This week, strange noises came from the shop – hammering, drilling and sawing – that I haven’t heard around here for quite some time. Even more mysterious, Darren was grinning like a cat digging through boxes we hadn’t unpacked since moving more than 3 years ago.
A few days ago, he came home from town with one of those heavy-duty lawn wagons that I had dreams of using to haul logs or rocks from the woods. I didn’t know what Darren was up to, but it sure was nice to see him taking a break from the hand pump machine.
Then, yesterday, there was an odd new appliance basking in the sunshine outside the shop. It had solar panels, a battery bank, regulator, other gadgets and a beautifully painted wooden frame and cabinet mounted to the cart I thought was for firewood.
“Well, here it is,” Darren smiled. “Our new mobile, compact, solar-powered, emergency, energy-supply system.”
Catchy name, I thought. What’s it do?
“What’s it do!?” Darren asked. “Why, it’s a solar generator. It follows the sun to store energy for lights, radios and other electronics. Best of all, we can bring it inside ahead of storms. We can easily pull it by hand anywhere to use power tools with an inverter. Just imagine the possibilities.”
Yay! We don’t have to cut down any trees to have solar power.
Stay tuned for a full blog as we show how we’ve wired our house for DC lights and the inverter. We’re also preparing detailed plans for this this handy do-it-yourself solar cart. Darren built our 160-watt, 12-volt system of scrap materials and solar supplies we already had on hand. To use all new purchased materials, we estimate it would cost $750- $800 to build, about the same as a fixed solar rack system in the yard.
You can watch a video demonstration here.
The advantages, however, are the unit’s portability and efficiency. It can quickly be maneuvered inside a garage or shed during snow, ice or wind storms. Plus, the panels are easily moved into various positions to absorb the sun’s rays.
You can order your DIY plans today!
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