Steven Rundquist

A few years ago, I got fed up with our noisy gas generator and decided to build a generator powered by renewable energy. My Colorado-based timber framing company often works on remote sites, so I wanted a portable unit that we could easily haul to the site and use to run our tools, and that could later be plugged into the finished structure to provide temporary power for lights and outlets. I don’t know much about electricity, though, so I enlisted my friend and colleague Mel Wright, of Greeley, Colo., to actually put the pieces together.

The heart of the system is an Outback 3,500-watt 24-volt DC/120-volt AC inverter (, which is powered by four 220 amp-hour 6-volt absorption glass mat (AGM) batteries. The batteries are wired in series, which increases the voltage of the system to match the inverter. The batteries are charged with a pair of Kyocera 135-watt solar...

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