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Time to think GARDENS

Gardens

There may be frost in the ground, but it's still time to think about the garden. What do you want to grow this year - started any plants yet? Have you thought about the layout - crop rotation. What does the soil need - natural fertilizers, compost, ph adjustments? What ph levels do your veggies and flowers prefer?

 

DIY Home Air Leak Test

Square Foot Garden

A DIY Home Air Leak test works best when the temperature is cold outside and warm inside - easier to feel the leaks. Fewer drafts, means $$ savings plus more comfort. Here's a step by step guide showing you how to find those costly leaks.

Read More: DIY Home Air Leak Test

Solar "Preheater" Air Heater

diy solar air preheaterThis solar air heater is made from just $50 worth or reused materials and provides a very significant heat source.

The solar "preheater" feeds an existing air exchanger in this R2000 home, increasing the input air terperature by 20 Celsius (36F).

Click here for more info on this design plus 3 more do-it-yourself solar air heaters:

Solar Air Heaters

 

Electric Vehicle EV Battery Reuse

EV Battery Reuse

Battery systems in electric vehicles are expected to outlast the vehicles themselves. Thus at the end of the car’s life, the battery system should still retain 70% of it’s storage capacity. These used battery systems would not be strong enough to power another new vehicle but could they be used for home power systems?

Read More : Plug-in EVs

Homemade Micro Hydro Generator

Homemade micro hydro generator

Past the "testing" stage, this DIY micro generator is now charging a battery bank for an off-grid cabin. See the video: Homemade micro hydro generator

 

DIY Solar Pool Heaters

Extend your pool season while saving on heating bills by making your own solar pool heater.

DIY Solar Pool Heater

DIY Solar Pool Heater

 

Solar Panel Installation Overview

headerLike most projects, with proper planning, a home solar panel installation does not need to be difficult. Know your limitations and use professional help where needed. Here's an overview of our home solar PV installation.

Solar Panel Installation

 

DIY Solar Water Heater

headerWe have several DIY solar projects including solar ovens, solar pool heaters, solar PV panels solar air heaters and batch solar water heaters. We have just added another solar water collector - a bit more involved than a batch water heater or "bread box" water heater. Take a look at this design by Jake Teaters.

Solar Water Heaters

 

Grow Your Fresh Air With Houseplants

Corn PlantAs we made are homes and workplaces more energy efficient and air tight, the quality of indoor air greatly decreased. Use these houseplants to remove indoor air toxins. Plants are ordered by their ability to remove chemical toxins, how easy they are to grow and their resistance to pests.

Grow Fresh Air

 

Chickens Chickens Chickens

Having mastered the backyard garden, most people wishing to grow or raise more of their own food, add a few chickens to the mix.

Rasing Chickens

Chicken Coops

Chicken Recipes

 

Green Driveways - Grass Pavers

Grass Pavers

Green driveways reduce storm water runoffs and the pollution that carries as well as reduces the island heat effect of large dark surfaces.

Green Driveways

 

VAWT- Ready for Testing

clothes line

We have finished our first Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT). However, we still have concerns about our gearing system. Once we have some test results, we'll be sure to post them here.

DIY VAWT

 

DIY Solar PV Panels

We take a look at building your own solar PV panels. It's a very nice project - requires soldering skills and a bit of woodworking and you learn lots.

DIY Home Solar Panels

Wind Turbine Furling

You worked hard building your DIY wind turbine and now you look forward to days when the wind blows hard. The power output increases as a CUBE of the increase in wind velocity - a 3 fold increase in wind speed means a 9 fold increase in power output.

Problem is, your DIY wind turbine won't survive very many of those "extreme" wind days. You need a way to protect your wind turbine from high wind damage, while allowing it to still produce power at the top end of it's output curve. You need to FURL your wind turbine in high winds.

Wind Turbine Furling

Build an Axial Flux Alternator for Wind Turbines

DIY Wind Turbines are very popular and usually very quick and simple to build. The permanent magnet D.C. motor has a lot to do, with making this process EASY. However, good D.C. motors (Ametek 30), that produce a workable voltage and current, at low revolutions per minute (rpm) are becoming hard to find. Ebay is loaded will people selling motors for wind turbine projects, that simply WILL NOT WORK at the rpms that a homemade wind turbine can produce.

A homemade axial flux alternator could be your best alternative. While the process to make your own, may seem complex, why not give it a once through. Some of the plans on the internet, show you how to make top of the line jigs and tools, which can be reused many times. If you only want to make one or two alternators, the steps can be simplified.

Homemade Axial Flux Alternator

DC Wind Turbine Motors on eBay - BEWARE

Ametek DC Motors

DIY Wind Turbines have become very popular items in the past year. We have DIY plans forboth horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWT) and vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT) on this site. And yes, in the beginning we recommended people take a look on eBay for used DC Motors to use in their DIY Wind Turbines.

DIY Solar Ovens

Solar Oven

2 sets of plans for DIY Solar Ovens - one very portable, one insulated for use in cooler areas - both for under $10.

Box Solar Oven

 

DIY Wind Turbines

VAWT Wind Turbine

As the price of electricity rises, so does the interest in making your own windmill or wind turbine. We have designs and links for the do it yourself builder for both:

 

Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWT)

DIY Wind Turbine by GreenTerraFirma.com

Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWT

 

The HAWT we have built ourselves. The VAWT will be our next project.

 

 

Build your own 4 foot wind turbine

DIY Wind Turbine

 

Step by step instructions with parts list and tools list. Makes a great science project.

 

No Cost Ways to Help the Environment

  1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - starting with reduce. Lower your carbon footprint by carefully considering each purchase. Is this a “want” or a “need”. Can I get it in good used condition from someplace else? Does it have minimal packaging.
  2. Operate your large electrical appliances in off-hours. If you use a dryer, run it in off-peak hours. (using a clothes line is even better)
  3. Turn down the temperature on your hot water heater.
  4. Make your own household cleaners. It’s easy and quick. See http://greenterrafirma.com/cleaners.html for recipes. low flow shower head
  5. Shorten your shower times and take fewer baths. (if you buy a low flow shower head you can greatly reduce your hot water usage and keep those longer showers).

 

 

 

Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors - some with integrate tank

 

DIY Wind Turbine - build a 100 watt wind turbine

 

DIY VAWT

 

Grass Pavers

 

VAWT Designs

 

Permanent Magnet Motors

 

Ametek Motors

 

DIY Rain Barrel... make your own, save water

 

DIY Build a Batch Solar Collector Water Heater

 

Keeping Cool Without Air Conditioning

 

Greening your Garden the all natural way......

 

Make your own earth friendly cleaning products

 

Blog article - DIY Solar Water Heater

 

Newsletter - Top 10 list to reduce your carbon footprint

 

Conservation - Lighting Options

 

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