Updated: Aug 5, 2021
This is how I first dipped my toes into solar projects around my house. My neighbor had a bike stolen from his garage and another had tools stolen out of his truck within the same month. I captured the culprits on video cameras mounted to my house, but they were too far away to make out their faces clearly. I wanted to move my cameras out to the street but don't have power at the end of my driveway.
I figured, I'd design and build a standalone solar system https://youtu.be/58rp6pvF-bM to power two WiFi cameras (one pointing in each direction of the street) and some low power LED lights to add a little character at night. Part of any good prepping plan is securing your location. This lets me know every person, vehicle, and even animal that travels up and down my street day or night. It's nice to know I can access the video at any time and be more aware of what's
going on in my neighborhood. the cameras are mounted on the back side to not attract attention from passers by.
The box utilizes three solar panels in parallel charging a 30 Amp Hour LifePo4 battery. The power is distributed to the cameras via a 12v to 5v step down and also directly to a photo switch which turns the LED lights on at night and off in the morning. Most of the electrical components are inside. It is totally self sufficient and should last 5-10 years without any maintenance. I can access the cameras anytime on my cell phone. If the WiFi happens to go down or is not available for some reason, the cameras have SD cards that continuously capture the last several days worth of video which I can access anytime and view on a computer.
I can picture this type of system being adapted and used for multiple applications. It could be used at the end of along driveway, at the curb in the front yard (like mine), at a worksite in a plain box for security, in the backyard to watch wildlife, etc. The electrical components could be easily adapted to fit other containers. It provides 48hrs back up time to power the lights and cameras.
* It may seem complicated, but it's really not. The assembly of the electrical system only requires a few screwdrivers, some wire strippers, electrical tape, wire nuts, nuts, bolts, washers, etc. Whatever you decide to mount it in (simple to complex) is up to you!
I have included the parts list and some pictures below. Check out my YouTube video https://youtu.be/58rp6pvF-bM on this to get a better look at how it is designed and built. By the way, the plants have grown in a bit now to my surprise since my thumb is far from green! Update: The flowers in the front died :-(
Shoot me an email and let me know what you think or have any questions.
Direct Links to the main components:
12v LifePo4 Battery https://amzn.to/3jfdLcG
Solar Panels (25Watt) https://amzn.to/3zQVA3U
PWM Charge Controller https://amzn.to/3fiIDry
Terminal Blocks https://amzn.to/3j5jxO8
Photocell Switch https://amzn.to/3fksqlW
Low Voltage LED Lights https://amzn.to/3rMSNFX
12v to 5v USB Step Down https://amzn.to/3C8k36w
Wyze Cam (Latest Version) https://amzn.to/3lhbSix
Micro SD Card For Cams https://amzn.to/2Vdde35
Voltage Meter https://amzn.to/3C4RuqB
16AWG Landscape Wire https://amzn.to/3ihdzua
Wire Connectors https://amzn.to/3lmq0Xx
Wire Crimping Tool https://amzn.to/3zXq18y
Mailbox Flag https://amzn.to/2V5hKkk
* I am a part of the Amazon Affiliate program and will receive a small commission if you use my links. The price will NOT increase for you if you use my links, but I will definitely appreciate the support.