I recycled the panels from my old truck into this folding, portable AC power source, complete with batteries, capacity meter, charge controller and inverter.
Folded, with carrying handle
Battery capacity monitor
The back of the unit isn’t the prettiest, but it’s function over form here. You can see the four 6v 7aH AGM batteries wired in 2s2p fashion for 12v 14aH, or 168wH. The charge controller is a PWM unit, definitely not MPPT as they claim, but it’s slim and waterproof. The toggle switch turns the inverter and meter on or off, so it won’t kill the batteries in storage. The inverter, seen lower left of the photo, is a cheap 120vac mobile modified-sine unit. It does the job for most small loads, though I have located a slim pure sine inverter that could be used in its place and still fit when folded.
The layout was dictated by distribution of weight. It had to carry level, and the weight had to be at the bottom when folded.
I first built this using recycled power tool lithium batteries, but the cells proved to be too damaged. So I used the sealed lead acid batteries instead, because one of the main points in building these projects is either recycled material or very inexpensive. Therefore, it’s not the lightest in weight at around 30 LBs, but it’s manageable!