10 DIY Solar Panel Options | DIY Formula

10 DIY Solar Panel Options

If you’re looking for a way to get off the grid, live a little greener, cut your utility bills, or even just charge your phone on the go, solar power can help you do it. You don’t even need to pay a professional to install bulky, expensive systems, either. There are lots of ways to create a DIY solar panel project for yourself.

All you’ll need is some basic knowledge, a little guidance, and a few tools. Before long, you can have the sun doing everything from heating your house to powering your TV. Check out these ideas for a little inspiration and make a homemade solar panel.

1. DIY Solar Panel Heater

When most people hear the words “solar panel,” they think of photovoltaic panels. Those take sunlight and turn it straight into electricity. That’s not the only kind of solar panel, though. This tutorial will walk you through using the sun’s energy to provide heat instead of electricity through recycled soda cans and spray paint. It’s an excellent example of how to make a solar panel with household items.

Level of difficulty: Medium
Time to complete: 1-2 Weeks
Materials include:

2. DIY Solar Water Heater

Another way to use solar power for heat is to create a “solar collector.” It transfers the heat of sunlight into water as it flows through a series of pipes. Then, you can use the hot water for anything from a luxurious bath to heated floors. The best part? After the initial setup costs, all that hot water is free! This tutorial shows you how to use CPVC pipe to create a simple solar collector. The solar panel installation might be a bit tricky, but not impossible even for beginners.

Level of difficulty: Easy
Time to complete: 1 Weekend
Materials include:

3. DIY Solar Charge Box

It’s happened to all of us. You’re on the go when all of a sudden your phone beeps: 10% battery remaining. It’s not always feasible to find an outlet to charge up, even assuming you did remember your charging cable when you left the house. Mobile charging boxes are a perfect solution, as long as you don’t forget to charge them, too. But what if you found one that charged itself? There is, and this tutorial shows you how to build a home solar panel that will achieve those goals.

Level of difficulty: Easy
Time to complete: 1 Afternoon
Materials include:

4. DIY Solar Generator

Think portable solar charging box, but on a much bigger scale. This DIY solar panel project is perfect for camping trips, tailgating, blackouts, or any other situation where it might be nice to have a little extra power in a pinch. With this tutorial, you can learn how to build a simple solar generator that’s easy to scale up to power bigger projects. However, if you’re just learning how to make a solar panel, though, this might not be the best first step.

Level of difficulty: Medium
Time to complete: 1 Weekend
Materials include:

5. DIY Solar Powered Ice Maker

We’ve seen solar power heat things up, but did you know it can also cool them off? This is another awesome project for camping, RV travel, or off-the-grid cabins. Just because you’re out in the middle of nowhere doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a cold drink. With this tutorial, you can get all the power you need for an ice-maker from the sun!

Level of difficulty: Easy
Time to complete: 1 Afternoon
Materials include:

6. DIY Backyard Solar Chandelier

Any interior decorator will tell you that updating your light fixtures makes a big difference to your space. However, you can do the same thing outdoor. If you’re looking to spruce up a backyard patio or add a little flair to a gazebo, there’s no need to call an electrician to install fancy lighting. With this tutorial, you can create a working chandelier powered entirely by solar energy. No wiring required! It provides solar power for the home and an excellent option to save money.

Level of difficulty: Super Easy
Time to complete: 1 Afternoon
Materials include:

7. DIY Solar Powered Irrigation System

Drip irrigation is a great way to keep your garden or flowerbeds looking stunning all season long. Small lines of tubing laid along the ground provide water right at the roots of the plants. Therefore, it results in less wasted water and better absorption. Drip irrigation does require more frequent watering, though, and no one wants to be trotting out to the garden every few hours to turn the water on and off. This tutorial shows you how you can harness the sun to take care of it for you.

Level of difficulty: Easy
Time to complete: 1 Afternoon
Materials include:

8. DIY Solar Powered Nightlight

Dealing with kids who are scared of the dark or tired of tripping over the furniture when you get up at night? These nifty solar-powered night lights are incredibly easy to can be placed anywhere, regardless of whether or not there’s an outlet handy. To recharge it, just stick it to a window during the day. This tutorial shows the step-by-step process of making them.

Level of difficulty: Super Easy
Time to complete: Half Hour
Materials include:

9. DIY Solar Pool Heater

No one likes jumping into a frigid pool, but opening the electricity bill after you’ve been running a pool heater is almost as big a shock. Luckily, it’s relatively inexpensive to build a solar panel that can cut those bills almost to nothing. Once you’re running your new solar pool heater, the only electricity you’ll be using is a small pump to move the water! This tutorial gives step-by-step instructions for a quick, easy, and cheap solar pool heater.

Level of difficulty: Easy
Time to complete: 1 Afternoon
Materials include:

10. DIY Solar Lighting

Everyone has seen solar-powered garden lamps. However, did you know that it’s just as easy to use solar power to shed a little light indoors as well? Thanks to LED light strips, the power provided by just a few small solar cells is enough to create fun lighting effects in any room in your house. In addition, it’s ideal for decorations or emergency lights if the power goes out. This DIY solar panel shows you how to get started with a simple system for lighting up a display case.

Level of difficulty: Easy
Time to complete: 1 Afternoon
Materials include:

Conclusion

From charging your phone to heating your bath, solar power is more than just a trendy way to go green. With these unique DIY solar panel projects, you can save money and cut back on your environmental impact. In addition, you’ll do it all without spending a bundle on high-priced equipment and installation. Have you already created DIY solar panel projects of your own? How did you do it? Share your advice and tips in the comments below!