The idea of a completely silent power generator that can still run large power loads, and never need gasoline is a really cool concept. This project goes over the build of a large 2000W Portable Solar Generator that can power appliances ranging from a table saw to charging your phone effortlessly.
We need a large box to hold our basic components. Here we use a pelican 1620 protector case that is durable, dustproof and waterproof .This is going to be the case that we package everything into. It’s got wheels on the bottom so you can roll it around ,also has heavy handles on either sides.
The battery is a AGM glass mat ,coil would style, 12V optima deep cycle battery. A deep cycle battery just allows you to get a little bit deeper into the discharge before you are starting to shorten the life of that battery. This battery also has the ability to be mounted in any orientation . So it is safe whether the battery is on its side on its back or even upside down as long as we have it mounted securely so that nothing shorts against our terminals.
The next major components for our build is the 2000W inverter from Krieger. This one has some large terminals on the back for our wiring. Also has a active fan here for ventilation. Also comes with a remote control switch.
The 100W Solar Panel is from Renogy. It has the bus on the back for connecting in to your solar charger .It also comes with a 30A Solar Charge controller. This can run up to four of the 100 watt panels in a 12 volt system. The back of the solar panel comes pre wired with MC4 connectors, as well as a couple of MC4 pigtails. We use high quality 16 gauge speaker wire to extend the connection. These wires are highly flexible for portable use. To connect it to the MC4 pigtails we need to go ahead and strip the insulation off and use butt splice connectors to crimp them to the MC4 pigtails.
In case you cant to charge the system with standard AC power ,we use a 1.5A Battery maintainer / Float or Trickle charger. This will be good for just keeping it topped off when it is in storage. Or if you just want to charge up your batteries and you really don’t have a place to be setting the panels out.
Next step is mounting components on the outside of the case . Before mounting any component, factor in how the internal components are going to placed inside the case. On one side of the case ,we are going to mount a small LED work lamp with toggle switch, a 12V gauge pod with 5V USB output, digital voltmeter,12V cigarette socket ,an AC input plug for using with the trickle charger, a 6pin solar panel trailer connector. These components are secured in place using a RTV silicone sealant.
One the other side of the case , we are going to mount the inverter remote control switch, 350A high current plug which is used for jumper cables or to add high current loads, a GFCI AC outlet with a weatherproof cover. The GFCI outlet is connected to the inverter inside the case.
We want to put the battery as close to the wheels as possible, because that will help keep the heaviest part down low when moving the case around either on the wheels or by carrying it. We place it snug into a corner of the case using battery mount and couple of pieces of 2X4.
The inverter is placed inside the case in such a way that there is enough space for air ventilation and for tucking some of the wires underneath. The inverters are secured in place using mounting tabs and 10×24 machine screws.
The PWM solar charge controller is also mounted in the same way near the solar panel connector input.
The trickle charger / battery maintainer is placed as low into the back of the case .This is not something that will get very warm so we don’t need to worry about heat dissipation or anything like that . We plug the power cord from the trickle charger into the AC input cord.
Next step is the wiring. We start by connecting the power cables from the inverter to the battery. The positive and negative from the inverter is connected to the positive and negative of the battery respectively. To distribute power in our generator ,we use a six circuit fuse panel for the positives and a busbar for the grounds.
We use two inexpensive battery cables to run the power to our distribution blocks as well as running the power to our high current quick connector. The positive red connection from the quick connector goes to the fuse panel and the black negative connector to the ground busbar. Both connections are further extended to connect to the positives and negatives of the battery respectively.
The LED lights are connected to the 3 way connector switches. The switches are further connected to the power distribution fuse block. Similarly a single switch is connected to the USB outlet, voltmeter and the cigarette lighter ports in parallel. The positive from the switch is connected through a daisy chain mechanism to the three positives of the ports ,the negatives are similarly connected to our distribution block.
At this point, we now have a power wire and a ground wire for every single one of our accessories connections . We bundle these wires and keep it neat and tidy using zip ties. Separate the positive wires from the negative wires, we are going to be rounding the negative wires to our ground busbar. After we have all of the ground wires connected, we can move on to the power wires on our distribution block. Each one of the blade connectors represents one fuse circuit. We connect the positive red wires from charge controller, battery trickle charger, usb ports,voltmeter,12V outlet to the fuse circuit.
We are using a 30A fuse for the charge controller,12V socket, 20A for the LED work lights, 5A for the trickle charger.
