"Would you like to know how to make your own free electricity? And would you like the power company to pay you for doing it? Now, YOU can build your own home solar and wind power system in just a few weekends"
before we begin let me assure you that this page is not just for home energy enthusiasts! Anyone with a small amount of practical ability now has the power to reduce their electricity bills by as much as 75% and even eliminate them completely. Instead of you paying an ever increasing monthly energy bill, you might be in the position of producing so much power that it is the electricity company that will be paying you for your home produced energy!
On this site, you will discover information and reviews on DIY home solar & wind power systems. We have spent considerable time researching (using our own money) the most comprehensive, easy to follow, effective and inexpensive solutions that allow almost anyone with basic skills to create their own home produced energy.
You do not need any special qualifications to be able to understand the methods involved, just the ability to follow simple step by step instructions which will enable you to quickly learn exactly how to generate electrical power and reduce the electricity bills in your home.
There are numerous home energy guides on the market and what we have done is simply put together some reviews based on our own preferences. Hopefully, this will enable you to choose the right renewable home energy product for you!
Why Use A Home Solar-Energy Or Wind-Power System?
People are increasingly using solar and wind home power systems for numerous
reasons, the main ones being energy self-sufficiency (an endless supply of free or
cheap energy), future reliability of energy supply, saving money on their rising
energy bills (with the possibility of selling excess capacity back to the electricity
grid) and being kinder to the environment by reducing emissions. Also, peak oil is
possibly upon us already so the switch to renewable forms of energy will become
more urgent at all levels.
What Types Of Home Energy Systems Are Available?
There are several types of home wind and solar power generation systems that
can be employed in a residential setup.
1. Solar (Photovoltaic) Power Using Solar Panels
Solar photovoltaic panels convert light energy to electrical power that can be used
around the home or stored in batteries for later use. Solar panels will produce
power in almost any lighting condition but will produce much more energy in
direct sunlight. That is why photovoltaic solar power systems work much better in
sunnier climates. Solar panels must also be positioned correctly to make the best
possible use of any (sun)light available i.e. facing in the best direction and not
hidden behind obstructions such a buildings, trees etc. You need to get the most
power out of your panels possible. Positioning the solar panels correctly will make
a big difference to their power output.
The benefits of solar panels are that they produce no emissions and modern
panels are increasingly lightweight and easily installed. A relatively small modest
solar panel setup could save you up to a third on your electricity energy bill.
Modern solar panels are also fairly maintenance free and last a long time.
Assuming your climate is suitable for solar power panels, the only downsides are
the initial cost of the installation which can be quite expensive (and it must be
done by someone who knows what they are doing - if you are competent and
have the time then you could save money and do it yourself) and the planning
permission that may be required (in some places regulations forbid the use of
solar panels altogether). As they require light to produce energy, they are also
useless at night, obviously! Remember that it would probably be difficult to
remove your solar energy system should you decide to move home (unless it's a
portable solar power energy system, of course) so you should consider it a long
term investment. Some of the latest photovoltaic solar power systems are built
into the fabric of the building itself (to make maximum use of available surface
area) so would be impossible to move anyway.
2. Small Wind Turbine Power Generators
Small scale home wind power is becoming more and more popular and can be
useful if you live an a windy area (around coasts or on hills, for example). Large
turbines are proportionally much more efficient at producing electricity than small
turbines for technical/physics reasons, but small home wind energy systems can
have their place with the correct placement/conditions.
In a wind power system, the rotors of the turbine turn a small generator which
produces electricity and can power devices directly or more usually is used to
charge batteries which can be used continuously at a later date (at night, for
example). As wind speed is variable then the battery option is much more
sensible in a home power system otherwise the powered device could be
constantly be going on and off e.g. a light bulb varying in brightness
Wind power systems may also require planning permission for height reasons.
3. Solar Thermal Power System
Solar thermal energy systems are different from the solar photovoltaic energy
systems described above in that they use the direct heat radiation from the sun
to heat water in pipes or chambers which are connected to your home's hot water
system and which can produce some of your hot water requirements or a least
reduce the amount of energy required to heat your water (from a boiler of some
kind, for example). The advantage of these systems is that they can be
manufactured quite easily at home requiring relatively low skills. All the parts
required can easily be purchased. However, you will need to spend quite a bit of
time constructing such a system and because of the mass of the pipes and other
part required for construction can be quite heavy and unwieldy. This is not
necessarily the case with the photovoltaic solar energy systems as the panels are
high tech devices which are generally (but not always) obtained from somewhere
else. In this respect, photovoltaic solar energy systems are easier to install in a
residential setup as the main energy producing part of the system is already built
4. Biomass (& Bio-fuels)
This is a renewable energy source that is derived from living or dead biological
material such as wood and other organic matter and also includes the alcohol
(bio-fuel) produced from such materials. The products are burnt directly to
produce heat or are fermented to produce alcohol. Biomass wood pellets are a
popular form of fuel for stoves, for example. It is a relatively clean form of energy
as the gases produced in burning are balanced out by the gases taken up by the
plants during their formation.
A new form of biomass fuel called algae fuel is set to become the next big thing as
there is no longer a need to grow plants to produce the required fuel for burning
or alcohol production. Certain algae will produce fuel directly in the presence of
In a residential setup the biomass form of energy production is generally used by
people who do not have a gas supply or have a relatively cheap supply of biomass
5. Geothermal Energy
Geothermal energy is heat energy which occurs naturally in the ground. The
temperature a couple of metres below the surface even here in the UK is a fairly
constant 11/12 degrees C, even during the depths of winter. This free heat
energy can be utilised by means of what is called a ground source heat pump.
This is in effect a long plastic tube or some other conduit which is placed
underground through which is pumped a special liquid combination. The heat
from the ground is then transferred naturally into the liquid which is then fed into
a heat exchanger indoors. This excess heat can then be used to heat water etc.
Once the installation is completed the only running costs are the pump. However,
the system can be expensive to install and potentially difficult in old builds where
access to the surrounding ground could be problematic. These energy systems are
becoming increasingly popular in new builds, though. It is not really a DIY job.
6. Water Power
The creation of electrical power using a water wheel connected to a generator and
powered by a water course or stream is a possibility where you have free access
to and permission to use the water. However, for most people this is not really
From the perspective of the home energy enthusiast or someone who just wishes
to have a more secure energy supply or save some money on energy bills, the 2
most popular methods are photovoltaic solar energy and wind power as they are
the most cost effective and easy types of home energy production to get to grips
After reading all of our 3 home solar energy and wind power product reviews, you
will have noticed that we recommend Earth4Energy as our top home energy
guide. I hope this review site was of some help to you and helped you find and
decide on the right DIY solar or wind power product for your home.
Remember though that you will only get the desired results from actually getting
stuck into the projects. If you just read the guides, instructions and watch the
videos but do nothing then you are not going to produce any free solar energy or
wind power for yourself!
Wishing you success with your new solar and wind power projects.
Jon Everill BEng
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