Which DIY Solar Panel Guide is Best?
GreenDIYEnergy is the most comprehensive and the best of the DIY solar guides. It includes 17 different components ranging from ebooks to spreadsheet to videos. The videos are what really separate GreenDIYEnergy from the other guides.
GreenDIYEnergy covers the entire solar panel build process in 6 videos. All of them are mp4 videos at a resolution of 852x480. The videos are higher quality and are a lot bigger than the videos included in the other guides. The videos cover the entire process step-by-step, all the way from start to finish, and look really good. You can see everything because of the large size and high resolution.
The videos start with what tools and parts you’ll need for the solar panels. Next, acquiring and soldering the solar cells together is shown. The videos also cover the physical construction of the container for the solar panel and how to attached the solar cells to the container. Up next is final wiring and finishing work. The last step is connecting the solar panel to a volt meter so you can watch it producing electricity.
GreenDIYEnergy also includes ebooks on topics like DIY solar power, solar electrical, solar installation and solar tax credits. With over 200 total pages, the ebooks are really comprehensive. There are also spreadsheets you can use to figure out how much electricity your appliances use, how many solar panels you’ll need and sizing for power inverter, charge controller and batteries.
I’ve bought and reviewed a lot of DIY solar guides in preparation for building solar panel for my electric bike and GreenDIYEnergy is the best and most complete DIY solar guide I have seen. If you’re interested in reading more, visit GreenDIYEnergy Reviews.
Homemade energy is also a very good DIY solar panel guide. also include videos, more videos than any other guide, in fact. It includes ebooks, though fewer than GreenDIYEnergy, and similar spreadsheets.
There is more video included in HomemadeEnergy than in any other DIY solar guide. They cover the entire process from start to finish in a lot of detail. Tools and parts, soldering the cells together, building the container, attaching the cells, wiring and finishing. Everything from what parts and tools you need to wiring the solar cells together to constructing the panel container to final wiring is covered. They are flash videos and are very good, though not quite as big and high quality as the videos in GreenDIYEnergy.
The ebook included with Homemade Energy is pretty comprehensive and covers all facets of solar panel construction. My suggestion would be to watch the videos all the way through and then use the ebook as a reference. The spreadsheets they include are pretty similar to the ones in GreenDIYEnergy.
I would say GreenDIYEnergy is a little better than Homemade Energy mainly because of the higher quality video and more ebooks. You definitely get your money’s worth with Homemade Energy and it is a very good package.
For a more complete review, check out HomemadeEnergy Reviews.
In third place is Earth4Energy. They include videos, online calculators and ebooks, however there are less of them than the other two packages. While I think the other guides are ahead of Earth4Energy when it comes to a solar project, it is the only guide to include video for a wind project.
The parts of the project that are most likely to cause problems are covered with videos, but the videos are not comprehensive. Where GreenDIYEnergy and Homemade Energy include video showing the entire build step-by-step from start to finish, Earth4Energy relies on the ebook for much of the build and includes video for just the most challenging sections.
The ebook that Earth4Energy provides is pretty good, but it isn’t nearly as complete as the guides above. Instead of spreadsheets, Earth4Energy gives you online calculators for solar panel output, battery sizing and appliance electricity usage.
So, can Earth4Energy help the average person to build a solar panel? It’s definitely possible to build a solar panel with what is included in Earth4Energy, but both of the other guides have more video and the video is the most important part of guides like this. If you are looking for a DIY wind guide, Earth4Energy is the only guide to include wind project video. Most people will be able to build a DIY solar panel with Earth4Energy, but you’ll get more value for your money from either of the other two guides.
To read my complete review, visit Earth4Energy.
New and Awesome on Make: Projects (MAKE Magazine)
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