Sunday, January 10, 2010

Oh My, This Should Get Us By

When our generator stopped working last spring I had mixed feelings, grief and relief. You see, I really dislike using a generator and dream of being able to produce all of our own power without a back up generator; I long for the day we do not need one. It didn’t take long for me to realize that we still have a need for back up power until we are able to build up our system more.

Buying a new generator was not an option at the time, but with a very rainy spring/summer we did need a bit of extra help in the battery charging department. Our car came to the rescue.

We ran heavy gauge wires from the battery bank (positive and negative) to the outside wall of the house (driveway side) and drilled a hole through the wall for the wires to pass through. We mounted a fuse box outside and connected the positive wire into the top side of the fuse box. Then we got booster cables the same gauge wire, cut one end and tied the negative from the booster cables to the negative from the house. The positive wire from the booster cables connects to the bottom of the fuse terminal.

Inside the house the negative stays connected to the battery bank. After charging we disconnect the positive. We used booster cable clamps to connect to the battery bank.

The fuse box outside is protected by a sheet metal shield that is bent at an angle to serve as a roof.

Outside Fuse Box

When need be, we connect the car to the cables and begin charging our battery bank. This set up is still working fine for us.


  1. How clever you are!! Yankee ingenuity at its' best! 'There is no problem the mind of man can create that the mind of man cannot solve'--Samuel Johnson

  2. A friend of mine has a small Honda engine hooked up to a car alternator via a belt and pulleys for charging batteries. Basically, the same concept you're working with just a smaller engine.

  3. Wow, that's amazing. Congrats on getting it all hooked up.

  4. Show pictures for this ole lady please ! Step by step .

  5. I am sorry to say that I can't show you sep by step photos because we are no longer using this set up. It worked out great, but after purchasing a few more solar panels we have not needed to use this, so we disconnected it! If you would like more info just email us privately.