Introduction: Solar Powered Laptop, Computer Speakers, DSL-Router, Wi-Fi-Router, Network-Switch and External TV Tuner

Picture of Solar Powered Laptop, Computer Speakers, DSL-Router, Wi-Fi-Router, Network-Switch and External TV Tuner

Here is some serious project and also worth doing it. So no more issues with power-cuts usually happens a lot in India during every summer. Simply clean renewable power source all day and night. Whenever I am at home all these gadgets are turned on most of the time and all of them I connected to my 600VA UPS. Usually laptop I connect to the UPS non-battery backup surge protection port. So that even if there is a power failure, my laptop won't consume UPS battery power. So here is the power consumption per device:

Computer Speakers (4.1 Surround Speakers) 15 Watts
(being a music lover I better love speakers which are big and can produce excellent sound quality)

Laptop 35-90 Watts
(on a full charge it consumes just 35Watts but when its battery is getting charge it should consume 90Watts)

Wi-Fi Router+Wired Switch+DSL Router 10 - 15 Watts

External TV Tuner 6 Watts
(whether I turn on or off, anyway its power-adapter is on, so its the "phantom power" which is sucking power)

Total Usage: 66 - 126 Watts
UPS Load when there is power: 66 - 126 Watts
UPS Load when there is no power: 36 Watts (since laptop works on its battery)

Unfortunately I have not found any ready-made commercial solution which can specifically address this energy requirement. Either the solution is too expensive and far bigger than what is required or simply the small scale solutions which are not flexible enough if I want to upgrade or scale-up in future. So I thought let me design a clean energy solution myself.

Overall Setup before connected to Non-Renewable Power Source.

Step 1: Overall Setup After Connected to Clean Renewable Power Source

Picture of Overall Setup After Connected to Clean Renewable Power Source

Step 2: 1000W - 12V DC to 220V AC Car Inverter

Picture of 1000W - 12V DC to 220V AC Car Inverter
Bought a simple Car Inverter from the market to convert the battery power into usable 220V AC multi utility power source.

1000Watts 12V DC to 220V AC Converter Inverter
- whole kit contains
  • Inverter box
  • Connector wires with battery clips
  • Connector wire with Car Cigarette Lighter Port
  • Power socket converter
  • Instruction Manual

Step 3: 12V Old Rescued UPS Battery

Picture of 12V Old Rescued UPS Battery

Using an unused working old 12V Sealed Lead Acid Battery rescued from a faulty UPS. If needed even a new much more bigger battery can be used. Or even a old car battery would solve the purpose. Using a old battery is not a good idea, but again after-all if it solves our purpose with respect to our power needs its fine. Go-Green also means one should avoid wasting any resource or utilize the most of any resource before it is dumped.

Step 4: 12V, 10Watts X2 Solar Panels

Picture of 12V, 10Watts X2 Solar Panels
  • 2x 12Volt 10Watt Solar Panels
  • Set of Battery Clips + connecting wires
  • Blocking Diodes (31DF4)

Step 5: Soldering Wires to Solar Panels

Picture of Soldering Wires to Solar Panels

Soldered the wire leads with the blocking Diode under the Panel. After the cable connected and finally secured with cable tie to prevent snapping off the panel or even loose connection can lead into any dirty short circuits in case if it gets twisted in that black box.

Step 6: Finishing the Jig-saw Puzzle.

Picture of Finishing the Jig-saw Puzzle.

Finishing the jig-saw puzzle. As you can see the battery is connected with the solar-panel terminals and that is in turn connected to the inverter. Inverter's output is connected to the power-strip. It looks pretty messy but anyways everything can be assembled inside a cupboard later once tested.

Step 7: Powering-up

Picture of Powering-up

Finally the power-strip gets power from the inverter. In the picture you can see my wired Ethernet switch on the left side and my external TV tuner box on the right extreme end. And all these are hooked-up to the power-strip as I mentioned in the basic setup picture. You can see the LEDs in the power-strip are on and so I can get power completely from those panels disconnecting whole thing from the grid power-supply.

