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Building a 3.5kWh DIY Solar Generator for $650 - Start to Finish

LithiumSolar
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After having a friend ask several questions regarding a solar generator project he was working on, I decided this would be a good opportunity to build my own solar generator and fully document the process. The total build came out to around $641. This video provides an in-depth look at the process involved in collecting and assembling the battery pack along with the choice of components and some testing.
** BATTERIES ** batteryhookup.com/collections/modem-batteries?sort_by=created-descending (10% Discount Code "BATTERY")
■▬▬▬▬▬ COMPONENTS USED ▬▬▬▬▬■
Craftsman Toolbox www.lowes.com/pd/CRAFTSMAN-VERSASTACK-System-17-in-Red-Plastic-Lockable-Tool-Box/1000578373
Modem Batteries batteryhookup.com/collections/modem-batteries?sort_by=created-descending (10% Discount Code "BATTERY")
100W Renogy Solar Panel amzn.to/2yh40Y5 (not included in price calculation)
Reliable 1500W Inverter ebay.to/3dCgHfi
50A Circuit Breaker amzn.to/2Wiiv7g
DROK Voltage Display amzn.to/2WMaCFY
Recessed Outlets w/ USB amzn.to/2SQpCBS
Surface Mountable XT60 ebay.to/3chkK09
Nickel Strip 2P 25ft ebay.to/2SSTI7E
Cell Holders 4x5 ebay.to/35Nxv01
Kapton Tape ebay.to/2LjE6Ws
DALY 14S BMS 40A s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_dW2lNjP
MPT-7210A MPPT Charger ebay.to/2AeTuRL
Cigarette Lighter Plugs amzn.to/3dDiSPH
Fan Temp Controller amzn.to/2yBR1AF
XT60 Connectors ebay.to/3blaYJ9
XT90 Connectors ebay.to/3blaYJ9
48V to 12V Buck Converter amzn.to/2SSTzkC
Pack-Sized Heat Shrink... ebay.to/2WIjKNF
■▬▬▬▬▬ RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS ▬▬▬▬▬■
Battery Hookup www.batteryhookup.com?rfsn=1822232.f1131f (10% Discount Code "BATTERY")
► Batrium BMS www.batrium.com/
► DIY Lithium Batteries Book amzn.to/2PmWeys
► Opus BT-C3100 Tester amzn.to/2xYJXuy
■▬▬▬▬▬ DISCLAIMERS ▬▬▬▬▬■
► I receive a small commission on purchases made using my affiliated links shared the video description and comments section. The views and opinions expressed here are my own, unbiased, and not influenced by this commission in any way.
► My videos are in no way intended to be instructional "how-to" lessons. I am simply documenting my project for informational purposes. Property damage, personal injury, or death may result, even when following manufacturer's instructions. I cannot be held liable for such damage or injury. It is YOUR OBLIGATION to ensure that you are complying with any local and federal laws as well as code and permit requirements.

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May 15, 2020

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Comments 80
MNGleason MNGlesson
MNGleason MNGlesson 16 minutes ago
Dude, I really enjoyed the video and the length was perfect for the amount of information. Shared this with my bud and when I visit him next time we’ll try and duplicate your project. I was really impressed with how everything fit so well into the box, just enough without a lot of wasted space. I appreciate your work, thank you!
Kos212
Kos212 Hour ago
Excellent
todd Spaulding
todd Spaulding 3 hours ago
great video i think i would rather pay you to build one..how much would you charge .more than a thousand dollars ?? witch its worth every penny
Dr. Faith
Dr. Faith 5 hours ago
Superb ! All it needs is 4 wheels and a pull handle for mobility.
no name
no name 7 hours ago
I was wondering if you would be abme to email me this video? What a perfect job.
Matthew Root
Matthew Root 8 hours ago
So how does a shop vac that is supposed to run off a 110v 15 amp house plug run at 19 amps and surge at 70? That's more that the circuit is rated for.
LithiumSolar
LithiumSolar 7 hours ago
That is DC amps, not AC. Also, it was measuring the inrush current, which on any inductive load is going to far exceed the 15A outlet you have it plugged in to.
Darxx 84
Darxx 84 8 hours ago
Whats total price of this build?
