Solar "Generator" Answered
Since I've always wanted to do something like this and I found this site, it's about to happen! I found a smaller version with what I wanted to do at Popular Science but I want to do something on a larger scale. I do have some questions though that I'm hoping someone can answer or point me in the correct direction.
I'm going to describe what I'm doing with what and what I have questions with.
I'm going to be buying this solar panel and charge controller kit.
Sunforce Solar Panel With Charge Controller
A deep cycle 115 AMP Hour 12 V marine battery from Wal-Mart with Plastic Battery case
Salvaged wood Toy Box
Question: How to meter how many amp hours I have left or how charged the battery is? What kind of meter to buy? Where? (not too expensive <20 bucks or so) how to hook it up.
A 12 V accessory outlet with on off switch
Question: I'm putting an inline fuse before the switch, 15A the line fuse goes on the + (positive) side correct?
A 700 Watt 6.25 AMP DC to AC converter with 4 outlets connected to it.
Question: can I put a breaker or fuse between the 4 outlets I'm going to be plugging into on the outside and the plug being plugged into the DC to AC converter? If so how?
USB ports for charging with on off switch.
Question: how do I convert the 12V to 5V in an easy way? I've seen some creative ideas on here for charging VIA salvaged USB ports but I don't want to have to hook it up to my power inverter if I don't have to.
Cooling/ventilation for the entire thing.
Any ideas how I might cool/vent it? Currently I'm thinking of using old computer fans and put them on both sides of the toy box and have 2 blowing and 2 blowing out. Having the fans run off of the solar panel during the day and either have a switch to change it to battery at night (if it's too warm in the house) or maybe photo sense it? Temp sensor to turn it on and off? Or a switch to turn it off completely. I'm just looking for idea's to keep the battery (and to expand to be more than one battery) cool/ventilated. If you have examples or detailed description on how to do it that'd be great.
I'm not one to steal ideas so I'll credit the idea's I'm given if I use them =)
I'm going to see how much I can run off of this and how long. Hopefully save some big time energy also!