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Picture of Apartment Solar System
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Here's a Link to another Instructable of mine: DIY Solar+Wind House.

This is a 'Green' and eco-friendly Instructable which creates a sustainable way of living which combines the use of Solar & BATTERIES. For example, the materials/ parts used do not consume electricity inorder to function. Instead it generates Clean Electricity from the Sun. No electricity is needed when it's not in use and in stand-by mode. The entire circuit is easy to repair, individual parts can be reused and also recycled down the line.

What is a Solar System?

A Solar System is a system which converts light energy into electrical energy, stores this electrical energy and also consumes this stored energy.

Main Requirement:

Sunlight

Why Solar?

Unlike Petrol, Solar energy from the Sun is free of cost and you dont pay taxes on it. The prices of fuel will always increase, but as production of solar panels increase the price of these panels shall decrease. You can store the converted solar energy in a BATTERY. A solar system can be assembled in any OUTDOOR WORKSHOP. Solar Energy is a Green Energy, its a Renewable Source of Energy and its good for our planet. And as long as the sun shines your system will be powered.

 
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Step 1: Things You will Need

Picture of Things You will Need
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IMAGE:

  1. Solar Panel- 12V, 50W
  2. Lead Acid Battery- 12V,65Ah
  3. Charge Controller and Charge Indicator
  4. Battery Conectors (Lugs/ Ring Terminals)
  5. 2.5mm or 3mm Wire.
  6. Inverter- 12VDC to 220VAC, 400W
  7. Switch Box/ Extension Box.
  8. Power Consumption Meter.
  9. Circuit Breaker.
  10. Spanner Set.
  11. Soldering Iron & Soldering Wire
  12. Wire Cutter.
  13. Screwdriver.
  14. Multimeter.

The Parts & Tools are also available at Radioshack. The links have been attached.

  1. Solar Panel- 12V, 50W or more. Sunforce® 50-Watt Pro-Series Amorphous Solar Panel
  2. Lead Acid Battery- 12V, 32Ah or 65Ah or more. Sealed Lead-Acid Battery
  3. Charge Controller and Charge Indicator. Sunforce® Charge Controller
  4. Battery Conectors (Lugs/ Ring Terminals). Insulated Ring Terminal (16-Pack)
  5. 2.5mm or 3mm Wire. 3mm Wire
  6. Inverter- 12VDC to 220VAC, 400W or 600W.Whistler® 400W Inverter
  7. Switch Box/ Extension Box. Belkin 6-Outlet Commercial Surge Protector (10 Feet)
  8. Power Consumption Meter. Power Monitor
  9. 2 X Circuit Breaker. Circuit Breaker-15A

Tools:

  1. Spanner Set.
  2. Soldering Iron. RadioShack® Digital Soldering Station
  3. Soldering Wire High-Tech Rosin Core Silver-Bearing Solder (1.5 Oz.)
  4. Wire Cutter. RadioShack® Gauged Wire Stripper/Cutter
  5. Screwdriver. RadioShack® 6-Piece Precision Electronics Screwdriver Set
  6. Multimeter. RadioShack® 15-Range Digital Multimeter


ALTERNATIVE PARTS LIST(CHEAPER):

  1. Solar Panel- 12V, 75W Aleko 75W Solar Panel
  2. Lead Acid Battery- 12V, 35Ah Universal Power Group Sealed Lead Acid Battery
  3. Charge Controller and Charge Indicator. Solar Charge Controller
  4. Battery Conectors (Lugs/ Ring Terminals). Insulated Ring Terminal (16-Pack) Ring Terminals
  5. 3mm Wire. 3mm Wire.
  6. Inverter- 12VDC to 220VAC, 400W Whistler 400W Power Inverter
  7. Switch Box/ Extension Box. Belkin 6-Outlet Home/Office Surge Protector with 2.5 feet Cord
  8. Power Consumption Meter. ® TS-836A Plug Power Meter Energy
  9. 2 X Circuit Breaker. Siemens Q115 15-Amp 1 Pole 120-Volt Circuit Breaker

There also various other places where you can find the required parts and tools for cheaper prices. If you do know any such place/shop/online store, you can share your parts list in the comment section below. Try leaving a link to each of those parts.

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Er.RameshBishnoi made it!8 months ago

the same is running at my home..i've used my PC UPS circuit board instead of a inverter to convert 12V DC into 220v AC... Cool Idea.. :-)

Repairing-UPS-4-720x480 (1).jpg

Awesome work!

Hi, can you show me how to connect ups to solar system
Jonathanrjpereira (author)  kimnguu8 months ago
As shown in the instructable circuit layout. You can connect the ups instead of a inverter.

Hi Theedisoneffect.

you mean connect directly to Battery? i saw on Charge Controller it have Solar slot, Battery slot and Load slot.

can we use Load slot for UPS?

http://cdn.instructables.com/F94/MFYZ/HWE9TEAD/F94MFYZHWE9TEAD.LARGE.jpg

Jonathanrjpereira (author)  kimnguu8 months ago
The battery must be connected to the battery slot. The solar panel must be connected to the solar slot of the charge controller. If the load slot gives a DC output which fulfills the requirement of the input of the UPS, then I suggest you connect the input of the UPS to the load slot.

