This 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.
- DIY Video:How to build a simple Off Grid Electricity Generation System using Two BatteriesThis project shows you how to generate Off grid AC Power using a simple Solar power station with 2 batteries.This system can provide enough off the grid power to run your appliances around the house.You can easily run light,a laptop computer, small tv and fan for several hours. Most of the item required can be bought from your local store or Amazon.The rough cost of building this system is as follows : $150 for 100W Solar Panel $75 each for 2 batteries. $20 for 400w Inverter $40 for charge controller. The whole system comprises of four things, a couple of batteries, inverter, and a charge controller.The inverter is purchased from Harbor freight ,the charge controller from fry electronics.The deep cycle batteries are from Walmart. So you start by setting up your panels outside. In this case, I have six one amp panel set up, 15 watts a panel, so that's 90 watts coming in. I lead them straight down to the main connection, it's just the six black wires all connected together and twisted tightly to that extension cord wire and the six red ones connected.Feed the line into your house,goes straight to the charge controller. The output wire from the charge controller goes into the battery.So solar panels to charge controller ,charge controller to lead battery in your bank.And as you want to expand this to two,three or more batteries, just use some automotive cables and go from positive terminal of one the positive of the other. And with a black wire, negative terminal to negative terminal, the other one. When you want to run something, just get your inverter that converts the power from DC to AC, take the clamps, clamp them onto that same lead battery in the system. So again, red to the positive side, black to the negative side and flip it on. So remember, when you hook things up like an inverter, or the charge controller or voltmeter, anything you're going to hook up on here, make sure you always pick one of the batteries to be the lead battery and hook everything to that. Whether you parallel one extra battery with it, or five or six or however many you want to put on there. Also added here is a lighted voltmeter which gives you a constant reading on your battery bank so you know exactly what's going on with it at all time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgEvCLJuBkg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LAjx_XAR90 A simple system that can come really handy during a power outage or in any emergency situation.
- How to build an Emergency Waste Oil or Used Vegetable Oil Candle from Old Nail Polish BottleThis project goes into the build of a simple and inexpensive waste oil/ used vegetable oil candle from an old nail polish bottle. You can burn motor oil ,vegetable oil, olive oil or you can also use lamp oil in these types of candles. The first thing your need for this oil candle is a reservoir to hold the oil in. Here we use a finger nail polish bottle. Next , a length of 100% cotton yarn is needed that is slightly longer than the length of the bottle. Another requirement is a one inch square piece of aluminum foil. The first thing you need to do to start this process is to take the bottle , clean it completely and fill it with your source of fuel like veg oil, waste motor oil, corn oil, olive oil . When you are pouring the oil, you don't want to go all the way up to the top of the bottle. Leave small amount of space at the top of the bottle. Take the aluminum foil and fold it length wise in half .Puncture a small hole in the middle of the foil . Through this hole, the cotton wick is pushed through. Lower the wick into the bottle and fold the aluminum foil around the neck of the bottle. This acts as a lid . Make sure that everything is folded down nice and tight around the bottle. Check the candle and see if this wick is wet. And if it is not , turn it upside down for a minute . The oil will then come into this wick and saturate it. Be careful that your aluminum foil doesn't fall off. If your cotton wick is a little bit longer, pull it up a little bit . This exposes the wet part of the wick. Take your scissors and cut the wick down just a little. Light the candle . When you first go to light them it takes a minute because you have to get everything warmed up. Let it burn a little bit. Make sure to not use a thick layer of aluminum foil for the lid. The aluminum foil will heat up and cause problems. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbHFrvL99eA
- How to build a Super Efficient Portable Rocket Mass Heater from reclaimed and repurposed items and save up to 80% on your heating billsThis project goes over the build of a homemade efficient rocket mass heater which is portable ,uses less fuel and burns clean. This heater is made out of reclaimed and repurposed materials. The cool thing about a rocket mass heater is that it stays warm long long after the fire is out. The whole thing is powered by a rocket stove, which is a j shaped burn chamber. Fuel goes in the short side of the J, the fire burned sideways and the bottom of it. And then the draw is created by a tall vertical heat riser. The gases then come out of that chimney go all around the inside of the barrel, a lot of the heat is given off into the room right off of the barrel. That's your radiant heat source for the room. The barrel acts as that radiant heat source. The gases then go through a valve in the barrel down below and through a series of tubes that are encased in mass such as aircrete or cob .The gases are able to shed the heat into the cob. And the cob stores it as a thermal battery. The gases make its rounds through the tubes and goes out through the exhaust pipe. The rocket mass heater shown here is made of a burn chamber, heat riser, bench for containing the tubes , the exhaust pipe and an insulation refractory material like aircrete which is a high temperature cement mix. The burn chamber is made from an old sheet metal pressure tank and a stainless steel water heater tank. The pressure tank insulated with aerated concrete sits inside the water heater tank. The combustion or gasification chamber is connected to the heat riser chimney through a three inch pipe insulated inside a six inch pipe. This pipe is also insulated with a refractory mix. The vortex chamber is connected to this pipe. The vortex chamber is made from a saw blade and a left over piece of pressure tank material . It is insulated with the refractory material . Six glue stick 3/8th inch air holes are drilled at right angles around this refractory material that creates a vortex extra air suction effect .So as that heat comes up and creates a negative pressure up the riser, it swirls around the vortex chamber and enhances the burn. The initial combustion creates enough heat to release way more gases than it has oxygen to burn. By introducing a vortex air intake system, the burn output is amplified. For making the insulated heat riser, we are going to use an aerated concrete refractory material called aircrete . We make the mould for the four inch heater riser using a metal mesh fabric, sarnafil roofing material and a thin gauge wire. Then it is filled it clay sand up to to the top . We take this mould and put it inside the six inch stove pipe and pour aircete through the sides all the way up to the top and let them sit to cure. We pull the sand out of the center of the heat riser. And then eject the liner that went against the inner fabric webbing that acted as a mold for the aircrete. The Aircrete heat riser is installed on top of the vortex chamber .The heat riser is double insulated with a old water tank and an old 55 gal oil barrel. Also the water tank is insulated from the 55 gal barrel using some pea gravel .The insulated water tank has an outlet pipe at the bottom for extension into the mass bench . The exhaust pipe coming out the insulated heat riser has a two foot drop to a directional valve connecting two pipes ,one pipe acts as a flue chimney that goes out into the outdoors through the window, the other goes into the mass bench. The valve allows us to redirect the air to pass to the bench once the heat riser is all warm. The eight foot long wooden mass bench houses the six inch stove pipes coming out the exhaust of the heat riser. It has a mylar reflective insulation sheet on the floor. This helps prevent the heat escape through the floor .The mass bench is then insulated with pea gravel which absorbs the heat and holds it and slowly radiate out over a period of time. The pipe coming out of the bench goes out of the window through the valve. The flue chimney pipe that goes out through the window to the outdoors is made of double walled stove pipe. A five inch pipe is inserted inside a seven inch pipe. The space between them is insulated with a aerated concrete refractory material .All this insulated exhaust pipe is doing is taking and adding an element of acceleration up the chimney to negate the net negative you get from dropping two feet down into the bench from the heat riser. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1ZKm7QZ-dY