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          Welcome To Build-It-Solar New On The Blog

          Plans, tools and information to help you build燑br>renewable energy and conservation projects. solar shed solar space heating

          Hundreds of projects-- from changing a light bulb to building a solar homes.

          Design informationand tools 爁or building renewable energy projects.

          An Experimentalsection for backyard inventors.

          Nothing For Sale here-- just free ideas, plans, and information.

          Expanding Our PV Array


          Questions? Comments? Ideas?

          If you have any questions on solaror renewable energy projects, or suggestions to make thesite better, or have an energy related idea, or have aproject you have done or seen elsewhere -- lets hearabout it...

          Subscribe to theNewsletter...

          Solar Heating
          $2k solar space and water heater

          $2K Solar Space and Water Heating System

          This DIY system that provides both solar space and waterheating in a single system.

          The SolarSpace Heating section has solar water and airheating systems with and without storage -- some 87projects.

          The SolarWater Heating section provides many DIYbuilds for solar water heating systems including batch,thermosyphon, drain back, and closed loop systems, solarshowers, solar stock tanks, kits, ... 117 projects andideas.

          Energy Conservation
          Mooney wall

          Mooney Wall

          A cost effective, high R value wall for retrofit or newconstruction. No thermal bridging.

          bubble wrap window insulation

          Bubblewrap Window Insulation

          The simplest and cheapest way ever to cut window heatloss about in half!

          TheEnergy Conservation Page provides ranging from freebubble wrap window insulation to complete redo's ofhomes. Insulation, appliances, window treatments,lighting, drying, ... about 150 projects and ideas.

          Solar Electricity
          DIY Solar PV

          Our DIY Grid-Tied PV System

          This system is straight forward to install, and savedmore than 50% compared to a commercially installed system.

          The PV sectioncontains builds for off-grid, grid-tied, smallstandalone systems, DIY mounts, PV vehicles, PVtracking, ... Plus PV Basics and DIY guides.
          Over 90 projects to build.

          Wind
          Tom's Jacobs Wind Turbine

          Tom Restores a Jacobs Wind Turbine Project

          The 燑strong>WindSection has critical design information forDIY wind turbine builds plus dozens of DIY wind turbineprojects, windmill water pumpers, ... 55 builds,guides, ...

          Passive Cooling

          Vines for coolingCooling withLandscaping

          The PassiveCooling section has dozens of practical andlow cost projects and ideas for cooling -- 爄nsulating,preventing solar gain, ventilations, shading, efficientactive cooling, earth tubes, landscaping, ... 77projects and ideas.

          Water Conservation
          water harvest system

          2200 Gallon Water Harvest System

          An easy to build 2200 gallon rain water harvest systemfrom our shop roof.

          The WaterConservation Section covers rain harvestsystems of many types, efficient toilets, 爂rey waterreuse, solar stills, ... Plus a basics and DIY guidessection. 75 builds, ideas, and guides.

          燬olar Homes
          Solar Home in the Sierras

          Solar Home in the Sierras

          The SolarHomes section is a very large collection ofinformation on designing and building solar and energyefficient homes -- plans, construction techniques,design information, examples ...牋 293 builds, plans,guides and ideas.

          燑/td>
          Solar Pool & Hot Tub Heating

          Tom's PEX/Aluminum solar pool heating collector

          The SolarPool and Hot Tub Heating section give designand build information for solar pool and hot tub heaterbuilds.牋 Plus DIY collector designs, natural pools,wood heaters, ... 44 projects.燑/a>

          Solar Cooking and Drying
          Bills new solar cooker

          Bill's Solar Cooking Projects

          The SolarCooking and Food Drying section has more than40 projects for building solar cookers and ovens, solarfood drying, and root cellars.

          References, Design Data, Calculators
          Solar Site Survey

          Solar Site Survey

          Its critical to do a Solar Site Survey before startingany solar project.燑/p>

          The ReferencesSection has material on designing renewableenergy systems, weather and sun data, pump/fan/duct/pipesizing, heat loss calculators, materials information,component data, ... much more.燑/a>

          I'm an engineer -- there is lots ofanalytical and design information here.

