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Old 09-02-15, 12:36 AM   #1
oil pan 4
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Default Home made solar inverter generator hybrid

This is my little off grid stand alone set up.

The current configuration is based around my 7kw rated 10,500w surge, 2 pole, 3600rpm gasoline powered single cylindet 420cc 13hp troybuilt generator with 8 gallon fuel tank.
This generator was a warrantee turn in at lows, I picked it up for $100. It had bad brushes, broken wheels and a dead battery. $14 got me a new set of brushes plus a spare to get it producing power again.

I knew this generator and ones like it suffer from catastrophic fuel consumption (the particular one uses .77gal/hr at half load and around .5 to .66 gallons per hour at light to no load).
That is perfect for me because I needed a fairly strong generator to run welding equipment and I wanted to to build a cart to put it on, give it more fuel capacity, put a huge battery and pure sine wave inverter to save on gas and run time.

The current configuration is this generator, with an additional 5.5 gallon fuel tank, spot to hold an additional 5 gallon red gas can, on a cart I originally built for a welding machine, an optima battery to replace the dead riding lawn mower battery and power the 1,000 watt Kisae pure sine inverter.
I rewired the generator to use actual real QO series breakers made by square D. Then installed L14-20, L14-30 and 10-50 receptacles.
With all cords, full fuel and everything else I added it weighs about 350 pounds.

I have found that I really like using the inverter to power stuff as opposed to running the generator. But due to the batteries limited size I have only ran tiny devices off it like drills, small saws, power tool battery charger, briefly run my 1hp air compressor of it to fill a tire or shoot a wire finish nailer a few times.
Its a great inverter, on a tiny battery. The optima battery was free.
I have had the battery and inverter on there since summer of 2013, now I am adding solar panels, charge controller and might upgrade to a larger battery.

The main problem with the battery is the generators built in magneto charger is only designed to replenish the power used by a tiny riding lawn mower battery used only for starting the engine, so it has to be charged up with a external battery charger to get a proper charge.

The new configuration will have:
A Morningstar prostar 30 amp solar charge controller.
At least two 80 watt solar panels (4 to 4.5 amps per panel).
My home made 240 volt powered odd voltage battery charger (supplies 16 to 19 working volts like a "12 volt solar panel"), this hooks into the Morningstar to supply up to 20 amps in place of or in addition to the solar panels.

The working configuration as of feb 2016 has a Morningstar 30 amp PWM charger and Morningstar 15 amp MPPT, the home made 240v batt charger, 1000w kisae inverter.
The Morningstar 15 MPPT handles the solar, the 30 amp PWM is a backup and handles charging from the battery charger.
The 240v powered battery charger produces up to 27 amps.
The Morningstar 30 amp PWM and 15 amp MPPT work great together.

I would like to add solar trickle power into the battery and be able to run more small items or intermittently run larger items like my air compressor or a refrigerator with out immediately killing the battery.
Then put the bigger battery charger on there to more quickly charge the battery with the generator and go back into battery+inverter only mode.

I would like the to new configuration to stay under 500lb after I add a bigger battery.

Future up grades will include:
A much larger deep cycle battery (when this battery quits).
An electric fuel pump to make swapping out the fuel after it sits all winter easy and to turn this into a gasoline dispenser for power equipment so even if it doesn't get ran I will still have fresh fuel in it.
A hot water heating system using exhaust heat

This is when I was working out building the battery holder and where to put it:

Rewiring the generator to use the types of receptacles I like.

Here is the genset with the battery and inverter installed and just after installed the additional fuel tank (free from the scrap yard).
The solar panel need to stow on the side so I can use those lifting rings.

Unused room to stow solar panels. Solar panels will need to be removed before starting the engine.

I don't have any 5-15 or 5-20 receptacles on the generator its self as of now, but do have this L14-30 power distribution cord I made and another L14-20 power distribution center that came with the generator (not shown).

This is the 240 volt battery charger I am working on. When I apply 240vac to the 380v input terminals of the transformer gives 16.3VAC, which after rectification gives a max theoretical open current voltage of 23vdc.
The capacitor was pulled from a broken battery charger. The heak sinks and rectifiers are left overs from my AC to DC welding machine conversion.
Heat sinks came from the scrap yard, paid maybe $1 for both.

The water proof DTSP input power switch. 16ga SJ cord is sealed with a gland seal type strain relief at the switch. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find a water proof, 240 volt powered battery charger....

I would like to mount a solar panels to keep the sun off the fuel tanks and inverter. I have rubber shock absorbers to put between the panel and the rest of the structure. Will that be enough?
Or can solar panels not withstand any vibration?

I could not find a solar charge controller that had a generator power input for backup battery charging. Does any one know of one?
It looks like I will just build my own, but any suggestions are still welcome.

EDIT: Morningstar does not recommend running a battery charger through their PWM charge controller.

Basic lay out of how the components interact.

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Last edited by oil pan 4; 02-09-17 at 02:29 PM..
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12v, emergency generator, generator, homemade, solar

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