DIY Solar Power Generator for Less Than $250

You can make a cheap solar power generator setup using parts you can easily buy from the internet and from local hardware stores.  This simple device can be used during power failures, or when your location is off the power grid.  It can power your computer, TV set, VCR, lights, cameras or any DC appliances.  This is perfect for cabins, camping out, boats and any offbeat locations.  You might want to keep one in your business or residence to be utilized in case of a power failure.

  1. First thing you need is a small solar panel.  You can purchase one online for around $100 at any RV or marine supplies store.  You should get one that’s rated at 12 volts or better.
  2. Next purchase you need to do is for a battery.  It is recommended that you use a deep cycle 12 volt lead/acid or gel battery.  It must be a deep cycle battery because of the continuous usage.  The cheapest one available in the market is around $50.
  3. You will also need a battery box to house the battery.  This is important specially if you have kids around.  This will hide the exposed terminals.  But if you’re going to place your DIY solar power generator in a cabin, pump shed or boat then you can forego on buying one.
  4. Purchase a 12 volt DC meter.  Any electronic store has this for around $25.
  5. Get a DC input.  You can find a triple inlet model at a car parts store for only $10.  DC devices already comes with the compatible cable off the box, such as fans, lights, baby bottle warmers, hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, answering machines, and a lot more.
  6. If you have AC appliances, you need to buy an inverter.  This will be used to convert the DC power in the battery to AC power to be used for household appliances.  You need to compute the total watts you’ll require to know the proper watt inverter you should buy.
  7. Drill into the battery box to attach the DC meter as well as the DC input.
  8. Use an insulated wire to attach the DC meter to the battery terminals.  You must connect the negative pole first.  Be sure to handle one wire at a time to avoid shorting the circuit.
  9. Connect the DC inlet to the battery terminal the same way you connected the DC meter.
  10. And lastly, connect the solar panel to the battery.  It will take five to eight hours to fully charge a dead battery.

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2 Responses to “DIY Solar Power Generator for Less Than $250”

  1. Mario November 26, 2009 at 11:55 pm #

    Thanks for sharing Grace. I was seeing a lot of ebooks about building your own solar kit, do they contain the same info as your blog post here? I work in the home improvement industry but electrical DIY is really not my thing… I’m determined to do this project to power my laptop so that I won’t feel guilty with leaving it on to reduce load times.

  2. adamobile May 25, 2011 at 6:16 am #

    The price of $250 for diy solar power generator is very affordable and worth it. But where can I buy such generator?

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