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 an Off Grid Hydraulic Ram Pump that uses no electricity to pump water .Water is one of the most important resources you can have and to get water to the highest point in your property, so that you can store it and water your gardens and your animals and your orchards is incredibly valuable. This project goes over the build a water pump that can pump water uphill with no other external source of power except for the water flowing into it. If you have got a piece of land with an abundant source of water like a pond or a creek, a ram pump lets you get that water to a tank or a location at a higher elevation without using no electricity or fuel. A ram pump is essentially two one way check valves, one called the waste valve and the other called the delivery valve. To get it started, you just momentarily open the waste valve to allow water to flow. After that it's working on its own to pump the water uphill above the elevation of the source. The ramp pump works by the principle of water hammer. As the waste valve opens, water flows into the pump and immediately out the valve. But as it picks up speed, the flowing water eventually forces the waste valve to slam shut. Now the water is stopped in the pump, it had kinetic energy, but now it doesn't. That means that kinetic energy was converted into pressure. Slamming a valve shut converts all the kinetic energy nearly instantly, creating a huge spike in pressure which opens the second check valve and forces water entering the pump into the delivery line. An pressure tank is included in the pump to smooth out those sharp spikes and pressure and provide a more even flow rate out of the delivery pipe, reducing wear and tear on the pump components. Here we use a PVC cylinder as the pressure tank. As the delivery pipe is opened, it will allow a constant flow of water as the pressure builds. If you open the valve too quick, this will hold a certain amount of pressure in it so that the pump doesn't stop due to pressure loss. To get the water to the pump somehow from your source, you need to have a tube or pipe. This pipe is a called a drive pipe. This need to have head pressure or drop in elevation. The drive pipe has same size as the waste valve. The more rigid the material, the more efficient your pump will be. You can use steel or PVC pipe or flex tube. To get the water to our desired destination, we are going to have to have something called a delivery pipe. Here we are using garden hose as the delivery pipe. Here are the steps to assemble a one and quarter inch hydraulic ram pump. The parts you need to build this pump are : Six one quarter close pipe nipples - This allows the components to be screwed close together and not have any extra gap between. Two three quarter pipe nipples 2 One and a quarter ball valves 3 quarter threaded union 2 One and a quarter PVC union 2 threaded PVC tees - threaded on all 3 sides A threaded spring check valve - This has a spring on the inside. That allows water to flow through one direction and not the other. A bushing that goes from one and a quarter down to three quarter. A brass or stainless steel swing check valve - This is threaded on both ends. And inside there is a little lever that closes on a swing motion. Teflon pipe tape to make sure things are tightened up and couple of wrenches. The first step in the pump assembly is to take the Teflon tape and put it around these one inch and three quarter pipe nipples. This is done in a clockwise position such that whenever it is time to actually screw components onto this, we want to make sure that they do not unscrew or remove the Teflon tape. This pipe tape will allow the components to screwed together in a more fluid manner. And it helps to create a better seal in the components. Next step is take your one and a quarter ball valve and a pipe nipple and thread that together. Take the one and a quarter union and connect it to the other end of the taped nipples. Connect a tee to this unit with the help of another pipe nipple. Next is attaching a spring check valve to this unit. You need to make sure that the flow is pointing away from the components we just put together. There's an arrow on these that distinguishes the flow direction. Connect another PVC tee to the valve through a nipple. A threaded bushing is going to go on the end of that second tee. On that three quarter bushing, we are going to put one of the three quarter pipe nipples. From that pipe nipple, we are going to put the other three quarter inch union. A three quarter ball valve is connected to this end through another pipe nipple. We connect the swing brass/stainless steel check valve to the first PVC tee with the help of another pipe nipple. When connecting the check valve, make sure that the door or flapper is going to fall open from gravity. So it is going to screw on to this pipe nipple with the door hanging open. The second PVC tee is connected to the pressure tank with another pipe nipple. Make sure that both tees are facing in the same direction. To build the pressure tank for the one and a quarter pump, you need a four inch PVC schedule 40 pipe , four inch coupling, four inch socket to one and a quarter threaded bushing , a four inch cap , bicycle inner tube. Take your angle grinder and cut a 17 inch long pipe from the four inch PVC schedule 40 pipe .Once the pipe section is cut, it's time to assemble the pressure tank. Coat the inside of the coupling with a PVC cement and stick our 17 inch pipe inside .Make sure it is real snug in there . The other side of the coupling is connected to the threaded bushing. Next step is to insert the bike inner tube into the pressure tank .Grab it from the underside and pull it enough that we can attach my pump to it. Start filling the tube with the bicycle pump. Pump until the whole tube seems tight. Put the cap back on the top and seal them tight using pvc cement. The last step is to attach your pressure tank onto this threaded nipple that is connected the second PVC tee on the pump. Next step is installing the ram pump near the water source .This one and quarter inch pump requires around eight gallons per minute to operate. The amount of water that you get at the top is increased as the pump size goes up. So to start the pump, first you need to close the ball valve for the delivery pipe and make sure the ball valve for the drive pipe is opened. You need to just push the waste valve down until all the air inside the drive pipe is out. Water comes down this drive pipe and slams against the check valve to shut it down . It creates a pressure wave that gets shot back up the drive pipe .If the pressure wave finds an air pocket ,then the pump will stop. Start priming the pump by opening the valve manually couple of times until the pump starts to work on its own. After the pump has been running for a minute or two, you're gonna open up your delivery pipe valve out because the pressure tank now has enough pressure in it to push water uphill. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8Fy__ThqpQ
