An Easy to Make Solar Wagon

Two 180 watt solar panels

Yesterday one of our readers sent in pictures of a solar system he built using two 180-watt solar panels.  This should produce a maximum of a 108 amp hours of power on a good sunny day.  You can see that he is using three deep cycle marine batteries.  There is a controller located between the panels and the batteries.

The inverter is a 2000-watt unit that you can purchase from stores like Harbor Freight and Tools.

With this cart, he can move it around the yard to take advantage of the sun.  You will notice that he has left room for additional batteries to be added in the future.  This unit has the capacity to support several more batteries.  This would give it more reserve power in case of bad weather.  This unit should run a refrigerator for 3 hours or so a day without any problems.

Here you can get a look at the batteries, controller, and the inverter. The controller is located at the top on the right.The inverter is located on the bottom left.

He stated that he uses his ATV to move the solar wagon.  In the future, he intends to put larger wheels on to make it easier to move over uneven ground.

This is very similar to the type of unit I am building.  The big difference between his and mine will be that I am using one 300 watts solar panel and mine will be designed for a more permanent installation. Here’s a close look at another solar wagon design that might be helpful to you.

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7 Responses to An Easy to Make Solar Wagon

  1. ke4sky says:

    Good job! In Gulfport, MS post Katrina we used four L-16 golf cart batteries and similar sized inverter, which worked well.

  2. Daniel says:

    Do you know how much the entire setup would cost? Is it cheaper than one of these Solar powered generators or about the same? Looks like a nice setup.

    • B. says:

      Harbor freight and autozone, I have built over time, a system similar to this. 2 45W panels $150 each including controller, 2 100AH batteries, $100 each, and 2000W inverter $159
      Approx $650-700. The one they sell is $1100 for 45W panel, battery,inverter and controller.The bigger Watt panels will be more expensive, around $300 up depending on the brand, for a homebuilt system

  3. admin says:

    I cost me $150 for a 300 watt solar panel, from a local electrician. A $169 for the controller. A 2000 watt inverter between 150-200 dollars. For wire and connectors and extra $50. This is roughly 570 dollars plus batteries. Hope this helps.
    Howard

  4. Jo Smo says:

    DIY Solar
    Solar cells 6×6 4 watt. You will need tabbing to interconnect the cells. The more wattage the faster it will charge the batteries.
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p5197.m570.l1311.R3.TR9.TRC1&_nkw=solar+cells+6×6&_sacat=0&_from=R40

    Kit makes it easier as it includes solar cells, tabbing, buss etc
    100 6×6 Mono Solar Cell Kit “A” Grade With Tabbing, Bus, Flux and JBOX

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/100-6×6-Mono-Solar-Cell-Kit-A-Grade-With-Tabbing-Bus-Flux-and-JBOX-/170939178248?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27ccc4dd08

    Solar panels pre-made
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p5197.m570.l1311.R9.TR11.TRC1&_nkw=solar+panel+200w&_sacat=0&_from=R40

    Power table To figure out how many watts you will want. Always get your inverter a little bigger than what you decide on.
    http://www.wholesalesolar.com/StartHere/HowtoSaveEnergy/PowerTable.html

    Well pumps use 480-1200 watts and are usually 220v. Plus they are usually hard wired. Since most Inverters are 110vac you must refine your search to look for a 220v unit that uses a Universal outlet. Then make a pigtail out of standard extension cord. A universal socket will accept USA type plugs
    This inverter would only be good for 220v NOT 110v. My recommendation if you want to cover both Frig and Well is to buy separate inverters for each. A 220v European for the well and a normal 110v for frig.
    They do make inverters that output 110v and 220v but be careful as some do only one or the other, Not both. Most everything I saw on eBay was Chinese and would NOT do both at the same time. And the little switch is a pain to get to.

  5. TimV says:

    The cart idea is great for security. If you had a favorite location you could secure the cart to posts driven in the ground to prevent a wind gust from blowing it over. Maybe some outriggers that swivel out would work too. The outriggers would allow you to turn it during the day to follow the sun.

  6. john b says:

    Great concept. With larger wheels this could be a perfect design. Gives me some ideas for the solar projects I am working on.

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