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9 DIY Solar Generator Projects. Home made solar generator

9 DIY Solar Generator Projects. Home made solar generator

    Our Simple DIY Home Solar Power System

    But we didn’t want to lose the feel of our simple home by bringing in a large generator and the jugs of gas needed to run it, and the prospect of setting up a wind turbine or solar array seemed expensive and a technological eyesore in a natural setting.

    Editor’s Note: This article was first posted in 2012. Since then we’ve made a few upgrades to our system that are reflected in this updated version. Basically, we’ve added a couple panels and got a larger capacity charge controller, and added a battery charger to supplement the system during the darkest weeks of winter when solar power is at a minimum.

    For many years we managed to get along without the conveniences which electricity can provide, but developing Eartheasy.com using a dialup internet connection on a phone line strung through the woods was challenging, and charging my laptop became a regular necessity. A few years ago, wireless broadband was introduced to our area, and the promise of high-speed internet was the stimulus we needed to build our own reliable, affordable and simple “do-it-yourself” alternative energy system.

    …developing Eartheasy.com using a dialup internet connection on a phone line strung through the woods was challenging…

    Today, with the help of a local expert on off grid home solar power and alternative energy systems, we have the best of both worlds. Our basic solar powered energy system provides more electricity than we expected, it has been very reliable and maintenance-free, and it is almost entirely hidden from view. A solar panel on the roof with a few wires leading to a small battery bank powers my laptop, and a radio mounted on a tree for receiving the wireless broadband signal. The system also provides enough energy to charge several small power tools, run our home sound system and, amazingly, power a full-size chest refrigerator year round.

    The cost of this complete solar system, in today’s pricing for the components, was about 1200.

    Our simple home solar power system is comprised of four basic components: the solar panels, a charge controller, two 6-volt golf cart batteries and a small inverter. My son and I were able to install the system in a few hours, and there have been no maintenance issues other than checking the fluid level in the batteries every few months and cleaning the panel surfaces once in a while. Also every year or two I lift up one side of each panel to sweep out any leaves or pine needles that may have collected there.

    The cost of this complete solar system, in today’s pricing for the components, was about 1200. It should be noted that I bought the panels ‘used’ for 100 each. Many folks in our community have replaced their 123-watt panels with newer 250-watt ones, which cost about 250 each. So the 123’s were readily available and I was satisfied with the amount of energy they would provide.

    The four components are the batteries, charge controller (bottom right), inverter (top right) and battery charger (below inverter).

    The basic components of this off grid solar power system are as follows:

    Solar panels

    We have three solar panels mounted on the roof of our home: 123 watt Sharp Photovoltaic Modules, model 123UJF. The panels are equipped with permanently attached junction boxes for ease of installation of wires and conduit. For each panel, two boards are lag screwed into the roof and the solar panel is bolted to the boards using wing nuts, so it’s easy to lift if maintenance is required. The panel surfaces are about 5” above the roof surface. Two wires run from the solar panels, one is the power line and the other is a ground line. The power line runs down the roof to the charge controller, where there is a fuse. A box on the porch houses the charge controller, inverter and batteries. The ground wire runs beneath the house and is attached to a steel rod that is driven about two feet into the earth.

    Panel on roof/panel specs from back of panel

    It should be noted that the panel guidelines state that the installation of PV modules requires a “great degree of skill and should only be performed by qualified licensed professionals, including licensed contractors and licensed electricians.” We installed our system ourselves because our supplier, who is a licensed installer, gave us explicit directions and came by to inspect the installation after it was done. We suggest that you follow the recommendation as stated in the module instructions with regard to installation.

    The cost of the solar panels in today’s pricing is about 1 per watt.

    Charge Controller

    We use a Morningstar ProStar30 Charge Controller that automatically adjusts the amount of power running into the battery. The controller has a small LED light which indicates the state of charge so it’s easy to see when the batteries are fully charged or if they are becoming depleted. The light flashes green, amber or red, indicating the battery status at any given time. A digital readout shows the battery voltage level and the rate of charge coming from the panels. A quick glance at the charge controller lets us know if we have sufficient power or if we need to cut back a bit on our electricity use until the batteries are topped up again.

    The cost of the Morningstar ProStar30 Charge Controller was about 250. You can get it for around 200 today.

    Battery Bank

    Two 6-volt golf cart batteries are wired in series for a 12 volt system. Each battery is rated at 232 amp hours. The batteries are enclosed in a wooden chest with hinged lid, and the top panel of the chest is removed to provide plenty of ventilation. The battery posts and connections are kept clean, and periodically checked to ensure good connections.