- How to convert an Old Ceiling Fan Motor into a 70W Efficient Single Phase Alternator GeneratorThis project goes over the conversion of an old ceiling fan motor into an single phase alternator .You can't take your standard AC electric motor and spin it and get an electrical current out of it unless you modify it. The ceiling fan motor used here will produce about 70 volts at one amp which is roughly 70 watts. Through a bridge rectifier we can get about 70 watts of power out of it. We start by pulling the cover of the fan. Inside we have a squirrel cage rotor in the middle and 6 coil windings around it. The coil windings are placed in clockwise and anti-clock wise directions inside the stator. Next we remove the circular rotor from the threaded shaft which is attached to it with help of a vice. We attach the shaft with the rotor through it within a vice. With the help of an extra piece of pipe to give leverage, we press them against the rotor and push it away from the rod and pop it off. We are replacing the rotor that we have detached from the shaft with a two inch hex steel bar . It has six sides that matches with the six coils from the stator. With the help of one eighth inch drill bit we cut a hole in the center of our hex bar. We put the hex bar through the shaft and fit them snugly around the threaded area. We take six one half inch neodymium or rare earth magnets and place them along the the 6 sides of the hex bar. We place them in such a manner that the poles of the magnets are opposing each other. For permanent usage, wrap this with a little bit of tape or glue so that they are held in place securely. We place our modified rotor in the middle of the stator and align them such that they fit in tightly. The outer screen is bolted back onto the motor. We can also add second set of magnets to increase the magnetic field of the rotor .This will also bring it closer to the coils on the outside and increase the overall voltage. To convert the alternating current generated by our ceiling fan alternator to direct current, we use a bridge rectifier. It has 4 poles, 2 for connecting our alternating current, the other plus and negative for DC power. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-4IbLOZwnA
- How to build a Homemade Off grid Solar Powered Water fueled Air Heater and Air Cooler using an 8 X 8 heat exchanger and a car radiator fanThis project goes into the build of a homemade water fueled radiant Air heater / Air Cooler that can blow cold air or hot air into your room or space using a heat exchanger and an old car radiator fan . This system can pump out cold air at 1500 CFM with the temperature reaching 55F and heat output at almost 170 F. The entire system is powered by a 100W Solar Panel and costs around 60 to 70 dollars . The major advantage of using this cooler is that it doesnt add any humidity to the air. The materials you need to build this Cooler/ Heater are as follows. Standard bilge water pump or aquarium pump or 12V DC fan for solar, seven inch 12V 80W car radiator fan, 10 X 12 piece of plywood, a couple of eleven inch 2 x4's, 8 X 8 heat exchanger, one inch PVC tubing , a couple of hose barbs with coupler , a tub to hold the ice or hot water . A 12V DC heating element can also be used to warm up the water The first step is building a frame to hold the heat exchanger and the car radiator fan together. This is done by a taking couple of 11 inch 2 X4 's and mount them parallel to each other on a 10 X 12 inch piece of plywood. A hole is cut on the plywood to place the car radiator fan . The heat exchanger is attached on the back side of the fan just between those two eleven inch 2 X 4's.The heat exchanger is rated for over 25k BTU's and covers about 1000 sq ft that can heat or cool an entire living space. A tub containing Ice cold water or hot water is used as a source of heat or cold . The Water pump submerged into the water source is connected to the inlet tubing . This pumps the cold or hot water into the input of the heat exchanger . The car radiator fan is powered on using the 100 W solar panel and the hot or cold air radiates into the room or space. The water returns back into the tub through the other tubing . The solar panel is connected to a speed controller that is further connected to the radiator fan to adjust the air flow. The 200gph water pump with the half inch pipe is connected to the inch pipe main tubing using half inch barbed to inch threaded and inch threaded to inch barbed and a threaded PVC coupler. To make the hot water , we use a 150W DC Water heating element . The heat element is connected at the base of the tub or barrel . This unit is powered by a solar panel . You can use an AC powered immersion water heater if there is no option for solar. A 100W Solar panel is powering the 80W Car radiator fan and 12V 350 GPH Bilge pump that is used to pump the water to the heat exchanger and back . It also powers Heating element if you plan to heat the water this way. Another way to heat the water is using a 50 ft copper tubing. The water is pumped through the copper tubing using a small pump and a 5W Solar panel and heat it up. The hot water is then passed through to heat exchanger . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLspmypEqhM