When requested for a developing country, we send a small FREE sample
pack which include a tiny pv panel and a 3.7v battery pack which powers an LED or radio.
The photo opposite shows a small simple pv solar unit which we send out across the world. The parts are mounted on ply so you have a simple torch as well as radio power! It costs about $5 (ignoring postage) and powers most radios as well as the WLED. A similar pv unit can charge a mobile phone.
Now we are introducing low cost SMF type LEDs which give much more light per watt for general lighting!
All it needs is a 12 volt battery connected to the terminals at one end to have
plenty of light!
The DIY Solar Technique
We provide the means to make simple small pv panels that can be
used to power radios and charge rechargeable cells thus avoiding
the need for expensive control devices as well as minimising the cost.
Our efforts are aimed at helping the poor by supplying both information
and parts to those in developing countries without electricity.
We are now supplying low cost mini polycrystalline modules which are
very useful for
many types of project such as charging car batteries for powering lights etc.
The main advantage over solar plate is that postage costs are quite small in comparison with
solar 'glass' which is both heavier and more fragile. See Best DIY Solar Technique page.
We also now supply Li-ion batteries instead of NiCd/MH for most applications as they have
We do not show prices, etc on this website so please email us if more information is required.
SMALL ENTERPRISES and EDUCATION
This pv technique allows individuals, NGOs and those starting a small business to make and use small
pv panels and is often ideal for income-creation.
It also is used for educational purposes since it allows pupils not onlt to learn some science and technology
but take solar lamps so they can do their homework!
Other pv solar projects are run by the NGO Solar Aid using the DIY Solar technique
Visit www.solar-aid.org where you can find an excellent video showing this pv technique in use
in several African countries.
A series of US professional videos of simple PV training is found at
We supply small amounts of pv plate and components from the UK but for large projects we offer to
arrange the supply pv modules or 10+ watt plates from pv plate factories found in only a few
More details of pv projects are found in the PV Projects pages.
If you hope to start a DIY Solar project in a country not listed, we can probably send you a list
of contacts in that country!
We also provide information about Biochar, DIY solar cookers and indoor mosquito control.
Nous fournissons des renseigements en francais sur la technique DIY Solar
quand on nous contacte à biodes"at"bigfoot.com
Voir webpages 'en francais' et Project Congo - DRC
The DIY Solar technique consists of two basic concepts:
1. Assembling a pv panel of the required voltage etc for each device and
2. Arranging that the storage battery is charged with a safe trickle current
If using a polycrystalline pv mini module all that is required is to solder on leads and then
mount it on a ply sheet, etc.
We are also offering pv modules which have a maximum power of 1.8 watts for charging
car batteries. It is best if an air gap is arranged beneath to give some cooling.
Where preferred, small panels can be made of amorphous silicon 'thin film' on glass.
This is cut with a glass cutter, fitted with electrical leads and a simple frame and the leads led
to a battery or, with radios, mobile phones and fans, directly connected to the panel.
Many people prefer to fit a PVC conduit frame around the glass to give these pv panels more
Ask us for advice if in doubt. There are several factors that need considering especially used
in hot situations!
If you click on this link you will get a typical pdf that we offer freely.
This one explains about solar charging NiCd/MH recells
Various stages of the making of a small solar panels (both pv module and plate) are illustrated in the photos below. Contact us for full details.
Our DIY Solar Sample Unit
This technique is best shown with leaflets (or pdfs) plus a CD ROM which we freely offer.