This guide will go over the advanced steps to build a high output solar generator using common parts that are easily found. Making this guide crucial reading material, weather you’re prepping additional power for your bunker, or when you have depleted your post disaster fuel stores. This guide is not for novices and requires a certain level of determination. However, your patience will pay off. With this set up, it can power a number of appliances, laptops and etc.
Is a solar generator viable for you?
When making the decision to build a solar generator, there are two key factors that have to be accounted for; placement and pollution. Long story short, you can’t expect to have a high output generator in downtown Seattle. In this case, wind or other means of power generation would be required.
Basic – How to build a Solar Generator
This solar generator has four primary parts. (Note: the parts and completed power cells listed in this guide can be scavenged after SHTF from most government facilities).
- 30 watt solar panel
- 12v battery
- A 30 amp solar charge controller
- An inverter that provides 1100 watts steady output of AC power
- Battery Housing
The first thing you will need to do is connect your 210 amp battery to the 30 amp solar charge controller. Next hook the solar panel to the charge controller, allowing the panel to charge. You can feed the wire from the solar panel to the charge controller as required.
Advanced – Solar Generator
- 2,100 solar cells, 3 inches by 6 inches, 1.75W, tabbed with long tabs
- 28 pieces of ¾ in plywood, 32 in x 48 in pieces
- 400 feet of pine board, 1 inch by 2 inches nominal, 3/4 inches by 1 1/2 inches actual, or similar
- 20 pcs plexiglass, 33.5 in x 49.5 in
- 200’ 1000v solar UV resistant cable
- 66 DC connectors
Each panel will be made of ¾ in plywood that is 32” x 48”. You will cut your pine into 33.5” x 48” pieces to create the shallow housing, screwing the pine pieces to the edge of the plywood. The plywood has to be this in order for it to support the delicate solar cells.
Mount your cell in a 5 x 15 pattern in each panel horizontally along the 32 in side of the plywood. You can make marking the assist in proper cell placement. Place the solar cells face down on soft cloth with the tabs pointed upwards. Solder the tabs onto the solder points on the back of the cell, letting the excess length points down. Place the cell at top left corner of panel tabs down. Hold the right back tab over to meet the left back tab and solder. Drill a hole in the plywood at the top of the panel. Insert 6 inches of solar wire with a negative connector and solder the wire to the tab. Secure the wire with a wire clamp. Attach the cell with a single bead of silicone sealant at the center of the back of the cell.
Place soft fabric over the cell and place a second cell face down over the first cell. Bend the front tabs of the first cell over the back solder points of the second cell and solder into place. Rotate the second cell down into place below the first cell. Repeat until the end of the column. Fold the left front tab of the last cell over the right front tab and solder together.
Continue this process for the following columns. Insert the end of your 5 foot solar wire with a positive connector and solder the wire to the tab of the last cell. Cells of the panel are now connected at 37.5v. Secure the plexiglass sheet to the face of your panel so that it will not bow and touch the solar panels. Drill holes in the plexiglass at the corners, halfway between the corners and halfway between the holes. Countersink the holes for the screws. Run silicone sealant around the edge of the panel on top of the pine. Screw the plexiglass into place.
Put the panels in place and wire them up. Use the connectors because the panels will be live and generate dangerous voltages. The insulated connectors allow wiring of the panels without touching live parts.
Arrange the panels in a 4’ x 7’ grid on a roof in an optimal direction to catch the sun’s rays directly and extensively. Raise the panels slightly off the roof or structure to allow the wiring to go behind the panels, and for drainage under the panels. Plug the positive plug from the bottom of the first top left panel into the negative plug at the top of the second panel in the top row. Continue plugging the panels together until the end of the row. Repeat for remaining three rows.
Connect the positive plugs of the first panels of each row. Connect the negative plugs of the last panel of each row. Bring the wire from the positive plugs and from the negative plugs to your junction box and terminate there. Run conduit from the junction box down to the inverter. Now you have enough power for your entire home.