solar powered off grid helium miner diy plans

I wanted to do a post where I list all of the parts needed to set up an off-grid Helium miner setup. This tutorial is for those of you who are looking to deploy a Helium Miner on a remote property that does not have access to power and or wifi. You will need to make a portable Helium miner that is powered by solar.

This project is powered by a single 100w solar panel and with a cellular 4G LTE Wireless Router inside which will provide a network connection for your HNT miner. A small 55Ah battery will provide backup power during the night and on cloudy days.

In this post, I will show you the parts needed and the wiring diagram to get your portable helium miner up and running in remote locations.

Parts needed for our remote helium miner.

remote helium miner bobcat MPPT 100/15 RUT240 and a LIFEPO4 battery

BlueSolar MPPT 100/15 Solar charge controller

BlueSolar MPPT 100/15 Solar charge controller for helium miner

A solar charge controller gathers energy from your solar panels, converts it to 12v, and stores it in your batteries. Using the latest, fastest MPPT technology, (Maximum Power Point Tracking) BlueSolar maximizes this energy harvest. Inturn driving it intelligently to achieve full charge of your batteries in the shortest possible time. BlueSolar maintains battery health thus extending its service life.

A quality solar charge controller is a must for a reliable off-grid helium miner.

Victron energy Bluetooth smart dongle

 Victron energy Bluetooth smart dongle  for checking solatr generation HNT miner

Using the VE.Direct to Bluetooth Smart dongle you can display your BMV or MPPT information on iOS and Android devices, by using the VictronConnect App.

You can also view information wirelessly such as battery status and solar panel power, plus other useful data.

This is handy when setting up and fault-finding your DIY remote helium miner.

The dongle is able to read data from all products with a VE Direct port, such as the BMV-70x series battery monitors, Phoenix Inverters with VE Direct port, and MPPT Solar Charge Controllers such as our 100/15.

It is not essential but it lets you know that everything is working correctly rather than using a multimeter to check the charge rate etc.

DC-DC Converter Module 12V To 5V USB Output Power Adapter 3A 15W

DC-DC Converter Module 12V To 5V USB Output Power Adapter 3A 15W

If your helium miner uses a USB port to power the device then you will need a 12v to USB 5V 3 amp adapter.

It will provide synchronous rectification, and the conversion rate is 96% or more with very low heat generation. Onboard protections consist of overvoltage, over-current, over-temperature, and short circuits. It is auto-protected and will reset once the fault is cleared.

The converter module is set in epoxy so it is seismic, water, moisture, dust, long-term stable, and most importantly reliable.

Super-thin, small size, high efficiency, easy installation.- Input voltage: DC8-20V, (12V changes to 5V)-

Output parameter: DC5V3A, 15W

Teltonika RUT240 Industrial 4G LTE Wireless Router with WiFi

Teltonika RUT240 Industrial 4G LTE Wireless Router with WiFi for Helium miner

The RUT240 is a compact, cost-effective and powerful industrial LTE router for professional applications such as an off-grid helium miner. This router delivers high performance for mission-critical cellular communications with good tolerance to heat.

It is equipped with an external SIM holder and signal strength status LEDs, to ensure easy network management. External antenna connectors make it possible to attach desired external antennas and to easily find the best signal location.

Rut240 Specs

  • Teltonika RUT240 Industrial 4G LTE Wireless Router with WiFi –
  • 2x 10/100Mbps RJ45 Ports (1x WAN, 1x LAN) –
  • Wireless: IEEE 802.11b/g/n –
  • 1x SIM Slot (Mini SIM – 2FF), 1.8V/3V, External SIM Holder –
  • Antennas: 2x SMA for LTE, 1x RP-SMA for WiFi Antenna Connectors –
  • Power: 4-pin DC Connector with 1x Digital Input and 1x Digital Output –
  • Supports 4G (LTE) Cat 4 up to 150 Mbps,
  • 3G Up to 42 Mbps, 2G Up to 236.8 kbps –
  • 2 Years Limited Warranty

DC – DC 12V to 9V power adapter

DC - DC 12V to 9V power adapter

This is to supply clean stable power to the Teltronika Rut240. Even though the RUT240 can handle 9v-30v I like a stable voltage as it may fluctuate with the solar input power during the day.

How to set up helium miner over cellular

Solar powered Helium hotspot with 100w Solar Panel RNG-100MB

Solar panel for helium miner

The 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel Renogy Eclipse Solar Panel combines power and appeal into one sleek package. The Eclipse is made of the highest efficiency cells Renogy has to offer while weighing a mere 15 pounds and standing a half-foot shorter in height than standard Renogy panels. Size is important for a compact setup.

