This project goes over the build of a 240W Solar Generator made out of an ammo box.The box is large enough to hold a 240 watt deep cycle battery.
There are some basic tools that you are going to need to build this generator.Number one tool, you’re going to need a drill. If you don’t have a drill, you can find one at Home Depot, you don’t have to spend a lot of money.Next thing you’re going to need is a screwdriver. Next, you’re going to need wire cutter, a wire cutting and stripping tool. And it’s also got a crimper on there.
To drill the holes in the metal ammo box,you need a step up drill bit which can drill different sized holes, using all the same drill bit.You will need a pair of pliers which might be handy when you are cutting and manipulating wires and then basic wire cutters which also we have on the pliers.
The next thing that you’re going to need is the heart of the generator, which would be the battery. Now this is a rayovac deep cycle battery.I recommend that you use a V max deep cycle battery.
The next thing you’re going to need is a USB port. This is a two port device, it’s got a one amp outlet and a 2.1 amp outlet.You’re also going to need a 12 volt outlet.
Faceplate,blade fuse holder,terminal connectors,switch,self tapping screws,14 gauge 17 amp black and red wires.
We use a 3 prong switch,one of them gold in color which is the negative terminal and the other two positive.Purpose of the switch is to control your USB outlet. And it’s what turns the USB outlet on and off.
The positive terminal on the USB outlet is first going to run to the positive terminal on the switch.Now the purpose of this switch is to break the electrical current when you turn it off. So positive terminal goes to positive terminal, then the second positive terminal on that switch goes to the positive terminal on the battery. So you’ve got a flow of electricity going from positive through this switch to the positive terminal on the USB port.
The negative terminal on the switch goes to the negative terminal on the battery. The only purpose of that terminal is to control the LED light on the switch, it needs the both positive and negative electrical currents in order to turn that light on.
Similarly for the 12V port,positive connector going to positive terminal going to the positive terminal on the battery.
Lets start the build.
Start with drilling holes for the ports using the faceplate.Get your marker and simply trace the inside from both the top and the bottom.So that’s where your holes are gonna go. Now we want to find the exact centers that when we’re drilling.
Insert the 12V and the USB outlet into the holes which we have just drilled. Now these ports have a little ring that screws on the back. This is what holds it in place.
Next thing we’re going to install is the power switch and SAE Solar Power Socket and the voltmeter.
To begin wiring our tabs batteries, you’re going to need a few things. Number one, you’re going to need a battery. Number two, you’re going to need your quick disconnects. You’re going to need your squeeze connector connector,your wire cutters and stripping tool and you’re going to need black and red wires.
Place the vmax battery into the ammo box.So we’ve got everything in place, we have our ports in place, we have our battery in place, we’ve got our switch in place, and our volt meter. We’re gonna start by wiring the USB port.
The positive connection of the USB port is connected to the positive of the switch which is further connected to the positive of the battery.The negative connection of the USB is connected to the negative of the battery.
This switch will break the flow of electricity on the positive side and that’s what’s going to turn our USB port on and off.
Using squeeze connectors,USB port negative terminal is now connected to the same negative terminal as the 12 volt port.Connect the positive terminal from the switch to the positive wire which is coming from the 12 volt port and continue that positive flow from the switch to the positive terminal on the battery .
So we now have our USB port and our 12 volt outlet connected to the battery through the power switch. We’ve got the negative terminal of the USB port, going to the negative terminal on the battery, we have the positive terminal of the USB port.Then we’ve got a positive going from the switch to the positive on the battery all through quick disconnects.
The negative terminal on the battery going to the negative terminal on the switch simply allows the switch LED light to turn on without this negative current flow of electricity. This the LED light has no power.So we want to give that light power by connecting to the negati.ve terminal on the battery.
The negative of the Voltmter is directly connected to the battery and using insulated clamps,we connect positive wire that’s already running to the switch for the USB port.Now we want to connect to the positive wire leading to the positive terminal on the switch so that the volt meter will turn on and off with the switch button.
