Introduction: Portable Solar Generator
Hey Everyone. This is my 30 watt Portable Solar Generator, this is a great little project that you could build in one day if you had the parts and tools available. It's great for charging my cell phone, tablet/running a light or if the power goes out run my router. I am unsure how long it takes to charge from dead to full, or how long to fully discharge. I need to run tests. what's also great about this box is it will fit in a backpack, and weighs no more than 15 pounds. i have been working on this little guy now for about 6 months on and off and it is still not complete as you will see as we go along. Most of the stuff i used was recycled from other things i had lying around,or on sale. This is my first Instructable so i will try my best. Thank you for stopping in to check out my great little project.
Step 1: What You Will Need.
Here is a list of stuff i used to build the solar box.
1. 2 x APC 18Ah Battery's. (was gave to me)
2. 300 watt motomaster power inverter with USB. (25 dollars on sale)
3. Solar charge controller. ($10.00)
4. Small create. (was being tossed out at work)
5. Digital Volt Gauge. ($2.00 Amazon)
6. Male and Female connector ends. (in my tool box)
7. Switch or push button. (off an old pc psu)
8. 18G wire, Heat shrink and solder. (tool box)
9. electrical plug.(i had it lying around)
10. Fuse.(came with solar panel)
11. Blocking diode. (out of an old pc PSU)
12. and of course a solar panel. I use a coleman 30 watt crystalline solar panel but you can use whatever you have.
Step 2: Step 1 Making the Wiring Harness.
first off we need to solder the wiring harness up.
my setup is parallel to maintain 12 volt.
we want to have an in line from the charge controller to the battery's
then the lines from battery to battery then a line going out to the inverter.
Blue line is hookup to inverter from battery.
Green line is battery hook up (in Parallel)
Purple line is to charge controller.
i soldered all my wires together and used heat shrink/Male female connectors to prevent shorts
And one more thing id like to add is PUT A FUSE LINE IN! on your positive line going from battery to inverter
i have not put one in yet but i have to...IT IS A MUST.
Step 3: Voltage Meter and Switch.
pick a spot on your box that you would like the digital voltage meter and switch.
start by tracing the gauge and switch on your box
then drill a hole inside the traced out box big enough for a jigsaw blade to fit in.
use a jigsaw and finish the job for both gauge and switch.
I used a switch out of an old pc power supply.
now if your cut is right just push both the switch and gauge into the newly cut holes.
now the wiring.
very basic, start off by hooking the negative on the digital voltage meter to the negative terminal on the battery.
now hook the positive on the digital voltage meter to the switch.
now from other side of the switch to the positive terminal on the battery.
done. good job.
The voltage gauge is hooked to the battery with gator clips.(for easy access to the front panel of the box if i need to remove it.)
Step 4: A/C Plug
now to install the A/C plug.
what I did was traced out a electrical box then drilled a hole and use the jigsaw again.
then I screwed the plug into the box top and bottom and wired the plug up to some wiring I had lying around the house.
(Black wire to Brass screws white wire to chrome screws on the plug)
then i wrapped some electrical tape around the plug, the other end I wired up a male extension cord end (same as top black brass white chrome) then I plugged it into the inverter.
put the face plate on and all done.
Step 5: Charge Controller
Now time for the charge controller.
most people can just plug into the controller. I made a few modifications. first off I cut the solar hookup off but left enough wire so I could solder to it. I did this so I could install a Blocking Diode and change the configuration from a single solar hookup to a dual solar hookup. I also added in a fuse line. The reason I put the diode here was to stop power flow back to the solar panels, but still let power get back to the controller. the diode I used was out of an old pc power supply. you want to solder the diode in the positive line and it is directional,(refer to the Pic) so please look up how to install a diode as Google will tell you better then I. after soldering in the diode I soldered two solar connections together for dual solar hookup. The charge controller will be mounted to the bottom of the lid once the lid is made. And a main power switch to shut all power from the battery's down will be installed.
Step 6: Put It All Together
Well i think that's it... sorry started writing this over a year ago just noticed i didn't publish it...
connect everything up and you should be charging you batteries. I use this little box mostly for charging my drones out in the field. If you have any questions please don't be shy and send me a message.
Thanks all, hope you enjoyed my instructable.