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The pop-up solar generator SunZilla is a renewable energy source that is portable and modular. It’s a plug-and-play system that is easy to set up and doesn’t need any experts to be built from scratch. Its modularity makes it possible to adapt the system to your energy needs, especially when they change over time. We provide you all the necessary information to build and assemble a SunZilla system on your own. For the moment, there are still components in the system that are not open source, and these have to be bought off the shelf. We are working on to find open source solutions for these different parts. You are very welcome to help us. We want to empower people by providing modular and open source micro energy solutions. We all know that renewable energy sources make people more independent, but we are also convinced that they are key to decentralized and truly democratic energy production and consumption. We believe that energy grids can be built from the bottom up, step by step.

SunZilla 3.0 is easy to set up and decommission.

Here's a photo of our team at POC21 with our previous prototype, SunZilla 2.0 (not documented here):


SunZilla 3.0's design is published under the CERN Open Hardware License


SunZilla 3.0 Technical details:

  • Solar peak Power: 140W
  • Maximum AC-output of pure sinus inverter: 350W (700W peakload)
  • Effective battery storage: 600 Wh

Examples of what you can do with it:

  • Solar peak power: 140W
    • Sunny day
      • charging 25 Smartphones continiuosly
      • running one small fridge (60l) AND 2-3 Notebooks • running a water pump and purification 200L /d
    • Cloudy day
      • charging 10-15 smartphones
      • running one small fridge OR 2 Notebooks
    • running a water pump and purification 80-100L/d
  • AC Output
    • Maximum AC-output of pure sinus inverter: 350W (700W peakload)
      • Running light for 8 rooms
      • Charging 25-30 Smartphones at the same time
  • Battery storage
    • effective storage capacity: 600Wh
      • charging arround 100 Smartphones
      • using 4 Notebooks during 6 hours
      • lighting 4 rooms for 4 hours
      • cooking 1⁄2 hours with one portable electrical cooking stove
  • time to fully charge battery when empty
    • Sunny day
      • around 5h when no other consumption
      • around 10h when charging around 10 Smartphones at the same time
    • Cloudy day
      • around 10-12h consumption
      • around 20h when charging 10 smartpohnes at the same time

Step 1: What you're building

When complete, the system consists of:

  • 1 Battery-Box
  • 1 Solar Box
  • 1 Inverter / Socket Box

We used Euro norm boxes as containers for the different parts. They're easy to transport, come in a range of standardized sizes, and can be stacked on top of each other. Here we use the 1/4 and 1/8 box. For future prototypes we will design the housing boxes by ourselves, keeping the main dimensions of the Euro norm boxes.

