Solar generators provide a way to supply numerous devices and equipment electricity without having to rely on a grid, standard batteries, or other external power sources.
This can be useful in various scenarios, such as power outages in your area.
Although there are currently countless solar generators on the market, it’s not very difficult to make your DIY solar generator kit. With just a handful of tools and a few items of equipment, you’re well on your way to finding an inexpensive way to power a range of electrical appliances and items.
This article will cover how solar energy works, the tools you’ll need to build a solar generator, and a step by step guide on how to build a solar generator yourself. We will also look at their pros and cons to help you decide if you should DIY or buy a generator.
Good Application Possibilities for a DIY Solar Generator
Be aware that do-it-yourself solar generators can’t power an average house. (Although they’re great for small houses.)
But they’re good reserve energy for those with frequent outages. If you live in an area with a frequent power outage, a DIY solar generator can be the ticket to leave the lights on.
Do-it-yourself solar generators are also useful when camping or for operating a single device that consumes a lot of energy, such as a CPAP or electric grill. People who live in motorhomes can operate their mobile homes with a combination of wind and sun.
They can combine a generator with more commercial versions of solar panels for camping.
Some people even use self-made solar generators to power-play stations and telephones on long bike rides.
A Word of Caution When Building a Solar Generator
Knowledge of applied electricity is required when building your home improvement solar generator. If your experience in dealing with electrical appliances is limited to connecting and replacing light bulbs, this is not a suitable project for you.
You may want to hire a certified and well-verified electrician to work with you even if you understand how positive and negative charges work, on your DIY solar generator.
Tools You Need For Building A DIY Solar Generator
Very few tools are needed to make a DIY generator because most of the devices have to be connected. However, you will need a few things: A pair of wire cutters, some Velcro straps, and a power drill with different drill bits.
Now for the really important part. A solar generator is a combination of a few devices that work together to use, convert, store, and provide the electrical energy to your devices.
Your solar panels are what you’ll use to capture solar energy in the first place. Solar panels can usually be used in conjunction with each other, so don’t hesitate to get more than one if it can be chained to another.
Note that solar panels are available in different wattages. The higher the wattage, the faster you can store energy. Make sure you get along the power cord if one is not automatically supplied with the panels.
You’ll need a cable long enough to protect the battery array from rain or sun while charging the system.
- Clean and Unlimited Solar Energy: 100% green energy with smart MPPT controller for optimal charging efficiency. The power station can be fully charged with 2 Jackery SolarSaga 100W solar panels within 6 hrs or only 5.5 hrs via AC wall outlet charging. Ideal for your camping or family emergency storage.
- Easy to Use in Seconds: Just one simple touch to finish setup within 60s to enjoy outstanding charging efficiency.
- Safe & Reliable for Outdoor Camping: Features industry-leading cylindrical batteries (popular with manufacturers of Electric Vehicles) that meet UL safety standards. Certified with Impact-Resistance Class 9, passing the UL drop test (withstanding 3 drops from 0.9m height on any surface). The pure sine wave inverter delivers constant voltage that protects equipment from damage.
- Power Pretty Much Anything: Power 90% home appliances with 1002Wh (1000W AC output power) and 8 outlets (3*AC outlet, 1*USB-A , 1*USB-A quick charge 3.0, 2*USB-C PD, 1*Car outlet). Ideal for outdoor off-grid activities and home backup power to power refrigerator, TV, mini cooler, electric grill, fan, and more for your outdoor and home needs.
- Quiet & Strong: At such a large capacity, this Explorer will leave you with VERY LITTLE to NO noise, giving you the peace and power all at once. Extra bonus for the built - unlike most other portable generators, this supports pass-through charging while its battery life is protected.
Next, you will need a high voltage deep cycle battery (12-24Volt). This battery holds the sun’s rays until you need it to run your refrigerator, for example.
The best choice is a battery that is designed to absorb solar energy while supporting a wind-powered motorhome. Check out the Universal Power Group 12V battery or the 12 Volt AGM Deep Cycle Battery.
Carefully select your solar battery. It must be able to maintain the cycle of daily energy intake and output. Many batteries are only suitable for a few electricity depots.
You’ll want a solar battery with a good discharge depth. In layman’s terms, this means that the battery can cope with a discharge of ninety percent of its energy without crapping.
