Demo of my Low Cost Portable DIY Solar Generator build. This was more of a learning project for me, but has practical applications like charging devices and powering a small fan. Applications can include overlanding, camping, VanLife, RV, shed, cabin or even a brief power outage. I chose the panel with portability in mind. I used a battery I had – otherwise I would have likely purchased a small lithium battery.
This is not intended to be a step by step how to build a solar power system video, but a view into my learning experience. There are various resources on the web which you may be able to use as how-to guides.
Depending on your choice of components, you can get a lot of good advice from the support desk of the product manufacturer.
Charge Controllers: I would not buy a cheap one again – they will likely fail at the wrong time. I should have bought one of the brand name ones like RichSolar, Renogy, EcoWorthy, BougeRV, HQST etc. However $9 is not bad just to get started and learn.
NOTE – Electricity is very dangerous. Be sure to learn about the risks involved and safety precautions needed. This video is for entertainment purposes only. Always consult a licensed electrician before trying any of this. The makers of this video assume no liability for the actions of the viewer and possible outcomes.
Articles I found to be useful (NO AFFILIATION with any of these):
PWM vs MPPT:
More about connectors:
Never let your AGM battery go below 50%. I don’t let the battery voltage drop below 12.3V based on this article:
Products you may find useful (NO AFFILIATION with these sellers or manufacturers):
If you are ready to spend a little extra for lithium, this kit seems to be a good all in one solution for $105 (but not very expandable):
If you have a battery, but want to buy the panel, controller and wires $45:
Here’s the 25 Watt panel I used $31:
Connector with FUSE to go with the ECO WORTHY kits:
Splicing and Crimping tool (includes spade connectors like the ones I have):