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 Generate Alternative Offgrid Power by building a Homemade Waterwheel Hydro Electric SystemThis project goes into the build of a homemade alternative offgrid power generation system using a water wheel and flowing water source like a stream or creek. In order to catch the water from your spring or creek , the first step is to build a small dam. This enables us to produce maximum power from the running water wheel . First, We use a 4 inch pipe to divert the water before starting the construction of the dam. With a solid concrete foundation ,we aim to make a 42 inch dam with 30 inch of head . A six inch 36 inches long PVC drain pipe is installed on the high water side .The dam is constructed using four layer of hollow blocks and quickrete blended mason mix .Try raising the water higher to see how much higher it needs to go before it overflow through the sides. The dam board gates made of deck boards are installed in the middle .The back board and the front boards are spaced apart an inch and three quarters. The dam stop gate made of plywood with dimensions of one and half is inserted between the boards . To get a tight seal a half inch rubber tube is stuffed between these boards. With a 13 and half inch treated plywood and couple of 2X6 plywood side boards, the flume is built. The side boards are glued to the plywood base using adhesive sealant and screwed with exterior grade screws. To resist twisting and to keep the width of the plywood steady , four cross spacers are installed on the flume board. To divert the water without having to drain the dam, we make a small trap door in the flume near the opening . The trap door is made seven inches back from the face of the dam. The door is supported by a flange around the back and a stainless steel hinge. The flume is installed on the creek with the help of rebars and supporting deck boards. The rebars are attached to the boards using u-bolts and drill bit. Three more subsequent flumes are attached to each other. The gap between the flumes are sealed with poly foam caulk rope. The waterwheel is made out of a section of 55 gallon HDPE drum . The blades are made of 4 inch PVC drain pipe. The blades are curved so that it retains most of the water making it more energy efficient. 24 blades are attached to the drum using 16th by half aluminum angle pieces. A three quarter inch jack shaft from an old go-kart is used as the drive shaft. This is supported at both ends of the wheel with a help of pillow block bearings. Two 28 inch Circular end pieces made of plywood is bolted along both sides of the barrel using a 6 ten inch long half by thirteen carriage bolts to make the wheel build complete. Two square collar blocks are mounted on to shaft to center them. The holes are larger than the shaft so that the wheel can be adjusted to get the runouts reduced.To center the waterwheel and to adjust the runout of the center shaft , we use four blocks and adjustment bolts around the center block like a four jaw chuck . To install the water wheel securely, a support structure made of 2x4 boards are installed near the end of the flume. The water wheel is secured on these support boards with the help of couple of swivel block bearings. We use an adjustable Unistrut to mount the bearings,sprockets and the motor. This can be adjusted for chain tension as well. The Unistrut will stand vertically on top of the cross support that is under the flume.The Unistrut's are mounted onto the wheel on both the sides with help of bearings and T-nuts. A Number 35 sprocket with 72 tooth is mounted onto the center wheel shaft. This sprocket is connected to a half shaft with 11 tooth sprocket with the help of a size 35 go kart roller chain. A Permanent Magnet Brushed DC motor mounted on 2x4 board is further connected to this shaft via another sprocket. This gear system has a ratio of 30.86:1 Using unistruct angled brackets, the wheel is mounted onto the support board near the flume. The wheel is positioned near the flume in such a way that the water where it meets the wheel is exactly at the top. The charging system consists of a 12V DC emergency standby battery, MPPT charge controller, 300W sine wave inverter . The connection from the water wheel DC motor goes to the charge controller.The charge controller is also connected to the battery. Finally the inverter is connected to the battery which is further connected to a load. To make this charging system secure, make sure to make fuse connection between the components. All these components are mounted on a temporary wooden board. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDda5L4aJUB-IuU3SWstKewFvzfv3wJGI
- How to build an Inexpensive Geothermal Solar Air Conditioning System to Cool your Garage using an Old Car Radiator ,Solar Panel.This project goes over the build of a cheap Geothermal Solar air conditioner that can cool your home with the Earths natural cool temperature. A few feet underground, the temperature remains between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This is true regardless of the weather above ground.The geothermal unit siphons heat from inside and vents it into the water or refrigerant in the loop. The cool temperature underground then lowers the temperature of the liquid back to 55 degrees. In my case when I draw the water well, the static water level is 2 feet above the ground and and what that means that there is a free flowing well that runs down the hill. This is connected to a 55 gallon drum buried in the ground to keep it cool. A circulator pump is used to pump the water to the radiator. The water well is about 85 feet.We drop a 10 foot pipe in there and get a cheap pump from a car and probably some check valves valves and maybe start a natural siphon and run out of solar. You will need an old car radiator for this project. The Radiator used here is from an old Volvo Car. This is used to circulate air using a solar panel. The water coming in is connected to the radiator and the water coming out the is attached to a PVC drain pipe . The radiator is hooked to a motor connected to a solar panel. A Temperature sensor is attached to the radiator fan to detect the indoor temperature. The pump is out of the same Volvo car from which I got the radiator. A Coolant temperature sensor can be added to measure the temperature difference from the inlet versus the outlet and just see how much heat get pulled into the water . The system works on Solar.You will need a Charge controller,DC to DC Convertor and 12 or 24V batteries. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOxnJ5DceeU&list=PLpZKoEWMZEz_OeTiV3mx47jy1jOUL6yqe
- DIY Video : How to build a Thermal siphoning rocket stove for an off grid water system. Clean and efficient burn