Make Your Own Photovoltaic Off-Grid System





Introduction: Make Your Own Photovoltaic Off-Grid System

In this project I will show you how I combined a 100W solar panel, a 12V 100Ah battery, a solar charge controller, an inverter and many complementary components to reconstruct the electrical wiring inside my garage and create a photovoltaic off-grid system. Let's get started!

Step 1: Watch the Video!

The video gives you all the information you need to create your own photovoltaic off-grid system. During the next steps though I will present you additional information to make the project easier to replicate.

Step 2: Order the Components!

Here you can find a parts list with example sellers.

Home Improvement Store:

NYM-J wire, JY(St)Y wire, LS-FL wire, wire clips, M16 installation conduit, junction boxes, light switch, sockets, wago terminals

100W Solar Panel:

Solar wire + MC4 connectors:

Solar Charge Controller:

12V 100Ah Battery:

Battery terminals:


Reed switch:

LED strip:

100W Solar Panel:

Solar wire + MC4 connectors:

Solar Charge Controller:

12V 100Ah Battery:

Battery terminals:


Reed switch:

LED strip:

Step 3: Do the Wiring!

Here you can find the wiring plan along with reference pictures of my setup. Feel free to recreate my wiring but be careful when working with the inverter output since it can create 230V AC. And if something like this is your first electrical wiring project then it is always a good idea to get some help from a professional because a faulty wiring can lead to a fire hazard and other problems.

Step 4: Success!

You did it! You just created your own photovoltaic off-grid system!

Feel free to check out my YouTube channel for more awesome projects:

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for news about upcoming projects and behind the scenes information:



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can you do a video on building a dog solar charge controller

'd be interested to hear your thoughts on how I could achieve these same results but without the battery. Using a 12v panel to directly power the 12v LED's when there was enough sun to do so, and as the sun sets, have them gradually dim until they turn off. A "solar skylight" type of setup.I imagine it would be easy to destroy the led's with high amperage if it was not done properly. There are many people here who know more about electricity than I do, so I figure I'd ask.

Open circuit voltage on a 12v panel might be 22V, calculate current for that. What is the max current your led can take? Calculate R(resistance) = V / A (ohms law). Power of the resistor, Watts = V x A (the more powerful resistors are basically bigger in physical size)

You will definitely require current limiting resistors in your set up else you risk burning your LEDs. The frequent erratic highs and lows of the sun intensity may cause a burnout to the LEDs but a current limiting resistor while reducing the chances of but out will also work as a potentiometer.

I would probably leave the voltage at 12v instead of converting it if all you want is light. Plenty of 12v led lights that will allow for less power drain on battery

Definitely, all sorts of things run off 12V these days. More efficient and safer.

Funny actually. Since long ago, many gadgets gave run off 12volts DC supply without we the users knowing it. The transistor radios, gramophone records, amplifiers are 12vots DC obtained from 240volts AC rectification.

I read up quite on the "war between Direct Current and Alternating Current" for transmission. AC won the war.

AC is safer, it doesn't sustain an arc as much. DC is still used eg NZ cook straight transmission is DC, it doesn't lose power to capacitance with the ocean like ac would.

I don't mean to pick (sorry, solar is my job :) you shouldn't run a 400W or larger inverter off the load output of the solar controller which is rated at 20A. 400W continuous inverter might surge to 800W, which is 66A from the 12V supply.

A 100Ah battery won't reliably run an inverter over 240W.

Re an earlier question, house mains sockets at 240V are rated at 10A typically. That's 2400W for one outlet... Don't even think about wiring a 600W or 400W inverter to this, it will end in tears! Use appropriate circuit breakers or fuses.

Please my question: What amperage of 12volts AGM deep cycle battery would you size appropriately for a 100 watts solar panel with 20 amps 12/24 volts solar charge controller?

I had used a 18mah AGM that didn't last three months.