solar power

Building a Do-It-Yourself Solar Power Generator

A number of reasons exist for wanting your own solar power generator and they include being able to power some personal items like radios and laptops in case of power failures. While you can go out and buy a solar power generator, why bother when you can build one yourself at a fraction of the price?

You can find all the parts you need for a solar power generator from your local retail electronic supply stores for around $300-$400, depending on the brand names and dependability of the parts. With a solar power generator, you can power equipment whether you are on a boat at sea or even camping outdoors without quite having to rough it.

Steps Taken to Creating your own Solar Power Generator

The first thing you want to do is buy a small solar panel, perhaps about 12-16 volts, which can be found for under $200 usually at a marine or RV supply store. Second, purchase a deep cycle 12 volt battery with either gel or lead and acid. The deep cycle battery is best if you are planning to use the solar power generator over and over again. These deep cycle batteries can be found new for about $50.

You will want a protective battery box to shield you and any animals and children from the exposed battery terminals. Next, you can go to your local electronics retailer to purchase a 12 volt DC meter. In addition, a DC input is needed which can be readily found at retail electronics stores. Small DC powered appliances can easily run off this type of power.

Invest in an inverter for your solar power generator if you have AC appliances you want to run off the generator. Most inverters can be found in retail automotive and home supply stores but you will need to decide just how much power you will needed. Add up the watts you plan to be using to get an idea of your total usage, which will then help with the decision of the inverter.

Attach the meter along with the DC input to the box at the top and then choose some insulated wire to attach the meter to the terminals of the battery. When connecting to a battery, always connect to the negative poles first. Be sure when connecting the solar panel to the battery for the solar power generator that you also follow the same rule.

Shut the lid to the battery case and place the solar panel in the sun so that the battery can charge. Typically, batteries with no “juice” in them take up to eight hours to charge while those with a little charge need about three hours. While this solar power generator won’t run an entire house, it can help power special items such as laptops, radios and even small portable refrigerators in those times when electricity could go out.

The great thing about building this solar power generator is that you can add onto it when you feel the need for more power. As you add on to this homemade generator, you will need to install a pop up circuit breaker to handle some of the energy load being created.


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solar power