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Use a good thick copper wire to connect the panel to the battery. As I have already mentioned, during a short circuit batteries can create quick and powerful current spikes that will melt wires. The fuse should take the beating but play it safe with something like AWG 17 (1.15mm) or thicker. There are also considerations for proper wire gauge that take into account wire length, voltage and current. There are plenty of places online that provide formulas and information on wire selection.



A couple of rules apply. Good ventilation is a must. You should have vent holes on top of the enclosure [Fig 3]. Hydrogen is lighter than air and will collect at the top of your box if there is a leak.

Metal enclosure is probably not the best idea. You could short circuit the battery if you touch the metal with the wire terminals. Short circuiting a 12V battery can cause premature death.

Mount your battery enclosure in a dry area.

This place has a great selection of equipment enclosures - http://www.polycase.com/




I got mine at the swap meet [Fig. 5]. Three used 12V 7Ah batteries for $5 U.S. Not a bad deal. If you are buying used look for cracks in the plastic. Explosive gas may leak through the cracks (although there may be cracks that you can't even spot with a naked eye). A new battery is a better and safer choice.

You can get fancy and connect several batteries in parallel to increase capacity. This is done by connecting any number of batteries' positive to positive leads and negative to negative leads. Just remember that this should be done with new batteries only. Otherwise you are reducing the used battery lifespan.

A single 7Ah battery should be enough to run your WRT54G for 29 hours.


WRT54G battery
Fig. 5 12V 7Ah battery



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