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

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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.
** Battery Hookup Batteries... (10% Discount Code "BATTERY")
** 12V 170Ah LiFePO4 Battery... (10% Discount Code "BATTERY"). Ready to go, no DIY needed!
■▬▬▬▬▬ COMPONENTS USED ▬▬▬▬▬■
Craftsman Toolbox...
Modem Batteries... (10% Discount Code "BATTERY")
100W Renogy Solar Panel... (not included in price calculation)
Reliable 1500W Inverter...
50A Circuit Breaker...
DROK Voltage Display...
Recessed Outlets w/ USB...
Surface Mountable XT60...
Nickel Strip 2P 25ft...
Cell Holders 4x5...
Kapton Tape...
DALY 14S BMS 40A...
MPT-7210A MPPT Charger...
Cigarette Lighter Plugs...
Fan Temp Controller...
XT60 Connectors...
XT90 Connectors...
48V to 12V Buck Converter...
Pack-Sized Heat Shrink...
Recommended Products:
Battery Hookup (5% Discount Code "BATTERY")
Big Battery (10% Discount Code "BATTERY")
Batrium BMS
DIY Lithium Batteries Book
Opus BT-C3100 Tester
Contact Info:
Business email is I am not available for personal project questions or consultation.
Disclaimers and Statements:
► 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.

  • ONE MILLION views!! I never expected this video would go that far. Thank you everyone for the support, feedback, and ideas!! I uploaded a new questions & answers video that addresses several of the questions and ideas that were shared. I also included a "stick-figure" wiring diagram - hopefully it helps :) Also, don't forget to check for the latest deals and pricing! (10% Discount Code "BATTERY")

    LithiumSolarLithiumSolar10 أشهر قبل
    • 3.6m

      Nuke ShooterNuke Shooterأشهر قبل
    • Can I buy some of your SOLAR GENERATORS FROM YOU PLEASE 🙏🇺🇸🙏 I’m looking to have one on panels to be at a constant ready to power my house when loss occurs to automatically go on using your awesome ingenious works directly wired in to my 100 amp panel without it up routing into linesman killing them Also both having a minimum of 3,000 watt inverters with a house battery system of a constant 26,000 amp hour storage and the needed panel network to harness as well as a minimum of 1,000 atop my van having at least 1,000 amp hours storage and a 240 outlet in van and in house I’m at 203-727-3447 Tony I THANKYOU

      American PatriotAmerican Patriotأشهر قبل
    • @Kieran Braxton trying it out right now. Looks promising.

      Bryce AdanBryce Adanأشهر قبل
    • not sure if anyone gives a shit but in less than 15 minutes I hacked my girlfriends Facebook password using SicZine. Cant link here so search for it on google :D

      Kieran BraxtonKieran Braxtonأشهر قبل
    • 3 million views!!! I am mind blown

      Amal Irfan KCAmal Irfan KCأشهر قبل
  • Amazing work, quite entertaining and informative.

    Robert SzaboRobert Szaboساعات قبل
  • Hi Bro where did u buy the metal bladers and plastic holders?

    SergiosaukkaSergiosaukka15 ساعات قبل
  • How many times can I charge my phone on this? Would you recommend I put it on a trolly to play Pokemon Go

    Torrential RainTorrential Rain17 ساعات قبل
  • Brilliant video and absolutely reinforces my decision to stay away from electric voodoo magic.

    GHOST5663GHOST5663أيام قبل
  • Can someone explain why the lights dim while using the inverter vs the power grid?

    George MGeorge Mأيام قبل
    • The spot welder is essentially creating an instantaneous short circuit for a split second. The grid can handle the instantaneous current required much better than an inverter can.

      LithiumSolarLithiumSolarأيام قبل
  • Excellent video, thank you!

    Steve ShearerSteve Shearerأيام قبل
  • wow this seems huge work for lithium batteries wth a limited cycle live

    AbstrusoTVAbstrusoTVأيام قبل
  • Practical question. Compared to 8 t105's in 2 banks of 4 aka a 24 V system. How good is this? In said 24 V system is 24.6 the lowest voltage that you should discharge the batteries at of the t105 variety? Compared to this 48 V system what is the Lowest Voltage you should discharge this system to?

    bravojrbravojrأيام قبل
  • Could you do a video on how you wired everything individually in the box? I get pretty lost at that part, it would be nice to see how you did everything step to step

    cait kerncait kernأيام قبل
  • Boat shrink wrap

    Ryan RyanRyan Ryan2 أيام قبل
  • I liked the build, only thing that bugged me is the wire mess.... I have OCD when it comes to wiring/cabling. Gotta be neatly bundled and zip tied.