Step 8: Panels Basking Under the Sun

Picture of Panels Basking Under the Sun

Here is the main hero basking under the sun. Both I placed for now in my balcony and the cables from both the panels are connected to the battery, which is shown in those previous pictures.

Step 9: Closing Note

Picture of Closing Note

After a initial charge of 2 hours, I started using the panels from morning. Now while making this page in instructables.com its 4:05PM, still the system works perfectly fine.

***Check the next step and find out how this current setup have been upgraded after 3 weeks with additional 74Watts Solar panel, hence with the total solar power production capacity of 94Watts.

You can find much more exciting projects from my Traffic Squeezer Website - Go-Green section.
http://trafficsqueezer.sourceforge.net/go_green.html

Step 10: Upgradng a 74Watts Solar Panel

Picture of Upgradng a 74Watts Solar Panel

Here is yet another upgrade of the existing setup after 3 weeks. This huge panel is 74Watts panel which is connected parallel to those other existing two 10Watt panels. The total power output is increased from 20Watts to 94Watts.

So with the total power production of 94Watts is just self sufficient to power-up the load which can consume anywhere around 66-126Watts. If the power production goes up beyond the usage in that case an extra battery can be added to store that additional juice. Which can be used for other purposes too. Since currently the load is much more than the power production and even the battery capacity, I have not got yet any charge controller device/circuit. But getting a simple charge controller to charge the batteries is quite suggested since it should improve the overall battery life.

by
Kiran
Author/Founder: Traffic Squeezer - Open Source Network WAN Acceleration Solution
URL: http://trafficsqueezer.org
Author/Founder - CEO/MD - Doublefish JobsStore
URL: http://doublefish-jobsstore.com
CEO/MD - Doublefish Solutions

Comments

jenmar77 (author)2014-05-27

I like it :) , quite basic and easy to follow; can't wait to try this- keep you posted, thanks a mill :)

Derin (author)2009-05-03

You could also do it a different way,splicing to the original UPS battery connections.

MiguelR (author)Derin2012-02-18

That is almost how i have mine. I added a solar charge controler (12v 10A), 12x 12v 7A battery's and i have 2x 80w solar panels.

Now i plan on adding a relay so wen the battery's are getting overdischarge will connect the UPS to the grid and charge the battery's until they are ful charge simultanious with the help of the solar panels always with the devices working (Laptop, Router, etc).

I tested with a 1000w inverter and i only get more energy loss and more noise from the fan, the UPS already inverts everything you'll need!

Btw, the solar charge controler already have diodes.

jhunmar100 (author)2010-07-16

where can i get the 12V DC to 220V AC Converter Inverter can i use that for house?? pls reply.......:(

TA2DC (author)jhunmar1002012-01-27

I VANT 12 VDC 230 VAC 600 OR 1000 INVERTER CIRCIUT.MANY TX. YOU 73's...Op.Mehmet TA2DC

dasimpson1981 (author)2011-02-03

so much wastage here it is untrue

dasimpson1981 (author)2011-02-03

see if the switch needs more then 500ma if not run it off usb you might find the routers will run of 12volt fine my router is 9 volt but runs of 12volt no problem

better ideas get a dslmodem/wirelessrouter
all needed then is dslmodem/wirelessrouter and the laptop running off a car power block insted of the household ones

r.srohan (author)2010-04-03

i think you had just wasted money  and time.
1)ups act as a inverter. you wasted money on buying new inverter.
2)only you needed was extra battery and controller.

now listen very carefully as per daigram consern you needed controller between solar panels and battery so that it will protect from over charching.and frying your battery.

What will happen when their is rainy season.solar will not produce as much as you needed electricity.so it needed to charge from some source it can be charged from wind energy or from mains source.

I think if your inverter don't charge from mains then make modification such that it will charge from mains or any other source.(external charging from mains and keep watch on battery by connecting amp meter if you dont have). if your inverter dont charge better go with ups it will automatically shift between mains and solar energy only you have to change relay switch 1st preference to solar panel.(In ups 1st preference is given to main so whenever main line is there it will not use battery power.you see whenever line goes then only it use battery power.)


