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Make your own wind and solar power systems

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"Make your own wind and solar power systems"


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So you want some do-it-yourself climate solutions. Popular Science is the place to go.

The magazine details how, for $300, you can build a vertical wind turbine (pictured below) for your home in about 3 days. It will generate 50 kilowatt-hours per month, which might be about 10% of your electricity use, depending on the size of your house and how efficient you are. You can also download plans at windstuffnow.


Or maybe you want something a tad bit easier to make, something to “keep your gadgets powered even when the grid fails you.” Follow these instructions, and for a mere three hours in work and $150 in parts, you’ll have your very own solar charger (pictured below).


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6 Responses to Make your own wind and solar power systems

  1. scruss says:

    I don’t know many wind energy professionals who’d recommend rooftop mounts. Paul Gipe explains: http://www.wind-works.org/articles/RoofTopMounting.html

  2. Paul K says:

    There is a subculture dedicated to maximizing Prius MPG that is about evenly divided between environmentalists, cheapskates and techno gearheads. These do-it-yourself products have the same appeal. The wind turbine guy is a true backyard Edison. I went to the Paul Gipe wind-works site linked by scruss. Outstandingly informative.

    Joe, you’ve mentioned your use of PV power. How about a post about how your system works with info on manufacture and installation. I would think an all out effort to equip America with rooftop power is something you would favor.

  3. Lou Grinzo says:

    If I put something like that on top of our house, my wife would make me sleep on the front lawn until I took it down.

    And she and I both are VERY strong advocates of renewable energy.

  4. Rob D. says:

    Here is another way to join in the fight against climate chage — stop going to Starbucks!! They would have you think they are environmentally aware, but they would rather promote movies, (Arctic Tale), then implement a meaningful corporate recycling program.

    More here:

  5. Joe says:

    Scruss — Thanks for the link. You may be right. I certainly wouldn’t do it except on a home in a relatively low wind environment.

    Paul — I don’t know if my PV system warrants an entire post especially since the system was built by a company that now only does commercial PV systems, but I will try to do a post on my house at some point.

  6. llewelly says:

    If I put something like that on top of our house, my wife would make me sleep on the front lawn until I took it down.

    OH NOES!! It makes us look like a Freak Show!