Solar Generator Build-Day 3 Update 5/17

JimH

Regular Member
It's finally time to start putting together a solar generator. After doing some research, I decided to pattern it on this Desert Prep's Youtube design:

Youtube Solar Generator

So one the first day, this is it:

powerstation1.jpg

First $40 spent on of Craig's list. More updates to follow..
 

JimH

Regular Member
Day 2 Update....
Got the wood base and dug out 10 years of Ham/Alt E projects. Starting to see where things might go.
powerstation3.jpg
 

JimH

Regular Member
Day 3 Update;
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Wired in the MPPT charge controller. Found enough 4 Awg cable to do the job. Also found some larger Anderson connectors and installed the 40A fuse from Amazon.
 

JimH

Regular Member
What panels are you using? Please continue the updates. I'm curious how this is going to take shape.
I am currently using 3 older 100 watt panels to be combined with 1 or 2 more Newpowa 100w panels from Amazon.
I took the hand truck to the Bro-in-law welder. 2 weeks later it came back with a tray 2 inches wider and 3/4 of inch narrower than what I asked for. Looks like I will be going with a single 200 Ah AGM for a battery now:
generator4.jpg
 

JimH

Regular Member
Finished the access panel. Almost the same from the video, plus a couple of additional switches.
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JimH

Regular Member
5/8 Update
Hand truck back from welder, painted. Control panel made and mounted;
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JimH

Regular Member
5/15 Update.
I finally got some time to work on the project. I wanted to go with 1big 200 AH battery, but Mr. Murphy spoke up. Instead, I went with 2 6 volt golf cart batteries from Sam's club. Most of the components are on the board wired in. I think I need to add some more USB ports due to recent experiments with AA rechargeable lithium batteries. I ended up using more real estate on the back than I had planned for, but the area in between the structure supports of the hand truck frame ended up providing some good protected space.
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Full write up to follow as the project starts to wrap up....
 

JimH

Regular Member
How's the performance? And what would you do differently if you had to remake it?

Thanks for the post.

So far, so good. The generator was made to be able to sustain the rechargeable batteries of personal items in a group (radios, lights, cell phones. Etc.) and it fits that role well. However, if doing it again:

I would plan on more USB ports. I started with 8 but went to 20 because they fill up fast.

I would look for a hand truck with larger wheels. I like the solid wheels, but larger ones would make things easier, especially off road.

I would have made the battery trey a little , to accommodate multiple size/configurations of batteries. 13” x 25” is not that much more, but would have made a difference.

I would use AA chargers that also charge 18650 size , for they are the future.

Lastly, if I had to do it again, I probably would go with one of the offerings from Goal Zero. Each one has it’s advantages and disadvantages (all dogs have fleas), and all are (what I consider to be) good, ready to go off the shelf products. There are some really good Youtube reviews on each out there now. It is amazing how far the lithium technology has come in the past few years….
 
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