Do you live in an area where frequent power cuts interrupt your daily routine and make you suffer more, especially in extreme hot and cold weather? Or are you fed up with the rising electricity cost and searching for a budget-friendly solution? If the answer to any one of them is yes, then solar generators are the perfect option for your home. It can solve multiple power-related issues and provides clean energy every time. Moreover, you can easily build it using a few DIY components at your house. Here is the complete guide about how to build a solar generator of either 5000 watt or 3000 watts or some other. Also, go through the safety tips you need to follow while establishing it in the house.
Factors to Consider Before Building a DIY Solar Generator
Before purchasing the materials or kit for a solar power generator, it is crucial to think of a certain factor before installing it in your house.
- The first and foremost aspect is the expense, and the cost spent to generate per watt energy. If your energy consumption is low, then 5 kW is enough and costs around $40,000. It can touch the level of $75,000 for a 7.5 kW solar array.
- The second factor is coverage area. You can look at your electricity bill to get a rough estimate of the number of solar panels. For a setup of 7.5 kW, you require more than 60 panels and cover 65 square meters. Both first and second aspects are related, and hence, you have to consider them before building a solar generator.
- The next aspect is surroundings or location. The capacity of the solar panel gets reduced if shadow-casting buildings and tall trees surround your home. Ensuring the direct reach of sunlight makes the solar panel more efficient. If you can’t eliminate any of them, then you can search for the best place in the house where the sunlight reaches without any hindrance.
- The last essential factor to consider is maintenance. Although the solar generator does not demand regular maintenance, it gets necessary to clean it at least two times a year. Cleaning solar panels is a must to avoid the extra buildup of dust. You must understand that dust accumulation can reduce electricity generation by almost 7 percent more than the original potential.
Things Required for Making a Solar Generator
After deciding to build a solar generator, it becomes necessary to list out the materials required to complete the entire building procedure effectively. This will help you to analyze the budget needed for the generator and prevent you from overspending.
Solar panels are the essential components of a solar generator. The role of a solar panel is to absorb the sun’s energy and supply it to the battery attached. The inverter then converts this energy into the form of usable electricity. But purchasing the right solar panels is necessary for the proper functioning of the solar generator. The reason is that solar panels remain exposed to outdoor conditions, and dust and water can damage their interior parts.
Therefore, it is important to look for a high-quality and all-weather-resistant solar panel so that it can last for a longer period. For example, you can opt for a solar panel having an aluminum frame designed with corrosion-resistant properties for extended usage.
Buying a good battery can be one of the most difficult parts of making a DIY solar power generator. It is because batteries are available in every shape and size. The battery is the place where the generated solar energy gets stored. The aspect that affects the choice of a battery is your daily requirements in the house and how much energy you wish to store. You can calculate the power consumption of devices that you want to run and the kW they require. It is better to go for lithium-ion batteries as they are considered to be the best for solar panels.
The Solar Charge Controller
A charge controller has a major role in extending the life of a battery as it protects the battery from premature wear out by preventing overcharging. Therefore, it is always better to have a charge controller installed in a solar generator as it also improves the safety of the entire system. But there is no compulsion to buy the charge controller as the solar generator can also work without it. For getting a proper solar generator, you have to calculate the battery amp hour potential.
12V DC Meter
Installing a 12V DC meter can provide you with numerical figures of how much power the solar generator has stored. It will help you understand if the generator is ready to provide power to your electronic equipment. A positive thing about DC meters is that they are available at reasonable prices and comparatively less costly than other tools of the solar generator.
The last essential component of the solar generator is the inverter. This tool converts the solar power stored in the battery to AC power and allows you to run the electronic appliances with that. The battery stores the energy in the form of direct current power. It is then converted into AC power by the inverter and ensures the safe usage of all appliances connected to the solar generator.
Other things required for a solar generator are a rugged case and a battery box. Although both are optional, you can purchase them for the device’s safety. A case helps protect the solar generator from humidity and dust and maintains the system’s life. In addition, it allows you to place every component in a case so that you can take them on your camping trips. To protect your battery, you can also arrange a battery box and extend its original life.
How to Build a Solar Generator (3000 or 5000 Watt)?
When you are done with acquiring all the necessary components, you can proceed towards developing a powerful homemade solar generator. Here are simple steps that you can follow to build the solar power generator without any hassle:
Step 1: Making the Outer Box Ready
- The first step involves preparing the battery box for the DC meter and other outlets; You have to decide the area to place the battery box.
- It is better to layout the DC meter in such a manner that you can easily get a reading anytime.
- During the installation process of outlets, you have to decide the layout of plugs, chargers, and remaining accessories as they are placed next to each other. For an appliance with a large plug, it is advised to part it from close outlets.
- After this, you have to mount everything inside the box. If the outlets include an extended backing, you have to ensure that they fit properly after putting the battery and inverter into the box.
- Once you are done determining everything, you can begin drilling and installing outlets and the DC meter.
Step 2: Joining the Electrical Parts
- In this step, you need to place the battery into the battery box and attach the DC meter to battery terminals using electrical wires.
- You have to ensure that the negative end is connected first while connecting wires. Follow the similar process for outlets also.
- Further, it is necessary to ensure that every connection is tight and secured for taking proper readings.
- Now, move forward to the connection of solar panels and the battery. You can either join them permanently or temporarily, depending upon your requirements.
- If you want a permanent setup, then you can straightaway connect the solar panel to the battery. But if it is for a shorter period, then you can make use of quick-connect plugs that allow you to plug the solar panel into the box’s front or rear end.
Step 3: Installation of Solar Panel and Testing it Out
- The last step of building a solar generator is to install the solar panel at a place where it can receive proper sunlight.
- If wires are long enough, then you can only put the solar panel in an open place and the battery box in a safer place. So, install it in direct sunlight and start observing the readings on the DC meter. It will show the voltage that the solar generator is receiving.
- If everything is working well, leave it for a few hours to get charged to its maximum capacity.
- After the generator is charged, you can start using it to power your electrical appliances. You just have to plug the appliance into the right receptacle.
- You can observe the energy consumed for a particular appliance and how much charge remains after the usage.
Safety Tips & Instructions to Build your Own Solar Generator
Here are a few safety tips that you should follow before installing the solar generator in the house:
- Inspect every piece of equipment to ensure that it is safe to use and in working condition.
- Wear the right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for safety against electrical shocks, like rubber gloves.
- You have to remain cautious while dealing with the inverter. They hold a powerful charge even after the power plug has been removed.
- Maintain a proper distance from powered electrical wires. Ensure never to disconnect connectors or other types of equipment having the electrical load.
- Before starting the work on electrical components, always check circuits to ensure they are de-energized.
People think that building a solar generator is complex and cannot be built in the house. But the reality is the opposite. Anyone can make an efficient solar generator at the house using the essential components and following the procedure carefully. The homemade power station can fulfill the electricity needs and last for several years if maintained properly.
All you have to do is expose the solar panels to direct sunlight and attach a ventilator inside the case to accomplish cooling needs. You can use these DIY solar generators for home applications or camping also. And if you are in a urgent requirement of a portable one for your camping, you can go for the best RV generators available on Amazon.