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!
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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!