    The two batteries/closeup of label

    The four components are installed in this cedar box with ventilation slot. This box doubles a bench to sit on while removing shoes.

    The cost for the two batteries was about 400.

    Inverter

    The final piece of the system is a small inverter which converts the 12 volt DC power into 120 volt AC power. This enables us to use standard electric devices without the need for adaptors. Inverters are available in a wide range of wattages for different size systems. Ours is a small inverter made by Nexxtech, rated at 300 watts, with a 500 watt surge capacity. It comes with two cables, red and black, with alligator clip ends for gripping to the battery posts. In choosing which size inverter to buy, we calculated how much power was available to our system and what devices we wanted to run. In calculating power needs, it is important to add the power requirements when two or more devices are running simultaneously.

    This is our small Nexxtech inverter.

    Our Nexxtech 300 watt inverter cost about 30.

    Backup (optional)

    This past year we added a battery charger to the system that serves as supplemental power. Running the battery charger when the batteries get low enables us to have more light and power in the darkest days of winter. The charger is in the same box with the batteries and other components. You may see in the pictures there are two extension cords coming up through the floor – these lead to our woodshed where we have a small Honda 2000 generator. To run the charger, we start the generator, plug the charger into one of the extension cords, and also plug the inverter power line into the other extension cord. The generator only needs to run for about 30 minutes to bring the batteries back up to 12.8 or higher. Then the generator is shut off, the battery charger unplugged, and the inverter power line plugged back in. This process takes only a minute or two, and the restored batteries have sufficient power till the rooftop panels start to get light the next day.

    left: Battery charger is on floor beneath inverter. right. Close-up of battery charger.

    What this system provides:

    An alternative energy system can be used to provide electric power to any number of electric devices, such as appliances, tools and computers. The bigger the system, obviously, the more power it will provide. To give you an idea of the capacity of a small system like ours, here is what we use our solar energy system to power:

    Refrigeration: This is a DC powered refrigerator, the same size as a conventional chest freezer (4’ wide). The refrigerator draws 40 watts of power and can be converted to a freezer by replacing the thermostat. Since the refrigerator is a DC model, it is wired directly to the battery, bypassing the inverter. So the refrigerator keeps running even if the inverter is turned off. Our refrigerator has been running continuously for over 8 years without any problems. Even during the dark days of winter, the solar panels provide adequate power to keep it running.

    Music: Our home has a Vers sound system which lets us use an iPod or direct cable from an iPhone or computer to deliver a rich sound while drawing relatively little power. We can run this sound system about 3 hours a day in winter, and as much as we want in summer.

    Light: The big change for our home is electric lights. We have replaced our kerosene lights with a few of these LED lights, which are only 7 watts each.

    Internet: Our solar system also provides adequate power to run a laptop computer, a tablet and to recharge cell phones. It also powers a router from so that multiple computers can be operated ‘Wi-Fi’ at the same time. In addition to the router, a small radio is installed on a tree about 300’ from our house which receives the wireless broadband and transmits the signal to the house.

    Small tools and appliances: The system also recharges small tools, such as a battery-powered driver-drill. Our system recharges the battery for this tool in about 30 minutes.

    These are the principle applications we use which are provided by the solar power system described above. However, you can use a wide variety of electric devices as needed. Today, we enjoy the benefits of our system without feeling a technological intrusion into our off-grid homestead and lifestyle. The refrigerator especially has made a big improvement in our day to day living, since storing food is so much easier. And we don’t miss the kerosene lamps.

    Bringing electricity to rural locations is something of a balancing act since we don’t want our simple lifestyle changed by too many electrical gadgets. It does require some restraint to keep things simple, but the few electric amenities we now have are most appreciated!

    About the Author

    Greg SeamanOriginally from Long Island, NY, Greg Seaman founded Eartheasy in 2000 out of concern for the environment and a desire to help others live more sustainably. As Editor, Greg combines his upbringing in the cities of New York, Boston and San Francisco with the contrast of 31 years of living ‘off-grid’ to give us a balanced perspective on sustainable living. Greg spends his free time gardening, working on his home and building a wooden sailboat with hand tools.

