how to build a home solar power thingie to plug stuff into…?

Filed under: Self Reliance |

solar power home
Image by roens
As is fairly well known, recent "iDevices" from Apple don’t like to derive power from just any 5VDC source with a USB socket. It turns out, Apple may be using a standards-defined signaling on the two data pins to indicate how much current the power source can supply and ignoring sources that provide no signaling.

This modification was made based on information gathered by Ladyada. The resistors I’ve soldered to the USB port’s pins result in providing about 2V to both the D+ & D- pins, signaling to an iPhone that it should attempt to sink about 500mA.

The other side of the plus-shaped PCB is home to a simple switching regulator that ensures 5V are provided from the PV panel array, even if it’s not quite in full sunlight.

Question by JusticeRulesOk: how to build a home solar power thingie to plug stuff into…?
on a basic step by step way can someone list the parts i would need by name and possibly list what ‘plugs’ into what (think knee bone connected to the thigh bone). I would like something in my garden that I can power household items into like the kettle, tv, tools, pc’s etc to reduce my bills. I’m happy for links explaining as I’ve tried to ‘google’ it but not found what I’m looking for…

many thanks..

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3 Responses to how to build a home solar power thingie to plug stuff into…?

  1. PV solar panels , very expensive, wiring to connect panels to Invertor to convert the panels DC to AC , have a look on youtube there’s lots of information on there

    Grid tie systems are best, you can sell electric that you dont use back to the power company :)

    February 4, 2014 at 6:47 am

  2. Jigs is right about the cost. Building a system large enough to provide the kind power you are talking about would be expensive and take a lot of space. It would take a long time to recover that cost. And if you are also trying to be “green” consider the environmental impact of the production of those solar cells. I won’t bore you with details but the mining and refining operations produce some troublesome waste.
    How about a windmill instead. I made one to power my shed, it is too far away from the house to run power to it. I used a car alternator and car batteries to store the power and have an inverter so I can use AC tools.

    Charles C
    February 4, 2014 at 7:17 am

  3. An electric kettle is a high power unit, so needs a big solar panel and a stack of batteries. These are going to cost a bundle of cash. A great deal depends where you are located – you need a good position where you can mount the panel facing south.
    You will need solar panels, connected to a charge controller, connected to a deep discharge or leisure battery, connected to an iinverter. The further North you are, the llarger the panel you will need. For greater electrical loads, you will need larger batteries and inverters. In the UK, I guess that a solar panel, plus battery plus and inverter to run the equipment you describe will cost over £2000.

    David W
    February 4, 2014 at 7:27 am

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