    Chris LewisChris Lewis2 أيام قبل
  • i want one

    Ramadlan Badar MahangkosoRamadlan Badar Mahangkoso2 أيام قبل
  • That was awesome, love the detail!

    spartee101spartee1013 أيام قبل
  • Does MAH rating matter on the 18650's? Just for reference, what is the rating on your batteries?

    Mekayl KraussMekayl Krauss3 أيام قبل
  • I probably would need about 3 of these.

    Seth ApexSeth Apex4 أيام قبل
  • Would like to see a full build of this.

    Grumpy CatGrumpy Cat5 أيام قبل
  • Can you solder those strips? I know it takes longer but I prefer soldering them.

    Panic The Scholar Knight.Panic The Scholar Knight.5 أيام قبل
  • Great video I would suggest using some marine grade flux when attempting to solder as the joints you made appear to have not cured properly. Try the marine grade flux and you will never go back.

    pageau1987pageau19875 أيام قبل
  • Thank you. It's because of men like you the cost of the Lithium Ion Batteries are dropping in price. Soon they'll be as cheap, if not cheaper than Lead Cell's... I've probably recycled about 20-30 backup batteries from scrap gateways & such. Instead I should have been collecting them and researched where to start finding more or buying them. They certainly help make a persons mind up with not using older Lead Cell Batteries..... Great video, you are one smart guy. I subscribed too... Thank you for posting it.... MD........

    Monty DanielsMonty Daniels5 أيام قبل
  • I think you should mass produces these sir. They packed very solid surely will hit the market.

    Putu WidiarsaPutu Widiarsa7 أيام قبل
  • Shiddd... Video should have been longerrrrr. Great job buddy👍

    Ernst JamesErnst James7 أيام قبل
  • Very excellent,,, I hope you can teach here in the phillipines,, more of these,, thanks

    ricky tiradoricky tirado7 أيام قبل
  • I personally prefer the use of either Ni-Cad or Lead Acid batteries as they do not run the risk of self ignighting or exploding. Yes they will explode if you cause a spark at the time of charging due to the Hydrogen gas produced by them. But it is not at all like the deadly fires and explosions caused by hot Li-Ion batteries. Also because I am totally immune to all types of acids (the real types not the drug). I do not want to do it my easiest way to many people get harmed if I call down the lightning which am also immune to as I tend to absorb to much of it and then I am a danger to others around me. Yes, I am one of those kind who destroy the lightning generators and electric fencers by absorbing more energy than they were made to endure even 120 volts DC is a tricle to me.

    King Meshiah Alfred BrunerKing Meshiah Alfred Bruner10 أيام قبل
  • I can't believe you had all those 18650 batteries in a box like that without any of them venting 😳

    Mark SelbyMark Selby10 أيام قبل
  • How much could I buy one from you for, I'm doing a tiny house project

    The Dragon's DenThe Dragon's Den10 أيام قبل
  • Awesome

    Christopher HaritosChristopher Haritos12 أيام قبل
  • "I don't have 240 in the garage" That seems like a much easier project than what you've already undertaken.

    Gerry PGerry P12 أيام قبل
    • Stove plug doubles as a welding plug nbd

      thejoelsterthejoelsterأيام قبل
    • I've already taken care of it since this video was published :)

      LithiumSolarLithiumSolar12 أيام قبل
  • Can l buy this one or can you make one More l Will buy it:)) great work dude

    Emre yagizEmre yagiz13 أيام قبل
  • Enjoyed all the detail on this and was very interesting. Appreciate your time and detail.

    Bradley SteeleBradley Steele13 أيام قبل
  • as an Malaysian viewer, may i ask how long do u charge from 0 to full by solar panel (roughly)

    JackyThamGKJackyThamGK13 أيام قبل
  • *Cries in british weather*

    JamesJames14 أيام قبل
  • Excuse me sir, a couple months back I saw a video on how solar panels get way Boote efficient with just adding a thin coat of something so they can convert the thermal energy aswell. Any updates on this topic? Im damn impressed by this diy generator! Well made sir

    felix mikolaifelix mikolai14 أيام قبل
  • do you think there's any good way to just use it with the original housings for the cells so youd on't have to re-pack as extensively?