Next, we’re going to cover the SAE port. We want to be able to have the battery charged when we plug this into a charger.Using the squeeze connector we connect the positive to the positive terminal of the battery.And then same thing for the negative, you would take your squeeze connector and connect to the negative.
Lastly,A 15amp fuse is used to protect the generator from overloading. If you connect at current that is too high for their internal wiring to handle, the fuse will break and it will stop all electrical current from flowing.So if anything goes wrong in any of this wiring, it has to get past the fuse before it reaches the battery. So if there’s anything that’s that’s overheating, or overloading this fuse is gonna blow and it’s gonna protect your battery from being damaged .
Next step is connecting a solar panel to your generator .We connect the panel to the charge controller and then from the charge controller to your ammo generator. A charge controller prevents the battery from overcharging. You don’t want to get over 15 volts.
Here we use Renogy 30 watt solar panel, this panel comes by default, with an SAE connector on the back. This is the same kind of connector that plugs into your generator.
Connect the wires coming out of the Solar Panel into the charge controller.Next is connecting the SAE cord from the generator
to the charge controller.
So you just put the panel on the charge controller, the charge controller into the generator, and you’re done.
If you want the whole system to be portable, say you want to be able to take your solar panel and your generator camping, you want to keep things as simple as possible, you could actually mount the charge controller directly onto the back of your panel.
- How to build a Super Efficient Outdoor Wood Stove Heater from an Old Propane BottleThis project goes over the build of an efficient outdoor wood burning stove heater out of an old propane bottle and some scrap metal from the scrapyard. This stove has secondary burn system that helps in combustion of any unburned smoke or fume inside .Almost little to no smoke coming from the flue pipe. The first step is to make sure that the old propane tank is empty. We take the valve at the top by removing the valve protector cage. Fill the tank with water and let it sit for a few hours before we drain the tank and start cutting top and bottom. With the help of a hole saw cutter ,we cut 100mm four inch holes at the top and bottom of the tank . The top hole is for the flue pipe to sit in and the bottom hole is for cleaning the ashes out. We also remove the bottom stand too. Next, we cut a hole for the door for the stove. This is cut as high up to the top of the bottle . The door is made of chequered plate piece . We fit a rectangular pyrex dish glass piece in the middle of the chequered plate that can withstand high temperature with couple of steel bracket pieces. The glass on the door helps us to see how the secondary burn system is working inside the chamber. The door is attached to a frame through hinges. The flue outlet on the top the tank is attached through a flange piece with holes. The door handle is made of a socket wrench. The wrench is bolted to the plate and a small metal piece is welded onto to the frame to which the wrench is pulled to close the door A deflector plate made of small holes is installed inside the stove on the top . We drill 8mm holes around the top of tank and put dome bolts across them. The deflector pipe sits on these bolts. The deflector plate stop the unburned gases exiting out the flue outlet pipe. This encourages the flame that rises, pass through the deflector plate holes into the secondary burn chamber that helps in better combustion. The secondary burn system is made of stainless steel pipes .The air intake section is long enough to get the air coming in to get super heated and move into two sections filled with holes. Since not all gases from the wood combust from the primary air intake, the secondary burn pipe ensures that the air gets super heated before exiting the pre-drilled holes and helps burn the unburned gases rising from the fire before exiting the flue pipe. The secondary air intake pipe coming out of the firebox is welded on the top of the tank with a flange piece. The primary air intake pipe that goes under the door frame is made of a two inch coupler and threaded damper disc. A small metal piece is welded to the coupler with a hole in the middle. The damper disc screws in through the hole that allows us to close and open the intake .
