Suppose you want to use the sun’s solar energy to support your electrical devices while allowing you to save money in electricity bills and conserve the environment. In that case, you might be looking for the best DIY solar generator.
The sun is readily available in all turns and corners, so it is considered the best alternative to traditional energy. It is environmentally friendly, always obtainable, and, most of all, free of charge. Solar technology has evolved rapidly, and with the availability of materials and online resources, it will be easy to build your own solar generator.
For help, keep reading in the following reviews and buying guide to select the right one for your needs today.
|Top 1||Top 2||Top 3|
|Preview||Renogy Solar Panel Kit||DOKIO FFSP-200||ECO-WORTHY Solar Panel Kit|
|Dimensions||41.8 x 1.38 x 20.9 inch||29 x 21 x 1.1 inch||24.6 x 18.3 x 2.2 inch|
- Top 10 DIY Solar Generator Reviews
- 1. Renogy 100 Watts Solar Starter Kit
- 2. DOKIO 220 Watts Solar Panel
- 3. ECO-WORTHY Solar Panel Battery Charger
- 4. Mighty Max Battery ML35-12 SLA
- 5. Renogy 200-Watt Starter Kit
- 6. BESTEK 500W Power Inverter
- 7. KRIEGER 1100W Power Inverter
- 8. VMAXTANKS V35-857 Battery
- 9. Grape Solar GS-400 Kit
- 10. Go Power! Weekender System
- What Is A DIY Solar Generator And Who Is This For
- How Does It Work
- What Are The Different Types Of DIY Solar Generators
- Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using A DIY Solar Generator
- How We Picked And Tested
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 DIY Solar Generator Reviews
1. Renogy 100 Watts Solar Starter Kit
- Ideal for off-grid purposes
- 500 Wh perfect output daily
- Durable and made of high-quality materials
- Easy to follow the installation process
- Completely expandable
- Clamps are for 4″ pipes
- Lacks information about the charge controller
You can’t go wrong when you go to Renogy for your solar panel needs. It is a brand trusted and loved by many; therefore, you are sure that your money is an investment in an efficient and functional product.
The brand’s 100 Watts Solar Starter Kit, as the name suggests, is highly recommended for shoppers who want to taste how solar energy works. It is mostly used by folks who own an RV, boats, trailers, cabins, and sheds – primarily for off-grid purposes.
Like the other solar starter kits of Renogy, this provides you with grid independence and noiseless power creation. You won’t need to worry about being off-grid because you can extend your adventures further and challenge new destinations and still be electrically and electronically connected.
With the starter kit, you get a single Renogy 100 Watts 12V Poly/Mono Solar panel, a 20 feet AWG MC4 adaptor kit, a 30A PWM charge controller, a set of brackets, an 8 feet 10AWG tray cable. With everything you need to be already provided, you can get right into assembling your solar panels whenever you are ready.
Efficiency is one of the reasons why Renogy is a top favorite. With its Monocrystalline solar battery effectiveness of 21%, you can be sure to have enough power for your electrical needs.
Additionally, the charge controller included on the package is the upgraded version, which allows you to expand your solar panel system when you are ready to up to 400W. You can slowly go to its maximum while learning how solar power works and identifying your power consumption and power needs.
This Renogy solar starter kit has a model output of 500Wh daily based on studies and consumer feedback. It should be sufficient to charge 50Ah of the battery from 50 percent in a maximum of 4 hours, given that it receives direct and ample sunlight.
Renogy also promotes longevity. The brand understands that as shoppers, you want your investments to last for a long time. Therefore, with the package’s negative grounding controller, your battery is well-protected from overloading, overcharging, and short-circuit. Additionally, the panels’ aluminum frame permits you to leave it outside even in extended periods without it deteriorating.
2. DOKIO 220 Watts Solar Panel
- Foldable and lightweight
- 4 PVM smart charging phases
- Works with or without batteries
- Plug and play system
- Budget-friendly price
- Low capacity for Watts
- Long charging time
Unlike popular belief that you need a monster solar generator to power up all your gadgets and electrical appliances, most of the time, you just need a smart and lightweight generator that can tackle your most basic needs and a little more.
This is where the 20 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Foldable Solar Panel with Charge Controller with Dual USB Outputs from Dokio comes into play. It is the ideal DIY kit for light users; literally, users that want only to have as minimal power consumption as possible.
This brand also becomes an avenue for those RVers and campers who want to try and enjoy the advantages of using solar panels but cannot afford the total costs. With a limited budget, options for a lot become limited too. The Dokio foldable solar panel gives equal opportunities to everyone. Cash-strapped or not, you can take advantage of this efficient and smart solution.
