The world is admiring solar energy, and that’s why we are experiencing most of the mechanical and electronic gadgets coming under the umbrella of solar energy.
But leave all that, let’s talk about your home first.
You most probably have a gas or diesel generator, which becomes your companion in long or short power outages and blackouts. Generators are helpful in those scenarios, but what about their noise and fuel consumption?
Though the DIY generator silencer comes in handy, you still experience some noise. So, what’s the deal now? Solar Generators automatically make their place.
How to build a solar generator?
Solar generators relieve you from power dependencies, which is the real part most users prefer over standard generators.
So, if this makes you go for the cheapest best DIY solar generator, this article will guide you on what tool/equipment you should bring for a solar-powered generator project, how to gather all components, and what calculation you must do before setting it up.
Let’s dive in together;
How to Build a Solar Generator: Watch Your Steps Carefully
Before jumping into the steps, you need to carefully assess your needs for different scenarios like Home, RVs, Camping, etc. It’s not complex stuff but can be measured by calculating your appliance’s power consumption and multiplying this with possible hours they will be in your use.
For example, your refrigerator is a thing that will be chilling your consumable items for the whole 24hrs. For instance, your refrigerator consumes 60W, so you can multiply it with running time to assess how much power supply you will need.
1 Refrigerator = 60w
Running time = 24hr
60 X 24 = 1440 W.hrs
Likewise, add all appliances and their rate of consumption to your calculations and then plan the size of your DIY solar generator kit accordingly. For example, all your devices make a total of 1000w with 4500 W.hr of energy use; you’ll need to build around a 5KW system.
It won’t only give you an understanding of your needs but also help you map the actual cost.
Find the Best Solar Panels for Generator Setup:
Solar panels are going to be the baseline of your project. So, critical thinking here is the best thing you should do. There is brutal competition in the market, and over 200+ manufacturers claiming their product as the best.
Whatever manufacturer you choose, just make yourself about the solar panel types as they will highly affect the performance of your generator.
Generally, the solar panels are of 3 types; Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline, thin film. Monocrystalline remains the best among these, pushing the highest efficiency at the cost of high price and somewhat less sustainability to polycrystalline. Whereas, Poly remains mediocre with relatively more minor efficiency but with good cost-effectiveness and sustainability.
Whereas the third remains as the most budget option for short-term use.
You should always choose monocrystalline plates regardless of the manufacturer. These plates give less charging time with a slight difference in energy production cost with its younger brother.
Battery Selection – Don’t Settle Less Than a DIY Solar Generator Lithium Battery:
You are left with just two options; Lithium-Ion and Lead-acid. Please don’t settle for Lead-acid due to their lower pricing. Solar generators Lithium batteries are comparatively more portable than Lead Acid; the technology used for energy storage, reliability, and value of money, is much superior to their counterpart.
There are various types of Li-ion batteries in the market, but you just have to consider two types; Lithium-ion (Li-ion) or Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4).
We generally know about Lithium-ion batteries, and they have the highest energy density following with excellent stability. On the other hand, Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries deal with the lowest energy density with superb lifespan and safety.
As the energy density makes a battery-less in weight and size and more efficient in working, Lithium-ion mostly gets picked for regular use. LiFePO4 is the player of emergency scenarios.
Don’t forget the Charge Controller:
Make sure your solar generator panels don’t overstimulate the batteries, and it leads to massive destruction in the battery’s life span. For that purpose, a charge controller is a mandatory thing to add to your DIY solar generator kit. But, you can also go without it.
Picking a Best DC-AC Converter is Also a Key:
You are grabbing solar energy, but how is this going to be converted into electrical energy to power up your appliances? DC-AC inverter; always comes advantageous when you need to convert DC into AC. What capacity and what size? It also depends on the calculations and needs you estimated in the very first step.
Do Yourself a Favor: Bring a DC Meter:
It’s good to have information, or the status of your whole solar generator circuit. I mean voltage, power supply, delivery of power, power storage, etc. You can also go without this, but to be on the safest side against any unfortunate irregularity, a DC meter helps you to identify this.
Gather All this Mess in a Case:
Your solar generator will be an open-hearted outdoor circuit that can be ruined by the harshness of the weather. Besides, it will be good and easy for portability if all circuits are managed in a robust case. This will save you from the mess of the disassembly of equipment when changing your location.
Ding Ding! This is How you Make a Solar Powered Generator:
Making the Case:
As you are going to start building a solar generator, first thing first, prepare the box/case where your whole circuit is going to reside. It will be a plug n play system, so mark two holes for input and output outlets.
It’s better to have water-proof switches, and this should be glued with water-resistance silicone gel.
Along with this, if you have some good designing skills, it’s better to draw a solar generator diagram for planning and design.
Placing and connecting the Components in the Casing:
Not to frustrate yourself, you should glue big components first in the case like the battery, Inverter, etc. Glue each component with a silicone layer so they won’t leave their space.
After all settings, you should connect the DC meter to battery terminals. Following this, connect the solar panels to your Inverter. Temporary or permanent connections; it’s all up to you. And don’t forget, the wiring would be insulated with high-class weather-resistant insulation so it can bear the direct electric and weather effects.
Besides, like UPS, you have to place three fuses as per solar panel >> Current controller >> battery >> inverter.
To summarize this, here is the whole connection in points;
Solar panel >> Charge Controller >> Battery >> Inverter
This is how the scenario works
The Bottom Line – Wrapping Up the Story:
So, how to build a solar generator? Building a solar generator is easy, but steps are highly care-intensive. A solar generator can make you energy independent when there are storms, long outages, and blackouts, and power cuts. A solar generator can be a cheap-expensive setup as per your energy needs and buying of components.