Solar Generator

I've always been interested in why things work and how I can create new things. Of all my hobbies, electronics have always been what I enjoy the most. One of the most extensive and complicated projects I have spent years designing, building, using, and evolving is called "the solar generator." I am still thinking about a cool name or acronym for my creation. Like many projects, this creation started on the whiteboard with a problem for me to solve: the availability of environmentally friendly electricity during power outages. So I began to research everything I could find on this subject. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find much information about DIY renewable energy at that time.


In late 2019, I started to design and develop plans for a portable battery system charged with solar energy. First, I reached for some paper and drew a very intricate and comprehensive wiring diagram that included multiple safety features. Ultimately, I purchased numerous parts: lithium iron phosphate batteries, cooling fans, sensors, boost buck converters, power supply, pure sine wave inverter, solar charger, and other components. Finally, the task of assembling began. I constructed my solar generator after many long nights of soldering, crimping, and several trips to the hardware store for miscellaneous components. The solar generator is an off-grid solar rechargeable portable power station based on my original design.


Theory is often different from the real world, and I needed to test my solar generator in the real world. A perfect opportunity arrived to test my creation as I was finishing construction. I was a member of the Historical and Preservation Society, which maintained a few local cemeteries. There happened to be an upcoming volunteer event where brush needed clearing and fallen trees removed. I volunteered to bring my electric chainsaw and solar generator. Early that Saturday morning, my friends and I carried our tools to the site and got everything ready. After setup, we were all ready to get to work. My solar generator instantaneously provided an abundance of power for the chainsaw to shred through trees quickly. My solar generator made it very easy to tackle all the large fallen trees that had been a struggle to manage in the past. After several hours of working with friends, we surpassed our goals in previously impossible ways. 


That evening I reviewed everything on the solar generator and found some things that needed improvement. The first issue was wood chips were in every nook and cranny! Second, the cooling fans didn't appear to be working correctly. Because this was a custom build and a DIY project, I was the most knowledgeable person that could find and fix any problems. I was determined to resolve the issues. First, I located a gap around the air intake vent that I didn't seal, allowing debris to get inside the weatherproof enclosure. Thankfully this was an easy fix. But fixing the fans, oh boy, that was a pain. Eventually, I successfully found two root causes. The voltage regulator was cracked and not functioning. Additionally, the thermostat was only working intermittently. I removed the defective components and soldered replacement components to repair the printed circuit board with minimal disassembly. 


Since that original test, I have realized the versatility of my solar generator and learned some limitations and strengths along the way. My experience with the solar generator and other projects of mine have increased my knowledge and shown others the exciting things engineers can make. At this time I have started the next phase of converting to digital control electronics and this requires custom PCB manufacturing. With the complexity of this project I'm unable to fund it myself and would like the support of PCBway to make this project a reality.

Apply for sponsorship >>
1600+ Projects Sponsored
Feb 22,2023
372 viewsReport item
  • Comments(0)
  • Likes(1)
You can only upload 1 files in total. Each file cannot exceed 2MB. Supports JPG, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP
    View More
    Earn a $5 Welcome Bonus