LithiumSolar
LithiumSolar 4 hours ago
It cost me $641
Jason
Jason 10 hours ago
great video
Basta147
Basta147 10 hours ago
nice :D solar power
Jasper Wormsbecher
Jasper Wormsbecher 13 hours ago
LithiumSolar in 6:15, 1 of your batteries was in the wrong way
LithiumSolar
LithiumSolar 10 hours ago
Yee, I fixed it already :) Thanks.
wakawaka1976
wakawaka1976 14 hours ago
So how much would you be willing to sell these units for?
BifurBoi
BifurBoi 17 hours ago
14:42 Or a bomb
LithiumSolar
LithiumSolar 10 hours ago
I think it looks like a battery pack. Then again, I guess I've never seen bombs so I can't say whether it looks like or not.
bamboleyo
bamboleyo 18 hours ago
"Made in Korea" on the box was a foreshadowing to the " Not a single cell tested bad..." awesome build, thank you for the inspiration!
Evan Kees
Evan Kees 19 hours ago
Might as well be explaining dark matter and meta physics lol I lost five minutes in
Brett Prior
Brett Prior 23 hours ago
Nice project man! I love the sign off too, about constructive criticism, admirable... Aside from a few personal flourishes that I'd likely add/change just because I'm me, I really don't see anything to critique much at all. As you made what you set out to make... It's made well, and to operate safely. Any concessions were known and planned... trade off's if you will. I like it!
Hale's Dad
Hale's Dad Day ago
Telephone land-line talk, tip and ring. Two wires. Usually sitting with 48v in non-use mode jumps up to 90v to "ring the bell". Just two wires to make the phone work and often takes hours to trouble shoot. Old school. Back in the 90's, before DSL (digital subscriber line) the CO (central office) would start to heat up at about 3pm when kids got home from school drawing BATTERY from the phone lines. Not that I have a point, but back then there was no training because it was new technology.. kind of like what you're doing. Cobbling together something together that eliminates a major expense, PG&E. I am in awe and appreciate your posting. and I subscribed.
David Caughey
Great video and thx for sharing, no need to apologise you did a great job and no it wasn't too long because you kept it interesting.
Matthew Parsons
you can buy a broken fork lift and salvage the battery for less than this.
Dominic Fregosi
Solid grasp of the concept and a solid video. Great job
Sally Moris
Sally Moris Day ago
Can you make me one?
gabriel20159
gabriel20159 Day ago
I don't know much about electricity so him touching every single component with his bear hands makes me so uncomfortable
Cr Hu
Cr Hu Day ago
Rationale for the decisions made well explained, and nice how alternative possibilities discussed.
ciphernemo
ciphernemo Day ago
LOL! Serious welding, but then no real vice 10:16 and using a match for heatshrink wrap 10:51. :-) So you splurged on a serious welder, but then skimped on basic tools. All in all, it was still a good video and instructions, thanks for sharing!
LithiumSolar
LithiumSolar Day ago
I'd love to get a good bench vice. Do you have one you'd recommend?
Cr Hu
Cr Hu Day ago
That's terrific, very good servicing layout in the box. Would be interested to know the heat dissipating numbers and if a silent liquid cooling system for a PC case would work as well. Since quiet is a major reason to prefer solar generator
Jonathan H
Jonathan H Day ago
A very impressive video and use of space. I suspect to buy one of these you'd be looking in the £1000s? Honestly I haven't seen many videos with such clarity. Thank you.
Suzie Q-weef
Suzie Q-weef Day ago
Huh?
Dimitri Ol
Dimitri Ol Day ago
i prefer my dripping oil diesel engine lol
LithiumSolar
LithiumSolar Day ago
Who doesn't? ;)
Rich A
Rich A Day ago
Well done!
saborguerito
saborguerito Day ago
Couldn't you use a spray adhesive to spray down before you put the batteries in to keep them from wiggling?
saborguerito
saborguerito Day ago
@LithiumSolar the great thing is what's that spray adhesive is , it's not a permanent Bond
LithiumSolar
LithiumSolar Day ago
I could have, but I wanted to be able to remove them for servicing, if needed.
