I probably dont have to explain the purpose of the solar panel, but thats where the electricity comes from. I am not sure about this, but I heard that one of the newest types of solar panels out there is the monocrystalline. I like it very much because it is small and it produces a lot of power. It may look big in the picture, but it is actually the exact same size as a 8x11 piece of printer paper.
Step 1: The Solar Panel Mount and Wiring
Also in the other picture is my connection to the solar panel using a waterproof connector. Inside the red box is simply where I had to make other connections to the wire going into my room. The grey wire you see is meant to be used underground as it has 2 insulating layers on it. Also in the other picture, is the pole the panel is mounted on which is about 6 1/2 feet tall.
Step 2: The Charge Controller And Wiring
Then there is my charge controller. The red LED indicates power coming in from my solar panel and the green one indicates that my battery is connected. The wires below the charge controller connect to the following (from left to right) : The tan ones come from my solar panel after it goes through the switch, the 2 black ones in the middle go to my battery, and the black one to the far right actually has 2 smaller wires in it and it connects any loads that I have.
The good thing about this charge controller is that it monitors the input voltage and if the panel produces too much electricity for the battery to handle, then it shuts it off. It also has protection for the loads so when you pull too much electricity from the battery, it will disconnect the loads.
Step 3: The Battery Box
The box is made out of old scrap wood I got from the back of our kitchen cabinets when we remodeled our kitchen.
Everything on top of the battery box is labeled so hopefully you will be able to understand what it does.
And sorry but for some reason my image notes arent working at all so I will have to explain the pictures here.
In the first 3 pictures you can see the top of the battery box. It is hinged and the lid houses all of the switches. plug-ins, and some wiring. The rest of the wiring is tucked behind the battery inside the box. On the top of the lid you can see the switch labeled "battery" which completely disconnects the battery from the charge controller. Beside that is two plug-ins that are 12v and the switch under them turns both of them off. And the small red dots indicate the (+) positive terminal. The same thing happens to the two RCA plugs, they are 5v and the switch shuts both of them off. But with the RCA pluge, the center is the (+) positive terminal and the outside is (-) negative. The small toggle switch to the left of the meter controls what the meter reads.
If you were wondering what the flexible dryer vent is for, it is to help vent the battery in order to get rid of the gasses it produces. There is a fan inside the vent and you can see the switch that turns it on and off right below the 12v cigarette lighter socket.
Step 4: The Inverter
And finally in the last picture, you see 2 plug-ins connected (yes this is 12v not 110) and they go to 2 LED light strips (see my other instructables) and thats what I use to light my room at night. In the next sep I will show you some of the other loads I have created to run off of this system.