Initially, what makes this kit stand out from the rest of the competitors is its foldable ability. You can fold it, making transport and storage easier. It is also very lightweight and compact, so it is just practical to carry it around thanks to its carrying handle.
Don’t be deceived, though that since it is lightweight, then it is made of flimsy materials. No, it is just the opposite because the panel itself is protected by a thick fabric that is pocket sewn. For creative folks who won’t wait for a clearing to get it all set up, you can deploy this foldable panel while in transit by carrying it on your back while trekking and hiking.
Following a plug-and-play system, the connections and buttons are so user-friendly, but you’ll be impressed when it starts to work. It has superb monocrystalline solar cell efficiency and smart protection against battery damage like reverse polarity, short-circuit, overcharging, and reverse current. Hence, you are guaranteed that this will provide you with the power you need for your devices and preserve their longevity.
Easy to set up and fewer connections during assembly would mean that you are less likely to mess up the connections.
3. ECO-WORTHY Solar Panel Battery Charger
- 100% portable and lightweight
- Durable and made of premium materials
- Splash free and waterproof
- Plug and play system
- Efficient design and functionality
- Short cables
- No kickstand included
True to the Eco-worthy goal of “Power Just Home,” you can enjoy your home appliances’ conveniences when you are out on your RV or camping with the Eco-Worthy Upgrade 120W foldable solar panel battery charger kit. It is one of the top choices on the market today because it is one of the easiest to mount, thanks to its lightweight build.
Weighing only 3.82 kilograms, you can practically bring this solar generator anywhere and never worry again about not being able to power your electrical devices or charge your gadgets. Storing it will not be an issue either because it takes minimal space, especially when folded. That is why it is a must-have when you enjoy a picnic, camping, trekking, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
This DIY solar generator from Eco-Worthy is known for its practical design and functionality. It is a simple plug-and-play system sans the complicated installation and process. It is also highly compatible with several gadgets like laptops because included in the package are adapters that you can use. Using it is equally friendly too.
It comes with a foldable bracket. You can adjust the bracket’s angle so you can have improved conversion effectiveness. The folding bag at the same time also comes with a carabiner making the installation and the suspension easier and hassle-free.
Another benefit that you get aside from being able to have power on your demand is you can use this product for a long time thanks to its durable design.
Each part of the unit’s materials is of high quality and is envisioned to provide you with exceptional service for a long time. That makes it worth your dollar purchase since it is something that you can use for years with a consistent and reliable output.
With a splash-free surface courtesy of the Oxford cloth incorporated and a zipper bag to help you be more organized, you can see yourself taking this solar generator anywhere. The solar panels are 100% laminated and made of ETFE material, which gives you a guarantee of a minimum of 15 years of service.
If a kickstand were included on the package, it would be more convenient for this solar generator. It would also be more appreciated if the cable that’s supposed to be connected to the battery were longer.
4. Mighty Max Battery ML35-12 SLA
- Low discharge battery
- Completely sealed and leak-proof
- Durable construction that is built to last
- Reliable and responsive customer service
- Function well under high or low temperatures
- The battery is a bit on the heavy side
- Designed for smaller units
With the tons of options for a battery in the market, among the most trusted choices for you is the Mighty Max Battery ML35-12 SLA. If you want the best in terms of the quality and performance, this one’s for you. Mighty Max Battery is a name you can trust to give you high-quality products that do the job efficiently. There are several reasons why I highly recommend this product.
Aside from its affordability, the quality of this sealed lead acid battery is top-rated. Just by looking at the product, you can tell that this battery is made of high-grade materials. It is sturdy and durable. You can never go wrong with a battery that was built to last.
What makes it even better is that this battery is maintenance-free. You can mount it in any position. It is completely sealed and is resistant to shock and vibration. It is also leak-proof and safe, even in high or low temperatures; this battery functions with the same efficiency.
Although this battery may be small in its dimensions, do not be fooled because it is efficient and will deliver you the power you need. Among the things that I like about this battery is its low discharge rate to last for longer hours.
I also like the trusty and responsive customer service offered. It is reassuring and will make you more confident about your purchase. You do not have to worry about encountering issues with your battery since a reliable support team from Mighty Max will have your back.
However, there are also downsides to this product. The SLA battery is relatively small compared to other models. It has less storage, so you have to consider your power needs to ensure that this battery is suitable for you. Also, even with its size, the battery is a bit heavy.
