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Solar Shed 2



Very brief and rushed update on my {solar lights} powered shed installation. Since the first video back in 2006, I’ve added a new charge controller, switch/fuse panel, 12 volt sockets and upgraded all the lighting to LED. The outside light is on a 12 volt timer.

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39 Comments on "Solar Shed 2"

  1. Betel Steven says:

    help! my husband and i just bought a shed, and we are turning it into a tiny house. we have no idea what to do as far as a solar panel. everyone we talk to doesn't know what they are doing either!

  2. keith henry says:

    hi pls what is the best battery for hot place's like floridia type

  3. HELP ME!! This is 10 watt you say. ?? And that runs them lights brilliantly so what wattage would you need to run a TV n games and sockets and a normal like in a summer house for summer times?? And could you run them all at the same time? And still have full power please help and please talk in English and not electrician language lol

  4. But will t stop the russian army?

  5. Very nice setup.
    Thanks for sharing and don't forget to checkout my channel and google+ and please subscribe

  6. Where did you get the bracket to the solar panel? I have a 20 watt and want to do the EXACT same thing as far as mounting is concerned… Looks great!

    Thanks,
    -Nigel

  7. busabaybe says:

    Ive got a cheap pwm charge controller that has a load conection with a light bulb symble like yours .my expensive mppt trystar hasnt got a load +and – it seams only the pwm ,s only have this .. just wondering how many 12 volt mr16s i can run of this its a 60amp 12 or 24 volt charge controller the 60 is the bigest cheap one i could find i thought the bigger the better cause you can buy cheap 20 amp pwm charge controllers does the 60 amp one i got run more 12 volt globes than the 20amp one and how many can i run of that load port thanks

  8. very nice and neat setup. currently selling stuff to get more money for a shed then i want to get 3 100w 12v solar panels, 3000w power inverter, charge controller, 1 12v 125ah leisure battery. would like to get a second one, but ill see if needed, a lot of stuff would be hooked up like cctv system, outdoor lighting, 12 12v circular blue lights, i think they are 36 watts each, some in door security system, for intruders. not totally sure on in door lighting, wont be a tube light like you have at the top, some other. some other systems will be hooked up. really cant wait, would love to keep you updated when all configured

  9. RViscara says:

    Martin as a American on the other side of the pound I like to extend the most sincere admiration for you little shed and small backyard! very impressive my good man. The interior of the shed look worth of living in let alone slinging dirt into pots. I really am inspired by your video to redo one of the sheds we have for the BSA or Scouts where we keep our gear and equipment. This has given me good ideas for lighting  up and powering the shed that currently is a mess with its lighting system. We are running one of this cheap harbor freight shed lights with the tiny tiny solar panel. I believe its not enough to keep the battery topped off and thus wears the battery out rather quickly putting it through so many complete drainings and recharge cycles. May I ask what size battery you are using in this video for the shed? AGM battery? Amp hours? Thank you so much for this great video.

  10. Martin Doyle says:

    +super awesome minecrafter – yes I can use an inverter, but I don't need need to? Sure, if I needed to use something that only ran at mains voltage, then yes, but for simplicity, I've kept everything at 12V. The other reason for me not using an inverter is that they are a) expensive (if you get a good one) and b) use some electricity doing the inversion. If you have a very large battery, solar panel etc, then the fact that an inverter is not very efficient may not be an issue, but in smaller setups, like mine, every ounce of 'juice' is precious.

  11. Daily Dog says:

    Can't you use a inverter

  12. hitechguy18 says:

    I'm tempted to get a plastic shed and put 2x 250W Monocrystalline in a series string to get 62V
    http://www.sunshinesolar.co.uk/khxc/gbu0-prodshow/ECO250CB60.html
    – These are getting cheaper EACH Year
    on the roof feed the 500W have theses feed into the shed into

    60A MPPT Controller to down the voltage to 12V and increase the amps
    http://www.sunshinesolar.co.uk/khxc/gbu0-prodshow/EMPPT60.html
    – This bad boy can handle upto 150V DC 60AMPS from a 4KW Solar array
    4 Stings with 4x 250W Monocrystalline in a series to make each sting 1KW 124V
    and you feed these sting groups into Parallel with each other then into the mppt

    which feeds into a bank of
    6x 20AH Motor cycle battery's (lithium ion) in Parallel ((It Critical to have more than 4x)
    Skyrich – Motorcycle battery Lithium YTX20HL-BS 12V 20Ah HJX20
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00F95QMJE/
    – will need to run the MPPT in AGM mode and use a laptop + router to set the PWN Controller 
    – Better in cold temps
    – No Sulfation and desulfation
    – No Gassing
    – Stores a Full charge in storage for 12 months with no loss
    – Faster recharging (less charging losses)
    – longer life cycles 2000 (lead acids are 500)

