Portable Solar AC Power

Introduction: Portable Solar AC Power

This is a portable solar ac power source to run fans/projectors/charge phones/etc. It runs off of 10 rechargeable 1.2 volt batteries and lasts up to 2 hours of fan and phone charging. Recharge can take up to 10 hours due to the low wattage solar panel used.

Intended Purpose:

Run fans and charge phones and laptops. Don't try to run a microwave or something big off it!

Quick Description:

- Solar Rechargeable

- Powers 400 watts AC things

- Lasts up to 2 hours

- Quick recharge time

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Step 1: Parts & Materials

Parts are available on amazon:


Parts & Materials:

- 10 Battery Holder

- Cobra 400 Watt Inverter

- 1N4007 Diode

- 5 Watt Solar Panel

- Rechargeable Batteries!


Tools & Equipment:

- Hot Glue Gun

- Soldering Iron


My Advice:

I am not a fan of buying things so I usually make from what I have. In this instructable I wired 2 four battery holder and 1 two battery holder all in series instead of buying a 10 battery holder. The best part is the holders are recycled from remote control cars.

Step 2: Solder That Diode

Your solar panel will look like something above the red is positive and the blue is negative. You want to put the diode on the red wire with the black line pointing toward the battery pack. This will force the current to go only to the batteries so the batteries cannot send electricity back to damage the solar panel. Wrap the red wire around the diode lead and solder them together. You can make this without a diode but when it gets dark you will have to disconnect te solar panel to avoid draining the batteries and ruining the solar panel.

You can look at the wiring picture on page 1!!!

Step 3: Connect the Battery Pack

Don't put your rechargeable batteries into the holder until you are done building the circuit. Safety first! :)

Solder the other diode lead to the positive battery holder lead. You may have to strip the insulation off the wire...

Next also solder the negative solar panel wire to the negative battery pack wire. Basically you have a solar battery charger now. The solar panel will trickle charge the batteries so you do not need a charge controller.

You can look at the wiring picture on page 1!!!

Step 4: Add the Inverter

Now for the most important part. Batteries are DC meaning that you can't plug in things like AC Fans or Laptops. The Inverter turns the DC into AC allowing you to plug in things that you would normally plug into the wall. The Inverter will come with a car plug and two alligator clips. You will be using the alligator clips in this case. Attach them to the inverter making sure you match the colors. Now you have two options:

1. Cut off the alligator clips and strip the wires so you can solder them into the circuit

2. Just clip them into the circuit

Well, if you are lazy like me you would pick option two. Just take the positive jumper (red) and clip it to the exposed wire where you soldered the positive batter pack lead and the diode together. Repeat with the negative jumper with the negative side (no diode).

You can look at the wiring picture on page 1!!!

Step 5: Batteries!

Just put rechargeable batteries in. Try to put higher quality batteries with more mah so the system will last longer. The higher the mah is the longer it will last.


Do not put regular batteries in. Regular batteries cannot be recharged and will explode if you try too. You can put them in as long as you disconnect the solar panel so they are not being charged.


You may be able to run the system without batteries! Since you connected the inverter in between the batter pack and the solar panel, it is still connected to the panel directly. On a really sunny day, you can remove the rechargeable batteries and try to run things off the solar panel. The higher watt solar panel, the better.

Step 6: Insulate

There is shrink raps, hot glue, and electric tape. Well, there about a thousand other ways to insulate things, but let's not go into that. lol

I prefer hot glue! Hot Glue is quick and can be applied anywhere. Just glop some hot glue over any place where there is exposed wire. Yes, around the diode! If you picked option one with the inverter it will be easier to do this. If picked option two, wrap some electric tape around the exposed jumper area. You don't want a short!

Step 7: Test It Out!

If your batteries are already charged you are ready to go. If not, go put everything out in the sun for a while. Try to put the plastic battery pack and inverter in the shade so they do not melt. You can test to see if the pack is fully charged with a multimeter. Just check the voltage. It should be around 12 volts and higher.

Now that the pack is charged. You can test it. Flick the switch on the inverter to on. If the fault light glows your batteries are not charged enough or you have a faulty unit. Don't plug anything in if it glows. Check the circuit and make sure the polarity is all right. If you mixed it up just switch alligator clips.

Now that everything is on, try plugging stuff in. Start small by plugging a smart phone in to charge. Then try stuff like fans and heaters. If you plug anything too powerful or plug too much stuff, the fault light will come one. Just unplug whatever caused it and don't go plugging in your desktop!

Step 8: Box It!

You need a container! It is just necessary. You can decorate it and make it look nice later. Lower the battery pack in first. You can tape it down or hot glue it to prevent it from moving around.

Next, throw the inverter in. Since all the switches and connectors are on one side, face it toward a side of the box and cut an opening for it. Finally cut a hole at the top of the box for the solar panel wires. Lay the panel on top and it is ready to go.


This solution is not water proof and can be damaged if it rains. You can setup a similar solution with a water proof box if needed.


Well, you did it! You now have a portable energy source to charge your phone and power almost anything in your life. Plus, it is solar powered so you do not have to replace batteries. We can help save the world one step at a time. Try to run your desk lamps and fans off of this. It can help save a lot of electricity! Don't plug your phone into the wall. Leave the panel to charge in a window cell during the day and plug your phone in before you go to bed. Imagine everybody in the world doing this, it would make a difference

There is one last step, vote! This is my first instructable, and a last minute entry for the Green Design Contest / Battery-Powered Contest. Please vote for me as it will help bring inspiration and achievement to help me think up new projects for you just like this. Thanks.

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    2 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I need to run a 12,000 BTU/ 60Hz/ 115 volts/ 1120 watts AC for upto 12 hours a day. I was thinking of serial conecting solar panels upto 60 watts (using silcone diodes) together, and increasing the number of rechargeable betteries, and the watt converter to be able to do so. What are your thoughts? This is to create an off grid AC dog house for a puppy.