Leo en Rien van der Hoek
Your temp sensor for the fan is on the wrong side of the inverter, so you are measuring environment air. And just a suggestion, put that fan controller the other way around so you can read it on the outside. just a few distance buses and a small hole with some acryl window. Btw, I use this same controller to control my floor heating water pump. Where do you use this piece of equipment for? Is it for on the go?
Stein Frich
Stein Frich Day ago
EXCELLENT PRESENTATION!
Poi159
Poi159 Day ago
I wish I had your expertise and skills on making all in one battery packs. I am forced to buy ready made solutions. Great video!
Covey WhiteGold
That was Brillant!
Roger London
Roger London Day ago
Tell me why anyone would not use 12v cheap Vehicle/motorcycle batteries? 10x12v (120v in USA?) in parallel?
Roger London
Roger London 20 hours ago
@LithiumSolar Hmm, point . My batteries have lasted 10 years before; but I have only been driving 40+ years. All milk in the UK used to be delivered by electric vehicles (BIG Golf Carts) 40 years ago.
LithiumSolar
LithiumSolar Day ago
This battery will last 10 years easily. You'll replace your vehicle batteries many times in that timespan. Even the ones that say "deep cycle" will degrade fast. Also, the initial cost is significantly cheaper.
Brian McKevitt
Would you be willing to sell one?
LithiumSolar
LithiumSolar Day ago
No, sorry. Too much liability...
Vladimir Mishin
Excellent finding!
E H
E H Day ago
Wow thats awesome
Thanatos Jay
Thanatos Jay Day ago
its a cool and good idea! but i'm to lazy to do it~ how much would one already made cost?!
Javier Navarro
Can you make one for me I can Pay you $1100.00 Dlls ,please let me know ...javier0006@gmail.com. thanks
Stickman550
Stickman550 Day ago
5:53 F
LithiumSolar
LithiumSolar Day ago
Yep, only I didn't say just the first letter lol
Anthony Tolhurst
Mate, EXCELLENTLY presented. Even I can follow your job. Going to save some dollars and build this project for off grid camping. THANKYOU. Hope I can contact you when I need to. No unnecessary chatter, well done buddy.
Jay Perez
Jay Perez Day ago
thanks for the very helpful information M8
Robert Lavigne
Robert Lavigne 2 days ago
Very nice tutorial and exceptional work quality. Looks like DeWalt could manufacture your design. Good job and thanks for sharing your passion.
Viljar London
Viljar London 2 days ago
5:58 did anyone notice that one battery looks like out of pleace on 3th row
CThaKey
CThaKey 2 days ago
Anyone know any books for beginners getting into this kinda stuff?
animist channel
animist channel 2 days ago
Thank you so much for the lessons. This would be perfect for an electric bike/trike trailer for touring or camping. Even pulling some weight, there's 100+ miles of extended range right there. Would also be good for sailboats. If you please, approximately how much did it weigh when completed?
Condor E
Condor E 2 days ago
I learn more from youtube videos than 18 years of school taught me... Awesome video!
Mark Galliart
Mark Galliart 2 days ago
What calculator program are you using?
LithiumSolar
LithiumSolar 2 days ago
It's just called "Calculator" by "Google LLC"
Krautmaster86
Krautmaster86 2 days ago
imagine an imperial weird system for current and voltage instead of volt and amps. ^^
Sean McDonald
Sean McDonald 2 days ago
Great video. Very detailed, glad you took the time to put it all in your video
Carl Vander Bee
Carl Vander Bee 2 days ago
I don't think I understand enough about electricity to undertake a project like this but very well done!
MORIMOTO KENYA
MORIMOTO KENYA 2 days ago
Thank you for your time to post this. I have learnt alot 👍🏾
Andrew Haslam
Andrew Haslam 2 days ago
Great video. Just one comment though: If your soldered connections in the main power supply line from your batteries have any internal resistance from a cold joint at all, the heat produced may melt the solder at higher current flow - and you are drawing 60A at startup at least. For this reason, when you wire up a boat house bank, it’s usually advised to use mechanical connections instead ie. a crimp.
sebomalebo
sebomalebo 2 days ago
Cool as fuck bro. Didn’t understand much but trying to learn! Long videos are great if they are full of detail 👌🏿
Tyler Blanton
Tyler Blanton 2 days ago
Lol all ecig battery's
David Helton
David Helton 2 days ago
Incredible man!