5. Renogy 200-Watt Starter Kit
- Proven and tested brand
- Completely expandable
- 4-stage charging process
- The aluminum frame is corrosion resistant
- Intuitive and safe
- Lacks detailed instructions
- Heavier than other solar panel kits
Efficiency is the name of the game, and that is based on the performance of the outstanding Renogy 200 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar starter kit. Designed for shoppers that just begin to use a solar panel and those folks who want to expand their existing system, you can’t go wrong with this solar starting kit.
Commonly referred to as Renogy’s Wanderer, this is highly recommended for several off-grid uses like RVs, boats, sheds, cabins, and trailers. It provides you with the benefits of quiet power creation and grid independence. You can travel to your heart’s content and power up your appliances and charge your gadgets without the noisy and annoying gas generator.
Highly reliable, this DIY kit features an aluminum frame that is corrosion-resistant. That means you can use it for extended periods outside without worrying about the weather’s effects and letting you enjoy and reap its benefits for the next decades.
It also uses TPT back sheets that help ensure a performance that is always optimal in long periods. With an IP65-rated junction box added in its components, you have additional protection against the natural environment particles, including low-pressure liquid jets.
This solar kit knows exactly what you need. It is intuitive and designed to be safe. Additionally, it is gel-flooded, sealed, and prepped for the lithium charging process. Designed with a 4-stage charging process, you can be sure that every charge is safe for your battery, efficient, and quick.
You don’t have to worry about batteries going wrong and needing replacement because the Renogy Wanderer can well protect your cells from overcharging, short-circuiting, overloading, and reversed polarity. Its back also comes with pre-drilled holes so you can secure it quickly when you mount it.
There is so much you can do with the Wanderer. If you want to expand, you can do it without any fuss. Once you have tried and tested this system, it will be no wonder if you’d eventually want to upgrade your solar panel to 400W, and you can do it since there are Renogy expansion kits readily available for you.
This all-in-one DIY solar generator lithium battery solution provides you with the following upon purchase: Renogy Wanderer Li 30A PWM Charge Controller, an 8ft 10AWG Tray Cables (A pair), mounting Z Brackets, Renogy Solar Y Branch Connectors, and two 100W Mono Panel. You won’t need anything else, and the installation is straightforward.
Renogy’s website offers a DIY solar generator diagram so you can be sure to follow and know what to expect as an output from your small project.
Although the installation is straightforward, getting additional information and more detailed instruction would be helpful, especially for the wiring process. This solar kit is not very lightweight, so it may get a bit tiring lugging it around during your outdoor activities.
6. BESTEK 500W Power Inverter
- Is compatible with many electronic devices
- Fast-charging USB ports
- Features advanced safety operations
- Smart and quiet fan
- Durable construction
- The instructions are not clear
- The alligator cables are a bit short
If you are looking for a power inverter with excellent quality and features, the BESTEK 500W power inverter is the perfect product for you. BESTEK is one of the trusted brands in the industry, and its products are a favorite because of its efficiency and functionality. There are several reasons why this inverter is preferred by many.
One of the reasons why I like this power inverter is because of its full application. The inverter features 2 AC 110V outlets and 2 USB ports. The USB ports are highly efficient and fast charging. It is compatible with most electronic devices you have, such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, cameras, and others. It is a powerful charging tool.
Aside from its power output, I also like the complete protection that this inverter offers. You do not have to worry about damaging your devices and battery. This inverter is complete with overload protection, temperature control, short-circuit protection, and other advanced safety operations.
The smart fan in this inverter is efficiently quiet. It dissipates heat effectively and balances the temperature without making too much noise. This is perfect for those who are quite sensitive to sounds and do not want to be disturbed.
The durability of this product is also guaranteed to withstand external pressures and last for many uses. Its robust aluminum alloy housing firmly protects the internal components of the inverter. The beautiful appearance of this product is a definite plus.
The package is a whole deal for your money. You get a lot of things. It already comes with a car cigarette lighter plug, two alligator battery clamps, spare fuses, and a user’s guide.
However, one of its downsides is that the manual and instructions are not that clear. Another is regarding the alligator cables. It will have been better if they are longer, as they are relatively short and limited.
7. KRIEGER 1100W Power Inverter
- Higher power capacity compared to other models
- Durable construction
- Complete advanced safety operation
- LCD screen for easy monitoring
- All-inclusive power inverter
- The cooling fan is a bit loud
- Power cables can be longer
Another high-quality choice for a power inverter is the KRIEGER 1100W power inverter. It is perfect for those who are looking for more power with a standard size. This product is just the right size and weight. It is inexpensive yet comes with amazing features and with certified safety and performance.