    Alex MintAlex Mint14 أيام قبل
  • Awsome ! One of the best vids on a build I've ever seen . I'm so glad I stumbled across this channel. Thanks for a very clear, detailed video . Subbed up right away , I'm very eager to see more. Thanks . Take care

    Tim YatesTim Yates14 أيام قبل
  • how many charge cycles will these batteries last?

    Nils SensNils Sens14 أيام قبل
  • You did a real good job

    D.C.J. News MediaD.C.J. News Media14 أيام قبل
  • Great stuff

    D HD H14 أيام قبل
  • This is one of the best detailed videos I've ever seen. And your inventory list is spot on. I see exactly why you got so many views or are getting so many views.

    birdblue4u3birdblue4u314 أيام قبل
  • We need more people like you in office... Real talk...

    Em RenEm Ren15 أيام قبل
  • This is one of the things we need in all homes and businesses. If only it was more affordable, I would use this in my house along with two other type generators: servo and geo-chemical...

    Em RenEm Ren15 أيام قبل
  • The weak industry firstly snow because rat anteriorly command alongside a hanging existence. legal, husky spoon

    iamyolloydiamyolloyd15 أيام قبل
  • This was fun to watch considering knowledge is the most precious tool we can bring with us anytime anywhere yeah this was entertaining

    Don JuanDon Juan15 أيام قبل
  • How did you learn how to make those? That is incredible!

    hairy plopperhairy plopper16 أيام قبل
  • It would be nice to have a Generator that holds a bigger like a refrigerator stuff like that for $600

    Rhonda BranchRhonda Branch17 أيام قبل
  • This is dope.

    Shawn GillShawn Gill17 أيام قبل
  • Excellent video.

    andy messinaandy messina17 أيام قبل
  • Great video. Don’t apologize for the length of your video, you included many details That I found will be very helpful if I decide to try to build one of these for myself; I could find many uses for something like this. Portable, Quiet. No Chemicals,(Gas,Oil). VERY NICE PROJECT, WELL DONE SIR!!!!!

    michael wileymichael wiley19 أيام قبل
  • Wow, what a great, detailed build.

    james ngjames ng20 أيام قبل
  • Nice! I have considered a Jackery setup on Amazon. But really require knowing a bit more about my requirements. This type seems great. Have you done a gas / solar generator comparison ?

    Dwayne CaseyDwayne Casey21 أيام قبل
  • This was awesome man great work!

    1over231over2322 أيام قبل
  • Super cool!

    RussRuss22 أيام قبل
  • Great video. The only thing I'd add is a little more safety detail when building the battery packs. The amount of electricity that thing has stored is enough to do a lot of damage very quickly. Beyond that, this is definitely the next level of solar generator DIY design!

    Clint CattellClint Cattell22 أيام قبل

    toby not tellingtoby not telling23 أيام قبل
    • Yee, I fixed that lol

      LithiumSolarLithiumSolar23 أيام قبل
  • Taking the cells out is like shucking oysters!

    Thomas HThomas H24 أيام قبل
  • An excellent invention! Congratlations!

    Elisio Domingues de souzaElisio Domingues de souza24 أيام قبل
  • this is a GREAT video, well spoken, easy to follow directions, i will be building a couple of these

    Randy WRandy W25 أيام قبل
  • Most good video

    John BJohn B25 أيام قبل
  • How much did the final result weigh? I imagine it's still portable but I'd like some insight as to how "portable"

    Supr333me0grelordBriccSupr333me0grelordBricc26 أيام قبل
  • 3.7 million views. show me the money!! nice job

    Rgb RidesRgb Rides26 أيام قبل
  • Why not use car battery?

    Qera UciQera Uci26 أيام قبل
  • That was a really cool build.

    Justin LedvinaJustin Ledvina27 أيام قبل
  • Would your build out perform the Goal Zero Yeti Lithium 3000X Portable Power Station?

    Stephen DouglasStephen Douglas28 أيام قبل
    • The 3000X has a smaller battery than mine does, but has a larger inverter and accepts a greater PV input.

