How To Build A Solar Generator (3,000 Watt) – Part 1

Note: The original design of this solar generator used a 2,000 watt inverter. This has been upgraded to the new 3,000 watt model in the latest version and several other improvements. Before you build the solar generator following our plans, be sure to watch the new intro and updates video below so you are aware of the changes!

Introduction

I started looking into some of the biggest portable solar generator units on the market, because the idea of a completely silent generator that can run large power loads while never needing gasoline is a really cool concept. Whether you want to run a portable table saw, or go tailgating  / camping where the noise of a standard generator would just be irritating, we will show you step-by-step how to build a weatherproof indoor/ outdoor solar generator!

Solar Generator Build – Quick Links

Part 1 – Component Overview – (current step)
Part 2 – Component Testing

Part 3 – Mounting Internal & External Components
Part 4 – Wiring the Solar Generator
Part 5 – Plexiglass Cover & Design Updates
Part 6 – Solar Panel & Battery Bank Expansion

After seeing what was available, I found myself wanting to design my own solar generator for a number of reasons. For one it will be a lot cheaper, second, I can add several features I wanted to add that were not built in to the manufactured units. Finally, because it will be a really fun project!

By building your own, you will learn all about small off-grid solar setups, and also be able to fix the individual components if you ever have problems with it down the road. You can also easily modify the plans to build a permanent style off grid solar power setup for a cabin or camper.

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My Favorite Strippers… Wire Strippers That Is

I have used a lot of wire strippers. When I first saw this type of wire stripper, I was skeptical, because every type of auto-stripper I had used before would work sort of, but seemed like they were more hassle than they were worth. They would either only work well with a small window of wire sizes, or they would need constant adjusting between wire sizess.

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Converting a Ford Power Stroke 7.3L Diesel Engine to Vegetable Oil

Most diesel engines are capable of running on a wide variety of fuels. Several years ago I converted my 2002 Ford F250 with a 7.3L Powerstroke diesel to run on waste vegetable oil. The design was a collaboration of my own ideas combined with those of Jason Crawford’s. Since that time, Jason Crawford has continued to innovate his design, which was later to become the Vegistroke™ available from Biofuel Technologies.  This is an overview of my original conversion for those that are considering building their own conversion, or just curious how they work.

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Earthminded RainStation Rain Barrel

The Rain Barrel collects rain water from the roof and its drainage system. The water it collects is not potable, and should not be used for drinking or cooking without filtration & disinfection.

Besides the ability of providing a source of emergency reserve water, the rain barrel provides a great source of water to use to water your lawn and garden.  Any way to reduce your dependency on the utilities is a great thing. The rain barrel is one such way to reduce that dependency and save money on your water bill as well. Continue reading Earthminded RainStation Rain Barrel

Vegistroke V3 WVO Kit

After successfully converting my F250 to run on Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) several years ago, I recently decided to purchase and upgrade to the Vegistroke V3 kit from Biofuel Technologies . While my own conversion had functioned well for several years, I wanted to upgrade to the design and reliability of the V3. The V3 has lots of added creature comforts such as fully auto-purge and shutdown AFTER I turn the truck off.

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Strikeforce Fire Starter

I decided to test out the UST StrikeForce Fire Starter. This is the best quality flint bar and striker we have seen. The outer construction is made of very sturdy ABS plastic and inside it contains a very large 1/2″ diameter flint bar. The striker is made from a thick piece of hardened steel. Together they produce nice large and very hot sparks.

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Gerber LMF II Infantry Knife

The Gerber LMF II Infantry Knife [22-41463] is a good quality, versatile survival knife in the sub $100 category. This particular knife is considered to be the among the best bang for your buck when it comes to survival knifes.

We selected the Coyote Brown version  for our review. The knife is well made and feels very sturdy in your hand. The rubber over-mold offers good grip in dry and wet conditions, though we have noticed the rubber over-mold can get nicked up with use, and is the first part to start showing wear. We don’t feel this will affect its performance for its intended use and it is mostly cosmetic damage. Even using the included sheath will overtime damage the overmold as can be seen the photo below. The grip itself is shaped nicely for a positive and secure grip in several positions.

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