This project goes into the build of a portable and powerful off grid emergency solar generator with higher capacity than commercial units at a fraction of the cost. This system can keep a small fridge operating 24/7, charge your devices, power TV ,LED lights, Laptops. it is small enough to be stored away in your garage and portable enough to move where it was needed.
The main components used to build this generator are as follows.
4 Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel
Renogy Rover 40 Amp MPPT Solar Charge Controller
Renogy Deep Cycle AGM Battery 12 Volt 100Ah
Sug 2000W(Peak 4000W) Power Inverter Pure Sine Wave DC 12V to AC
Renogy 20 Feet 10AWG Solar Extension Cable with MC4 Female and Male
BLACK+DECKER BM3B 6V and 12V Automatic Battery Charger / Maintainer
6 Circuit Fuse Block W/Negative Bus
Milwaukee Hand Truck with handle
Control Panel with USB Charger,LED Voltmeter,12V Power Outlet, ON-OF Switch.
To create a solar system that can truly meet your needs and cope with the variability of your environment, you really need to do some planning. This will help you avoid building a system that isn’t up to the job and can save you considerable money by preventing the expense of replacing components later on.
To calculate the number of batteries and solar panels you will need to create a system to provide power in all seasons through inclement weather and at your particular latitude, you need to determine the devices you intend to power, log their power consumption across a few days using a power meter. Then find the reserve days . This is how many non sunny days the system can tolerate while still powering your devices. Also find the recovery time by calculating how many days of sun that will be needed to fully recover when the batteries have run down due to lack of sun. You also need to know the usable charging hours in day and the actual battery round trip efficiency since batteries give back something less than the amount of power used to charge them.
Here we use 4 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panels to charge our 12 Volt Deep Cycle Battery. The panels are wired in series so that the voltages add together and you can get up to 80 volts from four panels. With this system there is enough voltage to begin charging as soon as there is any daylight at all. It also charges the batteries right up until dusk. Another advantage of the series wiring is that it is much better for long wire runs when the solar panels are not close to the generator and you can use less expensive smaller wire gauges for the solar panel runs.
To use panels in series you must have an MPPT type charge controller. They are specially designed to accommodate the high voltage of panels wired in series up to the particular controllers voltage limit .MPPT controllers are much more efficient converting nearly all the energy coming from the panels into charging power for the battery.
A 2000 watt pure sine wave inverter is used that can provide up to 4000 watts of surge power, and with enough battery support can run any conceivable device including those with motors. To store energy we use a 2 12V AGM marine batteries . These give plenty of reserved capacity that will last with reasonable care . They don’t leak and can tolerate cheaper discharges and have very good round trip efficiency.
Four 100 watt solar panels are connected through the 40 amp MPPT charge controller . The panels can deliver up to 2400 watts of solar power in the shortest days of winter. And the charge controller converts solar power to charging power very efficiently and also support serial panel configurations increasing the systems capability.
A heavy duty hand truck is used for loading all the components . A frame made of angle iron is welded on to the platform to mount the batteries. Two angled straps are welded across the truck to provide more support for the battery frame.
The various components are mounted on a back support made of five eighth inch plywood. I use a tapered punch to make starter holes for all the screws that hold the components. The hand cart is laid on its back and the plywood board is aligned in such a way it doesn’t block the holes. While the cart was on its back I screw down all the components with stainless steel screws.
For the project we use a thinner 18 gauge wire for the low current circuits, medium 14 gauge for the 12 volt port and heavy 10 gauge for the high current charging circuits. Red is always connected to the plus or positive connectors, black always to the minus or negative.
The positives and the negative connection coming from the solar panels are connected to the solar charge controller with the help of a quick disconnect Wire Harness SAE Connector. The negative of the solar charge controller is directly connected to the negative connection of the battery while the positive goes through a fuse block before connecting the positive of the battery.
The negative connections from switch, voltage display ,USB ports and battery charge meter is connected via a medium 14 gauge wire to the battery negative. The positives are connected to the battery through the fuse block. The 12 volt port is on its own fuse so it gets separate wires in the medium 14 gauge. The positive of the 12V Battery Charger is connected to the fuse while the negative is connected to the battery.
The batteries are placed on platform of the cart facing opposite directions so that positive and the negative terminals are near the plywood backboard where the components are attached.
