Introduction: Solar Power Terminal

About: Wanted to become self sufficient for a long time, however i am trapped in a modern world with minimal cash and an addiction to the computing world.
I have seen a few tutorials on here regarding solar power and what to do with it, so I thought I'd add my own.

My brother-in-law is expert at all things electronic, i stung him for a few bits for this project that he had just laying around. Remnants of his old projects i imagine.

So, here is what i started with:
- 6* 12v Solar panels
- Wiring for panels with croc clips.
- 150w Inverter

Voltage    Maximum Voltage    Current    Maximum Current    Dimensions             Weight
12 volts   17.5 volts                   450mA     500mA                       11.3"x14.13"x.71"     .625kgs (1.4lbs)

I had no frame to mount them and had no idea what i was doing.

But first, mounting and wiring together!

Step 1: The Rear of the Solar Panel Mounted on the Pallet

Here is the rear of the pallet.

I thank Freegle/Freecycle for the pallet.

I connected the wires together maintaining it at 12 volts but adding the amperage together. I have used some old lawnmower cable to feed to the control box.

Total amperage= 6*450mA or 2-3 amps max

Step 2: The Control Box

This old wooden box with metal clasp was dumped behind my house. Handy i thought, to house the controller and batteries.

The 10a Solar controller was one of the cheapest on eBay

The batteries are 2*6v batteries wired together to give 12v.
These were on special at Maplin and far cheaper than 1 of the equivalent 12v batteries.

On the side is an outdoor switch which cuts power from the panels to the controller, should i need to alter or repair anything. This was £5 from Wickes hardware store.

Step 3: Indoors

Through the window, is an ordinary household lamp wire with switch, providing an indoor cutoff to power.

I discovered too, that the output from the controller would blow my electronics without fuses.

The inverter is fused for 15a, This is the maximum i would want to draw into the house.

I had a spare 13a plug fuse spare and rigged up a holder on the unit to limit the initial amperage of any connected sockets.

Step 4: Phone Charger

I had a car phone charger that i had inserted into the front. I wanted to integrate it.

I popped open the charger plug, soldered wires replacing the original cig lighter connections were. I then connected the wires to the 13a feed integrating the original 1a fuse from the charger plug.

Step 5: The Front

The front, i started with scrap veneer from an old project.

I admit, i started out connecting anything i could run off 12v.

I started with a 12v car cig lighter socket extension and wired it in, the inverter and phone chargers worked fine.

What else could i add?
UV Cold Cathode lighting
These are from an old PC, as they came with Molex connections, i fitted those into the front too.

Above the cig lighter socket is the USB socket.
The phone charger didn't have a socket, just a mini USB plug. I scavenged the socket out of a Houseplug USB adapter and soldered it on.

Please stay tuned for updates, suggestions and/or pictures of the impending house fire!