One of the reasons why I like this power inverter is because of its higher power capacity. It has dual AC outputs and USB ports. This inverter can run not only your smartphones or laptops but also other smaller appliances such as mini-refrigerators, television, microwaves, and others.
Aside from its high efficiency, this power inverter also comes complete and will advance safety operations for worry-free use. It has overload protection, temperature control, short circuit, and other operations. In general, it has everything you need to ensure that your devices and appliances are not only charged but also protected.
You can never go wrong with a power inverter that has a digital LCD. The LCD screen displays the battery level, the input voltage, and output wattage, making it easy to monitor your power inverter’s status. It is indeed a very convenient feature to have.
This all-inclusive power inverter comes with your needed accessories and is worth the price. It comes with a set of 3 ft battery cables, a remote control, an in-line fuse, and even a user manual. The information and instructions are clear and easy to understand, even without expert electrical knowledge.
The durability of this inverter will not disappoint. It is made of durable materials intended for heavy-duty use. It is guaranteed to offer a long service life. And even with its durability, this power inverter is not bulky or heavy.
However, it also has some downsides. The cooling fan in the power inverter produces a loud humming sound that is quite noticeable and can bother some people. Another disadvantage is with regards to the cables that are a bit short.
8. VMAXTANKS V35-857 Battery
- Long service life
- Durable construction and is built to last
- Fast recharge rate even with repeated deep discharges
- Reliable and responsive customer service
- Completely safe and protected
- Battery is small
- Included information and contents are not that clear
Another favorite and trusted brand in the industry known for its excellent quality and affordability is the VMAXTANKS. Its V35-857 AGM deep cycle battery is another excellent choice for your DIY solar generator project. With its reliability, strength, and efficiency, you get the most suitable value for your money.
One of the reasons why I like this battery from VMAXTANKS is because it is a non-hazardous and maintenance-free battery.
The AGM between the VMAX plates enhanced the performance of the battery. It makes the product more resistant to shocks and vibrations, keeping the battery in optimal condition. To add, the battery is completely sealed and safe. It is safe from any leaks and is protected.
Another reason why I highly recommend this battery is that it has a fast recharge rate. Even with repeated deep discharges, this battery has no problem recharging and recovering. With its efficiency and extended run time, this battery is perfect for any application.
The battery is very sturdy. It is made only with top-tier materials with strict quality and safety standards. Generally, VMATANKS products are known to be long-lasting. This battery is no different and will surely last for many years and is used to get the most useful out of your money.
Making this a total package is VMATANKS’ excellent customer service. If you have issues with your battery or want to know more about the product, you can always contact its friendly and responsive customer service. They are willing to answer any queries you have regarding the battery.
However, this battery also has some downsides you need to take into consideration. The battery is small in size and has lesser storage. You have to think if this is suitable for your intended use. The included contents and information about the product in the package are also not that clear.
9. Grape Solar GS-400 Kit
- Efficient and weatherproof solar panels
- Two-diode junction box for enhanced performance
- Friendly and reliable customer support
- Easy to understand instructions
- High-quality product
- The cables are a little bit short
- The kit is more suitable to run smaller systems
If you are looking for a solar generator kit that includes most of the things that you need for your project, look no further because the Grape Solar GS 400 Kit will provide the parts that you need without breaking the bank. The kit already includes the solar panels, a charge controller, watt inverter, the cables, and the manual.
The four pieces of 100-watt polycrystalline solar panels in this kit are of high quality. It is highly efficient with its two-diode junction box. It functions well even under dim weather conditions. The durability of these panels is also guaranteed. It is made of only top-tier materials with an aluminum frame and sealed junction box designed to withstand outdoor conditions.
Another thing that I like in this solar generator kit is the 40 Amp charge controller. It is reliable and enables you to add another panel for your generator. Meanwhile, the inverter is a plus. It features two outlets as well as a USB port. This kit is the perfect solution for your power needs and supply.
I also like how easily understandable the instructions are. Even without expert knowledge, you will understand and follow the contents for a successful project. But even if you encounter any troubles or issues with your kit, you do not have to worry because the customer service is friendly and reliable.
However, like with all products, this excellent kit also has some downsides. The cables that come with the package are a bit short. A longer cable is much more convenient. You also have to keep in mind that this kit is designed for smaller systems, but you can quickly build it up with compatible materials.