Hello,

I briefly looked through the comments here, but was unable to find anything about what the projected cost for the full (13+ panel) setup pictured would be. I know that the prices fluctuate rapidly and that material cost will vary by region.

I want to build the full setup that you have pictured in the featured image with you on the roof. Do you have any idea of what it might cost? (I'm just looking for a ballpark estimate.)

Thank you!

daenergymon2 months ago

Good to see you are putting in safety fuses. Nowadays I would I would use a charge controller that can handle higher voltages (they have them that can handle up to 600 Vdc) to simplify the wiring.

stgflores2 months ago
does it matter if the circuit breaker is for 120v and not dc
Jonathanrjpereira (author)  stgflores2 months ago

It does not matter whether AC or DC.

Circuit breakers have power ratings. That means they can withstand only a certain amount of current and voltage. So buy a CB considering its voltage,current and Power ratings.

http://www.wikihow.com/Determine-Amperage-of-Circuit-Breaker

The link is a guide to determining which CB to use.

Sorry for the late reply. If you have any more questions feel free to ask me on the comments section or on my orangeboard.

thank you for sharing your project online tonight. steve

kahrloz5 months ago
OK let's say I have a TV that needs 12v DC 2.5 amps does it mean it uses 2.5ah?

and also if a 12v battery 50ah does it mean it'll give 50amps ? how do I go about connecting my TV to my battery?
barbsman1 kahrloz4 months ago

most batteries are rated at either 10 hours or 20 hours.. so a 50Ah battery will safely give you 5 amps for 10 hours or 2.5amps for 20 hours, depending on how it is rated. Higher discharge currents can be used, however they can also shorten the life of the battery if used at higher discharge rates for extended periods of time.

Jonathanrjpereira (author)  barbsman13 months ago
Thanks
sitaifun kahrloz4 months ago

The information and calculators on this site may help:

http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/articles/battery-ar...

http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/tools/calculator-si...

http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/tools/ac-to-dc-ampe...

http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/tools/calculator-fo...

Keep in mind that for best care of your battery you don't want to deplete it beyond 50% of it's capacity, and that higher amp loads will reduce the actual effective capacity as well.

sitaifun sitaifun4 months ago

Also see their solar calculator:

http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/tools/solar-calculator.html

Jonathanrjpereira (author)  sitaifun3 months ago
Thanks for the constructive advice.
Jonathanrjpereira (author)  sitaifun3 months ago
Thanks for sharing these calculator's.
Dan391 year ago

nice article, thanks

omg the price of that solar panel from radioshack is OUTRAGEOUS! i get 120 watt flexible panels, near the same size, for that same price...

same thing with the battery. wow a lot of this radioshack stuff is just crazy priced. i get 100ah AGM batteries from deka for cheaper

shortw Dan399 months ago

Check sams club for batteries, you get over 200Ahr for about $85.

kahrloz shortw5 months ago
really?
Dr.Bill shortw8 months ago

That's worth joining Sam's Club

Check out Harbor Freight for the solar cells... It seems they are pretty reasonable there....

Dr.Bill billbillt8 months ago

Harbor Freight stuff. God. Always something goes wrong with Harbor Freight stuff. Their panels are only 15 watts each on a good day.

Jonathanrjpereira (author)  Dan391 year ago

Yes I will be posting a cheaper alternative list for all those parts. You can get cheaper reliable parts also in various other places and shops. If you like this instructable do vote, favourite and share it! Thanks for viewing.

michaelgc9 months ago

Thanks for the idea, I keep thinking about calling up one of those companies that help with this sort of thing but they are really expensive.

Jonathanrjpereira (author)  michaelgc6 months ago

Hope this instructable helped then.

shortw9 months ago

At THINGS TO REMEMBER # 3,

you said lead acid has to be replaced every year?

You do not replace lead acid in any battery.

Jonathanrjpereira (author)  shortw6 months ago

Yes, I made the changes. Jus to clarify its the battery water that has to be replaced

wow great Job!

Jonathanrjpereira (author)  paolobertoncin6 months ago

Thanks

shortw9 months ago

Item # 6 inverter) is not really a inverter. It is a UPS.

Jonathanrjpereira (author)  shortw6 months ago

I suggest if an inverter is not available, you can use a UPS.

inverter is to convert the low voltage dc to usable ac while UPS is an uninterruptible power supply it means when the main line is out this UPS will automatically switch on.. see the difference

inverter is to convert the low voltage dc to usable ac while UPS is an uninterruptible power supply it means when the main line is out this UPS will automatically switch on.. see the difference

shortw9 months ago

You can not use just any circuit breaker.

The breaker has to be DC rated and not be rated for AC use, that is against code and you may burn your home down since it may never trip at the right amperage.

Jonathanrjpereira (author)  shortw6 months ago

I will add a breaker after the inverter.

the block diagram shows the breaker is in the dc side after the solar.. i suggest it should have also a breaker after the inverter to safety the inverter.

NRG4UandMe7 months ago

You should mention the 'deep cycle' batteries that are better suited to this application.

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