Let’s face it – solar energy is all the fad nowadays. Although when it first started out, in the early 1990s, it was very expensive and reserved only for large-scale government-funded projects, now this new technology is getting more and more affordable for the everyday user. What’s more, is this once complicated and intricate technology is now becoming easier to install, manage and use, even for the average homeowner.
There are literally hundreds of ideas for home devices that use solar power and now is the best time to build one for your own home or garden. According to experts, the timing is great: there are endless Government backed incentives, tax deductions and other financial benefits that you can use. Similarly, the solar power companies like Bob Heinmiller Solar and manufacturers are continuously coming with new materials and products, with prices that are steadily falling every day (for instance photovoltaic – PV cells, went down 40% since 2011, according to multiple market studies). What’s more, solar projects can also help you save loads on the electricity bill, lower your overall carbon footprint and make your home more comfortable, especially during the cold, winter months.
Let’s see which are some of the best ideas for your home-based solar project:
1. Backyard Water Heater
Ever had an outdoor party during those long summer days? Or maybe you wanted to enjoy the soothing hot tub water during those spectacular autumn evenings. If the answer is yes, then you definitely know that a relaxing pool is the best way to relax and cool off. Well, the do-it-yourself solar powered water heater is the best answer for your needs. Using the right kit, which can be easily found at any hardware store for less than $5, you can get 80 gallons of water up to 170 degrees without using any electricity. The kit includes a special solar pad that you can easily attach to any water receptacle or tank and, in a couple of hours, the water will be just great.
2. Create Your Own Solar Powered Lawnmower
Notorious for their loudness and many design flaws, engine hiccups, and jams, small lawnmowers are a nuisance in any neighborhood. Almost every homeowner despises them but somehow knows that they are good to have around, especially if you have a small garden which you like to keep neat. A solar powered lawnmower may seem a dream come true for many of us: the ear-shattering noise will be gone, you won’t have to recharge the batteries or fill up the gas tank. There are tens of kits available online, designed for almost any type of small lawnmower. Most of the kits will help you convert your lawnmower in a solar powerhouse in a matter of hours, for as little as $70.
3. Solar Powered Wi-Fi Extender – Get Wi-Fi to your Garden
This do-it-yourself project might not seem particularly useful, but some homeowners will quickly see its benefits. Catered for the more nerd like or geeky users, the Wi-Fi solar powered extender will make your garden the perfect hotspot for various gadgets, smartphones, notebook PCs, handheld e-readers and any other Internet device. Multiple science oriented websites feature detailed descriptions on how to create the perfect Wi-Fi extender in your garden. You will need a simple Wi-Fi router, a range extender, a small solar panel, a battery and a basic antenna. With a little effort, you will have a cozy internet hotspot in your gazebo, free of running cables.
4. Build a mini-greenhouse
Having a personal backyard greenhouse is the dream of many gardening enthusiasts. Imagine that you will be able to grow your favorite plants and flowers almost year-round without additional costs. With simple, light construction materials and using everyday tools, you can create your own exotic garden. The mini-greenhouse uses condensed solar panels to get the required energy and heat, ensuring that your plants will live even during the longest winters.
Flaviu Mircea is a freelance writer and homeowner who contributes home improvement realted articles. If you would like to learn more about Flaviu you can check out his Google+ profile.