10. Go Power! Weekender System
- Made of durable materials
- Simple and easy to assemble
- Green power and noiseless
- Completely expandable
- Complete and ready to bring together
- Hefty price tag
- Required weekly maintenance
More and more families are now opting for a low-key and more economical means of spending weekends in RVs and enjoying open roads while discovering new places. Most of the time, you may be surprised that the power is not enough or not reliable when you have remote destinations.
The Weekender SW System would allow you and your family to enjoy the natural outdoors while still being connected to a world of convenience like your coffee maker and checking your emails. You can even use and power your appliances and charge your phones with this best DIY solar generator kit.
This solar panel kit comes with a whopping 1500 Watts Pure Sine Wave inverter and can provide you with steady and clean power for those family weekend getaways. You will also love the completeness of this kit. You can start right away with assembling it because everything you need to connect it to your solar panel and inverter is included in the bundle.
There is no need for you to purchase any other part. It is technically complete and ready to assemble the system. It’s not waiting for anything else but you to get it going. The instructions included are well detailed and very easy to follow.
Another thing that makes the Weekender SW System The ultimate DIY portable solar generator is its top-notch materials. It is not a product that you can use for weeks or months but many years.
The materials selected for this kit can withstand the elements of nature and the usual wear and tear. The monocrystalline solar panel technology, plus its tempered glass, is up for the ultimate defense against hail and even flying debris.
Being able to use this for 3 to 5 years is already a win. Beyond those five years would be a real bonus because you have made thousands of memories and discovered new places that are incomparably priceless to your initial investment.
Another advantage of this complete solar and inverter system from Go Power is you can thoroughly enjoy the tranquillity of nature and even the sound of the crickets because, unbelievably, it doesn’t come with the annoying sound of a typical generator. It is a noiseless power source, and even better, it doesn’t require any fuel to function.
With a unit that is 100% upgradable, you have the liberty to expand it and make modifications to your heart’s content so you can meet your needs. What’s best as well is you are not alone while using this kit because it also comes with reliable customer service that can provide you with guidance and validation anytime you need some help.
Some might be a little bit wary of purchasing this brand because of its hefty price tag and the need for you to wipe it down weekly at the very least so that you can ensure its maximum ability to absorb the heat of the sun.
What Is A DIY Solar Generator And Who Is This For
A solar generator is a compact and small box composed of three primary components: the batteries, the charge controller, and the inverter. The generator is responsible for drawing the sun’s energy via the solar panels, and then this absorbed energy is stored in high-capacity cells or batteries.
With the inverter’s help, the stored energy from the sun is released when you power your electrical devices and start charging your laptops, smartphones, and other devices in your home or recreational vehicles.
A DIY solar generator is an alternative option if you don’t want to purchase those ready-made and ready to install generators in your home. This solar generator is something you build and are perfect for RVs, campers, trailers, and boats.
Today, there are solar generator kits where everything you need to make your solar generator is already included. You’ll be looking into your actual solar panels, batteries, inverters, wires, racks, mounting hardware, and other parts to complete your project.
All you need is to assemble it, and you’ll have your generator in only half a day. What makes this appealing to most homeowners is that you enjoy the advantages of the commercial solar generators but with lesser costs, since you can fully customize it to your needs. You can have a say with the materials you like to use and tailor it to your budget.
Do it yourself solar generators are also a big hit for those homeowners, RVers, boondockers, and outdoor enthusiasts who are not ready yet to commit to the commercial solar generators. They may just want to feel the advantages before lunging full time and either buy a new one or a bigger one.
It is also for folks who also enjoy DIY projects at home to continuously challenge themselves and explore what they are capable of doing with results that would have significant advantages.
These bundled kits will be an excellent step for families who would want to save a couple of bucks off their electricity bill while using the sun’s free power and those who are not so keen on the harmful effects of diesel and petrol-fuelled generators on the atmosphere.
How Does It Work
Both DIY and commercial solar generators follow the same principle of how it works. It is composed of three primary components which are:
- The battery is where the solar generator saves and stores the energy that is being captured from the sun. This is a reservoir of the sun’s energy. Usually, lithium-ion cells are being used in generators, but you can also opt for lead-acid ones.
- Inverter – its primary responsibility is to convert the low Direct Current (DC) power from the battery cell into Alternating Current (AC) that is usable by your AC devices. DC devices and gadgets can bypass the inverter since it doesn’t need the current to be converted. It can use the “raw” form of the current.
- Charge controller – This component aims to shelter and uphold the stability of the solar generator’s battery. This is considered the brain of your solar generator and can have different associated attributes that are related to the discharging and charging of your battery.