- How to build an Offgrid Wood Gasifier that can produce alternative free fuelThis project goes over the build of a cross flow wood gasifier that powers a generator or a car or any kind of internal combustion engine using nothing more than wood scraps, paper, coal or any other organic materials. This unit was built in nothing more than an angle grinder, and a hand drill and parts that you can find lying around. These devices are taking advantage of a process called gasification, in which you can take any kind of organic biomass, really anything natural that burns and by heating it up, you are able to break it down through a process called pyrolysis to its basic elements. This creates a gas called syngas or wood gas. Here we are burning biomass in an oxygen deprived environment. And that heat which is sustained through just enough oxygen to not spread to ignite the gases produced by the heat interacting with the surrounding material is the process that we are using to create wood gas. The gases coming out contains things like water vapor from moisture content in the wood, also creates tar and creosote .So we need to filter out the gas. And the main concern of getting that gas to be clean enough to run an engine is by cooling it down. We connect the unfiltered gas coming from the pressure pot into a radiator to cool it down and then further connected to a bucket filled with saw dust to filter . The reactor unit is made of an old 5 gallon painting pressure pot . The first step is to burn it out removing old residue and paint. Also burn out the inside container as well. Make sure everything on the lid of the pressure pot is removed and sealed off with a plug or bolt. Remove the rubber gasket on the backside of the lid. The holes on surface of the lid are covered with three eighth inch bolts. At the bottom of the pot , we attach two pipes for the the air intake and the syn gas suction output. These pipes are held tightly to the pot with the help of one and quarter inch pipe flanges. The air comes up from the bottom, the gasification happens in the middle of this reactor and the ash gets sifted to the bottom through a passive shaker grate. The output pipe is capped at the top to prevent the residue ash going out and small holes are drilled along the pipe to allow the wood gas to pass through. Next step is to build the grate insert where the fuel will actually sit on and burn on. The grate will sit about two and a half inches off the bottom of the pot. The grate is made from the other stainless steel container that came with the pressure spray painting pot. Grid of holes are drilled along the surface of the grate using a quarter inch drill bit. The grate is finally is inserted into the reactor pot chamber . The gasket on the back of the lid of the pot is removed and replaced with fiberglass rope that can withstand temperature up to 2000 degree Fahrenheit. The rope is secured in place using a gasketing cement and stove sealer. The lid is clamped in place until the gasket cement is dry. The next step is to build the cooling and the filtering system. To get all the tar and steam to condense back into their liquid form , we use a old oil heater radiator that act as a condensate catcher . The gas coming out of the reactor is connected to the radiator which gets most of the heat out of them. We build the filtration system using a 5 gallon metal bucket to get the gas as clean as possible. The output pipe is attached to the bottom of the bucket using a flange. The bucket is filled with a filter medium such as wood shavings or sawdust that will trap any sort of particulates and get more tar out of the gas. An old car blower from a toyota is attached to the top of this bucket to get that gas up to the point where it can burn. The blower motor is supported with a old 10 tin can that is then secured at the center of top of the bucket .Another soup can is soldered to the 10 can on the side to attach the output hose pipe. We don't want there to be enough oxygen to actually just burn all the material in there before we can extract the gases . So we are limiting this by using a one way gate valve . The one way valve is important to prevent flashbacks if too much oxygen is there inside the reactor . We load the reactor with wood sticks and put some starter down in there, which is just some cloth, some paper and a sprinkle some wood pellets on top just to give us something small to start off with. We pack the reactor leaving a spot in the center . The fans is turned on and we start the ignition process. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bvl5XxVVjDM
- How to build a Powerful DIY Off-Grid Emergency Backup Generator .Fully Portable!!This project goes into the build of a portable and powerful off grid emergency solar generator with higher capacity than commercial units at a fraction of the cost. This system can keep a small fridge operating 24/7, charge your devices, power TV ,LED lights, Laptops. it is small enough to be stored away in your garage and portable enough to move where it was needed. The main components used to build this generator are as follows. 