          Experimental
          prototype heliostat

          Dozens of Experimental Designs, New Ideas, Prototypesand Emerging Energy Technology

          The ExperimentalSection -- new ideas, new technologies, downto earth experimental stuff. The garage inventorsnirvana.

          112 builds, ideas, articles.

          BioFuels
          jetta conversion to veggie oil

          Conversion of VW Jetta Diesel to Burn Vegetable Oil

          The BiofuelsSection has design and build information onveggie oil, bio diesel, making and using ethanol,methane generators, wood gas vehicles, masonry heaters,rocket stoves, wood water heating, and heat fromcompost.

          Solar Projects for Kids
          Solargraphy Picture

          Doing Solargraphy

          Fortygreat projects for kids/students to have fun learningabout solar and renewable energy -- wind turbines, PVboats, Solargraphy, heat transfer, solar mechanics, ...
          Solar for Kids...

          Concentrating Solar Collectors
          George's parabolic solar collector

          George's DIY Parabolic Concentrating Collectors

          TheConcentrating Solar section has build anddesign information on various types of concentratingsolar collectors including some that make good DIYprojects.

          Micro Hydro

          An Undershot Water Wheel forElectricity Generation

          燑/p>

          The Micro-HydroSection provides design guides and a number of DIYbuilds ranging from a few watts to multiple kilowatts.31 projects, builds and guides.

          Frugal Solar Projects

          Using bubble wrap to reduce window heat loss --effective and cheap

          A collection of solarand conservation projects that cost much lessthan you think they would -- several that cost nothing!

          Solar Wood Kilns

          A Collection of plans and design information for solarpowered wood drying kilns.

          Solar Water Pumping

          Solar and wind powered water pumping

          Allsorts of information on Solar and Wind WaterPumping.

          Solar Engines
          A smallcollection of Solar Powered Engines
          Sunspaces and Greenhouses
          Doug's solar greenhouse

          Doug's Solar Greenhouse and Sunspace

          The SolarSunspace and Greenhouse section has muchdesign and build information for solar space heatingsunspaces and for solar greenhouses. ?0 projects,plans, ideas.

          Solar Vehicles
          Elec-

          Restoring an ElecTrak and Using It for Backup SolarElectric Power

          The SolarVehicles section has information on EVconversions, efficient cars, latest developments intransport, solar tractors and mowers, ... all DIYoriented.

          Solar (and efficient) Lighting

          Giving LED Lighting a Try in Our House

          The Solarand Efficient Lighting Section hasinformation and projects on how to design solar lightingand on LED and CFL lighting. 23 builds, guides,articles.

          Interesting Odd Energy/Solar Stuff

          The Solar Heated Ice Fishing Shack

          A collectionof very interesting, off the beaten path, butoften quite practical projects and ideas.
          New Projects -- and renewableenergy news

          Updated September 2019

          -Expanding our PV array to 5K

          -Passivesolar home with below floor soil heat storage...

          -Verygood Rain Harvest Calculator...

          -David'sDIY drainback solar water heating system...

          -Innovativetrickle down collector solar water heating system...

          -6.3 KW DIYgrid-tied PV system...

          -Innovative,energy efficient, solar heated, cost effective solarhome in Montana...

          -A 35 mpg full functionality RV setup...

          -FlipFlic -- an innovative KickStarterproject to automate thermal shades...

          -Updateon MN solar stock tank after one year of use...

          -Measuringnoise levels in the camper van to determine effectivnessof noise treatments...

          -Aunique strawbale arch home desing -- great for ownerbuilt homes-- many unique design details...

          -Some additionsto hydro pageandflow of river hydro page...

          -Lifetimefuel use and emissions for ProMaster CamperConversion...

          -Anice DIY design for effective and attractive thermalshades...

