Off-grid Solar for Dummies! Step-by-step Solar Power System Tutorial

Today’s, video, we’re, going to learn how to build a very small solar power system. We have a solar panel. We have a battery to store the electricity that the solar panel produces, and then we have an inverter where we can plug in our appliances.

We also have what’s called a solar charge controller and it’s. A small box that connects the battery to the solar panel and then we have a fuse. This is so that fires do not occur, so let’s start this whole system at the battery, because this is the most important part.

This is the part that you, don’t want to screw up with, so you have a positive and a negative terminal, the negative it really doesn’t matter what you do, but on the positive you need to fuse it. You can have a bolt-on fuse or for this system because it’s, so small.

We’re using a inline fuse and these two wires connect to the solar charge controller. So we have a negative. We have a positive and on the solar charge controller, you have a battery depiction and then you have a plus and a minus, and so the positive of the fused one goes to this input tab and then you have a negative and it goes to this input.

Tab first connect this to the battery next connect the solar charge controller to the solar panel wires. So you have a positive and a negative, and these go out to the solar panel so find out which ones positive by looking at the tabs and then connected over here.

Most of them have mc4 connectors and you can add extension lines and then put those extension lines directly into here. If not, you can do this stuff, you can splice and crimp whatever you want. I have xt60 connector, so I can check the efficiency of everything you don’t need that, but it’s nice to have so find a way to connect the positive and the negative to the positive and the negative on the solar Charge controller: once you have the solar panel connected to the battery with this solar charge controller, it is charging well, of course, if you have sunshine so mount the solar panel on the roof and then mount the battery in a cool dry location.

Next, we need output and we also need to know what state of charges batteries in most people just use a voltmeter. I have a battery tester and it tells you it takes the voltage and it figures out what percentage battery it has left and I have this wire to an xt60 connector for ease of access.

But what you can do in that is put on the fused line. So if you have a battery voltage meter put it on the positive and the negative on the battery for this system. We have one ground wire in one positive, fused wire that goes to the inverter.

Most inverters have a positive and a negative tab on the back. Where you put screw in terminals and that’s very easy to do with crimp with a crimp tool, but for this system this was a cigarette lighter adapter one.

So I figured out which one’s positive and negative, and I crimped it directly to the battery to the fused line, and so, if I turn this on, I can have power you can see the green LED is on. So that means it’s charging on my battery bank and it has 2.

4 amps from each one. This one can input 2 amps from each, so we’re doing 4 amps right now. From this battery also, I can watch as I use this inverter. If I’m charging a laptop, I can watch the battery go down.

So if you have the system, how do you use it? You really don & # 39. T have to do much. This does not require maintenance. All you have to do with the solar panel is put it in sunshine, and then this will charge if everything & # 39.

S connected also make sure that the wires going from the charge controller to the battery are thick enough. This is a small system, so 12 gauge will work just fine and it’s very close to the battery. So I don’t.

Have any issues of concern? One issue of concern is the heatsink on the back of this getting hot near the battery. I mounted because it doesn’t matter. It’s, not getting that warm and I’m, not pushing that much electricity through it.

So I’m, not too concerned, but if you’re putting you know three four hundred Watts through a pulse width, modulation, controller. First, I suggest you an MPPT regardless. That should be the first thing that you’re doing.

If you have that many solar panels, but then you could put this somewhere and put a fan on it, you want to make sure that’s vertical, so that the convective currents, doesn’t, take the heat away from the heatsink and That’s, pretty much.

It use it with appliances until the battery goes down to about thirty to fifty percent. If it’s a true deep cycle battery, most of you should discharge to about 50 percent. If you have a lead acid, because they do not like deep discharging, even if they are a deep discharge, lead acid – they do not have many charge cycles, so watch the battery every single day and make sure that it’s.

Past 50 percent use your appliances and then stick that solar panel on the Sun and that’s, pretty much it. This is a very, very simple system. If you want to build a larger system, just make a bigger battery or get a larger solar charge controller or get larger panels.

Of course, when you make a bigger battery, you need more panels because you need a charge cycle it to a fold complete charge, and so you need to make sure that you’re picking. The right part so check out my website for different blueprints on different sizes.

This is a very small size that’s. A 50 watt panel. This battery can handle up to 200 watts of solar. This is a 35 amp, our AGM sealed lead-acid, and this can only do 220 watts, but for most people this is great.

This is all that most people need. This is about 27 pounds that’s like 3 pounds – and this is I mean all of this stuff – is very tiny and very easy to move around, and so now we’re, going to talk about building it.

So the second half of this video, I’m, going to show you how to actually construct it so stay tuned. If you want to do that, if not check out my website – and I’ll talk to you guys later, thanks for watching, we & # 39.

Ve got 35 amp-hour, sealed lead-acid AGM deep-cycle battery, we’ve got fuses. We’ve got a crimp connector set solar charge, controller wire strippers wire 12 gauge. We’ve got a multimeter. We have a 50 watt ohm flexi panel.

You don’t need to use this one. You can use a cheap Chinese 100 watt panel and then we’ve got some zip ties, crimp connectors some more of thems. It touch also, of course, the inverter. This is where you’re, going to power your things.