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    DIY Solar Generator Projects

    Solar generators, also known as solar inverters, are a great addition to a home or business. They can help power lights, appliances, and other electronics when the power grid goes down. But they’re also useful in everyday life, especially if you enjoy camping or spending time in the great outdoors. One of the easiest ways to create your solar generator is by using a solar panel, a battery, and wiring. Solar generators are a great way to power small electronics and appliances. You can build your solar generator in several ways, including using an old car battery, a deep cycle battery, or even a small solar panel. Some people prefer to build their setup, while others buy pre-built kits.

    Solar generators are a great way to have off-grid power, but they can be expensive. Do you want to make your solar generator and create a sustainable power source for your home or office? You’re not alone. With so many cheap and easy DIY solar generator projects these days, it’s easier than ever to get off the grid and start generating energy from the sun! Save money, lower your carbon footprint and learn how solar panels work by building your own DIY solar generator projects. This collection of solar generator projects will show you how to build your solar panels and power your home with free energy from the sun.

    These 9 DIY solar generator projects are perfect for powering up your outdoor adventures, and many don’t require much more than sunshine.

    Benefits Of DIY Solar Generator Projects

    DIY solar generator projects are a great way to start solar energy. If you’re looking for an easy and affordable way to save money on your electric bill, you should consider doing DIY solar generator projects.

    The benefits of DIY solar generator projects include:

    Affordable – One of the biggest benefits of DIY solar generators is that they are quite affordable compared to other alternative energy sources. You can purchase used parts from websites like eBay and Craigslist or use recycled materials to build your alternative energy source.

    Easy To Build – Another benefit of DIY solar generator projects is their easy construction. Most people who have built a homemade solar generator were able to do so within one day or less.

    No Maintenance Required – Another benefit of homemade solar generators is that they do not require maintenance like other forms of alternative energy, such as wind turbines or hydroelectric turbines.

    solar, generator, projects, home, made

    How To Build A Solar Generator

    Did you know that the sun can power your home? This is possible by using a solar generator kit. You need to buy the components you will use to connect and form a complete system that generates electricity. This guide will teach you how to build the best solar generator to power an entire house. Using the right tools and materials, you can easily set up an independent source of electricity that will last for several years.

    Once you have acquired everything you need and constructed your frame, assembly can begin.

    First, mount the solar panels onto the frame and connect them to the charge controller using appropriate wiring.

    Next, connect the battery bank to the charge controller followed by connecting the inverter to both the battery bank and any devices you wish to power.

    With these steps complete, your DIY solar power generator should be up and running!

    As a solar power expert, I encourage experimentation with customization options for your solar power system such as adding more batteries or upgrading your panel wattage output capabilities.

    These modifications can take some trial-and-error but ultimately will result in better performance for meeting specific needs.

    So don’t hesitate to start exploring!

    Customization Options For Your Solar Power System

    When it comes to building your own solar power generator, there are a variety of customization options that you can consider.

    One popular option is adding more batteries to increase the storage capacity of your system. This means that you will be able to store more energy and use it when needed, even during periods of low sun exposure. Additionally, you can choose from different types of batteries such as lead-acid or lithium-ion depending on your needs and budget.

    Another way to customize your solar power generator is through the type and size of solar panels used in the system. You can opt for either monocrystalline or polycrystalline panels depending on their efficiency levels and cost. Furthermore, by adding additional panels or increasing panel wattage, you can boost the overall output of your system.

    It’s important to note that larger systems require more space for installation and may also require additional hardware such as charge controllers or inverters to accommodate increased electrical loads. By taking into account these factors and working with an expert in designing your customized setup, you’ll be sure to end up with a reliable and efficient solar power generator tailored specifically for your needs.

    Conclusion

    So there you have it, folks! Building a DIY solar power generator may seem daunting at first, but the benefits are endless.

    solar, generator, projects, home, made

    Not only will it provide clean and renewable energy for your home or outdoor activities, but it also gives you a sense of independence and self-sufficiency.

    Now, I know what some of you may be thinking – ‘But I don’t have any experience with electronics or construction!’ Fear not, my friends. With the right materials and tools, as well as following our step-by-step guide, anyone can build their own solar power system.

    Trust me, the satisfaction of creating something with your own two hands is worth all the effort put into it.

    Don’t settle for relying solely on non-renewable sources of energy. Take control of your power supply by building a DIY solar power generator today.

    And who knows? You might even inspire others to do the same and contribute towards a cleaner and more sustainable future.

    How To Build A DIY Solar Generator

    Are you thinking of taking an RV trip in the great outdoors, going off-grid, or ensuring you have a reliable power supply in case anything ever happens to our power grid? Then a solar power generator should be at the top of your wish list. Solar generators, often called solar energy stations, are fully-functional power grids you can carry around in a suitcase.

