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:


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.

Step 1: Things You will Need


  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


  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


  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.

<p>Have you made your own <strong>Apartment Solar System</strong>? I want to see it!</p><p>Share a picture of your version of this project in the comments below and be awarded a <strong>3-month Pro Membership</strong> on Instructables.com &amp; a <strong>digital patch</strong>.</p><p>3-month Pro Memberships remaining: <strong>2/2</strong></p>
<p>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.. :-)</p>
<p>Awesome work!</p>
Hi, can you show me how to connect ups to solar system
As shown in the instructable circuit layout. You can connect the ups instead of a inverter.
<p>Hi Theedisoneffect.</p><p>you mean connect directly to Battery? i saw on Charge Controller it have Solar slot, Battery slot and Load slot.</p><p>can we use Load slot for UPS?</p><p>https://cdn.instructables.com/F94/MFYZ/HWE9TEAD/F94MFYZHWE9TEAD.LARGE.jpg</p>
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.
OK let's say I have a TV that needs 12v DC 2.5 amps does it mean it uses 2.5ah?<br><br>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?
<p>Your TV will draw 2.5 amps, and i can be hooked dirrectly to the 50ah battery, the TV will only take what it wants, it will not get the full 50 amps. Just like a car stereo.</p><p>Tp</p>
<p>it means that you can use your tv for 20 hours. 50ah / 2.5 = 20h</p>
thanks, I finally did my own setup. works like a charm
<p>Awesome. Do share some pics of it in the I made it section.</p>
<p>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. </p>
<p>The information and calculators on this site may help:</p><p><a href="http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/articles/battery-articles/what-does-20-amp-hr-rate-mean-.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/articles/battery-ar...</a></p><p><a href="http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/tools/calculator-sizing-a-battery-to-a-load.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/tools/calculator-si...</a></p><p><a href="http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/tools/ac-to-dc-amperage-conversion-run-through-an-inverter.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/tools/ac-to-dc-ampe...</a></p><p><a href="http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/tools/calculator-for-load-specific-run-time.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/tools/calculator-fo...</a></p><p>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.</p>
<p>Also see their solar calculator:</p><p>http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/tools/solar-calculator.html</p>
Thanks for the constructive advice.
Thanks for sharing these calculator's.
<p>Have you made your own <strong>Apartment Solar System</strong>? I want to see it!</p><p>Share a picture of your version of this project in the comments below and be awarded a <strong>3-month Pro Membership</strong> on Instructables.com &amp; a <strong>digital patch</strong>.</p><p>3-month Pro Memberships remaining: <strong>2/2</strong></p>
<p>Have you made your own <strong>Apartment Solar System</strong>? I want to see it!</p><p>Share a picture of your version of this project in the comments below and be awarded a <strong>3-month Pro Membership</strong> on Instructables.com &amp; a <strong>digital patch</strong>.</p><p>3-month Pro Memberships remaining: <strong>2/2</strong></p>
<p>I learned on INPLIX page how to make it easy </p>
Harbor Freight <br>Mobedda-Detroit
<p>With a 400W Inverter you usually can feed what kind of devices with that project? I mean, a single battery, a single panel and so on. Of course it can be upgraded, but I'm interested in getting a inverter that has 1200W and would like to know if I can light my room, turn on a TV plus a computer or a videogame with that startup project and, yes, upgrade when I get more time and money. That project can be 'partitioned', can it not?</p>
<p>i have lots of spare LiPo around. </p><p>Do you have any idea how to obtain stable 12/24V output from MPPT and feed through PCM to charge LiPo? I know MPPT compares the PV-Battery difference and adjust the output but are there MPPT commercially available for LiPO usage?</p><p>Another idea is whether or not to connect MPPT output to a DC charger which is able to accept 12-48V input and charge up to 12s LiPo.</p>
<p>nice article, thanks</p><p>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...</p><p>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</p>
<p>Radio Shack priced themselves out the market, hence they went bankrupt. I f I need something, and its not a need right now item, I will definitely go e-bay, or Amazon, I just make sure I am buying from a USA seller, ya maybe the items are still made in China, but at least the sale $ stays here.</p><p>Tp</p>
