Here's a Link to another Instructable of mine: All You Need To Know About LEDs

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.

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ClaudioDonate3 months ago

Just to get an idea. For a 40W load (almost nothing) I'll have to spend 400 dollars? Did a I get that right?

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...

Can you supply a link to that please? I'm interested...

theedisoneffect (author)  ClaudioDonate3 months ago

Before answering your question. I would like to clarify a few things:

1. Is your apartment load only 40W?

2. What are the specifications of the Solar Panel, Battery, Inverter, etc which could have been bought using 400 dollars? Is the inverter output only 40W.

BTW there are places/ shops where you can get all the parts for really cheaper prices.

billbillt3 months ago

double plus good.....

theedisoneffect (author)  billbillt3 months ago

If you like this instructable do vote,favourite and share it! Thanks for viewing.

got my votes...

billbillt2 months ago

thanks for this... helps..

Dan393 months 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

billbillt Dan392 months ago

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

theedisoneffect (author)  Dan393 months 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.

daenergymon3 months ago

As a person who has lived off grid for 18 years I like this Instructable.

Use deep cycle batteries (readily available as golf cart batteries) for a much longer life and more available energy storage.

Also make sure you put a fuse or a breaker between each part as it is much cheaper to replace a fuse than a charge control or inverter.

Buy a good quality inverter as the better they are the more efficient they are. Most are around 80% efficient but cheap ones can be as low as 50% meaning you lose 50% of your power in the conversion.

andrewwinter3 months ago

I have been reading recently that Lead-Acid batteries need to be deep cycle batteries, like those in Golf-Carts and RVs. These are built to do long term discharge and recharge.

Car batteries are not useful. The reason being they are built to discharge a large change for a a very short period of time (for starting motor). Discharging more than 5% at a time can harm the life of such a battery.

theedisoneffect (author)  andrewwinter3 months ago

Nowdays you do get 'Deep Discharge' lead acid batteries which can be used for this application. You also get specialised 'Inverter' Lead Acid Batteries which are meant to power your inverter.

That's right! The ones intended for running the lights etc in a RV for example. The salesman should know!

There are deep-cycle 12v batteries that are sold for boating use that are designed to be heavily discharged.. they are a standard size.....

Ideally they do, but thats not to say you cant use car batteries. Just understand the limitations. Its impossible to have a perfectly efficient solar system, there are losses at every step. A deep cycle battery just reduces the losses, just like not using an inverter will (if its possible). Eg if you want to charge a laptop there is no point using an inverter, you might aswell get a 12v car charger for said laptop as it will charge more efficiently.

slew13 months ago

I live in a mobile home, can I do this there? And how much energy can I get out of one, what can I run off of it?

eruger slew13 months ago

You can do this anywhere that your panels can be angled to get lots of exposure (point them at the equator) and where it won't cause a problem with your neighbors. Obviously, if you rent you would have to check with the owner.

alzie3 months ago

I just wish the management would let us put them up!

theedisoneffect (author)  alzie3 months ago

For the sake of this planet, I really hope they do. If you like this instructable do vote,favourite and share it! Thanks for viewing.

This sounds great!

theedisoneffect (author)  Penolopy Bulnick3 months ago

If you like this instructable do vote,favourite and share it! Thanks for viewing.

xyrth3 months ago

How does your solar system prevent back feeding past the meter?

xyrth xyrth3 months ago

I know this comment is easy to overlook -- but it is critical in a solar system hooked up to your breaker panel, and important for your power company to know that you're back feeding power through their system and will potentially hurt or kill their employees when they perform maintenance. It needs to be addressed, and sorted out.

miguipda3 months ago


first of all thanks for this useful instructables.

One of my main problem is to know how to quantify the needed panel (watts) and Charge controller when we add the used connected systems.

By example if I want to just use panels to connect my router (on which an external harddrive is also connected to) and foscam cameras how could I know the requested panel (watts) and the controler charger specifications ?

How could we then calculate the consumption ?

Sincerely thanks and have a nice day,

Miguipda ;-)

theedisoneffect (author)  miguipda3 months ago

Hi, you can calculate the size of the required solar panel (Watts) and charge controller using the 9th step. Heres a link to it If you want the wattage of the charge controller, simply multiply its Voltage and Current. If you like this instructable do vote,favourite and share it! Thanks for viewing.