As you told you are not using now ups. but i sugest you go to local repair shop and tell him to interchange connection between main line and battery line ( relay switch connection )
NOTE :-  IF DONE IN-CORRECTLY CAUSE UPS TO GO IN CONTINUIOUS LOOP. THAT IS IT WILL SWITCH TO MAINS THEN BATTERY POWER IN SECOUNDS AGAIN AND AGAIN.

Sanat (author)2010-02-23

 What will happen if 350w inverter is used?

kiran_kankipati (author)Sanat2010-02-24

Hey, actually you can use any Inverter there, also you can use multiple inverters too, so you can connect 2x350w or even 1x1000w and 1x350w so on. But please ensure you have enough battery power to sustain. The inverter you choose too, also should sustain your initial load surges, say you have a 350w inverter then you can connect equipment same max to 280-300w rating, anything beyond that can make invoice to react odd during power-on surges. Also add a external fan to the inverters, its better you keep it as cool as possible. The batteries emit dangerous gases, which might cause any potential explosion, or even fire hazard, so try to keep the environment as safe as possible also by every means as cold and away from sun as possible.

kiran_kankipati (author)2009-05-10

Hi Derin, already I had removed the dependency from the UPS, hence its only batteries and the same recharged from Panels and being consumed through DC to AC inverter. I have an APC UPS, but if I increase the battery capacity, the UPS lacks the detection mechanism of the available battery capacity, hence UPS cannot be used and so I am using the inverter. Kiran

doodadica (author)2009-04-16

Hi, Nice instructable, thanks for posting it. I've been preparing a project like this myself and was planning to do a blog about it on my new site (doodadica.com). I'm curious why the UPS is necessary. Why can't you plug your powerstrip directly into the inverter? And why plug the laptop in separately from the other items on the power strip? Is this just to distribute the load between the two (Main battery and UPS) batteries? Also, shouldn't you have a charge controller between the panels and the battery? Thanks!

Hi True as you said, actually I have discarded the use of UPS. Instead I am using now only that UPS battery. Also I hooked up a small charge controller. Cheers, Kiran

Derin (author)kiran_kankipati2009-05-10

The UPS has a built in charger for AC and an inverter.

stuuf (author)2009-03-21

Since all your equipment is DC-powered, wouldn't it be simpler and more efficient to skip the inverter stage and use DC-DC converters to generate the right voltages for all the devices?

kiran_kankipati (author)stuuf2009-03-21

I had already thought about it. But you see there are many devices each consumes different wattage and different DC voltage. Since converting DC would not be a flexible solution. Say laptop adapter needs 19V, then Switch is some 5v, then wifi Router is some 9v and so on. Having an inverter is a best option. Also inverter has battery charge indication. So if the voltage in the battery drops it beeps up. Say suppose two days there is no sun and its raining, then all I need to do is to connected back the UPS to the main power-supply instead of the Inverter. So its a very practical and flexible solution. Cheers, Kiran

at some point in the circuitry of the UPS... there is a line voltage to 12v conversion already. And if your model is anything like mine, it'll be easy to trace. One SHOULD be able to take the 12V line going into the charge control circuit, T off with a pair of diodes, and hook the solar panel into the diodes(screwblock/plug connector on the ups body?). That should allow you to bypass the primary battery, and inverter, making for a much more efficient use of the solar cells. When you need to charge off line voltage, unhook the solar panels(just to be safe, but you shouldn't actually need to if the diodes are working correctly) and plug it in.

About This Instructable

30,567views

62favorites

License:

Bio: Regards, Kiran Kankipati Founder: TrafficSqueezer - www.trafficsqueezer.org - Linux open-source WAN Optimization
More by kiran_kankipati:DIY Compass StrapDIY Reliable Low-Power Home Solar Backup SolutionApple iPad and Android Tablet - 5-minute Lego Reading stand
Add instructable to: