Having alternative energy as one of my hobbies, I've recycled an old bedside cabinet to be used as a solarpowered energy-backup. This project is low-budget and most of the materials are recycled.
At the moment it is only solar charged using 3 12 Volt 1,5 Watt trickle charger solarpanels (no charge controller needed), but I hope to upgrade it to solar and wind power with a charge controller. The key here is just that I've not found a sutable schematic yet to build a charge controller. Sugestions are welcome...
Step 1: Solar setup
This is the set-up of the solar panels. I've fixed them to an old drying rack which is hanging on the balcony of my condo. Three of the panels are connected to the cabinet, one is trickle charging a separate battery. Despite the fact that my balcony is facing east, the yield is enough to charge the battery which is used to charge my cellphone or play the built-in carradio.
Step 2: Battery setup
The solar energy goes through the bottom to the battery. At the moment of the photo two 12 Volt battery-packs are connected. Because the panels are trickle chargers, a charge controller is not needed (yet).
Step 3: Finished cabinet...... so far.
The cabinet is finished for so far. I can use it to charge cellphones, play a carradio using the old speakers and even power 220 Volt devices using a 150 Watt inverter. In future upgrades I'll try to build a charge controller and a small windturbine.
I hope to have the schematic for this cabinet made soon, so I can past it to this instructable.
Have fun and remember to tune these things to as little smoke as possible.