Building a Micro Solar Generator

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Introduction: Building a Micro Solar Generator

This is a little solar generator i made for camping and fishing. It could come in handy in a power outage as well.

supplies needed:
1.26w weather proof solar panel $30.00 (cabelas)
12v 7.5amp rechargeable sealed lead-acid battery $30.00 (radioshack)
12v socket $11.00 (walmart)
cooler $8.00 (walmart)
nuts/bolts $2.00 (walmart)
wire plugs $2.00 (walmart)
super glue $1.00 (dollar store)

TOTAL: $84.00
w/tax around $90.00

tools needed:
drill
utility knife
screw drivers
wire cutters

Step 1: Cutting Wires and Holes

I made no exact measurements for wire length, just guestimation. using a tape measurer i centered the panel on the lid and used the 12v socket for the hole pattern on the side. On the lid I drilled 5 holes, 4 for the panel to mount to the lid and 1 for the panel wire.

Step 2: Assembly

First I bolted the panel to the lid and ran the wires throw, because of the uneven surface on the underside larger holes were made to make access to the nuts to be placed in the hollow cavity of the lid.
Next the 12v socket was threaded into place.
super glue was applied to the nuts and the 12v socket threading to insure vibration would not cause any thing to come loose.
After the glue set I crimped the wires from the panel and the 12v outlet to quick disconnect tabs.
the final step was dropping in the battery and plugging in the wires.

Step 3: Testing

Plugged in the power inverter and a lamp with a compact fluorescent bulb to test it out.

Step 4: Accessories

I added a few Accessories.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me at:
dale_humphrey_jr@hotmail.com

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    46 Comments

    This time I'll use Inplix instructions to make it by myself.

    You can tell it's an old plan because it says to get something at RadioShack.

    Hi,

    Please confirm, you are using a 1.2watt panel to charge 12v battery. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    I know this is an older post but instead of using a power inverter to run a lamp you could just wire up an older halogen head light from a car still available at your local parts stores for around $10.00 and it would also put off some heat.

    It would draw to many amps to run a halogen for very long. You would be better off pulling in a strand of 12 LED lights. Way less power consumption.

    Since you are using a lead battery, don't you want to put some additional ventilation in to allow hydrogen gas produced during the charge to escape the container?

    And also, to control overcharge you can buy an inexpensive solar charge controller off ebay for like $10.

    12 volt batteries need a head voltage to charge fully ( you car charges at 13.5-14 volts)
    So it will not over charge if the proper panel voltage is applied. The panel likely has a rectifier so that it does not discharge when the sun goes down.

    Very good project! I was a bit concerned about battery voltage back feeding into the solar panel. Then I went to Cabelas web site and found out that the panel has blocking diodes. Nice Job!