*Portable Power Center*
By: Red Dog
20 August 2004

What will you do during a short disruption of the power grid? It might simply be from a storm moving through your area. It could have been an accident and a power pole was dropped or caused a transformer to blow.

Having a quick way to turn the lights back on and get information is very important. It might not be time to fire up the generator quite yet, but this Portable Power Center is very easy to build with simple tools and is not that expensive to put together.

The Portable Power Center is made from a Stanley Tools, Mobile Work Center. This is a rolling, double stacked toolbox that is made in the Stanley Yellow and Black colors. You can find these at Home Depot, Lowes or Wal-Mart Stores for around $25.00

The top section has a pull out tool tray, but I took mine out, to have plenty of room for the Power Inverters, Clamp Lights with 15 Watt Florescent Bulbs, a 12-Volt Fan, Flashlights and a portable AM/FM radio.


The Lower Section has plenty of room for a 12-Volt Deep Cycle Battery. The wires from the Inverters and extra 12-Volt Outlets are ran down through a hole drilled in the bottom of the Top Section, to the Bottom Section.

As you can see, the Deep Cycle Battery fits well in the Bottom Section. I do not leave the wires attached to the Battery because this could discharge the Battery over time if you leave the Inverters hooked up.

When you drill the holes for the Inverter Wires to feed from the Top Section down to the Battery in the Bottom Section, make sure you do so from the bottom of the Top Section, to avoid drilling through the Yellow Swing Out Shelf.

We use the flashlight stored in the Top Section to open the Bottom Section and connect the wires to the Battery from the Inverters and the extra 12-Volt Outlet. Then, we connect the Clamp Lights to the Inverters and turn them on, giving lots of light to finish hooking up the 12-Volt Fans to the extra 12-Volt Outlet.

When the Deep Cycle Battery in the Bottom Section is hooked up to the Inverters in the Top Section, you can easily connect the Clamp Lights with the 15 Watt Florescent Bulbs in them and get the amount of light from 60 Watt bulbs, without draining your Battery as fast.

Next, we can turn on the Radio and find out what caused the Power Outage, if we don't already know. Having the 12-Volt Fan gives us some cooling breeze while we are waiting for the power to come back on.

If we find out that the power will be out for an extended period of time, then we would go to our other Alternative Power Systems, such as our Generator or Solar Panels and Battery Banks.
Red Dog

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