- How to build a Portable 420 watt Solar Power Generator . Very Detailed Video Instructions,perfect for beginnersThis 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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVVRPUHUMUo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DW6C-ZjmRzo
- DIY Video:How to build an awesome Roof Top Portable ABS Pipe Hot Water Heater/Shower . Great for Camping/ OutdoorsThis project goes into the build of a DIY solar powered pressurized roof top water heater and shower that is portable for outdoor survival and camping trips. This project is easy to make and requires only minimal tools and plumbing parts. The dimension of the pipe used for this build is six feet tall and four inch wide. This has a capacity of 15 liters. The materials you need to build this project are six feet long four inch ABS pipe, air compressor, two four inch PVC end caps, abs cement, rubber schrader valve, shutdown valve and retainer nut, radiator valve drain plug , forstner bit,two inch threaded end cap, high heat flat black paint, steel wool scrubber, methyl hydrate. The shutoff valve is installed as low as possible in the pipe to avoid the necessity of having to tilt the system. Mark the position for the valve keeping the retainer nut in place , we insert a forstner bit into the nut creating a center mark for the drill .Once the hole is drilled ,we thread the shut off valve into place and attach the retaining nut. For installing air compressor for pressurizing the tank ,we use an long schrader valve that is used for aluminum rim tyres. This valve uses threaded nuts to secure it in place . Next step is to install the water intake opening. For this we use a two inch PVC threaded adapter socket . We take the diameter of the fitting and then drill out the opening and glue the fitting in place using ABS solvent cement. A radiator valve drain plug is installed on the threaded end cap of the water intake PVC fitting .This valve helps to release extra pressure from the tank without opening the main drain shut off. In order to improve thermal absorption of solar energy, the surface of the ABS pipe is painted with flat black paint. The surface is polished with steel wool soaked in methyl hydrate and applied one coat of spray primer followed by two coats of high heat restoleum black paint. To mount the shower to roof of the car or truck , we use a canoe foam block . We extend the slots in the foam block to make them fit inside the cross rails . An arc is cut on the foam block equal to the outside diameter of the pipe and positioned it such that it left half an inch of foam between the mounting slot and the bottom of the arc. To attach the shower to the support pads, here we use one inch nylon tie down straps. With both these pads in place, the water heater is securely attached to the roof. An inexpensive 25 foot long coiled three eighths inch hose from the local garden center is used as the shower hose. This would be perfect as it is easily stored and can be taken apart after use. The air compressor is connected to the pipe with the help of a multifunction spray nozzle . Thee bursting point of six inch ABS pipe is well over 100 psi .So a 30 psi would provide safe and ample pressurized shower without any long term expansion fatigue to the pipe or glue connections . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG2HK9JsAjw
- How to build a Homemade Super Efficient Portable Solar GeneratorThis project goes over the build of a Homemade medium sized and moderately priced portable solar power generator that is designed to be powered by 100W Polycrystalline Solar Panel. The case for this portable system is from Plano sportsman, quite sturdy and rugged that a typical container. Costs about $25 . It has a nice top with handles that latch it down. On the back of the system, we have two pin SAE port that allows the energy from the solar panel to come into the system. It directly goes into a 30A solar charge controller. The negative from the charge controller is connected to the negative of the batteries. The positive is connected via a switch to positive of the battery. The negatives and positives of the batteries are connected to each other. The negative of the inverter is connected to the negative of the battery. The positive is connected to a battery switch off circuit that is further connected to battery positive through a switch. The USB ports,12V DC outlet, DC meter all are connected to the respective terminals of the batteries. To connect to the AC outlet from the inverter, we take a 3 wire extension cord which can be bought from the local hardware store . The negative end of this wire is connected to the negative of the shallow box AC outlet and the positive is connected via an 15A inline fuse and a current transformer. The ammeter is connected to current transformer and the 110V outlet. On the front of the system, we have the accessory ports including a 12V power indicator , 2 USB ports with 5V one amp and 5V 2.1amp, 12V outlet, AC Voltmeter and ammeter. Amp meter tells how many amps we drawing out of the system using various appliances. This can help us understand how much solar power is being generated during the day versus solar power being utilized from the system. The whole system is turned on a 12V master key switch that activates inverter, case temperature sensor, cooling fans , AC power outlets. We install a key and power up the AC side of the system. There is two fans on the back that push air in and draw air out of the case to keep the AC DC inverter cool. Inside we have a deck tray made from backboard material available at Home Depot. We have installed a 400W pure sine wave inverter, a 30A MPPT solar charge controller and a 12V emergency LED light on them, also has four vents that allow air to circulate through the top portion of the case as well as through the bottom. The vents keep the batteries cool and allow any off-gas build up from the batteries to pass it through. Here the inverter has a built in automatic shutdown feature that ensures that the batteries are not discharged to a significant level. So it is safely connected to the batteries. Once the deck tray is taken apart, we have 2 55AH AGM sealed batteries that are wired in parallel to a 2 AWG cables to transfer the power back and forth between the batteries. These type of batteries require less maintenance. Also installed a wooden frame with exact dimension of inside of the case to keep the batteries in place and keep them from moving around. To protect all the components we have fuses ranging from ANL 50amp fuses between the inverter and the battery , inline 30amp fuse between the solar charge controller and the batteries. To attach jumper cables we have an option for external heavy duty battery terminals. To connect to an AC float charger we have added a SAE 2 pin port. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=offgcMwuTGw&list=PLE0oc91st1znXrnczHySumH34-UJP3N2S