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.
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.
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.
An age old argument against turning the thermostat down is that it causes your furnace or AC to have to work harder to catch up, and therefore negates any savings. But is this true?
We recently moved into a new house, which has quite a few windows. We also have had a very warm June and early July. As a result our house has been pretty warm and uncomfortable lately. Especially since I prefer to use the AC as little as possible… usually meaning none!
I am a big fan of upgrades that will reduce our energy footprint, and especially ones that have a lasting effect of several years or more. I began researching window films that I could install myself, and eventually decided to give the Gila Heat Control Residential Window Film a try. It is available on Amazon, in several sized and varieties. I opted for the 36″ x 100′ foot roll in the Platinum color. The manufacture claims an impressive reduction in cooling costs of up to 50%. They also state it rejects up to 99% of UV, and 67% of glare. I also found that the vast majority of customer reviews were very pleased with it, some stating that it has held up well even after 10+ years of use.
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.
I started looking into some of the biggest solar generator units on the market, because the idea of a completely silent generator that can still 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 how to build a solar generator!
After seeing what was available, I found myself wanting to design my own for a number of reasons. For one it will be a lot cheaper, Two I can add several features I wanted to add that were not built in to the manufactured units, and three, 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.
I recently purchased this solar powered attic fan to increase the energy efficiency of my home in the summer months.