          -ADIY solar water heater for pigs...

          -A DIY Arduino based solar water heatingcontroller...

          -Campervanconv -- first trip lessons and fuel econonomy...

          -Campervanconversion -- a weight summary for conversion andpayload...

          -Camper van conversion -- adding runningboards...

          -Aunique full wall solar space heating collector using aserpentine drain back collector -- very completedocumentation...

          -1 year update on Peter's Costa Ricathermosyphon solar water heating system...

          -Camper van conversion -- thermal shadesheat loss test...

          -Campervan conversion -- homemade composting toilet...

          -Campervan conversion -- curtains and shades...

          -Heat loss and insulation calculator forcamper vans...

          -Camper van conversion --making and installig the galleycabinet and applicances...

          -Camper van conversion --making and installing bedplatforms...

          -Camper van conversion --furnace installation...

          -Camper van conversion -- propane plumbing...

          -Solar air heating collector heat output calculator fromGreenhill...

          - Fly or Drive cost and emissionscalculator -- quite detailed...

          - Update on energy efficient pet door with lab testingreport...

          -ProMaster camper conversion update -- wall and ceilingpaneling...

          -- Solar air heating collector heat outputcalculator from Greenhill...

          -DIY solar heated stock tank in Minnesota...

          -ProMaster camper conversion update -- Plumbing andtanks...

          -ProMaster camper conversion update -- Electrical...

          - ProMastercamper conversion update -- Vent Fan....

          -ProMaster camper conversion update -- Windows...

          -DIY composting toilet for RV's

          - New section oncomposting toilets for small spaves...

          - Voltage dropcalculator...

          -Update on efficient RV project -- floors...

          -Simple DIY wind turbine designs using only hand tools...

          - Solar DIY RV evaporative cooler...

          -Very good solar food dryer design and plans...

          -Interesting projects from George's blog...

          -A large thermosyphon solar air heating collector for ashop...

          -Another DIY blower door infiltration tester...

          - Twosimple DIY build in a bucket coolers...

          -Updates to the Fuel Compare calculator...

          -Smoke for flow visulization in solar collectors...

          - The simplest solar water heater...

          -Large DIY water heating system that uses commercialcollectors...

          -CO2 emissions for EV's vs gasoline powered vehicles inthe US...

          - A great solar/sustainable open houseevent in Lethbridge...

          - LargeDIY solar water heating system using commercialcollectors...

          -Very good presentation on hydronic heatingsystems for energy efficient homes...

          -FSECpaper on attic temperatures for various roofconstructions...

          -DIYwhite coating a black tar roof for cooling...

          -Roadtrip mpg for 2010 Prius trip to SW...

          -Avery easy to build portable solar generator foremergencies....

          -Detailedinstructions on making collector fins from recycledprinter's plates...

          -Constructionmanual for a thermosyphon solar water heater for warmclimates...

          -Biomeiler- detials on a project that extracts heat from largecompost piles -- up to 24 months of heat production...

          -Sourcesof material of aluminum collector fins including onefree source...

          -Added some newmaterial on PEX properties (bend rad, temps, presdrop...)...

          -A DIY gray water heat exchanger to capture energy fromshower drain...

          -An efficient solar home in upstate NYwith a long trackrecord...

          -Solar greenhouse stores excess daytime heat via water toair heat exchanger...

          -Alex Wilson on Heat Pump Water Heaters in the winter...

          -Simple and efficient space cooling scheme from AU thatuses water cooled by radiation to the night sky...

          -A very simple bucket at a time solar batch waterheater....

          -Update on Chad's AC evaporative cooling of condensercoil project...

          -Update on Chad's pivoting solar heating collectorproject...

          -Asimple solar water heater for warm climate...

          -Five year update on Gordon's deep energy retrofit...

          - 2013 update onthe Half Program...

          - Ahighly sustainable and solar heated loo -- very nice....

          -Mountinglarge insulated glass glazing units in a sunspace...

