Solar power has become incredibly popular over the past few years. It’s not just for hippies anymore. But unfortunately, most solar panels only last around 15 years before they stop working. This means that you’ve got to buy new ones every year. And since solar energy costs a lot of money, that’s a huge expense.
In this article, I’m going to teach you how to build a solar generator that will last 20+ years. Not only does it save you thousands of dollars each year, but it also helps protect our environment.
I’ll walk you through the whole process from start to finish, including how to choose materials, how to assemble it, and even how to maintain it.
What is a solar generator?
They are portable devices that use solar energy to generate electricity. The electromagnetic force in sunlight creates electric current and voltage. These two forces can be used to charge batteries or any other device. In this guide, we’re focusing on solar chargers. Regular generators that run off fossil fuels might destroy the earth when they break down. This is why people want to switch to renewable energy.
The problem is that your solar panel isn’t generating electricity at night. So what if there was a way to store all that excess energy during daylight hours? After some research, I figured out a way to create a simple device that can collect solar energy throughout the day and store it in an easy-to-use battery.
How does a solar generator work?
At night, when there’s no sun, nothing happens. The circuit inside turns off because there’s no light hitting the photovoltaic cell. In the morning, as soon as the sun comes up, the circuit activates and allows current to flow through the cell. The cell starts charging, converting photons into electrons. As the cell charges, voltage increases which causes an electrical current to increase.
That increased current generates heat and eventually reaches its maximum output. When the cell gets hot, it stops producing more electrons, and voltage decreases until it cools down again. When the cell is fully charged, it produces enough current to run small appliances such as a lamp or radio.
Why should we use a solar generator instead of a regular solar panel?
A regular solar panel doesn’t produce any electricity after sunset. That means you have to either pay for expensive batteries or spend time running extension cords to charge them.
A solar generator works 24/7. You don’t need to worry about buying batteries or having to plug anything in. Just set it up on your roof and forget about it.
You can use a solar generator indoors too! If you want to generate electricity while you’re sleeping, then you can attach it to your bedside table.
You can use a solar generator anywhere. Whether you live in a rural area or a city, you can still benefit from using one.
How much does a solar generator cost?
It depends on where you get yours made. A basic model can be built for $150-$300. However, if you want something better quality, you might end up spending $1000+.
The Difference Between Batteries and Generators
Batteries are used to store energy. They consist of two main parts: positive and negative terminals. The positive terminal is connected to the positive side of the battery. The negative terminal is connected to the negative side of the battery.
When the battery is full, both terminals are connected together. This creates a short circuit. Short circuits allow current to flow freely.
Solar generators work by creating a similar effect. Instead of connecting both terminals together, they connect the positive terminal to the positive side of a solar panel and the negative terminal to the negative side of a solar panel.
This creates a path for the current to flow. Current flows through the solar panels and generates heat. Heat is converted into electricity.
If you look closely, you will notice that the solar panels are not connected directly to each other. This prevents direct current (DC) from flowing between the two panels. DC is also known as direct current. It’s different than alternating current (AC). AC is what most people know as power.
Also Read: Should I Use Generators Indoor Or Outdoor?
Types Of Solar Generators
There are many types of solar generators available today. Some are designed to provide only DC power while others can produce both AC and DC.
Here are some common types of solar generators:
1. Portable Solar Generator – These are portable devices that can be carried around with ease. They usually come with a hand crank mechanism that converts motion into electricity.
2. Stand-alone Solar Generator – These are stationary units that require no external source of power. They can be placed on top of roofs or attached to walls.
3. Grid Connected Solar Generator – These are connected to an electrical grid and draw their power from it. The advantage of this type of solar generator is that you don’t have to carry it around. All you have to do is place it on your rooftop and let it run.
4. Hybrid Solar Generator – These combine the best features of portable and stand-alone solar generators. They can be moved around easily but can also operate independently when needed.
5. Offgrid Solar Generator – These are completely independent of any external sources of power. They can operate even without sunlight.
6. Battery Powered Solar Generator – These are powered by rechargeable batteries. They are great for camping trips because you can charge them at night and then use them during the day.
7. Wind Turbine Driven Generator – These are driven by wind turbines. They are very efficient and can generate enough power to meet all your needs.
8. Hydroelectric Power Plant – These are powered by waterfalls. They are very reliable and can supply continuous power.
9. Geothermal Energy – These are powered by hot springs. They are very effective and can supply continuous power for years.
10. Other Types Of Solar Generators – There are many more types of solar generators out there. Here are just a few examples:
What should you look for in a solar generator?
There are different types of solar powered generators. You should definitely consider some factors before choosing a solar generator.
Some generators come with solar panels, others require you to purchase them separately. Monocrystalline solar panels, polycrystalline solar cells, and thin film solar panels are the three most common types of solar panels. In terms of efficiency, monocrystalline panels are the most common and efficient. It is, however, the lightest and cheapest to use thin panels.
Is your generator going to be used on the go? You don’t want to be lugging around something heavy in the wilderness, so consider its weight. Make sure the handle is easily accessible and the weight is lighter for portability.
The battery capacity of a solar generator determines how much electricity can be stored. Knowing their power rating (how much power they can deliver at once) is also important. Low-power batteries will deliver less electricity, but for longer periods of time, if they have a high battery capacity. When determining the amount of power generated or consumed in an hour, always check the Watt (W) and Watt-hour (Wh).
The most common types of batteries are lead-acid and lithium-ion. A lithium battery is lightweight, which makes it good for power tools, while a lead-acid battery is better suited for powering automobiles. In addition to being more expensive, lithium-ion batteries also last longer.
Three-power point tracking (MPPT) charge controllers are the most efficient. In this way, the solar panels and batteries will be able to regulate the current.
An inverter converts direct current (DC) from solar panels into alternating current (AC). The solar generators have them built in. The most efficient inverter is the pure sine wave inverter, but it is also the most expensive.
Is it worth getting a solar generator?
The answer depends on how much energy you need and where you live. If you live in a remote area, you may want to consider buying one. You can get a good deal if you buy one online.
You should also check whether your local utility company offers rebates for installing solar generators. In some cases, these rebates can cover up to 90% of the cost of installation.
If you live close to cities and towns, you might find it easier to install a small solar generator. However, they won’t be able to supply as much power as larger ones.
Can you design your own solar generator system?
Yes, you can build your own solar generator using parts that you already have. For example, you can use a car battery to store excess power generated by your solar panel. However, building your own solar generator isn’t easy. You’ll need to study about the various components involved before you start.
What size solar panels should I buy?
This really depends on what you plan to use your solar panel for. A smaller panel will work better if you’re going to use it for heating purposes. On the other hand, a bigger panel will provide more power for appliances like refrigerators.
Can a 100 watt solar panel run a refrigerator?
A 100 watt solar panel can definitely keep a refrigerator running. But, it’s not recommended to use them for cooking or heating purposes.
How long does it take to charge my solar panel?
Solar panels usually require between 8 hours and 12 hours of direct sunlight to fully charge. This means that you’ll have to leave your home or office for several hours every day.
How about camping?
It’s ideal for camping because it’s lightweight and portable with an easy-to-use handle. In addition to solar panels, wall sockets, vehicles’ 12V outputs, and a generator, it can be charged in a variety of ways. With a wall outlet and long extension cord, you won’t have to worry about charging up. The generator has a wide range of uses, so you can use it to power your blender, tools, pellet smoker, and heated blankets in the great outdoors.