Time to think 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
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
This 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
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
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
Solar Panel Installation Overview
Like 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
We 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
As 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.
Green Driveways - 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.
VAWT- Ready for Testing
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 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
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
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
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)
Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWT
The HAWT we have built ourselves. The VAWT will be our next project.
Step by step instructions with parts list and tools list. Makes a great science project.
- 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.
- 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)
- Turn down the temperature on your hot water heater.
- Make your own household cleaners. It’s easy and quick. See http://greenterrafirma.com/cleaners.html for recipes.
- 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).