4 Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel Renogy Rover 40 Amp MPPT Solar Charge Controller Renogy Deep Cycle AGM Battery 12 Volt 100Ah Sug 2000W(Peak 4000W) Power Inverter Pure Sine Wave DC 12V to AC Renogy 20 Feet 10AWG Solar Extension Cable with MC4 Female and Male BLACK+DECKER BM3B 6V and 12V Automatic Battery Charger / Maintainer 6 Circuit Fuse Block W/Negative Bus Milwaukee Hand Truck with handle Control Panel with USB Charger,LED Voltmeter,12V Power Outlet, ON-OF Switch. To create a solar system that can truly meet your needs and cope with the variability of your environment, you really need to do some planning. This will help you avoid building a system that isn't up to the job and can save you considerable money by preventing the expense of replacing components later on. To calculate the number of batteries and solar panels you will need to create a system to provide power in all seasons through inclement weather and at your particular latitude, you need to determine the devices you intend to power, log their power consumption across a few days using a power meter. Then find the reserve days . This is how many non sunny days the system can tolerate while still powering your devices. Also find the recovery time by calculating how many days of sun that will be needed to fully recover when the batteries have run down due to lack of sun. You also need to know the usable charging hours in day and the actual battery round trip efficiency since batteries give back something less than the amount of power used to charge them. Here we use 4 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panels to charge our 12 Volt Deep Cycle Battery. The panels are wired in series so that the voltages add together and you can get up to 80 volts from four panels. With this system there is enough voltage to begin charging as soon as there is any daylight at all. It also charges the batteries right up until dusk. Another advantage of the series wiring is that it is much better for long wire runs when the solar panels are not close to the generator and you can use less expensive smaller wire gauges for the solar panel runs. To use panels in series you must have an MPPT type charge controller. They are specially designed to accommodate the high voltage of panels wired in series up to the particular controllers voltage limit .MPPT controllers are much more efficient converting nearly all the energy coming from the panels into charging power for the battery. A 2000 watt pure sine wave inverter is used that can provide up to 4000 watts of surge power, and with enough battery support can run any conceivable device including those with motors. To store energy we use a 2 12V AGM marine batteries . These give plenty of reserved capacity that will last with reasonable care . They don't leak and can tolerate cheaper discharges and have very good round trip efficiency. Four 100 watt solar panels are connected through the 40 amp MPPT charge controller . The panels can deliver up to 2400 watts of solar power in the shortest days of winter. And the charge controller converts solar power to charging power very efficiently and also support serial panel configurations increasing the systems capability. A heavy duty hand truck is used for loading all the components . A frame made of angle iron is welded on to the platform to mount the batteries. Two angled straps are welded across the truck to provide more support for the battery frame. The various components are mounted on a back support made of five eighth inch plywood. I use a tapered punch to make starter holes for all the screws that hold the components. The hand cart is laid on its back and the plywood board is aligned in such a way it doesn't block the holes. While the cart was on its back I screw down all the components with stainless steel screws. For the project we use a thinner 18 gauge wire for the low current circuits, medium 14 gauge for the 12 volt port and heavy 10 gauge for the high current charging circuits. Red is always connected to the plus or positive connectors, black always to the minus or negative. The positives and the negative connection coming from the solar panels are connected to the solar charge controller with the help of a quick disconnect Wire Harness SAE Connector. The negative of the solar charge controller is directly connected to the negative connection of the battery while the positive goes through a fuse block before connecting the positive of the battery. The negative connections from switch, voltage display ,USB ports and battery charge meter is connected via a medium 14 gauge wire to the battery negative. The positives are connected to the battery through the fuse block. The 12 volt port is on its own fuse so it gets separate wires in the medium 14 gauge. The positive of the 12V Battery Charger is connected to the fuse while the negative is connected to the battery. The batteries are placed on platform of the cart facing opposite directions so that positive and the negative terminals are near the plywood backboard where the components are attached. The battery connection cables are cross connected to create a parallel 12 volt configuration careful to ensure the block cable connected only to minus terminals at both ends and the red cable connected only to plus terminals at both ends. Next step is the orientation of the solar panels. As you probably know the sun is lower in the sky in the winter higher in the summer. In the winter, the days are also shorter as you really want to optimize for winter to get as much energy as you can when the days are short. Since my panels are fixed, we want to point them due south and angle them for the winter sun. There are tables you can find online that can give you a pretty good idea of the right vertical angle for your geographical location. In the summer the sun is pretty much straight overhead, so the panels are optimal when laying flat. The angle panels are their most productive in the depth of the winter losing a little each day until the height of the summer as the sun is further off the winter angle. Meanwhile, the flat panels are less efficient in the winter because the sun is at a low angle but gaining each day as the sun gets higher in the sky. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZYAAatdlmc