If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to get some DIY solar energy right now, we may have just the solution for you.
Go.Sol, a company dedicated to spreading cheap, sustainable solar energy throughout the world, has released a design for a solar concentrator that can be built for just $79-$145. Called the Sol1, it can potentially put out 0.5kW of energy for tasks like cooking and heating water.
The concentrator is only 1.5 cubic meters, and it takes around a week to build for most people. You obtain all the parts locally and assemble it using the guide provided by Go.Sol. The frame needs box tubing, flat steel bars, and angle-iron, while the surface is made out of any mirror you can find for the concentrator.
Go.Sol’s commitment to solar energy has positive effects for people, and not only the environment. While the company thinks it’s a great place to start for wealthier solar enthusiasts, the best thing about this free design is that it will help those in third-world countries who find it difficult to access energy to cook food or heat water. PV panels are still too costly for many people living in first-world countries, so poorer countries have not seen many benefits from clean, accessible energy even though they would benefit the most from it.
Of course, one should not discount the benefits for the environment, either. If used by a lot of people, Go.Sol’s DIY solar energy concentrator could even help reduce air pollution and deforestation, as most people around the world rely on daily fires for their power needs.
Go to Go.Sol’s website and provide an email address for the design. There is also a place to donate to this worthy cause.