I have this inverter permanently attached to a battery bank, so whenever this inverter is on it charges to the usb to this little battery, [ __ ]. So I can charge my phone and other devices you can actually have a laptop charged by USB now so yeah.

I check this out and we’re, going to put this all together. First, we need to build a charging system. That means we need to connect this solar panel to this battery, with this solar charge controller, in order to connect the solar charge controller.

To the battery first, because we cannot connect the solar charge controller to the solar panel first, unless you will hurt this, you need to connect the solar charge controller to the battery and we’re going to fuse it off.

So we need to use a fuse between the solar charge controller and the battery, so we’re going to wire it up and we’re, going to use crimp connectors to connect the fuse to the battery terminal. Technically use a wire stripper to crimp it, but I like using an actual crimper put the crimp connector in the crimper and then put the fuse on the other side and then squeeze really hard connect it to the battery.

And it should look like this. Do not add the fuse until we have everything connected. You need a ground connection. We are going to add a wire to the negative terminal to this, but we need to use it our own wire and we need to crimp it ourselves first strip the 12 gauge wire and add a crimp connector.

We need to think about where we want to mount our solar charge controller for this system. I will not add more than 200 watts to this, so that means I can mount it directly on the battery, because this does heat up, but as long as it’s, not that warm, it should be totally fine.

I’m, going to face the terminals up so then we can access them with this wire and then this wire, we just need the positive and the negative solar charge controllers mounted. I can wire it directly to it.

I think that we need to connect this directly to the solar charge controller, but we want to also fuse another connection in this connection and we’ll be going to our inverter. So we need to add two wires to this one, typically with larger gauge wires.

You do not want to use crimp connectors with multiple wires, but for this instance they are pretty small and it should work just fine. So we’re, going to attach this to this, and then we’re, going to stick two wires on the other side.

Just like this, so we & # 39. Ve got one wire going to two wires and then connect it to the solar charge, controller. Okay. So at this point we have the fuse. We have a line that goes to the negative lead of the solar charge controller, and then we have two wires that are coming out of the fuse spot.

We need another wire and this is going to be the ground for the inverter doesn’t matter. How long it is yet because we don’t know where we’re going to mount the inverter. And then you need to also make sure that it’s about the same length as the second wire that we have.

That’s coming off the fuse, and this will be your main output. At this point you can also add a fuse to the inline fuse. I put a 20 amp. You can use a 30 amp, but for the size inverter that I’m using a 20 amp will do fine, and then you should look at the solar charge control if it’s green, and it says that that means a green.

Is a full battery, then we are set and we connected it properly if it turns off or you smell smoke. That means that you reverse these two and you put them in the wrong places, and so that means you need to buy a new one, two wires, but we need to connect these two of the inverter.

There is quite a few ways of doing this. You can check for resistance across these leaves with one of the wires. But what I like to do is I like to wire in xt60 connectors. If you can’t, do this. You’ll, have to splice or use connectors to connect right to this one.

For this one, the white lead is the positive in the black. Lead is the negative, but it’s different for all of them, so you will have to use a voltmeter or resistance or ohms ekor to see so is a good time to remove the fuse when you are working with these live wires, but we Needed to check if the solar charge controller was working, so that was nice to have a fuse in for a second, but now take the fuse out so that we can solder these wires or use crimp connectors or whatever else you want to connect to these.

This is what it looks like when it’s done. We have a positive and a negative, and it goes to this xt60 connector. You can also use a female cigarette, lighter adapter right now. I have xc60 also connected to this inverter.

So right now it is powering it right now. It is converting the power from this LED acid into this lithium USB battery bank, and it is charging, as you can see, with the charge indicator lights right now.

I can also plug in a laptop or whatever. I want really that’s under 220 watts leave this portion of a solar generator. You can attach this to the side of the battery, with some double-sided mounting tape or zip ties, or you can leave it off to the side and that’s.

What I’m going to do, because I’m, not sure if I will connect other things to this or if I just want this by itself, so you can connect it if you want, but it’s. Nice to have a little bit of an extension cable, and you can also add more extension at this Junction right here this project.

We need to connect some solar panels and on the side of this solar charge controller, you can see that there’s. A positive and a negative lead, but most solar panels do not have just these wires, so you can buy MC for connector, adapter extension, cables and wire it directly in here.

I do not have that. What I’m going to do is wire an xt60 connector to MC, for it connectors, and I & # 39. Ll show you that in a second – and this is what it should look like – you have two wires going to the solar panel input terminals on solar charge controller and for me, I’m using xt60 connector.

You can use MC for adapters, but I like to have different options in different adapters for different situations and different solar panels. So I use xt60 connectors what a 50 watt solar panel on my roof, and now we are going to connect it to the charge controller.

With my little adapter, this is my little adapter for connecting mc4 connectors to xt60, so we have a positive which is marked and then a negative, and these go to xt60 connector, which has a positive and negative, which goes all the way down to these charged wires.

That go into the input terminals on the solar charge controller and you can see that the Sun is green. So that means it is working and is charging this battery. If I want to use it now, I have an output, xt60 connector and if I just plug this, in with one hand now this is working, so that is a solar power system that you guys can make any time really.

Chief, I’m, going to have a parts list below, so you can see what I use and man. This is a really cheap easy. I mean I can lift up this system and bring it anywhere.