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DIY solar generator

Discussion in 'Outdoors' started by kevine0001, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. Feb 7, 2020 at 3:02 PM
    #1
    kevine0001

    kevine0001 [OP] New Member

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    I know there's lots of youtube videos on how to make these. I was going to buy a Goal Zero yeti 400 ($450 for nickel; $600 for lithium). It cost me about $425 to make one, however, I did not source a lot of used parts. A lot of Amazon and Harbor Freight. For what I spent, probably should have gotten the Goal Zero nickel for $450, but given that I'm electrical stupid, what I learned making this was very useful. I ended using a deep cycle AGM battery that you'd find on a geriatric scooter. smaller than a car battery, maybe Prius sized. 35 ah. Has two dual 3.0 USB plugs, two 12v plugs, separate 1000 watt inverter, solar recharger, SAE plugs for charging with battery tender (off of 110), solar or I can recharge off car battery. Pros and cons:

    Cons
    it's heavy, like 35 lb heavy
    it's larger than a GZ Yeti, maybe double the size

    Pros
    upgradeable
    fixable (if a component breaks, just replace)
    battery can be drained to zero and recharged/replaced easily
    more plugs than GZ and I can actually add more if I want to

    If you think you're gonna make one on the cheap, its possible. But you have to source as many used parts (Craiglist for a case, or old ammo can; plugs, wiring, etc.). Maybe flea markets, garage sales, CL or OfferUp. Whatever, but don't buy everything new. If you can find a lot of stuff used, it will be way cheaper than a Goal Zero or Jackery, etc. Also, go with less plugs. It cost less and less wiring. With less wiring, you can use a smaller box.

    IMG_6356.jpg
    IMG_6217.jpg
    IMG_6351.jpg
     
  2. Feb 7, 2020 at 3:04 PM
    #2
    kevine0001

    kevine0001 [OP] New Member

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    This basically gives me lights and keeps phones/devices charged at camp or even battery chargers for cordless tools. I can also daisy chain this off of car batteries. For large appliances, probably not. At least not more than a few hours a day. I suppose if I daisy chain additional batteries, and kept the panel charging it during the day, it could run one fridge. Or definitely a small fridge.

    Good luck and if you make one, would love to see pics and see what results you get out of it.
     
    Vizsla likes this.
  3. Feb 7, 2020 at 3:15 PM
    #3
    Warreng

    Warreng New Member

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    Think im in for $200 but batteries were free.

    94C7C62F-1B9B-4A41-BA1C-C6A27B136A9F.jpg
     
    kevine0001 [OP] and Vizsla like this.
  4. Feb 7, 2020 at 3:22 PM
    #4
    Vizsla

    Vizsla XXX

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    Very nice! I use a 22 ah battery, full charge runs my Dometic 65 CFX fridge for 22 hours before hitting the voltage protection cut off.
     
    Dometic and kevine0001 [OP] like this.
  5. Feb 7, 2020 at 3:32 PM
    #5
    kevine0001

    kevine0001 [OP] New Member

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    nice work; yeah, i may spring for a dometic at some point. ice cream at camp is pretty cool. some day. if you're getting that much use from a 22ah, then i'll easily get the full day off mine...hopefully
     
  6. Feb 11, 2020 at 10:44 AM
    #6
    Dometic

    Dometic New Member Vendor

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    Maybe even make ice with the CFX3 55IM ;)

    DOMETIC
    mobile living made easy
    shop.dometic.com

    Use promo code Tundras20 for $25 off your order of $75+
     
    kevine0001 [OP] likes this.
  7. Feb 12, 2020 at 7:13 AM
    #7
    marinakorp

    marinakorp New Member

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    nice work in a small portable package. I built something similar for when I was doing alot of Motorcycle camping - and towing a small trailer. I needed to run my CPAP for the night, etc.

    word of caution - AGM batteries should not be taken to zero charge...the life cycle degrades once the charge goes below 50% (approx 12.1 / 12.2 volts)....
     
    kevine0001 [OP] likes this.

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