Who said being energy conscious at home came with a price? There are many ways in which you can harness energy for free in and around your house. Simple to create, operate and maintain, these DIY home energy projects will let you harness abundant energy for free while not running up your utility bills.
DIY Plastic Bottle Solar Water Heater
Jose Alano from Brazil has created a DIY solar water heater using plastic water bottles. The ultra-simple and cheap water heater utilizes over 100 plastic bottles and 100 milk cartons.
When fitted on the roof, the water heater uses the basic principle of thermosyphon wherein the change in density (according to temperature variations) helps in water circulation.Alano has patented his creation and has dedicated it to the non-profit sector. His solar water has already benefitted thousands of households across Brazil.
DIY Solar Based Bulb
Creating a solar light bulb does not require sophisticated designs or electrical connections. Will you surprised if we tell you that you can create your own solar based light bulb using nothing but a plastic bottle, some water and some bleach? This simple method features a plastic bottle that is installed on the roof. Part of the bottle remains exposed to the sun while the rest of it protrudes from the roof inside the house.
The bottle needs to be filled with water along with just a few drops of bleach. The solution thus, harnesses the sun’s light by capturing and diffracting it inside the house. The power produced by the solar bulb is equivalent to that of a 55-watt light bulb, with the average lifetime of the bottle being 5 years at least.
DIY Thermoelectric Generator to charge phones
David Johansson from Sweden has come up with an innovative way to charge a cellphone without the use of electricity. Johansson built a thermoelectric generator that uses fire to charge smartphones and literally any other device that can be connected to it via a USB cable.
The generator is compatible with both gas and alcohol burners, and can produce up to 0.2A and 5V which will be just enough to charge your smartphone. The compactness of the generator also makes it easier to carry it around wherever you go.
Consider creating your own homemade fridge by following the same design aesthetics of the ‘Ambient Air Fridge’. Made of an insulated wooden box, the fridge is fitted with a few computer fans and an inexpensive thermostat for temperature control. While it may not be that effective in the summer months, it can save you a lot of money on energy related costs in the winter.
DIY Wind Turbine
How about creating your very own wind turbine to share your household’s energy load? Available on GotWind.org, this plan for a DIY wind turbine can be a bit complicated when compared to the other projects listed here. However, the end result will be very much worth your time and effort. A standard mini wind turbine can easily produce enough power to turn on the garden lights or operate small power tools around the house.
Manually Operated Laundry Machine
Michael Pedrielhas come up with a perfect solution for the quintessential washing machine in developing countries and off grid locations. Called the ‘Think Small Washer’, the DIY laundry machine comes with a mechanical operation wherein a mechanical arm is used to agitate the clothes in the machine. It is quite compact and comes with a wheeled design for easy filling and emptying. The machine is already in use in Nepal and can easily wash a load of laundry within 30 minutes.
Energy conscious gadgets and devices are not always expensive. There are many ways to make your own DIY homemade energy savers to reduce your carbon footprint as well as reduce energy costs in the house.