Marine Solar Panel Battery Box

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This is a box made out of wood that will protect a marine battery from the sun and other elements. While the box is not completely water proof it does provide cover for marine batteries and a place to mount a solar panel to charge the battery as well. It also creates a form of organization within your vessel which is key when limited with space due to the size of your boat. The type of wood used to construct this box is key to the longevity of this product. For the best results I would recommend using mahogany or teak. PVC is also another type of material that can be used to create this box but is much more expensive as it will last longer when in a marine environment for a prolonged period of time. If you use wood from a typical home improvement store then make sure to invest good quality marine grade paint to make sure your box stands up well against the elements. This box can be made to any size specification you need but in this case it was designed to fit in 13 foot Boston Whaler Super Sport which is a relatively small boat. For this project I used some wood I had lying around the house so I could make sure that my idea would be functional and appropriate for my circumstances. After building this prototype I would make this entire this product entirely out of PVC board (that will also eliminate the need for paint).

*Teachers*

This project satisfies Standard 19 of the STL standards (Manufacturing Technologies) sections B, C, D, F, G, I, M, N, and O with all of the processes that are involved with designing and creating this product.

Supplies:

Box: (3/4 inch plywood)

9 inch x 12 inch (2 pieces)

14.5 inch x 12 inch (3 pieces)

metal hinges (preferably aluminum or stainless steel) (2)

galvanized screws ( 3/4 inch, 1.5 inch)

Frame:

1.75 inch x 1.75 inch x 33 inch lumber (2 pieces)

1.5 inch x 2.5 inch x 11.25 inch lumber (2 pieces)

1.5 inch x 1.5 inch x 21 inch lumber (2 pieces)

.75 inch x 3 inch x 11 lumber (2 pieces)

galvanized screws (1.5 inch, 2.5 inch)

galvanized nails (2.5 inch)

Solar Panel Mount:

1 inch x 3.25 inch x 15 inch PVC board

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Step 1: Cut Pieces of Wood (Frame)

This step is fairly simple. All you will need is a circular saw and or a miter saw, a tape measure, and a pencil to make the cuts you need.

For the sake of organization Picture 1 will be referred to as Wood Pieces A, Picture 2 Wood Pieces B, Picture 3 Wood Pieces C, and finally Picture 4 Wood Pieces D

Dimensions / Cut:

Wood Piece A : 1.75 inch x 1.75 inch x 33 inch lumber (2 pieces)

Wood Piece B: 1.5 inch x 1.5 inch x 21 inch lumber (2 pieces)

Wood Piece C: 1.5 inch x 2.5 inch x 11.25 inch lumber (2 pieces)

Wood Piece D: .75 inch x 3 inch x 11 lumber (2 pieces)

Step 2: Cut Out Pieces of Wood (Box)

To cut out pieces for plywood use a circular saw as a miter saw will not fit on a standard sheet of 8 ft plywood if you don't have any spare already cut plywood around the house or shop.

You will need to cut out a total of 5 pieces in order to construct the box.

The two smaller pieces will be referred to as Wood Pieces E and the three larger pieces will be referred to as Wood Pieces F.

Dimensions / Cut:

9 inch x 12 inch (2 pieces)

14.5 inch x 12 inch (3 pieces)

Step 3: Construct Box

While this instructable already has all the dimensions planned out for you if you are building this box for a bigger battery or more batteries then I would recommend making the box first so you can make a frame that will fit the box.

Nail Piece F to Piece E as displayed in the photo above. (if you have access to a nail gun this will make you life a lot easier) Use one nail on the top, one nail in the middle, and one nail on the bottom to secure the box together.

You will repeat this process when attaching the other two pieces to the two already assembled pieces.

Make sure that all sides are secured together with nails, a total of 12 nails will be used to do this.

Step 4: Construct Frame

Take Wood Pieces A and C and attach them together with screws. Make sure that Wood Pieces C are spaced 10 inches apart from each other as this is where the box will be mounted. Use a total of 4 screws (2.5 inches) to attach Wood Pieces A and C.

Step 5: Construct Frame: Lower Rails

Take Wood Pieces B and attach them to Wood Pieces A vertically on opposite sides. Attach by using 2.5 inch screws. A total of 4 screws should be used to do this.

Step 6: Construct Frame: Battery Stand

Take Wood Pieces D and attach them to Wood Pieces C horizontally. Space them 3 inches apart from each other so a study platform is present for the battery. Use a total of 4 screws to secure Wood Pieces D to Wood Pieces C.

Step 7: Secure Box to Frame

Now that the frame is constructed and the box is for the most part constructed it is time to secure the box to the frame. For this step you will need to use 2.5 inch screws to attach the box to the frame. You will need to attach the box to the frame from the bottom of the frame (flip everything upside down for easy access). Secure the box using 6 screws (one for each corner and then two in the middle of each Wood Piece F.

Step 8: Attach Lid

It is now time to attach the lid which is Wood Piece F (the third one). To attach the lid use two hinges which you will screw to the backside of the box (Wood Piece F on the end of the frame). You will use a total of 12 (.75 in) screws to attach hinges to the lid and back of the box. After you have attached the hinges you will attach the latch to the front of the box. This will also be done with .75 inch screws (A total of 4).

Step 9: Paint

Paint the box any color you want. Make sure to use Marine grade paint to ensure the longevity of your Box.

Make sure you sand each piece of wood before you paint to ensure proper adhesion. (use 80 grit, 120 grit, then 220 grit)

Follow the instructions for application on the paint of choice you decide upon, but be warned it will be at least 4 coats that will need to be applied.

Step 10: Solar Panel Mount

While your box and frame are drying you can cut out your solar panel mount. (you can also do this when you are cutting out everything else but this just gives you something do while you literally wait for paint to dry). Cut out Solar Panel Mount using miter saw. This mount should be made out of PVC board so that water is not absorbed under neath the solar panel. Once the mount is cut out attach mount points for solar panel (my solar panel came with these mounts in the package) using .5 inch screws (total of 4 screws).

Dimensions / Cut:

1 inch x 3.25 inch x 15 inch PVC board

Step 11: Attach Solar Panel Mount

Once paint has dried attach solar panel mount to the lid by using 2 (1.5 inch) screws.

Step 12: Attach Solar Panel

Once mount is properly installed secure the solar panel to the mount using the caps provided in the solar panel kit.

Step 13: You Did It!

Stand back and admire your work! Put it in your boat and hit the water!

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    seamster

    4 weeks ago

    Looks good, thank you for sharing : )