Solar power is one of the most eco-friendly sources of energy. If you plan to live off the grid, you might want to consider solar power as a sustainable source of clean energy. The initial investment might cost you a hefty sum at first, but you will be able to save on your utility bills in the long run. Here are a few ideas on how you can incorporate solar energy into your own home. (h/t to DoomsdayMoose.com.)
Solar panels on roof
One of the most popular methods of harnessing solar power is to install solar panels on the roof of your house. A typical roof is a flat surface with little interference or blockage, making this a practical area for optimal absorption of the sun’s rays. If you want to make the switch to solar energy with something simple and basic first, this is as good a place as any to to get started. A more creative option would be to fit your roof with solar shingles. They look just like regular roof shingles except that they are made with building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) materials. Each shingle can serve as a tiny solar panel.
A solar-powered heater can keep you warm during the chilly winter months. You save even more money if you choose to build your own DIY solar-powered heater out of aluminum cans and a few other everyday materials. (Related: How to build an inexpensive solar-powered water heater.)
Solar-powered water heater
Now that your home is warm and toasty, why not have a source of hot water to go along with it? With the right materials, you can build your own completely mobile solar thermal copper pipe water heater. As long as the sun is out, you can use it to heat your own water supply. Since it’s mobile and lightweight, you can bring it anywhere you want to use it. It’s also highly customizable if you want to add timers, thermometers, insulated tanks, or any other features.
Just because you’re utilizing the power of the sun, doesn’t mean you always have to use it to heat things up. A solar-powered fan is a great way to cool down, especially if you install one in your greenhouse. If things are getting a little too hot for your plants, you can use that heat to turn things around and keep your plants from wilting or getting dehydrated.
This method of harnessing the sun’s rays doesn’t even require photovoltaic panels. You just use the heat of the sun to directly cook your food. A solar oven can provide a convenient way to cook your food without any need for electricity. DIY solar ovens are easy to build using common items you can find from your nearby dollar store.
A portable solar-powered generator can be a lifesaver for preppers. You can bring it anywhere and use it for emergencies, camping trips, or outdoor activities.
Add a decorative flair to your exterior home lighting with the help of solar lamps, lanterns, and light posts. Not only are they useful for practical lighting purposes, they can really add atmosphere to all your garden parties. Use colored glass jars to liven up your porch with an enchanting stained glass effect.
USB solar charger
As long as the sun is out, you won’t have to worry about your cell phone running low on battery while you have a DIY solar charger. It’s small and compact, so you can easily take it with you whenever you go traveling, hiking or camping.