      LithiumSolarLithiumSolar27 أيام قبل
  • Tesla: 👀

    Malachi HaynesMalachi Haynes28 أيام قبل
  • this was so entertaining. I cannot try this at home. Else I will blow things up. I am Just fascinated by things like this

    Michael O DareMichael O Dare28 أيام قبل
  • This was awesome. Might have wanted to grab the one craftsman box with wheels, though.

    Chris SimmonsChris Simmons28 أيام قبل
  • This is an outstanding video. You have an incredible depth of knowledge and the step by step explanation is excellent. Thanks for putting it together!

    Shauna GShauna G28 أيام قبل
  • Very humble guy!

    Vlaad TulupovVlaad Tulupov29 أيام قبل
  • i would use larger solder next time. More flux. Also you can use flus paste on the side and your connections will come out even nicer. Experiment wit the flux you will see what i am talking about. Fantastic job in the build. i enjoyed this is i know how much work goes into this myself as this is my line of work. Thanks for all the hard work.

    Robert CyrRobert Cyr29 أيام قبل
  • Good video Sir..... good video ✊🏼🤠.

    In Yeshua's Holy NameIn Yeshua's Holy Nameأشهر قبل
  • i just re-watched this video - so well done. 3.7 million views now. nice!

    Prototype EightPrototype Eightأشهر قبل
  • How much does it weigh? Thanks.

    Rabid Squirrel GarageRabid Squirrel Garageأشهر قبل
    • @LithiumSolar Thanks. I watched the Q&A video also. :-)

      Rabid Squirrel GarageRabid Squirrel Garageأشهر قبل
    • It weights 57lbs.

      LithiumSolarLithiumSolarأشهر قبل
  • Solar energy is good but is alo destroying our planet

    Glock NyneteenGlock Nyneteenأشهر قبل
    • @LithiumSolar yes. All I'm trying to say is solar, hydro, nuclear, wind, gas, coal, geothermal, etc all have a necessary purpose as they have before all of us were born. But they all have flaws. I didn't mean to make a debate just a quick point. Im not an expert on this but have seen enough to stand my ground pretty well. Mining of lithium will be just another thing we will have issues with. Maybe not so much now but if implemented like the obama Liberal ideas of renewable there surely will be a serious problem man this is so far off topic

      Glock NyneteenGlock Nyneteenأشهر قبل
    • How so? Are you referring to the process of mining lithium?

      LithiumSolarLithiumSolarأشهر قبل
  • That was awesome.

    FMTFXE22FMTFXE22أشهر قبل
  • Wow love it .i really need something like that i live in huracane alley so that could be very usefull i want to know can u build me somthing like that or stronger i for it ofcourse i live in puertorico and i know how it is not to have power .i was in the worst huracane ever report it in puertorico.i was whith no power for 6 months and it was hard please make me one whith a solerpower recharge i will love to purchase it from u .if any question please here are my email if u like to write me at

    Luis QuindeLuis Quindeأشهر قبل
  • 650 $ to spend match better to get 6 car batteries. Get more watts better storage But this project definitely I love it de ✌️👍

    avetis Tepirjyanavetis Tepirjyanأشهر قبل
  • I know you listed links, but I would like to see the prices to make this build in the video. BTW, you did a great job keeping to the point. This video didn't feel like a 33 minute video. I was engage the whole time.

    Branden CampbellBranden Campbellأشهر قبل
  • Great video, thanks from Australia!

    steve hopesteve hopeأشهر قبل
  • Where can you fine cheap batteries like this on the UK??

    Nomoli NomoliNomoli Nomoliأشهر قبل
  • This is so satisfying to watch. Do I necessarily need a BMS for my battery pack, is there any harm for the batteries? I'm thinking overdischarge and stuff like that.

    ClakeClakeأشهر قبل
    • @LithiumSolar thanks for the response. What bms can I use for a 12V pack of 18650s? (It's a lower capacity 3x3, I will be adding few more in parallel)

      ClakeClakeأشهر قبل
    • YES!! Always need a BMS. Lithium batteries cannot be overcharged or they can/will catch fire. The BMS prevents that from happening.

      LithiumSolarLithiumSolarأشهر قبل
  • This is so badass. Knowledge is so convenient and lets you save so much money! If I tried, I'd have to buy nearly all the tools, so I doubt I could get this done for $650.

    neemguy81neemguy81أشهر قبل
  • 2 words... F*CKING AWESOME!!!!!

    dalerj70dalerj70أشهر قبل
  • Wont the solder melt when the Electrical draw is high !

    samasciencesamascienceأشهر قبل
    • If the connection is getting so hot that you have solder melting, then you have a much bigger problem on your hands...

