Sunday, June 25, 2006

Reduce, reuse, recycle...

I'm continually talking about distributed power generation so I was really interested to see that Sietch is carrying a great article on how to build your own solar thermal panels (via MAKE: Blog) from the back of an old fridge and other things you can find in your local landfill. Very cool, and at around $5 it's not exactly going to break the bank.

CREDIT: The Sietch
The finished solar thermal panel

Of course if you rig up a photovolatic panel you could drive the water around a couple of these self-build thermal panels with a small pump and heat the water in your house for free.

CREDIT: The Sietch
Most parts from Radio Shack...

While the photovoltaic panel won't be as cheap as the thermal one, as you can't exactly self-built photovoltaic cells, even a small panel should provide enough power to run your new hot water system. Add a thermally lagged tank for storage and you're good to go...