How to Make a Solar Power Generator How to Make a Solar Power Generator

What You'll Need
12V solar panels
SunGuard (or other brand) 4 amp charge controller
Deep Cycle battery
DC to AC power inverter
Voltage meter

Solar power generators are gaining popularity among individuals who want to find easy and accessible ways to use renewable energy. These are easy to construct, small and portable, making it a great option for newbies who want to begin to reduce their utility-based energy consumption by generating their own energy. You can make your own system for less than $400, and you can recoup those expenses in the long term by the money you'll save on your electricity bill.

How It Works

Your solar panels will trap sunlight energy, which will be stored in a deep cycle battery pack. You can tap into that energy to run your electronic devices and appliances, by plugging into a power inverter. A charge controller is installed to make sure the system doesn't get overcharged, which would destroy your solar power generator system. You can use the electricity being generated right away, or have it ready as a backup in emergencies or for future use. For example, you could store 60 watts of energy, and plug in something that draws 20 watts of energy. This will give you 3 hours of energy.

Step 1: Wire Solar Panel to Charge Controller

The panels you purchased will have wiring diagrams from the manufacturer. Each panel is different, so you must refer to manual to properly wire your panels. In general, you'll locate the negative and positive leads on the panels first. Then you'll connect them to the charge controller.

Step 2: Connect Battery to Controller

Locate the negative and positive leads of your deep cycle battery (on the terminal blocks) and connect them to the charge controller. Match the polarity according to the diagrams on your battery and controller. You'll be matching positive leads to positive leads and negative leads to negative leads. The controller will be destroyed if you don't match the leads correctly.

Step 3: Connect Your Loads

Find the positive and negative leads of the "Load" (on battery) to controller. Again, you're matching positive to positive and negative to negative. This step is important because if the battery is no longer connected, the panels still are; they won't overheat if turned on and off quickly.

Step 4: Connect the Power Inverter and Volt Meter

Plug in your inverter to your battery. This will enable you to plug in small appliances and devices, such as laptops and lights. Do the same for the volt meter. The meter will measure your output in watts so you know exactly what your output is.

Step 5: Mount Solar Panels

You can either put the panels in your back yard or on your roof. Pick a spot where you get the most sunlight to get the most energy possible. You can put the panels in a sturdy structure of your choice so that they won't fall outdoors.

Once built, you can use your solar power generator to run most things you use on a daily basis. Depending on the battery you choose (watts output), you can run larger appliances. Finally, consider adapting your solar power generator to include a bike generator to help meet your power needs.

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