Portable DIY Solar Cart




Introduction: Portable DIY Solar Cart

When grid power goes out I wanted to be able to have a simple backup power source to power an LED light, a laptop, a small fan, to charge cell phones, etc. I built this easy DIY portable solar cart for that purpose. We do have a gas generator also but it's not always needed for basic things...if the power doesn't remain off for a longer period of time. To use a laptop for this solar cart setup you'll want to use a pure sine wave power inverter which mimics grid power.

The only parts I bought online from eBay were the solar panel and the charge controller. Everything else I purchased at Walmart and a local hardware store.

If you have questions please feel free to ask. Thanks for looking!

Here is a list of items I used for this project:

1. Solar panel brackets.

2. Rivet gun or bolts to assemble bracket.

3. Paint to match color on toolbox.

4. Deep cycle marine battery.

5. 4x4 lumber to support battery weight.

6. Glue to keep lumber in place (Shoe Goo works well).

7. Tie down strap.

8. Battery cut off key/switch.

9. Vents for heat and battery gasses.

10. Power strip.

11. Power inverter.

12. Charge controller.

13. Solar panel.

14. Weather proof door.

15. Quick connect/disconnect plugs.

Approximate cost for these items: $250.00

1 Person Made This Project!


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6 years ago

I need to build a solar powered chair or something like it and am very impressed by your supply costs. I hope to use some of your wisdom to make something I can ride. Thanks for the Instructables.


6 years ago

Uber Cart !

1) Morphed Again.JPG

Reply 6 years ago

Thanks! It looks like you've created a neat design with your solar cart. I bought a metal pull cart like yours from Kotula's to build a portable cart also. It's on my "list of things to do". :-)


Reply 6 years ago

I've got 5 different sized portable power systems I have put together and working on more. I like what you have done and am considering something similar.


7 years ago on Introduction

Great project !

A few simple rules apply:
- Make sure a rgular battery is not under- or overcharged, a guideline: Charging with current between 1/8 to 1/12 of the Ah of the battery is perfect, special AGM cells can handle a bit higher current (look at the specs)
- Do not try to use more power out of your battery than 20%, that will extent the battery life, and now leaf you in the dark if you have some bad weather over a few days.
- remember for every watt you take out 1.5watt has to go in.
- higher power consumption should make you go up to 24V or 48V by using multiple batteries of the same values and age. Use a DC-DC inverter if you need some 12V for lighting.

So all in all you panel seems a bit light, but it's nice to trickle charge and keep the battry conditioned after you charged it when the grid is on again.