Small Solar-Grid Workstation Experiment

Using solar panels to power my Montréal home-office workstation

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My first excursion into harnessing solar-power beyond consumer electronics.

The goal of this project was to determine how efficient I could make my workstation. I setup the initial prototype below, however, I moved away before I could refine the setup to get the power I wanted out of it.

  • 2 × 100W (12V) Solar Panels - $99 Purchased in China from eco-worthy ( ) - prices have since been reduced.
  • 1 × 15A Solar Charge Controller - $15
  • 1 × 26Ah Sealed AGM Battery with built-in Inverter (Duracell Powerpack 600) - $200
  • 1 × 10m (4mm2) Solar PV Cable (Black) - $20
  • 1 × 10m (4mm2) Solar PV Cable (Red) - $20

View all 7 components

  • 1
    Step 1

    The solar extension cable had to be cut in two (one for negative and one for positive). These two new cables allow me to connect the solar panels into the charge controller:

  • 2
    Step 2

    Strip the solar extension cables

  • 3
    Step 3

    This is the inside of the charge controller:

    The charge controller regulates the amount of energy going from the solar panels into the battery. It helps protect the battery by ensuring:
    1. The battery doesn't get over-charged
    2. No more than 12V sent to the battery
    3. The battery doesn't get completely depleted when using the "LOAD" output


    The charge controller has a series of dip-switches used to configure:
    1. Operation time for the load output (which I don't currently use)
    2. When to disable energy draw from the battery based on the amount of energy coming in from the panels (or the charge of the battery itself)

    Normally you'd use an inverter from the LOAD output (if requiring AC), but my battery already has a built-in inverter (an inverter converts DC to AC).

View all 8 instructions

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