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.

    • DIY Video : How to build a Homemade Atmospheric Water Generator . Produces/Extracts Distilled Water from the air
      This project goes over the build of an DIY Atmospheric Water Generator that distills water from air. This unit is made of aluminum and copper components so it is water safe and is drinkable. The water essentially is just pure distilled water just as clean as if it is distilled from a stovetop distiller. This setup works well in hot humid weather. Also acts a dehumidifier. The materials you need to build this project are quarter inch copper tubing, soup can, half inch PVC pipe, 12V DC aquarium pump, aluminum foil, clear vinyl tubing, aluminum tray for collecting the distilled water ,small styrofoam cooler box. Cold Water is pumped through two sets of coiled copper tubes. The coil becomes freezing cold and starts to condensate . Dew gets collected on the coil and is captured by a drip pan which is placed under the coil. The copper tubes are wrapped around a soup can to get the coiled shape. The clear PVC hose tube is clamped onto the coil and then connected to a small 12V DC aquarium water pump which is powered by a battery or solar panel. We take two half inch PVC pipes , connect them together with two elbows . Wrap the PVC pipes with some aluminum foil and place the pipes above an aluminum or glass tray. The water pump is then submerged in a chest box or bucket containing ice cold water. The pump is started and water coming out of the box cooler is sent through the copper coil where it will start the condensation process. Here the water is chilled to below its dew point. If the water is warm, it wont cool the copper coil enough for the condensation to occur. The colder the water and the more humid it is out , the faster the process of collecting distilled water. To improve the efficiency , you could squeeze the copper coils together . The more the coils, the more the water you can extract from air .
    • How to build a Homemade Copper Pipe Solar Water Heater and get super hot water fast and free
      This project goes over the build of a Homemade Copper Pipe Solar Thermal Water heater which can produce super hot water fast .This reaches temperature at or above 150F with air temperature from high 40's to low 50's. Here are the materials needed for this project are : Two 10 foot half inch copper pipes - Type L 16 half inch 90 degree elbows 18 tube straps 23 X 35 half inch plywood for the back 18 X 20 half inch plywood for the pipe support 2 X 2 lumber at 20 and 35" for the sides 4 and 3/8 inch square dowel rods for the glass support 1/2 inch threaded pipe adapter 3/4" to 1/2" garden hose PVC adapter 1/2 inch coupler. The first step is to cut down a bunch of two foot sections out of the 10 foot sections using a copper cutter. We cut 7 of them and 2 more for the top and bottom which are 30 inches each. Next we cut 8 sections of 1 1/8" for the connecter pieces between elbow joints. This allows the pipe to be spaced exactly two inches apart on the board evenly all the way up and down Connect the pipes using couple of elbows and a 2 inch connecter piece and solder them .Do it for the rest of the pipes. Slide the pipes into the plywood frame collector and fasten them onto it using 3/8 inch screws to be more secure. A small internal board is placed onto this frame which helps the pipe to lay flat inside .Also it holds the pipe at right height so that it exits through the right holes. It allows for the pipe to be easily removed from the collector frame. Cut the wooden dowel rods and put inside the collector to support the glass. Sand them a little bit so that the copper pipe will fit back through. A straight coupler is welded on to the end of outlet then you can add any pipe or connecter or wherever you want the water to go. The inner board is secured to the back board using some three quarter inch screws. The 4 corners of the 2 X 2 wood frame is secured using 2 and half inch wood screws and the corners of the back board is secured by one and one half inch screws. A 20 X 32 inch glass is placed on the frame with the help of some silicone caulk around the edge. The highest piece of copper in there is eighth of an inch away from the glass and its painted black.
    • How to turn Dirty-water/Salt-water to a clean fresh drinking water by building a simple Water distillation system
      This project goes into the build a simple Survival water purifier that can turn salt water /sea water into fresh drinkable water .This purifier is portable, easy to make and is very inexpensive. It works by the principle of desalination .When sea water/ salt water is heated to its boiling point, the water turns into steam which leaves the salt behind. Condensing the steam back into water ,it is purified. The materials you need to build this desalination unit are a simple non insulated stainless steel bottle with a steel lid , copper tubing , stove or heating source, bottle for collecting the condensed water, soldering unit, right angle compression fiting. The condenser of this desalination unit is made from one quarter inch copper tubing. Remove the lid and the gasket from the bottle . A hole is drilled using a drill press at the top of the lid to accommodate the quarter inch copper tubing . Before soldering the copper tubing , clean the surface of both copper and the stainless steel lid with the help of a sandpaper. The copper tubing is pushed through the hole just enough to stick half an inch from both side. It is then soldered securely in place. Once this is completed , the silicon gasket is then re-installed in the lid and lid is screwed back on to the bottle. A right angle compression fitting is pressed into the lid at the copper tubing opening . The extension tube at the other end of the compression fitting is removed and replaced with a rubber gasket for better seal for the lock nut. The copper coil for the re-condensing the steam when the water is boiling is made by wrapping the copper tube up tightly against the stainless bottle . Eight or nine turns of the tubing is ideal. The ends of the coil are bend outwards so that when one end is pressed into the fitting on the bottle, the other side will be sticking straight out. The salt or sea water is added to the bottle and reattached to the lid which is hanging over a heat source such as a wood stove or camp fire. The other end of the coil is placed near a collection container to collect the distilled water. To produce more condensed water out of the copper tubing ,we need to cool it down. Otherwise the production of steam will outweigh the production of the condensed water. To cool the copper tubing , wet put a wet piece of cloth soaked in cold water and wrap it around the coil or dip the whole bottom half of the copper coil into a vessel filled with cold water.