The battery connection cables are cross connected to create a parallel 12 volt configuration careful to ensure the block cable connected only to minus terminals at both ends and the red cable connected only to plus terminals at both ends.
Next step is the orientation of the solar panels. As you probably know the sun is lower in the sky in the winter higher in the summer. In the winter, the days are also shorter as you really want to optimize for winter to get as much energy as you can when the days are short. Since my panels are fixed, we want to point them due south and angle them for the winter sun. There are tables you can find online that can give you a pretty good idea of the right vertical angle for your geographical location.
In the summer the sun is pretty much straight overhead, so the panels are optimal when laying flat. The angle panels are their most productive in the depth of the winter losing a little each day until the height of the summer as the sun is further off the winter angle. Meanwhile, the flat panels are less efficient in the winter because the sun is at a low angle but gaining each day as the sun gets higher in the sky.
- How to build a Simple Homemade Wind Generator from Old Ceiling Fan ,Microwave Oven Parts ,Old TV Antenna and other free junkThis project goes over the build of a homemade wind generator built from random junk ceiling fan ,microwave oven transformer ,office chair, an old piece of a TV tower, and some random electrical stuff. The blades are also from an old ceiling fan .It is extended with some wood and fibreglass on it to make it stronger. A scrap piece of pipe is attached as a shaft to the hub of the turbine. An office chair frame which can move freely is welded to the pole/post of the turbine. This is welded to an old TV Tower. 4 magnets are glued on the hub. The frame of an old microwave oven transformer is cut .Its core is exposed and that is welded onto the brackets. The magnets pass over the transformer core and induction takes place creating electric current. We can use that current to charge a battery or to power lights or whatever. A multi transformer setup would generate more power. We hook up a rectifying diode to convert from AC to DC and some capacitors which can even out the voltage and give us direct current. Also a diode to block the current from the battery to go up back up to the generator. This set up can charge small batteries. A piece of sheet metal is welded onto the bracket of the ceiling fan. Four magnets are spaced apart and aligned along their respective poles in north-south directions and glued to the bracket using 2 part epoxy. To generate more wattage from the wind generator ,we use an old 120V DC lawnmower motor. Because we have multiple poles, we have magnets that are really close to the armature, this is a way better motor to use. The only downfall of this is that it has brushes, eventually it's the brushes are going to wear out, you probably get a few years out of it before you need to replace those. This motor would probably put out about 100 watts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k8aHz6xlXg
- How to build a Homemade Micro Wind Turbine for under $50 that can be mounted anywhereThis project goes in the detail on how to build a mini wind turbine..The wind turbine is a nice addition to your solar generator system for times when it’s cloudy and you are not receiving as much sunlight as you normally First step is to build some cheap PVC blades, what kind of motor we're going to be using and how we're going to attach this to the motor. We are making six blades or rotors here.What we want to do is we want to cut our PVC pipe to length first. Once you've got it cut to length, then you want to take your your straight edge again and and Marco line down the center and cut it in half. Make sure that you do that on both sides. One on this side, one on this side. And that they're perfectly in the middle so that you'll get two even sides. We need to cut a small little block down at the blade end, where we are going to put a drill hole and put a screw through it so that it attaches to the hub.On the top of the blade, we're going to cut away some of the material to resemble a swept wing, kind of at an angle. These are 14 inch long blades that is attached to the hub using set screws attached to the motor. The 12V motor used here is a 300 RPM geared motor which would be its maximum speed and it produces 600 milliamps when its fully loaded. The motor is placed inside a One and half inch PVC pipe ,another PVC Tee is connected from where the wires will down to the bottom where another 7 foot pipe that act as the tower or pole. The end of the pole goes into a shower drain which is then attached to piece of wood that acts a solid base. For the YAW system at the back end,a tail vane is made of a cheap flashing material that is bolted between an 8 inch piece of PVC.Put a hole through the middle of it with a bolt in between so that it can't move anywhere. We use an an old OSB for the base, size is about seven inches square. And then I just have a piece of treated lumber on the bottom. It's attached to this ball bearings so it can spin around. The Shower drain PVC is placed in the middle through some ball bearings. Route the wiring down through the hole for to connect to the charge controller. Next step is the wiring through the piping.We just need to connect these terminals to the appropriate sides of the motor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UZ2WtXlVoc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjHW78bMUoY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7a9RSzZKcE
- 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