Whether you want to run small power tools in a remote shed or provide emergency power in the event of a power cut, a generator can be extremely useful.
The problem with most traditional generators is that they are noisy, have to be run outside and, if you are to rely on them, need to be tested regularly and topped up with fresh fuel: all too often, a petrol or diesel powered generator hasn’t been properly maintained or has stale fuel, and fails when it is required.
Petrol and diesel generators also provide very poor quality of power, with ‘spikes’ and power drops. This makes them unsuitable for powering a lot of electronic equipment and can damage sensitive equipment such as PCs and flat screen TVs.
The answer? A solar power generator to provide you with environmentally friendly, portable, easy to use and instant power.
What is a Solar Powered Emergency Generator?
A solar power generator ( for example: GOAL ZERO YETI 1250 SOLAR GENERATOR KIT ) is a battery based power supply that is charged up using solar panels. 12v lighting and mains power is taken from the batteries using an easily available inverter and this is then used to provide emergency power when needed.
Unlike petrol or diesel powered generators, a solar power generator can be used indoors – carried directly to where it is needed. It emits no fumes and is silent in operation. Depending on the size of the battery and the amount of power required, it can provide as much or as little power as you need.
There can be two types of solar power generators – an ‘all in one’ solar power generator where the solar panel is part of the generator, or a split solar power generator where the solar panels are fitted to an outside wall or roof, and the rest of the generator simply plugs into the panel to recharge.
All solar energy systems use the same basic materials, so no matter if you are planning a very simple system like this one, or a big off-grid house installation, the basic ‘building blocks’ are the same. This means that if you are interested in understanding solar energy without spending a fortune, the skills and knowledge you gain from a small system has a direct benefit for working on much larger systems.
In either case, the product is the same – only the packaging is different. A split solar power generator would work better if you are trying to provide electrical power to an outbuilding such as a shed or lock-up garage whereas an all-in-one solar power generator is a better solution for power on-the-move.
What you will need:
To build a simple solar power generator, you will need the following parts:
- Solar photovoltaic (PV) panel – collects daylight and converts it into electricity
- 12v Leisure Battery – stores the electricity for use later on
- Solar Charge Controller – stops the solar panel from overcharging the battery
- 12v – 240v Power Inverter – converts the power in the battery to 240v AC
- 12v low-energy light (optional) – an efficient way of providing bright lighting
- Tool case (optional) – useful for packaging everything neatly together