Friday, July 3, 2015

Portable Solar Generator In A Battery Box



Portable Solar Generator In A Battery Box


Nothing makes it more clear that you need an off the grid type of system than when a hurricane hits and knocks your electricity out for a week. Even up here in Ohio, hurricane Ike hit us with winds that left us without power. But, I have also lived in Michigan, where we lost power more often than we lose it here in Ohio. And a portable system lets you use that power in other situations, such as camping or boating. More than that though, it's just fun to generate your own free electricity without feeling dependent upon your local power company.

I have read a number of newspaper stories about seniors who have died in extreme heat or extreme cold, so living without power even for a short time can be life threatening for some.

This post is intended to help you build your own portable solar generator. For this prototype, a battery box was used.

Meter Layout


Portable Solar Generator In A Battery Box - Meter Layout - The Krell Lab

Wiring Schematic

A general schematic of the wiring:

 
Portable Solar Generator In A Battery Box - Wiring Schematic - The Krell Lab


Videos

  Portable Solar Generator In A Battery Box Part 1    - The Layout
        
 Portable Solar Generator In A Battery Box Part 2  - Getting beyond the layout:
  
 Portable Solar Generator in a Battery Box Part 3 - Wiring the layout:

 Portable Solar Generator in a Battery Box Part 4 - Meters & Switches

 Portable Solar Generator in a Battery Box Part 5 - Final Layout & Solar Tracker

 Portable Solar Generator in a Battery Box Part 6 - The Solar Tracker Problem & Trouble-Shooting It
 
   
 Portable Solar Generator in a Battery Box Part 7 - Solar Tracking Problem Resolved
 
Wagan Wattage Guide

 Wagan includes this handy wattage guide with the 400 watt pure sine wave inverter:

Wagan Wattage Guide



Parts List



  I was able to get the box on sale for $9.00, so shop around.
   

  Wagan EL2601 Elite 400W Pro Pure Sine Wave.................$199.95
  
 I was able to get the inverter on sale for $119, so it may help to shop around.

 

 This controller would be for my sealed lead acid batteries. You can get one cheaper without the display.


  Batteries

   PowerStream HR22-12 ...........................................................$ 67.10

   However, a LiPO4 batteries twice as powerful could be used in this space.
   If you use a lithium battery, be sure to also use a lithium controller.
   Also, be careful to insulate the battery from the heat of inverter.

   I have used the Lithium Battery and Lithium Charge Controller in my portable solar generator in a File Folder box.


Blue Sea Systems Dual USB Charger Socket ...........................$ 25.98

  I was able to get this USB socket on sale for $ 16.77

Cigarette lighter fuse/circuit breaker.............................................. $  4.87



Waterproof LED Rocker Toggle Switch SPST Marine .......... $9.99 + $4.49 shipping

Battery Cut-off Switch ....................................................................$ 20.00

   I was able to get the cut-off switch on sale for $8.00
  

 Lighted power switch Cherry SWITCH ROCKER SPST 20A 125V ..............$1.30

 35 Amp Circuit Breaker Digi-Key Part NumberPB1049-ND ..........................$4.55

 Circuit Breaker 15 Amp 1/4" Terminals .........................................................$4.89
 
 Circuit Breaker Switch 20A 125VAC 50VDC .................................................$3.54


Links:
 

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