Do It Yourself Mini Solar Generator

How to Make a DIY Solar Generator

Solar power is one of the best renewable energy sources we have, and switching your traditional fuel powered generator to a solar run one can have amazing benefits for both you and the environment. Rather than spending thousands on an expensive generator, there is a way you can create your own with a few key supplies and a bit of know-how.

This DIY solar generator guide will show you how to make a solar generator that you can use for camping, to reduce energy costs at home, or just as a reliable source of backup power. With a homemade solar generator, you’re able to reap all of the benefits of the sun’s free energy without spending too much on a ready-made solar unit.

Solar Generator Open Diagram

All solar generators are made up from the same basic parts, and this simplicity is what makes solar a great choice for your backup power supply. Once constructed, your solar generator will last as long as the battery allows it to so you should be able to take it along on quite a few camping trips before it starts to decrease in efficiency.

What You’ll Need

Before you can learn how to build a solar generator, you need all of the working parts to make it happen. This guide assumes that you want to purchase all of the parts separately to meet your requirements, but you can go a step further and build everything from scratch if you’re that way inclined.

  • Solar panels - These panels are what will come in direct contact with the sunlight and send the energy through the unit. For this project, you can purchase 2 solar panels with 40Wp output capacity.
  • Charge controller - This ensures that the charge going into the battery is the right amount, preventing it from overcharging and surging.
  • Deep cycle battery - These lead-acid batteries are perfect for generators as they allow its capacity to regularly discharge and then build up again. When charged too fast, batteries can explode, so you need to be careful when working with them.
  • Inverter - The inverter’s role is to turn the direct current from the panels into alternating current (AC), making it compatible with household appliances. You can purchase one with a USB socket too if you wish to power these devices directly.
  • Wires and wire connectors - Used to connect everything together safely and securely.
DIY Solar Generator Starter Kit

There are some products available that come as a full DIY solar generator kit, so you may want to purchase one of these rather than sourcing the individual parts. However, to customize the system it’s best to choose the parts yourself to meet your power requirements.

How to Make Your DIY Solar Power Generator

Now that you have your parts ready to go, it’s a simple matter of connecting them all together so they can provide you with clean and renewable energy. This guide shared from Inhabitat shows you how to do it safely and easily:

  • Using your wires, connect the inverter and the battery starting with the negative pole first and then the positive.
  • Connect your charge controller to both the solar panel and the battery, making sure you connect the negative pole before the positive again.
  • ​Charge your panel by leaving it in the sunlight somewhere it won’t be obstructed by trees or other objects.
  • Once it reaches over 50% capacity, you can connect your devices directly to it and start enjoying free power. If you don’t want to plug in anything now, you can continue to charge the battery and store the power for later.

Those easy steps are all you need to have your very own working solar generator, giving you access to reliable and renewable energy direct from the sun.

How Much Power Will This Generator Give me?

Using these specific sizes of panels and battery won’t give you a whole lot of power, but it will be enough to keep the basic appliances running. You have the option to upgrade with a larger battery and bigger panels, or you can add on as many as you like for more power.

With a full charge, this DIY solar generator could power a television for a few hours of running time, a lightbulb for over six hours, and your laptop computer for up to eight hours. Considering you built it yourself and it only uses free energy to run, you’ll be able to achieve amazing savings over the course of its life.

Small DIY Solar Generator

The parts for this generator should cost no more than $150, so when compared to ready made generators on the market you’re able to save hundreds of dollars. Provided you’re happy to put in a little extra time in sourcing the parts and constructing the device, it’s well worth it when you consider all of the benefits.

How Simple Solar Changes Can Benefit You

With exciting times ahead for renewable energy sources such as solar, it’s great to experiment with these for ourselves and witness just how efficient they can be. Even a project as simple as this is a great way to begin your journey of reducing your carbon footprint and teach your children about it in the process.

Using a solar generator is a clean and efficient alternative to traditional fuel-powered devices, and unlike fuel systems, it won’t make any noise or emit dangerous gasses in the air. On top of the monetary savings from reducing your reliance on energy, there’s never been a smarter time to try solar energy for yourself.

Parts for a Do It Yourself Solar Generator

Once you’ve seen just how beneficial solar energy can be, you might feel enticed to make more changes in your life to this amazing power source. Larger scale solar generators can be made or purchased, and you can even store enough power in a battery to keep your home running completely off the grid.

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