    These generators are an excellent source of eco-friendly green energy that can effectively power all your electronic devices and systems if you set them up correctly. Numerous advantages come with setting up a solar generator as a Do-It-Yourself project. For one, you can customize your setup and be sure you’ll get all the power you need in any situation.

    In this piece, we’ll take a closer look at all you need to build your effective solar-generating unit.

    Benefits of Building a DIY Solar Generator Kit

    Aside from being one of the most environmentally-friendly energy sources, a solar generator will provide reliable, consistent power at a significantly lower cost than you would have to pay for alternative energy sources such as gas-powered generators. They are very easy to assemble and use, and setting them up on your own will give you the added benefit of knowing what to do on the rare occasion that you have any trouble with the system.

    What You Need to Build a DIY Solar Generator for Home

    You will need two categories of materials to build a solar power generator. These are the solar generator kit components you will need to purchase and the consumable tools and materials you already have in your garage.

    Tools Materials Needed

    Solar Generator Kit Components

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    Consumables and Tools

    Ventilation fan and fan controllers

    Programming and diagnostic modules

    Input ports, switches, and outlets

    Zip ties and adhesive mounts

    Assorted bolts and washers

    Instructions for Assembling a DIY Solar Backup Generator

    Before anything else, you’ll need to figure out what generator you need. The power output of a DIY solar generator for your home does not need to be at the same level as a DIY solar generator for camping. Pay attention to the wattage and amperage of the generators available so that you are neither underpowered nor overpowered. You can choose between 2,000-watt, 3,000-watt, and 4,000-watt units.

    If the video doesn’t play, please visit it at YouTube.

    Estimating Your Off-Grid Solar Power Needs

    Now for the easy part. assembling your generator. If you have everything assembled, you will be able to carry out this process with relative ease. Ensure you have your goggles on before you start, and take all necessary precautions when working with power tools.

    Purchase a Solar Panel

    Your solar panels will gather energy from the sun before it is stored in your battery, so you need to ensure they can do this job effectively. Jackery SolarSaga 200W Solar Panels are a popular option for all classes of clients because they are highly effective while still being highly portable. Note that any good panels should be capable of expansion should you need more power collection capacity in the future.

    Get a Small Battery with a Battery Box

    The ideal container or box for your DIY lithium ion solar generator assembly should be highly durable, waterproof, and portable. The Jackery Explorer Portable Power Station is a great example of a solution with all these qualities. It is made from high-quality materials to last as long as you need them to and is fitted with rolling wheels to make them easily movable from one location to another. Select a battery that can be placed in different orientations since you might need to station your generator in different positions.

    Invest in an Inverter

    A 3,000 or 4,000 Watt inverter can power anything that would run off a regular 15 Amp home wall inverter, so this should be adequate for a typical home or camping setup. Jackery inverters come with heavy main fuses and 0 gauge battery cables, and mountable remote power switches for convenient operation.

    Completing and Testing your DIY Solar Generator

    Once all the internal and external components have been mounted and wired, you can pat yourself on the back because your job will be 99 percent done. As a responsible DIY enthusiast, you must test your setup before considering yourself finished. Various components will need to be tested individually. Your first step will be bringing your generator into a sunny spot. Test each of the following:

    • Charging function:Plug in the solar panels to the trailer sockets and check the display to see whether the panels absorb light energy from the sun. After this, plug in an AC extension and see if the maintainer is also holding a good charge function.
    • DC Circuit: Check this by turning the pod switch on and plugging in a USB device such as a laptop or phone to see whether they are being charged correctly.
    • GFCI AC Circuit:Make a quick check to see that the reset and power indicator lights for the GFCI sockets are on, then try out any appliance using 120 volts on it to see if it works.
    • Inverter Remote Switch: Try and turn the inverter on and off using the remote and check for confirmation on the unit’s display.

    As you test your complete project, keep yourself safe by not touching any exposed wiring directly once the power is turned on and keeping your safety boots and goggles on.

    Conclusion

    Aside from the advantages we’ve covered in this post, one of the great things about assembling a DIY solar generator kit is that you can get better performance with them than you can with store-bought assemblies. You can customize them to fit your needs perfectly, and they will last for decades at a fraction of the cost you would pay for other types of energy generation.

    If you choose to build your generator kit, follow the instructions outlined here and keep yourself at all times. For the best solar generator kit components and accessories, check out Jackery’s SolarSaga range of products for the best deals.

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