Solar Suitcase – A portable Generator
Here we will be looking at small and portable yet powerfull mini solar system. This system was done as tutorial and training to get some basic experience. The design was choosen to have a electricity supply for power needs during camping and other outdoor activities. Charging the phone, run some small stereo, illuminate a construction site using led’s, etc.. nothing like powertools or such.
This little system is running since 2014 and is always usefull to have around. I can not count how many times it was great to have a small mobile electricity source that recharges itsself.
- 10 Watt Solar Module
- 5 Ampere 12 Volt Solar PWM Chargecontroller
- 20 Ah 12 Volt Lead-Acid Gel Battery
- 300 Watt Modified Sinus Inverter
- 5 Volt / 12 Volt / 220Volt Output
As housing i choose a aluminium suitcase. They are reasonable cheap, very lightweight and easy modifiable. For DIY projects any casing that can house the components should do.
The size of the solar module was picked so it would fit inside the suitcase for transport. The solar chargecontroller supports a lot more power-input so it is possible to have a larger “home station module” to connect the suitcase to. This is highly recommended to have if you DIY this project, as the 10W solar module will take quite a while to charge this battery size.
As mounting for the chargecontroller and the switches i choose a sheet metal plate and cut it with an anglegrinder to fit the suitcase middle bar.
For connections i used the power plugs and cables from computers.
The Plug in the solar suitcase was recycled from a broken pc power supply. These make for smooth connections. As this system will not be getting to much power from the solar panel the cable diameters is not a problem.
Inside the suitcase
To stabilize the components i used a few wooden blocks that got fixed by screwing them into the suitcase. I made some distance pieces and used ductape to make shure the metal cover and inverter or cables dont touch.
The inverter was fixed to the suitcase using additional screws.
220V and 5V output of the inverter and the 12V output of the chargecontroller are placed to the right side of the suitcase.