Brandon Wallace
Brandon Wallace 2 days ago
🐋🐜U👨‍🏫
Giter Dun
Giter Dun 2 days ago
It even looks Purdy n red like some gas generators.
S Reeser
S Reeser 2 days ago
Does that $650 not include the panel? I mean, a 3500Wh battery with an inverter and active cooling is not to be sniffed at, and that price is reasonable enough for such a thing if the batteries hold up well. But the term 'solar generator' to me says that it has everything it needs to generate practical, usable electricity from solar energy. If that $650 is just for the battery bank and I still have to buy a panel on top of that, then I'm not so thrilled with that price tag.
LithiumSolar
LithiumSolar 2 days ago
It does not include the solar panel. It doesn't make sense to include that in the price. If you shop online, none of the solar generators sold on Amazon, or any other store, include solar panels with them - they're all separate purchases. If you buy a 3500Wh solar generator, you're looking at probably $2500-4000 so at $650, this certainly is a great price tag.
Travis Lacombe
Travis Lacombe 2 days ago
So good man. Keep going!
freedomisfromtruth
Experience with various battery cells, is that they fail and he has to go though all of them to find the culprit, other wise great idea. Even though heavy why not use a deep cycle 12v battery
LithiumSolar
LithiumSolar 2 days ago
Everything fails eventually. These battery packs will easily last 10 years, probably more if treated right. You'll be replacing that deep-cycle lead acid battery 3-4 times in that time period at 5 times the cost :)
Daniel Kitchka
Daniel Kitchka 2 days ago
Instructions are unclear, electrified my penis, the wife is happy though. now seriously, thanks for this great video! awesome content!
Ezequiel Maroquin
Perfection, great job! Nothing to critique in my opinion :)
Kevin Reeves
Kevin Reeves 3 days ago
It a tesla battery
Kevin Reeves
Kevin Reeves 3 days ago
Why you not buy 12650
VLADISLAV HUSNUTDINOV
Please don’t apologize for that so you made videos so long, even if you made it two hours long I would watch it. It’s better if it is much detailed. Very good job, thank you!!!
Filipp Sudanov
Filipp Sudanov 3 days ago
How did you do the cell testing? And what is the number you wrote on the cells?
eksine
eksine 3 days ago
Hmm I'd rather spend more money to build one using alum cased prismatic lifepo4 cells
Terry Key
Terry Key 3 days ago
How much do I need too pay you to make me one? Because I did not understand a word you said... not your fault it all on me I dont understand electricity at all. So I would pay somebody to do make it for me. I would probably burn my house down.
Pap Yota
Pap Yota 3 days ago
DO NOT CALL IT A SOLAR GENERATOR UNLESS IT PRODUCES SUNLIGHT!
Tracy T
Tracy T 3 days ago
What was final weight of 3500wh generator? Very nice packaging and explanation of material choices!👍
WTF
WTF 3 days ago
Congratulation on 1.6M views. I like your video but I'm going to use desert prep design. Thank you for listing all the parts and where to get them. A handful videos would only show what they did.
Caprice LS3 Guy
Caprice LS3 Guy 3 days ago
Great video. Now make me one please?
Daniel Cardoso Balieiro
. Thank You!!!
LeicaM11
LeicaM11 3 days ago
Funny, to find those used 18650 cells cheap an good. Not everybody is as lucky
Anthony Fogleman
Anthony Fogleman 3 days ago
Great video! I learned a lot, and I appreciate your sensibility and voila, it worked! But for how long? Charge controllers and inverters are so sensitive... how is it protected from what it's vulnerable to.... is that a fair question?
Breach Builders Off-Grid
How much would you sale this generator for??
Beaches south of L.A.
Honestly man I think you are a genius. This is the coolest thing I have ever seen. I wonder how much something like that would cost if you bought it already made. You sure know a lot of electrical tricks.
Beaches south of L.A.
You said mount.
Ben M
Ben M 3 days ago
Electricity is fucking confusing to me. Why do I watch these videos?
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