    And one of these
    Victron BMV702 battery monitor kit + inc 500A Shunt – Black Faced unit
    http://www.es-store.co.uk/product_details.php?product=BMV702-BLACK

    Outdoor Storage Seat (now an indoor shed seat)
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/ScanCom-Chichester-Eucalyptus-Outdoor-Storage/dp/B0062H47NQ/
    – this I can modify Status displays / Switches plugs and sockits / Socket with RCD
    and have everything inside

    TWIN SWITCHED RCD SAFETY SOCKET
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gang-SOCKET-DOUBLE-TWIN-WHITE/dp/B0070UNOA6/
    As long as your inverter (or 2 inverters) feeds into one of these Your Insurance company cannot ignore you have taken steps to protect yourself
    – you can then use any extension cord / strip plug you want as long as you unplug it when you leave

    With 1 or more of these bad boys (linked together to make 4000W)
    SUNSG 2000W Stackable Power Inverter 12V DC to 110V/220V/220V/230V/240V
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/SUNSG-Stackable-Inverter-optional-converter/dp/B00DNVQV60/

    Both inversters will each have a switch (so I can choose if i want Both ON or One ON Or BOTH OFF)
    Car Battery Isolator Cut Off Switch 24v 12v Max 500A
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Car-Battery-Isolator-Switch-500A/dp/B003DYQYXC/

    These will power any and all MAINS power tools / even charge up the battery versions too

    Plus a few fun things

    Bosch Filtrino II Hot Water Dispenser, 2 Litre, 1600 Watt, Black
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bosch-Filtrino-Water-Dispenser-Litre/dp/B00C2PQWHG/
    – cup of Coffee or Tea in 45Sec
    – hot water for small hand sink (Modified Car spayer supply's the cold water http://www.amazon.co.uk/Streetwize-Portable-Power-Washer-Sprayer/dp/B00BY3MIAC/ )

    Andrew James Digital Electric Induction Hob 2000 Watt
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Andrew-James-Digital-Electric-Induction/dp/B004BM749S/
    – Fred fried egg & bacon sandwich
    – Beans on toast
    – Beefburger with onion + cheese
    – French fries

    VonShef Premium 1000W 2 Slice Black Gloss Wide Slot Toaster
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00KT3K5K8

    Leisure Heating Amberglow 1kW Rainproof Infra-red Heater
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Leisure-Heating-Amberglow-Rainproof-Infra-red/dp/B0046QG49U/
    – Heat the objects and not the air volume (it will eventually heat the air)
    – Instant heat (you wont needed it on for very long)

    but you Could getaway with something less powerful
    Titan Heat Lamp & 250w Infra Red Bulb With Hi/Low Switch
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Titan-Heat-Lamp-Infra-Switch/dp/B007YLAV0W/
    Even Give it its own 500 Watt inverter + Switch + time switch

  13. How do you run several sockets from the one load outage, can't see how the wiring is behind the board with all the switches on

  14. jacky Parker says:

    Very tidy setup you have

  15. Rick Rose says:

    Neat! I just today started transferring my solar experiment from a wheeled cart to my backyard shed. I'm looking forward to learning more as I go along. I'm using a Renogy 100W starter kit.

  16. john mcmahon says:

    How much did the solar system cost?

  17. Tony Beadle says:

    Love what you have done, very neat job, How much would this cost ? and ultimately is it worth it,  If I run led lights from the mains 220-240 volts with a transformer, the running cost is going to be very small. so I am wondering how many years before you see a saving, unless its done for saving the environment of course and not about the money or was it just a cool project to do ?

  18. Martin Doyle says:

    Kieren – in the video I use a "Steca Solsum" charge controller. My original charge controller was a basic Steca unit, but I upgraded to this one because of the extra information it shows in the LCD display which I found useful. I chose Steca because they are a known and trusted brand (German I think) – there are lots of cheap Chinese controllers on the market, but seeing as these devices are key to keeping the battery in top shape I thought it would be a worthwhile investment. 