With the three main components briefly introduced, the solar generator functions by catching and taking the sun’s energy via your solar panels. Then, it is stored in your batteries. This energy will then be converted as needed into AC power or leave it as raw power via your inverter before it gets released and becomes usable in your home, cabins, boats, or recreational vehicles.
Your solar generator kick starts the whole process as it initially captures the sun’s solar energy. Without these accumulated energies, your inverter can’t do so much because it doesn’t have anything to process.
What Are The Different Types Of DIY Solar Generators
It would be most suitable to know which kind of solar generator you need so your DIY project can achieve its purpose and make the most out of its functionality. There are three basic kinds of solar generators that you can decide on, each with its pros and cons.
Practical for large-scale appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, and television is the solar backup generator. There is usually a series of backup generators working with a power station system. Considering the maximum alternator wattage ranking, these are primarily designed for emergencies when there are power outages. Yes, it is powerful, heavy, and also expensive.
Meanwhile, a portable solar generator is considered the most versatile and lightweight among the kinds of solar generators and is ideal for small appliances like cameras, laptops, and cordless tools. It usually comes with straps or handles, making it easy to carry around. Unfortunately, they are limited to small electrical devices and can only power up or charge large appliances on a limited time.
Frequent recharging is required to prolong the functionality of a portable solar generator. Most folks new to solar power opt for this kind of solar generator because it is relatively economical and is considered a good investment. RVers and outdoor enthusiasts tend to have this at all times when off-grid because it allows them to have just sufficient power during their adventures. It is portable and reliable.
The last kind is called a smart solar box. It is a programmed generator that adjusts energy based on its condition. Some folks would prefer this because it can save you time from doing the manual calibration.
Going through these kinds of solar generators can direct you to precisely what you need. It will also be helpful if you take the time to assess your needs and the electrical devices and gadgets you have and will be using solar energy.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using A DIY Solar Generator
Do-it-yourself solar generators do a fantastic project because it is easy to assemble and install, but it also has more advantages for its users. It is intriguing to take a closer look to find out if it is something that you and your lifestyle can work with. For sure, you’ll find that with its advantages, it is worth the build.
Here are some of the many advantages of DIY solar generators:
- Flexible – DIY solar generators don’t restrict you with options and provide you with more flexibility depending on your energy consumption and needs. It will be entirely up to you how many batteries you will be using and the number of solar panels to meet your needs. These decisions would directly impact your charging capacity and charging time.
- Power – depending on your choices, you can create and assemble your solar panel and make it even more powerful than the conventional ones. There are expansion kits available that can allow you to upgrade your system to 400W or the maximum allowable specific to your solar panel manufacturer.
When you are out camping or spending time in your RV, one of your most significant worries is the power since the grid can’t be as accessible as you want it to be. Here is where DIY solar generator kits come into play because you can have it with you wherever you are with as much needed power as required.
- Expandability – DIYs don’t just give you the option to add more solar panels and reduce solar panels depending on your need. You can easily change your setup in a fraction of time without additional costs or too much layout modification.
Unlike the commercial solar generators where you have to get a new one, if you want a bigger or smaller solar panel, DIYs don’t get you stuck with this problem. The capacity is entirely your decision to make, and you can make modifications based on your needs using your original layout and materials. You can start with a primary solar generator and eventually expand to a working 3000-watt portable solar generator.
- Self-satisfaction – there is always a geek in everybody, and being able to create something from scratch and use it will get that alter-ego happy.
As always, where there are benefits, there will also be some drawbacks with DIY solar kits. It can still be a daunting experience to choose which brand you want to invest in. Although it is relatively cheaper than the commercial ones, it still needs to be planned in your budget. If you don’t have the necessary skills in wiring, you might require professional help, so your choice of panel kit won’t go to waste. Lastly, DIY or not, solar generators are 100% dependent on the sun, which you have no control whatsoever.
How We Picked And Tested
Buying your solar generator, especially if you plan to make one yourself, can be a little intimidating. Even certified DIYers want to choose the right starter set, so the chances of success are higher. You can make this process easier by considering some factors when picking your solar generator.
You don’t just settle for whatever is available, but you have to make sure that when you have completed your little project, you will be able to use it, and you can reap the benefits. It takes a bit of effort to learn and be more knowledgeable about solar power, but it pays off because, as the famous saying goes, “Knowledge is Power.” Here are a few things you can look at when shopping:
Capacity – your generator’s capacity will identify the amount of energy that your generator can keep or store when there are very limited to zero sources of sunlight. An example would be when the night falls or during the winter season when there is the minimal sun. How much can your generator supply to your devices, and how long can it steadily supply the energy?