<p>Check out Harbor Freight for the solar cells... It seems they are pretty reasonable there....</p>
<p>Harbor Freight stuff. God. Always something goes wrong with Harbor Freight stuff. Their panels are only 15 watts each on a good day.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>I could not think of where else to put this... But some gentlemen were talking at the library the other day and I have been thinking about it all along since then. They were talking about the solar panels you buy at like harbor freight and not wanting to store the power but to use it as it is made. They said they used a kit from the store and a 2 male ended plug and plugged right into the house. They said they flipped the swatch to the power turning off the incoming power from the power company then cycled the power from the solar just by plugging it in, can this be done? This was a &quot;good old boy talk&quot; I was over hearing, so I couldn't ask questions. So here I am asking. At the Makers Faire in San Mateo several years ago a gentlemen was selling plug in units the sold back power, but I was trying to see everything that day and didn't get enough info then either!! lol He has not been back since I have looked every year since!!! I don't want solar on my roof I want it to hang from my back stone wall or from a shade structure like in the parking lots. I would love for it to be plug in so I can take it with me if I move. I would love for it to feed back to the grid but if not be able to run the house without the grid.</p>
<p>Just a note on attaching any unit to your circuit breaker box, DO NOT just turn off the breaker, and plug in power to an outlet, the breaker should be removed from the box, or the wires removed from it, if the power were to go out, you stand a chance of killing the line repair crew by possibly back feeding into their wires. Doing as you say, plugging the inverter into a outlet will send power to all the outlets, etc. on that circuit, that is what I do, but I remove the breaker from the box just in case, I prefer not to kill a line man.</p><p>Good luck in your ventures, keep it safe for everyone!</p><p>Tp</p>
<p>Hello,</p><p>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. </p><p>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.)</p><p>Thank you!</p>
<p>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. </p>
does it matter if the circuit breaker is for 120v and not dc<br>
<p>It does not matter whether AC or DC.</p><p>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.</p>
<p><a rel="nofollow">http://www.wikihow.com/Determine-Amperage-of-Circuit-Breaker</a></p><p>The link is a guide to determining which CB to use.</p><p>Sorry for the late reply. If you have any more questions feel free to ask me on the comments section or on my orangeboard.</p>
<p>thank you for sharing your project online tonight. steve</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>Hope this instructable helped then.</p>
<p>wow great Job!</p>
<p>You should mention the 'deep cycle' batteries that are better suited to this application.</p>
<p>Thanks for the constructive advice</p>
<p>why 2 diodes ?? more v drop ...</p>
<p>The two diodes act as by-pass diodes . Consider two solar panels connected in series. Now let's consider what happens if one of the panels in the below diagram is shaded. Not only will that panel not be producing any significant power, but it will also have a high resistance, blocking the flow of power produced by the unshaded panel.</p><p><img alt="schematic diagram of a simple circuit with blocking and by-pass diodes" height="300" src="http://www.solar-facts.com/panels/bypassdiode.png" width="300"></p><p>This is where by-pass diodes come into play as shown in the diagram to the right. Now, if one panel is shaded, the current produced by the unshaded panel can flow through a by-pass diode to avoid the high resistance of the shaded panel. <br>By-pass diodes will not be of use unless panels are connected in series to produce a higher voltage.</p>
<p>Thanks everyone for voting for this instructable and also for favouriting it. It won the First Prize in the Green Design contest because of this.</p>
<p>Just to get an idea. For a 40W load (almost nothing) I'll have to spend 400 dollars? Did a I get that right?</p>
<p><a href="http://www.wholesalesolar.com/products.folder/module-folder/solarland/SLP020-12.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.wholesalesolar.com/products.folder/module-folder/solarland/SLP020-12.html</a></p><p>Try this place for panels...</p>
<p>There are Instructables on how to make a solar panel that will put off the same amount of Watts. Some will cost you about $40-50 to built. up to you... </p>

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm Jonathan Pereira, a novice Electronics Engineer. I like to make Almighty Brainy Buttons, Tweeting Fart Detectors, Electronic Doohickey's, Lumen Powered Thingamajigs and ... More »
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