system.
This 15-minute video gives you the ability to identify and understand the fundamental principles of solar electricity. It outlines the components for a direct current DIY Camper Van Solar Setup.
These videos give some basic information on how to do your own solar panel installation. The good news is that there are tons more of these types of videos. Many are specific enough for your own solar system. The only negative side we see is the impact of the direct sun where your project will be. Problems such as shading issues from trees in the summer. The next step is to determine your energy needs and choose between DIY solar panel kits or creating your own solar energy system.
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