Introduction: Run Your Shed Off Grid!
Ever wanted to Be Green? Well now you can! This Instructable will show you how to Run your Shed, on a solar panel!
I Hope you enjoy my Instructable, This was one of my most enjoyable Projects! and I had good results from the little cost it has cost me.
I am not responsible for any damage to yourself or others from this 'instructable'. It is your decision to make this project. I would strongly advise to get an electrician or some in the 'know' to check out the all of your wiring.
Update: I will be hopefully showing how to install the 'ground' or 'earth' in a few months.
Step 1: Parts List
1 X 10w (or above) Photo Voltaic solar panel £33
1 X Solar Charge controller £15
2 meters of 15amp cable ( Already had)
1 X 15ah battery £20
8 X Spade connectors £1
1 X Power Inverter ( Above the wattage of the the equipment you use ) £30
2 X 13amp switched fuseways £4
1 X RCD ( Already had)
2 X 13amp wall sockets £ 4
5 meters of 23amp mains cable ( Already had)
1 X Energy saving lightbulb and Brakcet ( Already had)
Wire connectors (I used like 20!) £1
Other Items £5
Step 2: Mounting the Solar Panel
I bought a 10w Photo Voltaic solar panel. You must get photovoltaic, Nothing else!
10w is round about the starting range for solar panels. Its really depends what your going to be running in your shed.
I used two steel pipes to mount my solar panel. I attached the Pipes to the holes pre-drilled in the solar panel with m4 bolts and nuts. To mount it, I used 4, 1 inch screws with rubber washers.
Once you have done this, drill holes in your shed for the Cable, Make sure your seal them back up!
Make sure the cable from the solar panel is not being crushed.
You could also use mounting kits which I would recommend for big solar panels.
Thats really all it takes to mount it
Step 3: Charge Controller
I bought an 16A charge controller from Maplins. The charge controller really speaks for it says, attach the solar panel to where it has the picture of the solar panel and attach 15 amp cable to the battery from where the battery picture is.
My 16A charge controller is a bit of an overkill for a 10w solar panel as it only produces 1 amp, so you could go with something different..
And thats It!
Step 4: Battery and Inverter
In the Picture it is a 1.5 ah battery, My 15ah batterys had not arrived, yet to upload pictures
With the 15amp cable from the charge controller attach it to the battery then from the battery attach cables to the inverter.
Then from the inverter I have 13 amp cable going to my switched fuseways
I have the switched fuseways for safety, so if any goes wrong and I need to switch off the power (such as water leakage, thats why its in a water-proof enclosure)
As we are now handling mains voltage, I am not responsible for any damage to yourself or others whilst making the instructable.
Please note unless you are qualified to do this, It wont be true to regulations.
Step 5: Socket Outlets and Lights
From the switched fuseway, I wired an RCD and then 23amp cable to the 2 mains sockets in a ring main.
This site may help you wire it all up if you don't know how to. Belive me, its actully quite easy!
Keep the cable tidy like in the photos to avoid tripping or damage to them.
Make sure all the power is off! And make sure you have no bare wires..
Before you do this, Read the next step!
Step 6: Lights
From One of the wall sockets wire a spur off it. I used 3A twin cable to attach the lights from it. I wired a toggle switch and a 3A fuse in an enclosure for the light, although you could just buy a light switch..
For the light, I do recomend a energy saving bulb, The 60w will drain your battery 6 X faster.
Step 7: You've Finsihed!
Now you can go and test it out!
I calculated that it would take about 24hrs of sunlight to charge my 15ah battery fully.
If you use the shed for about 2-4 hrs a day the battery should never drain unless you use heavy machinary for long peroids
I hope you had fun and enjoy being off grid!