Earth4Energy Review
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Earth4Energy Review

by TimJones on June 15, 2010


Down there on the list of “recommended guides” you’ll find “Build Your Own Solar Panels” listed as an option.  I’ve had some questions about this item, recently, so I wanted to address what it was, how much it costs, why I recommend it, and so on.

Earth4Energy is a video tutorial series and guide that teaches you how to reduce your dependence on the energy company by creating your own energy generator.  Earth4Energy does this by showing you how to build your own solar panels and wind turbines.

I’ve been promoting Earth4Energy for a few years with no returns from buyers and lots of positive feedback.  The kit shows you how to build a solar panel to help power your home for under $200 and I know it can be done for as low as $150 — a lot of it depends on what you pay for the solar cells, which you can get on eBay to save some money.

As an avid do-it-yourselfer, I thought the Earth4Energy projects were fun (and they are) and they can save you a fair amount of money on your energy bill.  In the process, you learn a lot of solid construction techniques, too.  The kit sells for $49.97, so if you can get a deal on your solar cells, you’re still under $200 for a solar panel!

I’m including a video from Earth4Energy.  I added my own intro and outro to the video, along with a few notes, but the video is theirs.  I thought it gave you some good information about what the kit will show you, even if it gets a little “sales pitchy” in parts.

Another option you may consider as a do-it-yourself type person, you could easily build these solar panels or wind turbines using the instructions in this kit and turn around and sell them for a profit!  It’s one thing to build one yourself because you have fun with these types of projects, but some people just prefer to have it done for them.  Why not provide that service to them and make some money, yourself?  That’s part of what I love about DIY — I get to do something I love to do, anyway and I get to make a living doing it to help others.

There are a few of these types of kits available — all for about the same price, but Earth4Energy has the most professional, easy-to-follow kit I’ve seen for the money.  It’s also the bestselling one, available.  If you’re interested in helping out the environment by reducing your energy footprint, saving some money on your energy bill, or just a fun DIY project; you may want to give this kit a try.  Frankly, I just wanted to get it and see if I could build it.

Earth4Energy Review

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Nate Clark June 16, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Hey Tim,

Very interesting … how much energy did you save by using those panels? How weather (rain/snow) resistant are they?

Nate

Tim_Jones June 17, 2010 at 9:32 am

Hey Nate,
The energy you save's going to be strongly influenced by your utility rates, where there is great variance. The sales page claims you can save 80% of your electrical bill and I find that to be a bit of a stretch. You'll need about 6-8 panels just to power up major appliances — however, a single panel will power smaller electronics. You can figure savings by figuring out what a small appliance costs/uses per month, multiply that out by your utility kWh rate and number of panels you have built.

As far as weather resistant, it depends on what materials you use. If I remember correctly (it's been a while), they recommend aluminum for the framing and you have to cover the cells with either glass or plexiglass. Glass will be very weather resistant. With Plexiglass, you need to make sure it's U/V resistant (and frankly, even that doesn't help in Florida), otherwise you'll get discoloration and cracking — neither is good for weather resistant and solar cell operation.

UPDATE: Another note I forgot to add to the post, the $150-$200 cost per panel does not include some of the specialized tools you MAY need. Most of these, I already had, but some of the ones you might not include a soldering iron, volt meter, and wiring. If you have to buy all the tools, you'll push that cost beyond $200.

Tim_Jones July 7, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Hey Rich,

Thanks for the comment! I agree on the windows. Can make a big difference. I actually had Window World install windows in my own home — just didn't feel like doing it myself on that one.

They did a very good job installing the windows, but I must say that the “efficiency” of the install was lacking quite a bit. They basically just caulked them in and I could see to the outside in several locations. Really needed some type of insulation added to the dead space around each window to get the full efficiency of the windows.

Would definitely recommend them for window install, but be prepared to complete the “greenness” of the window project.

Jucarii December 5, 2010 at 6:31 am

Great article.

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