          -ADIY installation of a Ground Source Heat Pump AND 5 KWPV array-- no heat bills and low emissions...

          -Veryinteresting video tour of sandbed seasonal storage solarhome in Michigan...

          -Air ducttemperature drop calculator...

          -AlanRushforth on building large cylindrical solar heatstorage tanks...

          -TheDumont super insulated Saskatchewan -- simple technologywith great efficiency...

          -Addinga backup heating system to the $2K Solar Space and WaterHeating System...

          -Thepassive solar bird bath is back...

          -Anew section of backdraft dampers for solar air heatingcollectors-- several DIY and commercial designs...

          -Acouple new entries on the micro hydro page...

          -Buried and encapsulated HVAC ducts inthe attic...

          -DIY solar lighting for dim parts of thehouse during the day...

          -A little freeze problem on the SolarShed (see the Dec 9, 2013 update)...

          -PV powered pool pump...

          -New section on efficiently poweringpool pumps...

          -OurHome Power article on Low Thermal Mass Sunspaces...

          -Working on a good over window solarcollector design...

          -Changingto more efficient DVR saves 310 KWH and 500 lbs of CO2emissions per year...

          -Reading your gas meter...

          -Several more schemes for freezeprotecting stock watering systems...

          -Avery nicely done solar space heating system in VAmodeled after our $2K system...

          -Anotherfascinating passively heated and cooled house inColorado using some very unique design features...

          -Fascinatingpassively cooled home in the tropics...

          -Asimple DIY solar firewood dryer...

          -Agood design guide for Masonry Heaters...

          -GoodChuck Marken article on troubleshooting solar hot watersystems...

          -Updateon my treated wood PV mounts ...

          -Goodarticle on insulating basement walls...

          -Somesmall updates to the Solar Stock Heated Tank -- this isa good time of year to get going on building yours...

          -Maintainingprime for a pump located above the drain back tank...

          - Agrid tie inverter that provides backup power when thegrid is dow without batteries...

          -Ahomemade thermal imaging camera for cheap...

          -Ahighly reflective, inexpensive white roof coating forcooling...

          -Asimple and portable solar cooker...

          -Sideby Side test of two popular DIY solar air heatingcollectors: Pop Cans vs Screen...

          -SolarDantests some new CPVC water heating solar collectordesigns...

          -Tom Gocze's Hot and Cold TV has come toYoutube. This is a great show for DIY energy nuts (andnon-nuts). Several past shows available and more beingadded...

          -NickPine has a new blog with articles of interest to peopledesigning and building renewable energy projects. Askthe Renewable Engineer...

          - Test of various reflective surfaces infront of a vertical collector to improve performance...

          -An innovative solar water cooker.....

          -Making DYE Solar Cells -- a guide tomaking dye solar sells as an educational project...

          -A simple way to make PV panel mounting racks....

          -Newsection on reflectors to improved solar collector (orwindow) performance: design, performance, testing,examples...

          -ADesign Challenge: Help ClubRust with solar heating lowincome homes ...

          - An advanced model solar airplaneproject...

          -Alliance for Green Heat -- good source of information onefficiency and emissions for wood burners...

          -Closthesline Tiny Home -- A very nice tiny home designwith lots of design, build, and live in information...

          -A simple outdoor solar shower... More outdoor solar showers...

          -A well house with passive solar freeze protection...

          Web Walk - May 18, 2013

          燑/p>

          - Past NewContent Entries...


          Comments, Questions, Ideas? ...

          If you have any suggestions tomake the site better, have an energy related idea, orhave a project you have done or seen elsewhere -- letshear about it...

          The Half Program

          The Half Program - 23 Projects We Used to Cut OurEnergy Use in Half

          The HalfProgram is a systematic way to choose thesolar and conservation projects that will give you themost bang for the buck. 營ts amazing what can beaccomplished and how good the return is when you chooseprojects carefully.
          Its the most important thing on this site.