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.
STEP 1 : SELECTING A BOX
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 pack everything into. It’s got wheels on the bottom so you can roll it around, also has heavy handles on either side.
STEP 2 : ADDING A DEEP CYCLE BATTERY
The battery is an AGM glass mat, the 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.
STEP 3 : INVERTER AND THE SOLAR PANELS
The next major component for our build is the 2000W inverter from Krieger. This one has some large terminals on the back for our wiring. Also has an 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 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.
STEP 4 : MOUNTING INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL COMPONENTS
The next step is mounting components on the outside of the case. Before mounting any component, factor in how the internal components are going to place inside the case. On one side of the case, we are going to mount a small LED work lamp with the toggle switch, a 12V gauge pod with 5V USB output, a 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 an RTV silicone sealant.
On 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, and a GFCI AC outlet with a weatherproof cover. The GFCI outlet is connected to the inverter inside the case.
STEP 5 : INSTALLING THE BATTERY AND THE INVERTER
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 snugly into a corner of the case using a battery mount and a 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.
STEP 6 : THE WIRING
The 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 are 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 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 the 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, and 5A for the trickle charger.
Image Credits : ModernSurvivalists