Getting Started with a Solar Powered Generator
There are generally two reasons you would want to build your own solar powered generator: you want a reliable backup energy source, or you want to use it every day and live life off the grid. Whatever the reason, constructing your own solar powered generator is sure to give you respect for those that deal with solar energy on a daily basis and make you wonder why you never did it before.
This article is going to give a general overview of what it takes to build your own solar powered generator, starting with the materials you will need to invest in to get the generator constructed.
Your first article needed is a small solar panel. You can purchase a small diy kit, or construct one from scratch with solar cells, metal wiring and solder. You want to have at least a twelve volt rated panel, but sixteen volts is better. Following the solar panel, you want to get a deep cycle twelve volt battery. The battery can be gel, or of the lead/acid type, the deep cycle is required because you are going to be continually using it.
You then want to invest in a DC input. This looks like the cigarette lighter outlet in your car, and works the same. If you have any appliances that you can plug into your car lighter, then you will be able to use them with your solar powered generator. You are also going to need a twelve volt DC meter to use with this generator.
At this point you would be ready to power up any appliances that plug into a car outlet, in order to run AC appliances you want to invest in an inverter. Attach your meter and DC inlet to the top of a battery box with a drill. Connect the negative pole of the battery to the meter, after, connect the positive. Do not handle more than one wire at a time. Do the same with the DC inlet.
To connect your solar panel, run wires from the negative poles and then the positive poles the same way you did for your meter. Then place the battery in its box and put the lid on. The next step is to set your solar panel out in the sun! After your system has charged up you are ready to use it.
A good understanding of electricity is recommended before you connect many solar powered generator systems together. You always want to consult with your local municipality for safety regulations surrounding renewable energy alternatives. If you found constructing your own solar generator simple, then you may want to tackle creating your own solar panels next.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jakob Jelling runs http://www.solarpanelmanual.com which focuses on solar energy. Please visit his web site to learn more about solar powered generators.