    Since making this video, I had a problem with my solar system which I tracked back to the charge controller. I disconnected it and wiring in a simple PWM controller made in the UK (called the PWM5). I will re-connect the Steca charge controller at some point, but for my next controller, I would probably look at an MPPT unit as they extract even more power from your solar panel.

  19. kieren john says:

    Im looking at a new charge controller for my solar system ,what brand is yours and and is there any reason you went for this and not any others? 

  20. Maxsdiscos says:

    Why does it have to be 12v only, are you not happy about using any mains power at all?

  21. Shaun Dobbie says:

    My shed has 800w of panels with 480 ah worth of battery. It is nowhere as neat and organized as your setup however.

  22. Hi Martin, really like your videos. Could you tell me what you used to mount your solar panel as I would like to mount mine in a similar way. Thanks very much. 

  23. Hi, nice video. Can you power the timer with 12V DC and run 12V DC through the switch?

  24. what size of battery u using?

  25. kitkatlex72 says:

    very clean and neat Panel nice job. IS the timer a 12v ? whats the brand name

  26. patesy1 says:

    thanks for your guidance, its been very helpful, i have one last question, did you wire your amp meter into the battery side of the controller or the load side of the controller before the switches? I take it your volt meter was on the battery side to measure battery voltage?

  27. Martin Doyle says:

    Locate the charge controller close to the battery (some have temp sensors and need to be close). If you are only having LED lighting then 1.5mm sq or 5-6 Amp wiring will be OK, although you could go 2.5mm sq as a main run, then branch out with smaller wire to each LED – have the fuse close the the battery/charge controller. A 3 – 5 amp rating should be fine. I would buy a small car fuse box/wiring block from Halfords and use that. If you want more help, get in touch via littlehouse.co

  28. patesy1 says:

    Taking your advice i am also going to go for a 40watt panel, with a 10a controller and 100ah battery. Could I also ask you for some info on the wiring, mainly the fuses, what ratings and exact locations you would advise. cheers

  29. Martin Doyle says:

    I suspect it will, although I'd always say 'it depends…'. I am about to upgrade my setup to include a 40w panel because of the winter shading my shed gets and the fact that I now have a small fan running 24/7 (compost loo). But with 12v PIR spotlights and LED roof lights, depending on use, 20w should be OK. The battery capacity is fine. The real test with solar is winter, but if it gets bad, at least you could bring the battery to the house for a quick mains charge!

  30. patesy1 says:

    just a query, i am thinking of installing a 20w panel, 10a controller, 75ah leisure battery into my shed, do you think this set up is enough to run led roof lights and pir spotlight x2 on outside of shed??

  31. Martin Doyle says:

    It's called a leisure battery – designed for caravans/trailers & boats. They are almost classed as deep cycle but they're not quite as durable, but they are much cheaper. The one I use currently is an 85Ah unit.

  32. c8bbr says:

    What kind of battery are you using.

  33. Martin Doyle says:

    Hi. Some I bought online (Ebay) and some from stores in the UK. They are fairly standard for UK caravans (trailers) and boats running 12 volts. In the UK, the main brand name is 'Clipseal' – they are not too expensive and can only go one way round.

    Not sure about Canada, but I searched on Ebay UK for 'Clipseal 12 volt plug' and came up with some results. Hope you can get hold of some…

  34. hankandtilly says:

    where do you get the caravan plugs and switches? online? i cant find any in Canada!

  35. wow sly says:

    thats the problem, inverters use loads of power with out anything being used 🙁
    but so many things are 12v, tv, lights, play stations 1 and 2 im sure i have seen 12 cookers??
    i was happy not to have one but im moving and getting a work shop on the new house and i want to run bigger things so i will have to buy a shed load of batterys now to run the bigger inverter i just got, then i will need bigger panels to charge the batters….. i should of just stayd with 12v lol

  36. Martin Doyle says:

    Inverters will suck your battery dry quickly! I did think about putting one on my system, but all my stuff is 12 v so not needed. Obviously if I wanted to run power tools etc, then you'd have to, but likewise a bigger battery (or batteries) would be needed.

  37. wow sly says:

    fantastic, i just done the same sort of thing but with a inverter so i can have a 230v socket in the shed,
    i just need a bigger battery asap

  38. Martin Doyle says:

    Hi Hank – I've not permanently sited the larger panel yet – still on my to-do list. I do place the panel in the sun to charge a 110Ah battery that I use in my garage for lighting (I have a great 3 watt LED MR16 bulb) and for recharging AA and AAA batteries. Have you got a solar panel yourself?

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