In my last post I said I wanted to add solar power to my shed. Well I made a start on that. This post is about what I’ve done so far.

The first thing I got is an MPPT charge controller. This is because I have read that this sort of controller is more efficient at getting energy out of solar panels, and into a battery, particularly when the solar panel is only getting light at a steep angle.

20 amp MPPT solar charge controller

I’ve then bought a leisure battery, as these are the sort of deep cycle battery needed for an off grid system. The battery I’ve purchased is an AGM lead acid battery, these apparently sacrifice some capacity and current rating to increase the number of recharge cycles they can endure.

AGM lead acid battery

I built a small shelf for the battery to keep it off the shed floor, and got a battery box to contain any possible acid leaks.

Small chip board shelf

Battery box with a yellow lid

Unfortunately the battery box I got is a storage box, so I’ve had to drill holes in the lid to pass the wires through.

Holes drilled with wires passing through them

The battery terminal connectors I’m using allow you to connect multiple wires, of different gauges. This will allow my to connect things to the battery that will draw more current than the charge controller can handle. But that is a future improvement.

Battery terminal connector

The next step was to connect the battery to the charge controller, the instructions for the charge controller say this needs to be done before connecting the solar panel. And then I connected a fuse box I bought to the load terminals of the charge controller. This is going to be used to connect low amperage devices, like lights, to power.

Charge controller with wires connected

Fuse box with supply connected

I’m using crimp connections because I’m rubbish at soldering. And I’ve connected an LED light to the fuse box via a DC switch mounted next to the door.

Crimp connections connected to light

DC switch mounted in wooden board

LED light strip

One circuit connected to fuse box

I’m still waiting on the cable to connect the solar panel, but will post an update once that has arrived and the panel is in place and connected.

posted at 3:14 pm on 19 Jul 2020 by Craig Stewart

Tags:project shed off-grid solar-power