<p>Hi, very nice project ! We took the liberty to add your project to our repository of projects using the CERN Open Hardware Licence:</p><p><a href="http://www.ohwr.org/projects/cernohl/wiki/CernOhlProjects" rel="nofollow">http://www.ohwr.org/projects/cernohl/wiki/CernOhlP...</a></p><p>Don't hesitate to keep in touch to update us on your project.</p><p>Kind regards,</p><p>David Mazur </p>
<p>Congratulations. I do suggest you to put a home install example.With 12V lights as an auto caravan and a normal family use, including AC. With links (ads too) to the 12V gadgets, lights, refrigerators, all what you would need at a new home or if you want to transform part or all of it by steps.</p><p>And after a while,some video with cases for new houses, total transformation and partial transformations.</p><p>With a SAVING COSTS CALCULATOR.Because people will buy this mostly because it is CHEAPER or they are isolated and need it, not environment improvement and those things</p>
How much it? Pleasse
<p>Bravo!! hold on Good work! </p><p>Good Solutions 4 better world :)</p>
<p>I would like to see the programming part. I'm doing something similar, with the goal of using the solar panels to power a raspberry pi and some accessories.</p>
<p>We are working on it, but it will some time because we are focussing on the use cases and finding users for next year, at the moment. To adapt our regulation/ control mechanism and the visualisation based on it. How far are you with your system? And how is your basic design? Do you have a storage, etc.? </p>
<p>Right now, it's everything very simple. I got some cheap solar panels with 36v, regulated them down to 12V with a buck regulator, so I could buy a cheap solar battery controller (controllers for 36V are EXPENSIVE).</p><p>From there, I send it to a small battery, and the load right now is another buck from 12v to usb. It's a raspberry pi with a webcam, running motionEye, to take pictures of the birds that visit my garden. I would like to do more, but I don't know how. That's why I asked about bringing info from the solar panels to the Raspberry Pi.</p>
<p>Hi guys, greetings from OSE Germany. Great project !!! We are working on a similar thing, a solar storage with BMS for LiFePo4-batteries, called &quot;solarbox&quot;. It is still not well documentated yet but you can see a picture here: </p><p>http://makeable.de/mlab/makeable/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/mf15_7991.jpg</p><p>And guess what, we use the same inverter (victron phoenix 350/12) ;)</p>
<p>Hey case06,</p><p>Thanks a lot. How far are you with your project and what is your approach? What do you want to use it for? Would be cool to exchange some more ideas about the projects. We are also discussing the change to Li-Ion batteries for some time already, but didn't until now due to small variety and availability on the retail market.</p>
Hello Sunzillas ;) I have a working prototype which i am running for testing since a few months in a production environment (i am an organic farmer).<br><br>The core-piece of the Solarbox is the Solar-BMS from Dacian aka Electrodacus, another OpenSource-project, see http://www.instructables.com/id/Low-cost-OffGrid-solar-energy/<br><br>I just wanted to start with making a detailed project-documentation-page, but to give you an overview i just uploaded some pics to my blog and made a blog-entry, see http://makeable.de/blog/?p=434 (in german)<br><br>I would love to talk with you and share ideas about the projects, because both seem to point towards the same direction and are somehow compementary.<br><br>I send you an PM with my contact data.<br><br><br>
<p>One note about running the notebooks is that they will also charge and work at the same time. Charge during the day and then use at night.</p><p>These units would be great to have in South Florida where a hurricane will knock out the electrical lines but then the sun comes out afterwards. I was considering some kind of mobile emergency vehicle to drive around and let people charge their phones. This would be ideal.</p><p>A great market would be with the Salvation Army and the Red Cross and others that go into disaster areas and provide hot meals, etc. With this they could offer a dozen AC outlets for charging phones and laptops.</p><p>Next project is to make it more of a transformer so it unfolds without assistance maybe from what was a bicycle or motorcycle... (joke)</p>
<p>That is actually one of our main use cases for the future. As mentioned before we stopped to include wheels to our system because they restrict it. And in case you really need something rolling, they are easy to add.</p>
<p>Further idea: motorhomes often mount solar panels on the roof but some don't have much free space and a camper van would not. However, batteries are onboard and a plug is used to connect shore power to the unit.</p><p>Being a bit underpowered with electrical know how, I would find it interesting if you had an adapter from the panel that would plug into the electrical connections existing in the RV or camper. </p><p>I guess just running a connection from the panels to the power box where DC power could be attached would be all that is needed assuming all of the converters, inverters and diverters are build into the vehicle.</p>
<p>This is great! I've been envisioning something closer to this, but not sure if it is possible:</p><p><a href="https://indd.adobe.com/view/20915b69-73a3-47b6-b520-7db384907f22" rel="nofollow">https://indd.adobe.com/view/20915b69-73a3-47b6-b52...</a></p>
<p>Well, that is definitly possible. A different approach though. It has a super restricted use case, but for sure it always depends on what you want to do with it. And if you only or mainly want to charge phones then this seems to be perfect</p>
<p>Stay away from LI type batteries! Way too dangerous! They can and do EXPLODE! charging/discharging cycles and HEAT MUST be monitored at all times!</p><p>For Lead Acid battiers add a &quot;Bill Roth's design, Desulfator&quot; - a net gain in votage by regeneration of the Suffuric acid ions,. This one is $ 10.75 <a href="http://www.ebay.com/itm/Free-Shipping-12-Volts-Lead-Acid-Battery-Desulfator-Assembled-Kit-/271744194604?hash=item3f4537582c:g:xPUAAOSw1vlUukpt" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.com/itm/Free-Shipping-12-Volts-Lead-Acid-Battery-Desulfator-Assembled-Kit-/271744194604?hash=item3f4537582c:g:xPUAAOSw1vlUukpt</a> This circuit works well, BUT both chokes (look like black electrolytic capacitors) should be replaced, with larger ones (Newark Electronics) they'll fit upright.</p><p>There are many &quot;national enquirer&quot; types out there - I have nothing to with the above items - I am making my OWN. Warning the type of FET they are using will get red hot if it loses the gate drive from NE555 timer! Mine uses a Microchip Microprocessor and DIFFERENT FET. AE6JI.com LEHenson.com 704-470-9020 Any Day 8 am to 8 pm EST.</p><p>The other thing that is also needed is an automatic East- West tilt/tracker - easily. Working on a microprocessor based RTC for a yearly program as well as the rougher analog sensor normally used.</p>
<p>Stay away from gasoline! It can and does explode.... under certain circumstances. Some types of lithium-ion batteries can spontanseously combust if overheated or overcharged, but there are many types, and modern designs of the dangerous types include fail-safe diconnects. LiFePo batteries are much harder to ignite, and even lead-acid batteries can explode if misused badly enough.</p>
<p>Instead of putting it on a bike or motorcycle, how about attaching it to the base, add wheels and haul it around as a trailer! </p>
<p>Hmmm...</p><p>Moving forward from my previous comment.</p><p>This definitely needs to be made mobile with wheels etc so it can be taken to places where needed. Maybe as an add on to a three wheel bicycle or motor cycle. Often in South Florida such mobility would add to its value as powerlines and trees are knocked down and block the road. Having this unit on a motorcycle would make it more usable where needed.</p>
<p>Great work ! cool !</p><p>Nice day to this project !</p>
<p>Long live open source sustainability &mdash; SunZillas for everyone!</p>
<p>Yeah!</p>
<p>Nice Documentation guys!</p>
WoW!
<p>I really dig your design, and am thinking about making my little solar kit portable on a trailer. However the box method you show looks to be a more portable solution. anyway my rig is here. <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Power-System-with-Up-cycled-Components/">http://www.instructables.com/id/Solar-Power-System...</a> <br></p>
<p>Thank you. Nice project you have. The very first version we had also where on a car trailer. But this solution wasn't really feasible and easy to use. So we re- and re-designed the system several times. </p>
Now that you mention it a trailer would require a vehicle where as a boxed approach would be man portable and if there is a trailer even better. <br><br>I learned from your iterations. And you saved me the hassle LOL Thank you.
That looks great! How much does the whole system weigh?<br><br>Have a great day! :-)
<p>Hey Just4Fun Media,</p><p>The whole system (including heavy batteries) is about: 50 kg (divided in 3 boxes).</p><p>Nice day to you too!</p>
<p>Awesome project! Thanks for sharing!</p>

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