5 years ago I created a series of how-to videos for a DIY solar generator. It has had a lot of traffic and is one of the most watched solar generator videos on YouTube. It has also had a lot of requests for a Lithium-ion version. Today we show you how to upgrade its battery bank to Lithium (LifePO4).Continue reading Lithium Solar Generator Battery Upgrade
Field Testing the OKMO 1000W Portable Power Station
OKMO has kindly provided me with their 1000 Watt Portable Power Station to test out and review. I was a bit skeptical of the unit at first since it was priced a little bit less than most of the competitive models. I was pleasantly surprised by its performance!Continue reading Field Testing the OKMO 1000W Portable Power Station
Updated 2022: 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 LifePo4 battery, and 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!
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!
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 2022: How To Build A DIY Solar Generator (3,000 Watt) – Part 1
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.
Continue reading Solar Generator – Final Version and Final Design Updates
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:
Continue reading Solar Generator – Battery Bank & Solar Panel Expansion
DIY Solar Generator – Plexiglass Cover and Improvements
In this update to our DIY Solar Generator how-to series, I am going to show you how to build an acrylic Plexiglass cover for the inside of the solar generator, so that we can store things like jumper cables inside the case without worry about shorting out or damaging any of our wiring connections. I will also show you some updates and improvements that I have made since the original videos, including a way to automatically disconnect the solar charger from the battery when the solar panels are unplugged. This will keep the solar charger from slowly running down the battery while in storage, without having to remember to turn on or off a disconnect switch. I will also show you a better solution I have found for the solar cable wire including heavier gauge cable, for less cost, and a built in cord wrap.
Continue reading DIY Solar Generator – Plexiglass Cover and Improvements
How To Build a Large Solar Generator – Part 4 – Wiring
This is the fourth part in our series on how to build your own large solar generator. In this part we will be completing the wiring for the generator, including the solar charge controller, AC inverter, LED work lights, and USB outlets.
Continue reading How To Build a Large Solar Generator – Part 4 – Wiring
How To Build a Large Solar Generator – Part 3 – Component Mounting
This is the third part in our project series How To Build a Solar Generator. In this part, we will be mounting all of the components into our case, as well as some of the preliminary wiring.
Continue reading How To Build a Large Solar Generator – Part 3 – Component Mounting
How To Build a Large Solar Generator – Part 2 – Component Testing
This is part two in our series of posts on how to build your own large (2,000 Watt, 4,000W Peak) solar generator.
Testing the Components of Your Solar Generator
Before we start mounting all the various electronic components into the Pelican case for our solar Generator, it is a good idea to make sure everything is working correctly. We definitely would not want to discover we have a defective invertor only after mounting it and wiring everything else up around it.
Continue reading How To Build a Large Solar Generator – Part 2 – Component Testing
Understanding Basic Electricity & Troubleshooting an Electrical Circuit
Understanding basic electricity can be invaluable in both safety, as well as when troubleshooting and repairing an electrical circuit. We will add more posts soon on many topics such as how to build a solar generator, and this post will help build the basics on which those posts will expand.
Continue reading Understanding Basic Electricity & Troubleshooting an Electrical Circuit