You are here: Home About Cultivate Archives Green Building Archive DIY Solar Thermal Workshop

DIY Solar Thermal Workshop

How to make your own high performance solar panel


Sunday 05 October 08 | 10am - 5pm | €120
Call 01 674 5773 to put your name down on waiting list
10% discount for Cultivate & ÉASCA Members

This workshop will look at how to make a high quality solar panel out of recycled materials. Contrary to popular perception, solar panels are not hard to make and the basic materials may cost as little as €50.00. The type of panel featured in this workshop will have the capability to heat water to 50 degrees Celsius as early in the year as February and to over 70 degrees on a regular basis during the summer.

By the end of the workshop, a fully operational - and very professional looking - solar panel will have been built, weather-proofed, mounted and plumbed in.  There are many opportunities for workshop participants to develop their practical skills and use the various hand tools. Course numbers are restricted to 12 places in order to facilitate this.  (See below... )

To the best of our knowledge, this is the only workshop of this type being run in Ireland.

Workshop contents:

  • General overview on fossil fuel depletion and global warming 
  • Principles of solar heating:  output; seasonal and daily variations; individual heating requirements;     system sizing
  • Choosing materials
  • Construction of Solar Collectors: Preparation; Carpentry; Adapting a radiator into a solar collector     Plumbing; Glazing and Weatherproofing
  • Integration of solar collectors into heating systems: General principles; Plumbing and layout;     Types of circulation systems; Safety features   

Please note:  The practical part of this workshop may take place outside. Participants should come prepared for Irish conditions!

Workshop Provider:  Andy Wilson

Andy Wilson is editor of Sustainability magazine, probably the only national Irish magazine ever to be produced from an office powered by off-grid renewable energy.

In between editorial duties and running various courses in renewable energy and sustainable building, Andy works part time as an independent energy/building consultant and has a particular interest in low cost DIY projects.

Andy is also the founder of The Sustainability Institute, an organisation dedicated to the promotion of ideas pertinent to sustainability, training and education. 

For further information on both the magazine and institute, visit   or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You are here: Home About Cultivate Archives Green Building Archive DIY Solar Thermal Workshop