Portable solar generator is a simple set-up. It is made up of commonly available components and is really an anyone-can-build appliance. No much expertise is required to build a portable solar generator DIY.
What components do make up a portable solar power generator? Here I have the list of important components inside a portable solar generator.
There is actually no specific form for a portable solar generator. It may come out in various designs like a suitcase, cart and more. Basic theory behind its design is nothing but portability.
By making it portable, a camper or hiker can easily carry it along. Even for emergency uses, portability factor is a great advantage. Below are the list of components of a solar generator.
I have also done a graphical representation of the components. See it below.
Solar Panels, Solar Cells
Solar panel, also referred as photovoltaic cell, is the part of a portable solar generator that collects solar energy. It captures power from sun as direct current (DC) through a process called photovoltaic effect. There can be more than one solar panel with a solar generator. A solar backpack or a solar charger usually features thin film solar cells, which are bendable.
For your information, solar energy is the world’s most clean and sustainable source of energy. As world is under the threat of massive traditional energy shortage, solar looks to be the coolest alternative. Solar energy does no harm to the nature or any of its creatures.
Anyway, coming up to our topic, portable solar generators don’t feature solar panels in a same way. Some heavy duty models have solar cells separately from the body. So it may be not friendly for travels, but better access to sunlight can be ensured, because you can keep solar panels away in sunlight. And place rest of the generator inside your tent, guaranteeing its security as well.
Solar Charge Controller
Put it simply, a solar charge controller has two functions. It controls both overcharging and discharging of your batteries. Position of a solar charge controller or regulator lies in between a solar panel and a battery in a solar generator.
First of all, it blocks overcharging of your battery with the power from solar panels. Secondly, it prevents discharging of battery through the solar panel. These steps ensure that you get more lifespan for your electric batteries. Rather, your battery is safe and you can use it for a longer period with no risks.
As noted above, solar panels produce power in direct current (DC), but your gadgets can only consume alternating current (AC). The task an inverter inside a portable solar generator performs is converting DC to AC to get the energy compatible for your electronic appliances.
Do I really need to tell the importance of battery inside a solar generator? It is where the power is stored. Sunshine won’t be there all the time.
Night time and bad weather are the major barriers of a solar generator, and so the energy collected in sunny hours is stored in a battery for latter use.
Not all solar generators or chargers come with built-in batteries. In that case, you can buy separate battery packs and store the electricity for your gadgets.
It is a small device to track the power stored inside the battery. It is not an important part of a portable solar power generator, but if you have this, you will get a clear idea on how long your generator can provide power and how long it needs to be placed in sunlight to store power.
AC Jack/USB Slot
These are the outlets to collect power from a portable solar generator. You can use AC or USB cables to charge various devices from a portable generator. Based on the capacity of a solar generator, there will be varying number of AC jacks and USB ports.
Case and Spares
Looking to build a portable solar generator DIY? Then you need some more items. Get a strong case and some miscellaneous items. An abandoned pistol case or anything like that will do the job of solar generator case. A 12 volt cigarette lighter, some cable and wires are also required for it.
A plywood layer can be fixed inside the case to slot in the components like inverter, voltmeter, solar charge controller, wires and the 12 volt outlet. Beneath the layer, you can put up the battery, which needs to be fixed strongly in order to defend jerks.
Refer to the diagram below to see how to structure your portable solar generator DIY.