Updated 2021: How To Build A DIY Solar Generator (3,000 Watt) – Part 1

In this series I will show you how to save money by building your own DIY Solar Generator, with all the same features as the commercial made units. The finished result will be a high quality solar generator with more serviceability and customization options to your own needs than the ready made units.

Note: The original design of this DIY solar generator used a 2,000 watt inverter. We have upgraded it to the new 3,000 watt model in the latest version along with several other improvements. Before you build the solar generator following our how to plans, be sure to watch the updates video below for the recent changes!

Introduction

Solar Generators (also called Solar Powered Generators) are extremely useful tools. I started looking into some of the largest 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 be irritating, these solar generators are really handy.

I soon realized I could build my own — getting to pick the components that best match my needs, and even better save approximately half the cost vs buying a manufactured solar generator. This post will show you step-by-step how to build your own weatherproof indoor/ outdoor diy solar generator!

Part 1 of our DIY video series on how to build a large solar generator. In this step we will be demonstrating the load ...

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 DIY solar generator for many reasons. For one it will be a lot cheaper. Second, I can add several features I wanted to add that are not in to the manufactured units. Finally, because it will be an enjoyable 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.

Continue reading Updated 2021: How To Build A DIY Solar Generator (3,000 Watt) – Part 1

Bringing Home a CASE 360 Trencher Backhoe

A while back I picked up a new piece of machinery to help with many of our projects. It is not what I was originally looking for. I had been looking for a backhoe attachment for my Kubota tractor. The Kubota B20 was designed to be a TLB (Tractor / Loader / Backhoe) and has a frame integrated quick attach system designed for the matching BT650 backhoe unit. This is more solid and preferable to 3 point mounted units. The added weight due to this frame design makes them surprisingly capable and the backhoe units for them rarely come up for sale.

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Loading Tractor Tires Quick & Easy

Loading your tractor tires with windshield washer fluid is an easy upgrade giving more traction, better hill stability, and additional weight / ballast. This is also helps with using a front end loader. I decided to use  windshield washer fluid since it is inexpensive, easy to obtain, will not freeze, and will not corrode the wheels like calcium and some of the other wheel ballast options.

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Restoring a Kubota B20 Tractor – Part 7

Video progress update!

First startup after initial 30-minute run-in and head bolts re-torqued. Now starting to apply load to break in the engine and seat the piston rings.

This is the first time the tractor has moved under its own power in many years! Entire chassis has been split, separated, cleaned up, restored and painted.

Also talk about some of the remaining issues that still need addressed in the steering column, and the front gear case on the left side wheel.

Continue reading Restoring a Kubota B20 Tractor – Part 7

Solar Generator – Final Version and Final Design Updates

The finished large solar generator featured in our DIY How To Build a Solar Generator series. If you are getting ready to follow our video tutorial and build your own solar generator, make sure you watch this video first so you know about the design updates!

In the video below we go over the solar generator features, solar panel kit specs, and our DIY battery bank expansion units. In addition, we show how to upgrade / improve several aspects of the original design including a higher power AC power inverter (3,000 watt continuous, 6,000 watt peak), fully waterproof external switches, mounting improvements, and a better way to store accessories inside the solar generator main case.

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Kubota Finally B20 Moves Under its Own Power!

Video progress update!

First startup after initial 30-minute run-in and head bolts re-torqued. Now starting to apply load to break in the engine and seat the piston rings.

This is the first time the tractor has moved under its own power in many years! Entire chassis has been split, separated, cleaned up, restored and painted.

Continue reading Kubota Finally B20 Moves Under its Own Power!

Solar Generator – New Updates

Our DIY solar generator how to series has been really successful with lots of great feedback!  I have had at least 20 – 30 subscribers mention in the comments or emails that they have built one of these units and are very happy with it. Even several people that initially were not sure they would be able to build it, have later told me they successfully built one.  Thanks for the great feedback, I always love hearing from the people that have built them!

I just posted another video to YouTube with some additional updates based on  my own usage of the solar generator, as well as a couple changes due to parts availability. We needed to switch to the 3,000 watt inverter, as the 2,000 watt version we originally used in the how to videos is no longer available. I also will be upgrading the external switches to a water proof version. Finally we will be reinforcing some of the higher stress mounted components, such as the high current quick connector with epoxy instead of hot melt glue.

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Adding Solar Power to a Camper or RV

We purchased an ’86 Travel Villa 29′ fifth wheel camper as an inexpensive means to travel out west with our dogs. The camper is an older model, but it has served us well. After building the solar generator, I have found that I  always want to bring it with us when we travel as we typically boon-dock without hookups.

I have decided I would like to add a dedicated solar power system to the camper. This way the camper will always be ready to go, and the dedicated solar panels will also keep the camper’s existing deep-cycle battery topped off when not in use.

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Solar Generator – Battery Bank & Solar Panel Expansion

This is an update to our DIY How To series on How to Build a Large Solar Generator.   In this follow up post, I will show you how we can use the quick connects designed into our solar generator to expand both the solar charging capacity, as well as the battery bank for increased run times.

A lot of the feedback was asking how to expand the solar generator to an even bigger capacity system. When I designed the base unit, I wanted it to be very easily expandable using quick connects. There are two areas where we can easily do that with our system:

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