You might be tempted to get the solar generator with the largest capacity. Still, it’s top-tier first to identify your power consumption and the number of devices and appliances that are being used to have a good idea of the ideal capacity to purchase. Some online calculators can help you with this aspect less the complicated math required.
Portability – one primary reason you’d want to buy or build your solar generator is that you want to have power when you are off-grid. Let’s admit it. Heavy-duty batteries are heavy and big, so to help you increase that portability rating. You might need to compromise with a more portable solar generator while reducing its capacity. Note that in this aspect, you look into the construction of your solar generator carrier too.
It has to be built with portability in mind. You’ll be looking into bringing it along with you during hikes and treks, moving it from one van to another truck. You don’t need the extra weight, but what you need is the power stored in that generator.
Reliability – there are some established brands that you can initially put on your list when shopping. Although most of these reputable manufacturers are pricey, you downright get reliability and quality from them.
In other words, they are already ‘proven and tested’ when it comes to the industry, so they know their business well as well as the needs of the consumers. Building your DIY solar generator with components all with no name at all is pretty risky and shady. If your budget is a bit tight, go for at least for brands that are about middle-quality caliber.
With these three things considered, you can build your solar generator. The ultimate way to test it is to get it outside under direct sunlight and look into the reading if your solar panels are absorbing the sun’s energy and the generator storing it into the batteries. If you can power up your devices, then you can consider it a successful project. Some tweaks might be needed eventually, but you are looking into a promising solar future.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you make a homemade solar generator?
Making your own DIY solar power generator can be a project that you’d surely enjoy. It is something functional, and with so many advantages, you can be mighty proud of your creation and reap its benefits. While some homemade solar generators might need specialized tools and steps, here are the steps necessary to start you with. You can simply proceed from these guidelines to get the answers on how to build a solar generator:
- Prepare your essentials – this includes your battery, the battery box, the charge controller, an inverter, and a DC input device. Make sure that you know which battery you need by identifying the amount of energy you want to save. Typically, solar generators utilize 12V batteries, but lithium-ion and lead-acid cells are great choices too.
- Prepare your battery box – identify where you want your outlets and DC meter to be laid-out. Consider the placement so you can easily read and access it anytime without needing to move things around. This is also the time to strategically determine where your plugs, chargers, and other accessories will be laid out next. Once you have finalized the layout, you can start drilling and installing your outlets, including the DC meter.
- Connect the electrical parts – once the DC meter and the outlets are drilled and in place, set your battery in your battery box. With insulated wires, join your DC meter to your battery terminals. Work with the negative terminals first before proceeding with the positive stations. You can already connect your solar panel to your battery, and the connection can either be made permanently or temporarily.
For a permanent connection, connect your solar panel directly to the battery, like how you did with the other components. If you opt for a temporary one, you can just join plugs to easily connect in your solar panel either at the front or the rear of your battery box. This third step should make the wiring of your solar panel complete.
- See if your solar panels work – this is ultimately testing if your DIY solar generator kit works, so strategically place it outside so it can receive as much energy from the sun. If it is possible to make use of solar panel wires that are longer, it would be easier for you because you don’t need to bring your battery box outside.
You can just keep it in place and prevent it from being exposed to the natural elements. Note that it is only the panel that needs direct exposure to the sun. After a few hours of direct sunlight, check the reading of your DC meter. The voltage that you are getting should now be numerically available. Leave your panel outside as needed so you can charge it to its maximum capacity.
- Start using your homemade solar generator – once you have charged up your generator, you can start to power your electrical appliances. Quick connections come in very handy at this stage since you can just keep your DIY generator mounted where you require it and connect it to the corresponding receptacle.
The observation also commences at this stage as you need to monitor the length of time it takes for one appliance to fully charge and note how much power you have left after charging. By getting this info, you can have an overview of time and energy consumption to plan around it smarter.
With these necessary and starting steps, you can continue expanding your solar generator. Next time, your question won’t just be on how to create a primary solar generator but how to build a 5000 watt solar generator.
What size solar generator do I need?
A solar generator can only be as effective when you are using the correct size. Sure, a lot would say that the larger your solar generator is, the better while a smaller generator would require constant modifications.
To identify the correct solar generator size for you, you can follow the general rule of the generator twice the size of your inverter’s continuous and constant output. An example would be a 2,000-watt inverter that should work with a 4,000-watt generator.
