Introduction: Solar Power Outlet
Would you need electric power in any place where you have sunshine?
The solution is the solar power outlet, which provides a standard power of 110 or 220 Volts with a maximum power of
On the outside of the housing you see a photovoltaic module and a power outlet.
In this example it is a standard 230 Volt outlet suitable for most plugs in Europe.
The outlet comprises also a switch and a waterproof cover. If you use a cable reel you get 4 outlets at the distance of 10 meters and you can place the solar power outlet on a place exposed to the sun.
Let us imagine you live in a hut which is far from any electric power line. You put the solar power outlet in the sun during the day to let it charge and during the night you put it inside your hut, and connect your light, you laptop or a fan. You might even watch TV, not very long, a maximum of 1 hour, or connect a radio which would work for 8 hours or longer, depending of the power of the radio.
Connecting a 10 Watt lamp you get light for 10 hours if the battery is fully charged.
Step 1: What Is Inside the Panel Outlet ?
The photovoltaic panel is the cover of the housing, the black box is the junction box of the panel. Two wires lead from the junction box to the input of the charge controller. Be careful not to invert plus and minus! The output of the charge controller leads to the inverter.
Between the charge controller and the inverter you can place a switch, which is next to the power socket.
The inverter comprises a standard outlet which is connected to the power socket.
Step 2: What Did I Need to Build It?
First I needed a solar panel. I ordered a 10 Watt 12 Volt panel with the dimensions 380 x 290 x 25 mm on the internet.
I already had a charge controller for a 12 Volt battery.
The battery I bought in a local electronic shop.
I already had an inverter I used in the car for charging the laptop or other things. This inverter has a 12 Volt cigarette lighter plug for the input and an output of 230 Volt on a standard outlet.To be more flexible I bought a waterproof outlet incorporating a switch.
The most difficult part was building the housing. Since I wanted an inclination of the solar panel of 45 degrees I needed two triangular pieces of wood for the side panels. The dimensions where given by the size of the solar module It was 290 millimeters.
Dividing the 290 millimeters with the square root of 2 gives you the other two sides of the triangle which are 204 millimeters.
The bottom had to be 204 X 380. It had to be cut at an angle of 45 degrees. The rear panel had the same length, 380 millimeters and a hight of 204 minus the thickness of the bottom which was 10 millimeters. Of course, also the rear panel had to be cut at an angle of 45 degrees.
On the rear panel I had to make a cutout for the power outlet and three holes, one for the 230Volt indication lamp and 2 for the LEDs of the charge controller.
I used 3 screws on each side to fix the bottom and the rear side to the triangular side panels.
To fix the photovoltaic module to the housing I made for keyholes into the modul frame and put 2 screws on each side panel.