Check the warranty for the battery. It should have a guarantee of at least ten years. It’s a good idea if the warranty also indicates how many cycles the battery is good for.
- [Ideal Output]: The ideal daily power output is 1.6KWH (under 4 hours sunlight), perfectly suitable for RV, shed, cabin, home or other energy backup. It can also provide enough power to run TV,air conditioner, water heater, refrigerator, coffee maker, microwave and other AC 110V devices.
- [Durable and 21% High Conversion Efficiency]: 100Watt aluminum frame and tempered glass panel for extended outdoor use, allowing the panels to last for decades.Monocrystallin panel's compact design with the size of 38.6 x 21.1 x 1.4 inch (Height, Length and width). The IP65 waterproof panel can also withstand high winds (2400Pa) and snow loads (5400Pa).
- [High Capacity and 10+ Years' life]: 12V 100Ah lithium batteries, large enough to store 1.2KWh of power. New type lithium battery which has higher charge/discharge efficiency and more than 3000 times deep cycles. Over 10 years of lifespan, much longer than lead acid batteries. With built-in BMS(battery management system), preventing the lithium battery from overcharge, overdischarge, overheat and short circuit.
- [Efficient AC-DC Output] With advanced pure sine wave design of 1100W power inverter, which converts 12V to 110V output. 95% High conversion efficiency, making full use of battery power without waste. 1% ultra-low no-load loss, low self-consumption and saving battery power.
- [Package Includes]: 4*100W mono solar panels + 1* 60A controller + 1* 1100W power inverter + 1* 12V 100Ah lithium battery + other accessories needed. And we provide 1 year warranty. If you have any question, feel free to contact us and we will help you with your question ASAP.
The sun provides what we call “direct current” energy. So you need an inverter to convert this energy into alternating current.
Alternating current is safer than direct current. That’s why electrical systems are designed to run on alternating currents.
The inverter you have selected requires several output connections. A pure sine wave inverter is best suited for this purpose.
These are some of the best inverters that can be considered for solar installations. Look for an inverter with several ports, such as USB, 12v, and AC outlets.
- ULTRA-LIGHTWEIGHT: At only 39 pounds, this inverter is one of the lightest 2500-watt inverters in the industry.Fully assembled with hassle-free setup, the built-in carrying handle makes transport a cinch.Champion’s Inverter Technology includes smart Economy Mode, which can reduce the electrical load, providing quieter operation, extended engine life and better fuel economy.When the 1.1-gallon tank of gasoline is full, this inverter will run up to 11.5 hours at 25% load.
- QUIET OPERATION: 53 dBA from 23 feet is perfect for camping, tailgating or to backup a few home essentials, featuring 2500 starting watts, 1850 running watts and up to 11.5 hours run time
- PARALLEL READY: The optional clip-on parallel kit enables this inverter to connect with another 2500-watt Champion inverter to double your output power
- CLEAN POWER: Includes two covered 120V 20A household outlets with clean electricity (less than 3% THD)
- Fully assembled with hassle-free setup, the built-in carrying handle makes transport a cinch.
Another safety element on your DIY solar generator is the charge controller. This device standardizes the level of charge that goes in and out of your battery.
The charge controller works together with the inverter to prevent your system from exploding. Without a charge controller, there’s the risk that your battery will overcharge or give off a harmful charge to your inverter.
A few companies manufacture charge controllers for special use with DIY solar generators.
- 【Optimized for 12V Batteries】Compatible with 12V battery banks on the market, including lithium batteries. The LED indicators allow you to set battery types and check the charging staus with ease.
- 【Smart 4-Stage PWM Charging】Smart 4-Stage PWM charging (Bulk, Boost, Float, and Equalization) increases battery life and improves system performance. Intelligent protection against reverse polarity, overcharging, short-circuit, and reverse current.
- 【Compact in size】Which makes it easy to install virtually anywhere.
- 【Multiple battery adaptation】 Deep Cycle Sealed (AGM), Gel, Flooded and Lithium battery option ready.