It is also good to consider some round-ups to give some room for your generator’s tendency to lose some power. This can happen when you are situated in higher elevations. Some engines tend to suffer 3% of their energy for every 1,000 increase in altitude.
Aside from the technicalities, you should be able to identify your power consumption on a daily and monthly basis and, at the same time, know how much power stored you have. The power stored will be the energy that your solar panels are capable of providing to your cells. With this, you can have better solar panel efficiency and make the most of your solar generator’s many benefits.
What is the cost of a 200 watt DIY portable solar power generator?
The cost of 200-watt homemade solar generators depends on whether they are ready-to-assemble kits or individually-purchased components you must build from scratch.
Many DIY solar power generator kits are available on leading e-commerce platforms, especially Amazon. Buyers can pick trustworthy brands, such as Renogy (about $350) and DOKIO (about $225). With patience and diligence in your search, you could buy a DIY solar generator kit for under $200.
Although kits make it more convenient to produce a homemade generator, their specifications might not suit your electrical requirements. Hence, making a solar generator from scratch makes perfect sense.
You could check solar generator plans to create the most suitable system for home applications. After all, this type of device only needs five principal components – solar panels, a battery, an inverter, a charge controller, and a DC input device.
A 100-watt solar panel can cost you $100 to $200. Most of these products already have an integrated charge controller. You can get a solar battery for about $50 to $60, while an inverter can cost you $50. A cheap battery box and DC input device cost about $10 each.
Is it cheaper to build your own solar generator?
Building a portable solar generator DIY style could be cheaper than buying a kit to assemble.
It is possible to spend less than $300 on this project if you pick affordable yet good-quality components. Of course, if you’re building a 10,000 watt solar generator, you might end up with a costlier project than purchasing a ready-to-assemble kit.
How long does a DIY solar generator last?
The longevity of a DIY solar battery generator depends on the quality of the individual components, especially the battery, solar panel, inverter, and charger.
High-quality monocrystalline solar panels can last up to four decades, while similar-quality polycrystalline versions can operate for up to 35 years. Solar batteries have an operating lifespan of five to 15 years, while charge controllers can last 15 years. On the other hand, solar inverters have a 10- to 12-year lifespan.
How to use it?
Suppose you are new to solar panel. In that case, your initial questions will revolve around the how’s, like how to build a 3000 watt solar generator” or how to make sure the wirings are correct. But if you have successfully created your DIY project, you will transition to finding out how to use your solar generator effectively. Technically, after the build phase of your solar generator, there is nothing much you can do because it will function automatically already.
Using your solar generator is relatively simple. Solar generators rely heavily on your solar panels, so you use it by directly exposing your panels under direct sunlight. You can strategically place them where it can get the maximum photons.
Once your solar panels have absorbed the sun’s energy, your generator works on its own already. It will let the inverter do its job and make the necessary energy transitions, and from there, your generator can provide power to your appliances and devices like normal.
You can use your solar generator at home, but mostly when you go off-grid. You can have a more enjoyable experience while in outdoors when you know that your smartphone is sufficiently powered to capture your adventures and memories or wake up to a newly brewed cup of coffee. You can simply connect your electrical devices to your solar generator and enjoy the day.
Most generators have a wide array of outlets and even USB ports, so you can be sure that you have a slot for your devices and appliances.
There is some DIY solar generator cheap as well that is so lightweight that you can carry the solar panels around while you are spending the day under the sun, so while doing that, your solar generator is already working. By the time you get home or find yourself in a clearing, you can just use your solar generator and add a few more power to your phone or camera.
Creating your DIY solar generator gives you the satisfaction of assembling a functional project with actual benefits and results. Aside from the advantages you get from your DIY solar project, such as the DIY solar generator lifepo4, you also become more satisfied in the process of installing a clean energy power source to use for a long time.
Like the 3000 watt portable solar generator, these solar kits are perfect alternatives that provide equal benefits and opportunities to those wanting to start and learn using solar generators and experience its many pros. At a lesser cost, you can further assess and identify your needs and make modifications just as quickly since these DIY solar generators are expandable and reduction-friendly, depending on your needs. Buy the best DIY solar generator today!
Hi, I am Eddie, Cleanenergysummit’s content editor. It’s so much joy to work alongside Justin, as the idea of providing knowledge about using clean energy excites us.
I’ve been working to address any concerns or questions you may have as you transition to using solar electricity to power your home. Tune in to hear our advice and suggestions on anything clean energy. Welcome!