      LithiumSolarLithiumSolarأشهر قبل
  • Mmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, Mumbai

    HugebitchHugebitchأشهر قبل
  • Brilliant video. I can't see myself building a lithium ion setup anytime soon, but if I do I know where to come.

    Fred FlintstoneFred Flintstoneأشهر قبل
  • OMG. I can't believe how fast you are at separating batteries. I bet your wife calls you The Flash.

    Robert TomkinsonRobert Tomkinsonأشهر قبل
  • Scam to indonesia

    sh rdsh rdأشهر قبل
  • LMFAO at introduction!! TY

    Lourdes GarciaLourdes Garciaأشهر قبل
  • exelent video , were can i have/buy the solar panels ?

    p teixeirap teixeiraأشهر قبل
  • Late to comment but thank you, this video was great.

    well i never did.well i never did.أشهر قبل
  • How long does it take you to test all those cells and what equipment is required?

    LFOD7491LFOD7491أشهر قبل
  • Excellent, excellent video. Very informational and educational and super helpful. Thanks for all the hard work.

    OgremanjiOgremanjiأشهر قبل
  • screw the empty battery box to a $7.99 dolly from Harbor Freight and don't worry about the weight, it's date!

    donna slevindonna slevinأشهر قبل
  • BRAVO... this I call a GREAT project and a WELL done video... done with a proper camcorder not a crappy cellphone, no shaking, fast speed where needed. THANK YOU! I will tell others... This is one of the best tutorial videos I’ve ever seen!

    Dai VernonDai Vernonأشهر قبل
  • he can do all this but 10:39 he cant solder

    4Real4Realأشهر قبل
    • @LithiumSolar sorry man i like the video and all but you should redo those connections (safety reasons) when you solder this type of connections you have to put a little tin in the tip of the soldering iron and heat the tube up from the back then fill the tube with tin from the front so the tin can flow under and around the cable. When you do it like you did, then first of all little strings will fall out which could cause short circuits and there are air bubbles between the cable and the wall of the tube which can cause oxidation of the metal and most importantly the resistance of the connection is much higher. u basically bottlenecked the fat cable with that connection. (it could burn). And when you do this kind of electronics i‘d use flux for better connections, again for safety reasons. but hey its not meant to be disrespectful i just dont want your house to burn down man. have a good one Edit: And sorry my first comment wasnt very productive. I hope second has more productive criticism

      4Real4Realأشهر قبل
    • Lol, ok...

      LithiumSolarLithiumSolarأشهر قبل
  • LithiumSolar: ...Otherwise the video will be too long! Me: Too long?? It could have been 2h...

    nakfan100nakfan100أشهر قبل
  • I'm not even into electronics, how the fuck did I get here, and why did I watch the whole thing ?

    - Shado -- Shado -أشهر قبل
  • Very interesting build lot of complicated things going on here but when you're done you still have 650 bucks into an inverter system that won't run 2 1000-watt lamps just saying

    yank mcruffyank mcruffأشهر قبل
    • @yank mcruff You seem to be missing the point here. The purpose of this device is not to power your whole home, half of your home, or a floodlight. That's not what this is built for.

      LithiumSolarLithiumSolarأشهر قبل
    • @LithiumSolar one floodlight is a thousand Watts when heater is 1500 watts the inverter is the problem. My inverter runs my whole home

      yank mcruffyank mcruffأشهر قبل
    • Just seems like a lot of work and very complicated I might add where you can't run space heater at 1500 watts and then add just one light bulb. I think your battery pack is real nice just the inverter might be a bad choice

      yank mcruffyank mcruffأشهر قبل
    • I'm not sure how that last part is relevant. 99.999% of people are not running two 1000W lamps on their portable power stations, nor one 1000W, or anything even close to that? Lol

      LithiumSolarLithiumSolarأشهر قبل
  • Do you sell any of these projects to the public? Let me know, Thanks

    Mr B’s BeesMr B’s Beesأشهر قبل
  • All the paranoid panickers watching this lol talking about going off the grid

    T 7T 7أشهر قبل