Don’t get caught in the dark again. With parts purchased from hardware, electronics and marine or recreational vehicle stores you can build your own solar powered generator. Just follow these steps. Does this Spark an idea?
1. Visit your local marine or recreational vehicle store and purchase a solar panel rated at 12 volts or higher. Solar panels can also be purchased over the Internet and may offer better deals and free shipping!
2. Get any size deep cycle 12-volt lead-acid or gel battery. Deep cycle batteries are recommended for their durability.
3. Purchase a battery box for your battery to cover up any exposed terminals, especially if children are nearby.
4. Go to an electronics store and pick up a 12-volt direct current “DC” meter.
5. Buy a DC input. The triple input model, found in the cigarette lighter section of an auto parts store, produces adequate power for most DC appliances. Another option is connecting a cable to an answering machine or other portable electrical DC appliance. The cable will run directly off the box, allowing you to boil water and run lights longer.
6. Invest in an inverter if you plan to use your solar powered generator for all of your home appliances and electronic devices. The inverter will convert your battery’s stored DC power into alternating “AC” current. A 115-volt AC 140-watt inverter should be adequate. Check auto parts stores or search online for the best deal.
7. Close the battery box lid with a bungee cord. Place your solar powered generator in the sun to charge the battery. You will need 5 to 8 hours for a dead battery, 1 to 3 to juice up a weak one.