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.



    RECENT POSTS YOU MIGHT LIKE
    • How to build a Portable 420 watt Solar Power Generator . Very Detailed Video Instructions,perfect for beginners
      This project goes over the build of a 240W Solar Generator made out of an ammo box.The box is large enough to hold a 240 watt deep cycle battery. There are some basic tools that you are going to need to build this generator.Number one tool, you're going to need a drill. If you don't have a drill, you can find one at Home Depot, you don't have to spend a lot of money.Next thing you're going to need is a screwdriver. Next, you're going to need wire cutter, a wire cutting and stripping tool. And it's also got a crimper on there. To drill the holes in the metal ammo box,you need a step up drill bit which can drill different sized holes, using all the same drill bit.You will need a pair of pliers which might be handy when you are cutting and manipulating wires and then basic wire cutters which also we have on the pliers. The next thing that you're going to need is the heart of the generator, which would be the battery. Now this is a rayovac deep cycle battery.I recommend that you use a V max deep cycle battery. The next thing you're going to need is a USB port. This is a two port device, it's got a one amp outlet and a 2.1 amp outlet.You're also going to need a 12 volt outlet. Faceplate,blade fuse holder,terminal connectors,switch,self tapping screws,14 gauge 17 amp black and red wires. We use a 3 prong switch,one of them gold in color which is the negative terminal and the other two positive.Purpose of the switch is to control your USB outlet. And it's what turns the USB outlet on and off. The positive terminal on the USB outlet is first going to run to the positive terminal on the switch.Now the purpose of this switch is to break the electrical current when you turn it off. So positive terminal goes to positive terminal, then the second positive terminal on that switch goes to the positive terminal on the battery. So you've got a flow of electricity going from positive through this switch to the positive terminal on the USB port. The negative terminal on the switch goes to the negative terminal on the battery. The only purpose of that terminal is to control the LED light on the switch, it needs the both positive and negative electrical currents in order to turn that light on. Similarly for the 12V port,positive connector going to positive terminal going to the positive terminal on the battery. Lets start the build. Start with drilling holes for the ports using the faceplate.Get your marker and simply trace the inside from both the top and the bottom.So that's where your holes are gonna go. Now we want to find the exact centers that when we're drilling. Insert the 12V and the USB outlet into the holes which we have just drilled. Now these ports have a little ring that screws on the back. This is what holds it in place. Next thing we're going to install is the power switch and SAE Solar Power Socket and the voltmeter. To begin wiring our tabs batteries, you're going to need a few things. Number one, you're going to need a battery. Number two, you're going to need your quick disconnects. You're going to need your squeeze connector connector,your wire cutters and stripping tool and you're going to need black and red wires. Place the vmax battery into the ammo box.So we've got everything in place, we have our ports in place, we have our battery in place, we've got our switch in place, and our volt meter. We're gonna start by wiring the USB port. The positive connection of the USB port is connected to the positive of the switch which is further connected to the positive of the battery.The negative connection of the USB is connected to the negative of the battery. This switch will break the flow of electricity on the positive side and that's what's going to turn our USB port on and off. Using squeeze connectors,USB port negative terminal is now connected to the same negative terminal as the 12 volt port.Connect the positive terminal from the switch to the positive wire which is coming from the 12 volt port and continue that positive flow from the switch to the positive terminal on the battery . So we now have our USB port and our 12 volt outlet connected to the battery through the power switch. We've got the negative terminal of the USB port, going to the negative terminal on the battery, we have the positive terminal of the USB port.Then we've got a positive going from the switch to the positive on the battery all through quick disconnects. The negative terminal on the battery going to the negative terminal on the switch simply allows the switch LED light to turn on without this negative current flow of electricity. This the LED light has no power.So we want to give that light power by connecting to the negati.ve terminal on the battery. The negative of the Voltmter is directly connected to the battery and using insulated clamps,we connect positive wire that's already running to the switch for the USB port.Now we want to connect to the positive wire leading to the positive terminal on the switch so that the volt meter will turn on and off with the switch button. Next, we're going to cover the SAE port. We want to be able to have the battery charged when we plug this into a charger.Using the squeeze connector we connect the positive to the positive terminal of the battery.And then same thing for the negative, you would take your squeeze connector and connect to the negative. Lastly,A 15amp fuse is used to protect the generator from overloading. If you connect at current that is too high for their internal wiring to handle, the fuse will break and it will stop all electrical current from flowing.So if anything goes wrong in any of this wiring, it has to get past the fuse before it reaches the battery. So if there's anything that's that's overheating, or overloading this fuse is gonna blow and it's gonna protect your battery from being damaged . Next step is connecting a solar panel to your generator .We connect the panel to the charge controller and then from the charge controller to your ammo generator. A charge controller prevents the battery from overcharging. You don't want to get over 15 volts. Here we use Renogy 30 watt solar panel, this panel comes by default, with an SAE connector on the back. This is the same kind of connector that plugs into your generator. Connect the wires coming out of the Solar Panel into the charge controller.Next is connecting the SAE cord from the generator to the charge controller. So you just put the panel on the charge controller, the charge controller into the generator, and you're done. If you want the whole system to be portable, say you want to be able to take your solar panel and your generator camping, you want to keep things as simple as possible, you could actually mount the charge controller directly onto the back of your panel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVVRPUHUMUo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DW6C-ZjmRzo
    • How to build a Super Efficient Outdoor Wood Stove Heater from an Old Propane Bottle
      This project goes over the build of an efficient outdoor wood burning stove heater out of an old propane bottle and some scrap metal from the scrapyard. This stove has secondary burn system that helps in combustion of any unburned smoke or fume inside .Almost little to no smoke coming from the flue pipe. The first step is to make sure that the old propane tank is empty. We take the valve at the top by removing the valve protector cage. Fill the tank with water and let it sit for a few hours before we drain the tank and start cutting top and bottom. With the help of a hole saw cutter ,we cut 100mm four inch holes at the top and bottom of the tank . The top hole is for the flue pipe to sit in and the bottom hole is for cleaning the ashes out. We also remove the bottom stand too. Next, we cut a hole for the door for the stove. This is cut as high up to the top of the bottle . The door is made of chequered plate piece . We fit a rectangular pyrex dish glass piece in the middle of the chequered plate that can withstand high temperature with couple of steel bracket pieces. The glass on the door helps us to see how the secondary burn system is working inside the chamber. The door is attached to a frame through hinges. The flue outlet on the top the tank is attached through a flange piece with holes. The door handle is made of a socket wrench. The wrench is bolted to the plate and a small metal piece is welded onto to the frame to which the wrench is pulled to close the door A deflector plate made of small holes is installed inside the stove on the top . We drill 8mm holes around the top of tank and put dome bolts across them. The deflector pipe sits on these bolts. The deflector plate stop the unburned gases exiting out the flue outlet pipe. This encourages the flame that rises, pass through the deflector plate holes into the secondary burn chamber that helps in better combustion. The secondary burn system is made of stainless steel pipes .The air intake section is long enough to get the air coming in to get super heated and move into two sections filled with holes. Since not all gases from the wood combust from the primary air intake, the secondary burn pipe ensures that the air gets super heated before exiting the pre-drilled holes and helps burn the unburned gases rising from the fire before exiting the flue pipe. The secondary air intake pipe coming out of the firebox is welded on the top of the tank with a flange piece. The primary air intake pipe that goes under the door frame is made of a two inch coupler and threaded damper disc. A small metal piece is welded to the coupler with a hole in the middle. The damper disc screws in through the hole that allows us to close and open the intake .
    • DIY Video :How to build a Simple and Efficient Copper Coil Burner Stove from start to finish.Great in a emergency/disaster or while out camping
      This project goes over the build of an simple and efficient copper coil tiny alcohol burner jet stove. The materials you need to make this stove are canning jar, small copper tubing, JB weld to seal up the from inside and outside , pipe to wrap the coil, couple of drill bits, a wick material, sand and Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol as a the fuel. Fill the copper tubing with sand all the way up. Seal both ends of the tube with a cloth or a cap. With the help of a vice ,we bend the tubing around the pipe into a loop. Flatten the sides of the coil keeping the sides together. Empty the sand out of the copper coil and run water through it to get everything out. This is done so that the inside is completely open for the air and the gas to build up and burn in there. Cut a vent hole down the center of the looped coil using the smallest drill bit. Mark the canning glass jar against the copper coil so that we can cut off the extra coil legs so that the coil fits inside the jar approximately three quarters way down. Next step is to make holes for the lid of the jar . Place the coil on top of the lid and make two spots for the holes. We use a drill bit ,same size as the coil to drill two holes. The coil is placed through the two holes of the lid and sealed on both the top and bottom side using JB Weld. Allow the glue to set for an hour. Take your wick cloth material ,insert and twist them through both the holes of the coil all the way up to the top. Pour some Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol onto the jar , place the lid with the coil on the top and tightly close the jar with the cap. Wipe the sides of the coil with rubbing alcohol. To prime the stove for its first burn , start by heating the coil using a propane torch first. The heating of the coil gets the gas going. Heat until the flame starts to appear. Burn for four to five minutes to steady the flame. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFrWw5dgliQ