How to build a Homemade Super Efficient Portable Solar Generator

    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.

    • How to build your own DIY off grid / grid down Solar Power Back up system from scratch
      This project goes over the build of a Solar Power Grid Down Backup System to generate your own alternative power.A great way to utilize renewable energy as a backup source of power. Whatever may be the reason , may be to offset electricity bills or for self reliance to provide when the grid goes down, a solar backup system is simply a great way to provide alternative power to maintain a lifestyle of reasonable convenience. If the grid should go down, I can have a freezer, power lighting, pump water, maintain communications, use tools, and charge every little device I have from flashlights to kindles. This Off grid Solar Power System is composed of 5 components. Solar panels to generate the power, a charge controller to charge the batteries, the batteries to store the energy, the inverter to provide AC to the household items you wish to power. Also you need a Kilowatt meter. The kilowatt meter measures two things you have to know how much energy your devices draw at any given moment, and how much power they consume over time. Here we use 100 watt monocrystalline panels, a 40 amp MPPT charge controller, a 1000 watt pure sine wave inverter and to store the energy, 446 volt golf cart batteries totaling 470 amp hours. First you need to size your system by figuring out how many devices you are going to want to run at the same time. This will determine the size of your inverter, the inverters function is to take DC power from the batteries and converted to AC power for use with household appliances. If I have 1000 watt inverter, this means I can run up to 1000 watts worth of devices at the same time. Once you have evaluated every device that you feel that you are going to need, should the grid go down, you are gonna have a good idea of how much power you need to generate each day. The battery bank consists of four, six volt, Duracell SLIGC 125, golf cart batteries connected in series. Golf cart batteries are designed to deliver a lower amount of power over a longer period of time and then recharge quickly. When picking a spot to locate your panels, you have to consider that the sun will be lower towards the horizon in the winter, and closer to directly overhead in the summer. Building a system that actually tracks the sun would be best as the panels are always pointed directly at the sun. Also mount your panels as close as possible to the batteries. This is because the longer your wire run, the more energy is wasted due to resistance. You also need to select the proper gauge wire to transmit the power from the solar panels to the batteries. Between the panels and the batteries is the charge controller ,it controls the charge of the batteries and make sure that the batteries get the proper voltage that they need and that they don't get overcharged. Here we use an MPPT Solar Charge controller. If your solar panels are wired in series and connected to an MPPT charge controller, the voltage adds up ,thus giving us enough voltage to charge the batteries. An MPPT charge controller can charge your batteries nearly the entire time The sun is out. If your panels are far away and you want to save money and wiring, then the MPPT charge controller is way more efficient than PWM. The first step in making your solar system safe is making sure that there's an automatic and a manual way to disconnect power in each segment of the system. Starting right here at the battery box we have a 300 amp manual switch to kill the power from the batteries to the inverter as well as a 200 amp fuse that will blow automatically. Another component to the safety is the grounding. Grounding your system is quite easy to do. So get an eight foot grounding rod and drive it into the ground. Then pick up some copper grounding wire, some lugs and connect the frames have all the panels in any metal components in the system including the charge controller and the inverter.
    • How to heat your Garage by building a Super Insulated Radiant Floor Heating System
      This project goes over the installation of a homemade radiant floor hydronic heating system for the garage. The radiant floor heating uses a pex tubing that is installed along the floor of your garage or room . Hot water is passed through the tubing which radiates the heat out into the room or space. The first step is to figure out what size pex coil tubing and how big of a water heater you would need . Also how many feet of tubing would allow enough heat to exchange into the concrete floor to sufficiently warm up the entire space. The total BTU/hour or heat required will be based on the square footage of your garage or room . We begin by levelling the ground and start laying down a vapor barrier .The vapor barrier is made out of 6 Mil Visqueen plastic PE film .The barrier keeps the moisture from under the ground to rise up to the surface of the floor. We then lay a mixture of sand and packing gravel before installing the two inch extruded insulating polystyrene foam on the floor and the perimeter. Four circuits of 800 ft half inch Pex tubing is stapled down on two inches of polystyrene insulating foam using a pex stapler. The eight tube ends are routed upto to a box from where it is connected to a manifold which is mounted on to the wall. The pex tubing with the supply and return tube is connected to the manifold with the help of a compression fitting . To check if all the connections are OK or if there is any hole or leak in the tubing, connect the manifold to a 100 PSOI air pressure gauge to do a pressure test. Five inches of concrete is then poured over the pex tubing circuits. Saw cuts of less than an inch are made into the concrete to allow for the shrinkage during the curing process. To insulate the pex tubing and to prevent water from entering into the floor, an expanding foam sealant is filled near the junction where the concrete meets the supply and return tubing near the manifold. The heating components of this system are mounted on a 4 X 4 square sheet of plywood. The heater has a rating of 7.2kW . The heater is flow activated which requires a circulating pump to pump water through it which then activates the heater based on the temperature setting. Two 120V fractional horsepower circulating pumps are used , one for running the water through the heater and the other circulates out through the pex loops. The pump has an inbuilt garden hose connector system used for draining. The hot water coming out of the output end of the heater passes through a pressure tank which removes the air bubble with an air release valve and prevents any water hammer to the system. This is further connected to the flow activated circulating pump for the heater with connections for filing and draining the system with the help of shut off valves. The water then comes down to a stainless steel manifold and then flows through the supply end of the pex tubing . The heated water splits into four supply loops at the manifold into the concrete floor. The water then returns back to the return end of the manifold through the other four loops of pex tubing and goes straight through another circulating pump and a Y strainer filter before circulating back to the heater. Two thermometers are connected at the supply and return end of the pipe to know the temperature difference of the outdoing water and the returning water. The flow is controlled by a thermostat and a switching relay that turns on the circulating pump .
    • DIY Video : How to build a Homemade Mini Hydrogen Generator / Water to fuel Generator from simple Household items
      This video shows you how to build a Mini Hydrogen Generator / Water to fuel Generator using materials that is easily available around your house.This is achieved by Electrolysis which is an electro-chemical process whereby which hydrogen and oxygen are disassociated from water.By means of electrical influence using simple water one can get gas, and gather in into a special container and use this gas (hydrogen) for power supply of engines or other appliances.It is preferred not to use salt as electrolyte it will release chlorine gas.You can use sodium hydroxide, which can be bought as a “drain opener” at lowes or home depot, you could probably use any type of hydroxide though.

      Watch the DIY Homemade Mini Hydrogen Generator Build Video