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My Amazing DIY Solar Generator

Portable and Silent
A couple years ago, we did a big tour of four states here in the west. In many of the national parks we stayed in, they have “generator free” campgrounds. These are always our first choice as tent campers. “Generator free” refers to noisy, smelly gasoline-powered generators.

One of our best camps was in Zion, where we spent 4 full days and nights. I was doing a lot of time-lapse and infrared photography using two cameras and that required lots of camera battery charging. The portable nature of my generator allows me to position it to track the sun. On that trip, I could recharge the batteries during coffee and breakfast and then be ready for a full day of shooting.

Emergency Power, Too
Back here at home, we have used the solar generator to power our computer’s DSL modem during power outages. The battery is not large enough for big appliances, but the 5 watt draw of the modem is easily handled. With the modem up and running, our laptops and email can keep us in contact with family during winter storms, and prolonged power outages. I have also used my solar generator at our off-grid cabin to supplement our entertainment. My girls have a small portable DVD player that has a car adapter; they can watch movies up in the sleeping loft without having to tap into the main DC system that I use for music, etc.

A few weeks ago the Discovery Channel’s web page picked up my solar generator story along with a few others. Have a look, and leave a comment to ask me anything about my solar generator.

Kevin Stevens is a Denver-area remodeling contractor and tile contractor.

 

 

Related:
Green Gadgets That Save You Money (2 videos)
Going Solar: Tips for Your Home
Solar Panels Could Be Cheaper Than TVs

Read more: Conservation, Crafts & Design, Fun, Green, Home, Life, Materials & Architecture, Nature, Outdoor Activities, Technology, Travel, , , , ,

By Kevin Stevens, Networx

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45 comments

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10:30AM PDT on Oct 29, 2012

Thank You!

10:51PM PDT on Oct 28, 2012

Thanks

3:39PM PDT on Oct 28, 2012

Thanks

4:31AM PDT on Oct 26, 2012

Thanks for the article.

10:17PM PDT on Oct 25, 2012

Wow! What an amazingly innovative individual you are! Talk about thinking outside the box. You really take the cake.

9:27PM PDT on Oct 25, 2012

The national parks association should buy the rights from you for this and install the solar generators in all the campsites!

11:04AM PDT on Oct 25, 2012

I appreciate the info. However, it took digging down three layers of websites before I got to actual plans for building something like this for myself.

3:13AM PDT on Oct 25, 2012

Thanks. All our hot water comes from solar energy in Israel. it's a very sunny climate.

2:41AM PDT on Oct 25, 2012

Thanks, and the solar panels gets cheaper and cheaper per Watt.

11:08PM PDT on Oct 24, 2012

The solar system sounds good. Not so sure about the CO2 emissions from all that driving, though.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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