How To Build a Solar Generator

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Yes, it’s as it sounds: A solar generator is a device that converts sunlight into electricity usable by our appliances at any time. This is how to build a solar generator DIY with a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to gasoline generators that can provide power for small appliances, lights, and more. 

Now that green energy is becoming more and more popular, solar generators are popping up on the market. But before you go out and buy one, why not try building your own? It’s a fun project that can save you money in the long run and provide power during emergencies or off-grid adventures. 

There are three primary functions of the DIY solar kit:

  • Store energy
  • Harvest solar energy

Not only is it easy to take with you and set up, but this product is built to last. Plus, it can be adjusted to meet your specific needs no matter how big or small the project.

Estimate Your Needs for A DIY Solar Generator

Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station, 1002Wh Capacity with 3 x 1000W AC Outlets, Solar Generator (Solar Panel Not Included) for Home Backup, Emergency, Outdoor Camping

Not only is solar energy versatile, but it also doesn’t have to break the bank. To select the appropriate parts for your solar panel, you first need to understand how much energy you require. In the following section, we will explore how to calculate the power and energy needs for your DIY solar generator project. 

1. The first step is to gather a list of all the devices you want to power with the solar generator. Make sure to include both the wattage and how many hours per day you plan on using each device. 

2. Calculate the total wattage by adding up the individual wattages of each device. 

3. Multiply this number by the number of hours you plan on using the devices each day to arrive at your energy needs (watt-hours/day). 

4. Choose a solar panel and battery capacity based on your calculated energy needs, keeping in mind that you may want to leave room for future expansion. 

With this information, you can now confidently select the appropriate materials for your DIY solar generator project.

What You Will Need for Your DIY Solar Generator Kit

Once you have calculated your energy needs and selected the appropriate solar panel and battery, it’s time to gather the rest of the necessary equipment for your DIY solar generator kit. 

DIY Solar Generator Parts

You will need:

Portable Solar Panels

ECO-WORTHY 120W Foldable Solar Panel for Jackery Explorer/Flashfish/BALDR/Goal Zero Portable Generator Power Station, with 20A Charge Controller to Charge 12V Battery

The main way to harvest solar energy for your generator is through portable solar panels. You can opt for foldable solar panels too. Their design is special because it is both compact and tough, making it perfect for outdoor use. Make sure to select the appropriate size based on your calculated energy needs. 

Also Read: How Many Solar Panels Do I Need for 1000 kWh Per Month

Solar Charge Controller

[Upgraded] 30A Solar Charge Controller, Black Solar Panel Battery Intelligent Regulator with Dual USB Port 12V/24V PWM Auto Paremeter Adjustable LCD Display (30a)

Along with the solar panel, you will also need a charge controller to regulate energy flow from the panels to the battery. 

Also Read: How To Select Solar Charge Controller

Battery

Renogy Deep Cycle AGM Battery 12 Volt 100Ah, 3% Self-Discharge Rate, 2000A Max Discharge Current, Safe Charge Most Home Appliances for RV, Camping, Cabin, Marine and Off-Grid System, Maintenance-Free

Should you choose a lead-acid or lithium battery for your generator? Consider the type of energy needs, weight, and lifespan when making this decision. 

AC/DC Inverter

1200Watt Power Inverter 12V DC to 110V 120V AC with 20A Solar Charge Controller Remote Control Dual AC Outlets & USB Port for RV Truck Solar System

You will also need an inverter to convert the stored energy from DC to AC, allowing you to use it with common household appliances. 

Case

For portability and protection, choose a durable case to house all of your solar generator’s components. 

Breakers And Electrical Wiring

Electrical wiring and breakers are essential parts of your DIY solar generator kit that connect your different components and ensure a high level of safety. We recommend using: 

  • 30A fuse set,
  • 4 battery inverter cables,
  • 12 batteries to charge controller cables
  • 10 extension cables for solar modules

In addition, you will need an outdoor power outlet that could easily be mounted inside the case wall and a master switch for your whole system.

Tools to Build Your Solar Generator Kit

Along with the parts, you will need some tools to assemble your DIY solar generator kit. These may include 

  • a drill 
  • electrical tape
  • glue gun
  • wire cutter/stripper 
  • crimper tool 
  • silicon sealant 
  • screwdrivers

5 Steps on How to Build a Solar Generator

Now we get to the fun part- assembling your DIY solar generator! 

Step 1: Prepare Your Case

Begin by prepping your chosen case to house all of the components. This may include drilling holes for wiring and mounting outlets. Repeat the same process for connecting other external components like the inverter remote control panel, led lights and installing the master switch.

Step 2: Install the Battery

Next, install the battery inside the case, securing it properly to prevent movement. 

Step 3: Install the Solar Charge Controller

Now, install the charge controller by connecting it to both the solar panel and battery. Glue it onto the case wall to secure it in place. 

Step 4: Install the Inverter

The inverter, the second-largest in size among the components, goes on the wall near to the outlet. Make sure you allow enough space around the inverter for optimal airflow.

Step 5: Wiring and Fuse Installation

Finally, wire all of the components together and install any necessary fuses. Double-check all connections before closing up the case. 

Also Read: Best DIY Solar Generator

Things To Keep in Mind If You Use a Custom-Built Lithium Battery

If you opt for a custom-built lithium battery, remember to follow all safety precautions. Make sure to use the appropriate BMS (battery management system) and never overcharge or discharge your battery fully. It is also important to monitor the temperature of your battery during use and store it in a cool, dry place when not in use. 

Why Build Your Own DIY Solar Generator

If you’re not already convinced, building your solar generator has numerous benefits.

Greener Than Fuel Generators

Not only is it a renewable energy source, but using solar power also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Safer Than Gas Generators

Gas, petrol, and diesel generators emit harmful fumes and require careful fuel storage. Solar generators, however, have no emissions and are safer to use and store. 

No Running Costs

In the long run, using solar energy can save you money on electricity bills. It also eliminates the need for constantly purchase fuel for a gas generator. 

You Can Repair Them Easily

As you are the one who built it, you know exactly how your solar generator works and can easily identify and fix any issues. 

More Powerful Than Ready-Made Ones

As you can customize your solar generator, you can choose the components that best fit your needs and potentially have a more powerful system. 

DIY Gives You Pride of Accomplishment

The feeling of accomplishment and pride that comes with building your solar generator is unbeatable. Plus, you can show off your handy work to friends and family! 

Less Expensive Than Ready-Made Ones

Creating your solar generator will likely cost less than purchasing a ready-made one, as you have the opportunity to shop around for deals on components. 

Conclusion

Building your DIY solar generator can be a fun and rewarding experience. Not only is it a greener alternative to fuel generators, but it can also save you money in the long run and give you a sense of pride in your accomplishment.

Just remember to follow safety precautions and consult experts or do thorough research if necessary. Happy building!

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