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.

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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.