- 【Wanderer10A|30A Installation Notes】 The default starting position of the Wanderer controller terminal hatches are closed (in the UP position) that could mistakenly look like an open wire hatch. Make sure to FIRST lower each terminal hatch by screwing the terminals counterclockwise (CCW) to expose the wire terminal hatch to the open position. THEN secure each cable by rotating the screws clockwise (CW) to the closed position.
You also need a bunch of positive and negative wires and plugs. The cables connect the solar panels to your battery and the battery to the inverter and the charge controller.
Voltmeters can be used to measure the incoming and outgoing voltage and the remaining battery charge. Not necessary, but certainly helpful.
- VERSATILE DIGITAL MULTIMETER - Accurately measures AC/DC Voltage, DC Current, Resistance, and Diode. This Multimeter is a really useful tool for solving industrial and household electrical issues. Suitable for Household Outlets, Fuses, Batteries (including Vehicles), Automotive Circuit Troubleshooting, Charging System, Testing electronics in Cars etc.
- TROUBLESHOOTING WITH Accuracy - This Multimeter has a sampling speed of 2 times per second; Built-in a backlight LCD display with 3 ½ digits (1999 count) 0.6”, and high polarity including negative and positive readings.
- ENSURES SAFETY - Double ceramic fuse is anti-burn and protects from overloading.The silicone cover is able to protect the multimeter from failing damage and prevent electric shocks. And low battery indication will be displayed when battery power is low.
- EASE OF USE - Support Data Hold, low battery indicator and continuity buzzer. Includes Convenient feature like LCD Backlit Screen makes it easy to use in dimly light areas. Battery / Set of Test Leads / User Manual/ are Included.
- ADDITIONAL TIPS - This Multimeter is designed to troubleshoot a variety of automotive and household electrical problems safely and accurately. It’s a suitable tool if you want to do some household or commercial improvements whether DIYers or Hobbyists. (NOTE: This meter can not test AC Current; Ensure your multimeter is set to the correct setting before testing)
You need a container to hold the battery, inverter, cables, and controller. This container must be large enough toaccommodate all the parts, but not so big that the units roll around.
Make sure that your container has a completely removable upper part since you will need to run cables through the upper part to connect the battery to the inverter.
It’s best to obtain a container that provides some protection against moisture. This way, your do-it-yourself solar generator will last longer. A large polystyrene cooler can work.
Depending on the size of your yard, you may be able to use a small cargo container. The advantage is that you can hang the panels on the walls of the container.
Some enterprising eco-entrepreneur have even designed solar-powered mini-offices from cargo containers.
You can also build a container individually from wood. In this way, you have exactly the right size. Many people with self-built solar generators recommend that your container has wheels so that it’s easy to transport.
- ★ MULTI-FUNCTION STORAGE SHED AND SAFETY — The KINYING storage shed has multiple opening directions and the flip cover could supported by a lever to store items quickly and easily. With two latches, it can be fitted with a lock for keep your items safe.
- ★ TWIN-WALL PANELS FOR ADD STRENGTH — The storage shed adopts double wall panel design, which has stronger wind resistance and impact resistance, won't easy to bend or puncture, can bear higher weight. In short, it is stronger and more durable than most cabinets designed with single-wall panels.
- ★ PERFECT FOR STORAGE — The storage cabinet could place all kinds of tools, sundries, trash cans (two 33 gallon) etc.Meanwhile, it suitable for all kinds of occasions: indoor, outdoor,balcony, yard, garden, street, etc.
- ★ EASY TO ASSEMBLE AND DISASSEMBLE — Assembly can be completed in 0.5-1 hour (2-3 hours before). We have updated the instructions to make it even simpler. Also added a video about the installation on the Amazon page. In addition, to enhance its usability, we provide additional accessory kinying laminate shelves for this storage shed, but the shelves are sold separately.
- ★ PRACTICAL AND STYLISH DESIGN — The kinying storage shed has a roof groove design can effectively realize drainage, and it is worry-free to use all-weather.The European and American style design is very fashionable and beautiful, and the HPPE material will not fade, maintain its original color for a long time.
Also Read: Best Solar Generators 
Solar Generator DIY Generator (Step-by-Step Guide)
Now that you have all of your equipment and tools, it’s time to learn how to make a solar generator.
You’ll want to find out where you want to place the DC meter and power outlets. There are a few things you should be aware of with this part.
