Free xml sitemap generator

Solar Power Projects

How to Charge a Generator Battery with a DIY Solar Panel, MPPT Charge Controller and the Sun

13 Nov , 2013  

DIY 60 watt panel

DIY 60 watt panel

The project for the day was to do some firewood splitting. Off camera, there was a pile of 18 – 24 inch tree rounds. They were a freebie given to us by a city dwelling neighbour (it cost $$ to dispose of trees in the city, most people are more than happy to give it away for free!)

Splitting firewood starts with of the big blue generator, 5 ton electric wood splitter, few extra hands and pile of firewood nearby. The generator was pulled out from the genny hut, hooked to the exhaust pipe and the starter battery. To my dismay, found out the battery had no juice. Bummer! Maybe it was showing its age or the below freezing nights must have sapped the power out of it.
So, I was in a jam. No spare 12 volt batteries, didn’t have long enough booster cables to use the car and the pull cord mechanism was broken. Didn’t want to give up. I had people waiting and didn’t want to spend another weekend doing firewood.

After I calmed down, I looked around and noticed there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Checked the forecast and it said that it was going to be above normal day in November for a warmth. Hmm… I thought that if I could get a couple of hours of charging into the battery, it might be enough. It was a small 7.2 Amp hour Gel battery, so it would need a lot of time to charge. (Just need enough for the generator started, once it’s running, it can charge the battery too)Dug through some of the old ebay solar stuff. Found an 60 watt DIY solar panel, MPPT charge controller, alligator clips and some wire. Sat down on the steps and rigged up a quick charging station. I kept the battery and the solar panel in the sun the whole time.

As the sun travelled across the sky, the panel was adjusted/moved to

DIY solar panel can be mounted anywhere

DIY solar panel can be mounted anywhere

get most charging. By 3:00pm, the battery had charged for 6 hours. Decide it was a good time to see if there was enough juice to start the generator.

Hooked it up to the starter, crossed my fingers and it turned the motor over! Sweet! It worked. Now the firewood project could finally get started.
So, in a nutshell, the sun charged the battery and it turned an obstacle into a solution. Plus,  keep old parts around, never know when they will come in handy.

, , , , , , ,

Solar Power Projects,Wind Turbine Projects

Update to the DIY Off-Grid Solar/Wind Power System

9 Jul , 2013  

It’s the second year of my budget, do-it-yourself solar and wind power rig. So I thought I would share some updates with my fellow off grid friends.
The panels have worked great making power. The only drawback was some of backing materials were separating and starting to peel off. Used that sticky red Tuck tape and roofing tar to keep out the moisture. Managed to crack the glass on another solar panel by over tightening a roofing screw. It was fixed, but, the output power was reduced down to 40 watts. It was removed for the “array” and has been used with the remote pumping station.
Always look forwards to the summer. That when I make enough power to have a surplus. I can leave the outside radio on a little longer, run more power tools and NOT check the battery voltage meter every hour. For example, on July 2, the sun was really high in the sky and the panels were making 2 amps at 8:30am. Nice!

New additions
– Picked up a Motomaster Eliminator 1500 watt inverter from Canadian Tire on sale for $99.00. Hooked up to the battery box with 4 foot 6 ga wires. Lots of cool features: digital display, 2000 watt peak and a 5 meter remote on/off switch. A small feature to some, but, really handy for visitors or spouses that are not versed in the ways of generating alternative energy. Another big benefit, run a less off the generate and more tools off the back up power, like a cheap 8-1/4″ compound mitre saw or Porter Cable Orbital Sander.
– Add a XScorpion digital amp/volt meter to the wires coming in from the wind turbine. I don’t think I have it hooked up correctly. It just shows the battery bank volt status. Suppose to show the volts and amps from the wind turbine. Suggestions?
– Upgrade wires/connectors to solar panels and hardware
6 or 12 volt Battery Load Tester– Way to check the battery health
To Do’s
– Hook up 100 watt/12 volt/6.84 amp Monocrystalline solar panel and a budget MPPT charger controller
– Move panels to a better location. At the moment, they are an eye sore and were missing out on the full 9:00 – 10:00am sun
– Add 2 – 4 more batteries
– Bogart Trimetric: Have to move the shunt for the Bogart TriMetric Battery Monitor. The reading is incorrect. On some days, it says the batteries are at 114%
– Mount 500 Watt Wind Turbine and erect wind turbine
– Change Morningstar TS-60 Charge Controller to Diversion Load
– Hook up factory dumpload for wind turbine. Also monitor/test Homemade Dump Load

, , ,

Power generation,Solar Power Projects

Generating Springtime Solar Power for the Cabin

10 Apr , 2013  

Generating Springtime Solar Power (2013)

The solar panels were collecting just a bit of electricity from the sun on the Easter Weekend. The sun is still low in the sky and in the tree line. I’m running a 12 volt system with four 6 volt deep cycle batteries. So, with my rig, the amount of sun and everything unplugged, the batteries would recharge from 80% at 10:00am to 100% by 4:00pm.

Compared to a lot of other slick systems out there, it might by wimpy, but, it will do for now.

The plan for this summer, is to move all the panels to the pole, put the offshore MPPT charge controller on the 2 poly panels and the shower door panel. The Morningstar Charge controller will be converted over to a diversion mode for the recycled wind turbine. Maybe, I’ll pick up two more 6 volt batteries…

Remember to check out the Blog


, , , , , , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: