lunes, 29 de octubre de 2012

How to Build a Portable Solar Generator

How to Build a Portable Solar Generator:
For those who are traveling a lot, especially in places where facilities like water or electricity are missing, there are a few ways to enjoy the comfort of a real home. Only in a smaller version. The article "Building a solar generator", written  by Bill Brooks shows some of the steps how a trailer house can be set up to run on green energy in places you can not use the regular power sources by running on solar power.

The electricity is provide by batteries in this version of the house, and for proper functioning they have to be recharged periodically. There is a propane generator attached to the house, but for one who wants more of green energy, solar power is a better choice. By this, costs can be lowered considerably, and while  solar power comes free, buying propane doesn't.

In many cases, solar panels are mounted on the rooftops of the trailer house. This allows the panels to run on direct sunlight, as long as the sun shines in the daytime. The downside of this is, then the trailer has to be parked permanently in the sunlight. Some parking places might also have obstacles, or trees that are getting into the way, in this case the original idea is not really working. Parking locations are not designed by the sunlight, and you might end up parking your trailer in quite the opposite direction, and this will considerably lower the output of the solar panels.

So the best idea is to put the solar panels detached from the house itself, so they can be positioned into the direct sunlight. This way they can be easily repositioned. There are other devices that can be added to the equation and so the cart can be used as a real solar generator. With the use of a battery, an inverter and a solar controller, the cart can be tuned up to be a great solar generator device.

What parts should be used to build the Solar Generator

The so called SolGen 160, the solar generator is built up by four parts. Two solar panels of 80 watts each, summing up 160 watts together. The charge controller of the solar device works on 30 amps. You can use a deep cycle battery, which is rated at a capacity of 210 amp hours altogether. The used inverter can provide an output of 1100 watts, talking of AC power, and the peak output of this is at 2200 watts of power.

Simplifying things a little the solar generator, if it works under ideal, proper conditions, provides a weekly rate of 460 amps. This should be enough to charge up a 12 volt battery. This output makes it possible to fully recharge the battery in an interval of 3 up to 4 days. By using 25% of the battery capacity on a daily basis, you are able to fully charge your solar generator during the next day. Now that you have the "power", with the energy acquired you can nicely run a laptop, a television set, or a microwave as well. By this you can have the comfort in your tiny house you used to have in a real home, no matter if you are parked near the forest, in the desert, or on a mountain top.

How to assemble such a solar cart

You can simply use 2×3 for building the framing of the cart, and close it with a T-1 siding on one part. The measurements of the cart are 4 feet wide, with 4 feet long and it is 4.5 feet tall, not such an enormous device. The first step of building the cart is a wooden frame that goes all around the panels, holding them together at a 45 angle degree. You also need some braces that go across the L-frames, so you can fit them tightly together. By using screws, you then have to attach the frames.

The T-1 siding is designed to be the enclosing part of the cart. And you might also want to put a floor for it, so you need another piece of plywood. For safety and comfort, there should be added doors, at the back of the cart so you can get to the components of the cart and the battery easily. The final step is the painting of the cart, this prevents it from leaking energy, and you have to attach the wheels of course, cause we were talking of a mobile cart.


The next important aspect of the cart are the costs, so let's take a look:

The approximate costs of the SolGen 160 mobile solar generator cart are around $1500 by using the following parts:

- solar panels which cost at around $850
- the box plus the battery goes for another $180
- the solar controller device at $100
- the power inverter at $70

Until now we have a subtotal of $1200.
Now we have to add the costs of the cart which goes for another $300.
So the total price of our Solar Generator on Wheels is $1500.

The most expensive parts, when building such a solar cart are the the 2×3 lumber pieces and the T-1 siding. Purchasing the wheels, the paint and the used hardware are only a minor cost, and they can be purchased locally, at cheap prices at the hardware stores.

Although the other components can be purchased locally as well, they can be bought on-line too. From you can get the controller, the inverter and the solar panels. Also everyone should design this cart fit to his needs. With fewer components and less expensive equipment you can build a smaller or a cheaper version of such a solar cart.

[via Tiny Hose Listings]

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