First of all, you’ll want to think about how the battery box should sit when it is used. Place your DC meter in an easily readable location so that you can access it at any time for quick reading.
When installing your sockets, consider how your chargers, plugs, and other device accessories are arranged side by side.
For example, if a frequently used appliance has a larger plug, it may be advantageous to separate it from other nearby outlets.
Second, you need to consider how everything is assembled in your box. If the sockets have a large back wall, make sure that they fit when you get your inverter and battery into the box.
Once you have determined all of the above and made sure everything will work without interfering with each other, you can start to carefully drill and install your outlets and DC meter.
Layout all of your components. Find a place on your cooler you want to place your inverter easily accessible. Once you’ve chosen your spot, drill a hole at the top of your container.
This is where the inverter will be located. Insert a wire into the container and then place a piece of Velcro over the hole.
This will secure the inverter so that it will not wobble around. If you have a voltmeter, make room for it and do the same, preferably next to the inverter.
When working outside the container, connect the battery to the inverter. Use a cable to connect the negative pole of the battery to the inverter. Then connect the positive pole to the inverter.
Place a piece of Velcro tape in a corner at the bottom of the container to cushion the battery, then place the battery on top of it in the same corner.
Drill another hole in the top of your container at least 2inches away from your other components and attach a Velcro strip for your charge controller.
Pass the outgoing wires through the hole and connect them to the battery as described above.
There are two ways to do this – permanent or temporary.
For a temporary connection, you can use quick-connect plugs to easily connect your solar panel to the front or back of the battery box.
For a more permanent solution, you can connect the solar panel directly to the battery as you did with the other components.
Drill a hole on the side of the controller to pass the solar panel cable into the generator.
Find a place to set up your solar panel. Position the panel towards the sun, and connect the cable to the charge controller inside your “device.” Let the battery charge at least 50%.
You are now ready to use the generator for power supply via the inverter.
If your array is mobile, you may be able to experiment with orienting the panels in different directions at different times of the day to maximize your power savings.
Now that you have fully charged your generator, you can start using it to power your electrical devices.
Here the quick connectors for the solar panel come in handy.
You can have your solar panel mounted where you need it and quickly remove the box to take it with you wherever you go.
Take the device you want to charge or turn on and plug it into the correct outlet.
Your device should turn on or start charging. Monitor how long the charging process takes and how much power you have left once the charging is completed.
If you do this with different components, you will get a short guide on how long you can charge certain things.
It will also be an advantage to keep an eye on the charging time of the battery in the sun.
Also Read: Can a Solar Generator Power an Air Conditioner?
How Solar Energy Works
Solar energy works on a very simple concept known as the photovoltaic effect. The sun’s rays provide photon energy.
When photon energy is in orbit with electrons, it pushes those electrons out of their orbit and generates electricity. This electricity can be sent to either an electrical device or a battery for storage or use.
Solar panels contain silicon solar cells that make this effect possible. Set up a solar panel simply towards the sun, and the photovoltaic effect occurs in the panel when it’s not covered.
Solar generators are a system of parts that work together to store, process, and deliver the electricity e from this process. These generators vary in size and movability, but all use the same general concept.
It’s fully renewable; therefore, making solar power is an excellent energy source and has little to no carbon footprint in most applications. Power grids can fail and batteries can run out, but solar energy will always be there for you.
Let’s look at the nitty-gritty of this post on how to build a solar generator.
DIY Solar Generator
Solar energy is easy to obtain since most regions of the world have sufficient sunlight all year round.
Solar panels are used to absorb energy emitted by the sun, and you can convert this energy into usable electricity for your home and appliances with a suitable generator. .
In the event of a power outage, knowing how to make a solar generator at home that will keep important devices such as radios, cell phones, and other needed devices up and running is important.
While you can go ahead and buy the best solar generator you need, many homeowners choose to build their solar generators.
This lets you build it to your specifications and must provide you with an easy-to-use generator that delivers exactly the amount of power that you need.
It’s very easy to build your DIY solar generator since all you need is a solar panel, an inverter, and a battery. Considering all the points above, we hope you’ve now learned how to build a solar generator.
If you don’t feel like going through the process to build your own..you can view the best solar generators currently on the market.
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Last update on 2023-02-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API