There is no issue going with a higher output solar panel such as 150w or 200w but it will just increase the size and price.

Another feature is its black corrosion-resistant aluminum frame. This Eclipse 100 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel will make a great addition to any solar-powered remote Helium Miner.

  • Max Power at STC: 100W
  • Open Circuit Voltage: 21.2V
  • Short Circuit Current: 6.10A
  • Opitmum Operating Voltage: 17.7V
  • Optimum Operating Current: 5.70A
  • Operating Temperature: -40°F to 176°F
  • Maximum System Voltage: 600VDC UL
  • Maximum Series Fuse Rating: 10A
  • Dimensions: 40.9 x 21.0 x 1.4 in
  • Weight: 15 lbs
  • Panel Lead: 14 AWG (2.00 ft long)

You will need to make a mounting frame to connect the solar panel to the pole frame. Have it tilted between 20deg to 45deg to the sky and point it north or wherever it will receive the most sun for the day. We don’t want the solar panel completely flat and horizontal to the sky as we need it to be self-cleaning with water drainage.

Mount the solar cell using solar rails and clamps.

12v 55Ah Deep Cycle Backup Battery

Now we need a 12v battery to store the sun’s power during the day to be run at night. I like to use a 50Ah battery as a minimum. This will give the helium miner up to around 4 days run time with the minimum sun like when it is raining. During wintertime, there is also less sunlight so the extended run time of the battery will mean there are no dropouts.

Now you will need to measure the battery to the size of the electrical cabinet that you will purchase. The battery will be the largest item in the cabinet so this is crucial.

  • The ML55-12 SLA is a 12V 55AH Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) rechargeable maintenance free battery
  • Dimensions: 9.02 inches x 5.43 inches x 9.13 inches.
  • SLA / AGM spill proof battery has a characteristic of high discharge rate, wide operating temperatures, long service life and deep discharge recover.
  • Rechargeable battery that can be mounted in any position, resists shocks and vibration. Long lasting high performance in high and low temperatures

Some people are starting to go with 12V 50Ah Lithium LiFePO4 Batteries as they are lighter and more compact. Cost is a trade-off as they are more expensive.

Dimensions (L x W x H): 7.99 x 6.53 x 6.69 Inch

Weight: 11.57lb

Off grid helium miner wiring diagram

solar power Off grid helium miner wiring diagram

As this is a remote helium miner it will need inline fuses or circuit breakers to protect the internal electronics and wiring. 10 amps will be fine for the solar panel cables and 5 amps will be more than enough for the internal devices.

The size of the cabinet you will require will be dependant on the width of the batteries. For most applications, a LIFEPO4 lithium 50amp batterie you will be looking at around 6.6 inches or 16.764 cm deep cabinet is required. I like to use dual-lock velcro tape to lock the batteries into the cabinet. Otherwise, you can use a strap and screws.

We don’t want the battery moving around during transport. In fact, take it out completely if you are going offroad as the bumps could dislodge the battery and cause damage.

You may not need the 12v to USB adapter if your helium miner uses a 12v supply vs a 5v supply.

Helium miner on a cell tower

You can mine Helium on a cell tower but it will need some basic setup beforehand. You will need to set up a static IP address to the cell tower through a 4G cell hotspot such as the RUT240. If you don’t have a static IP there is a workaround.

Once the static IP address is set up you will need to port forward to 44158.

Open TCP Ports 44158 in both directions in your modem. Check your Router’s manufacturing instructions on how to open ports 44158. For support and firmware updates, you will need ports 22 and 443 also open for outbound.
You only need to open port 44158, the others should work automatically as they are outbound only.

Many of the outdoor miner setups that you see over at the Helium Discord channel use cellular data hotspots in order to connect their Helium miner to the internet using a mobile data plan. Sometimes getting your miner to communicate with the internet can be a challenge. Especially if you do not have a static IP Address.

Mobile carriers use what is called a CGNAT (Carrier-grade Network Address Translator) to manage the huge number of devices connected to their network. This doesn’t work too well with off-grid helium miners.

You have two options for proper port forwarding to your remote Helium miner while using a cellular hotspot:

  1. Get a static public IP address from your carrier for your SIM card. Prefered.
  2. Set up a VPS (Virtual Private Server) with a static public IP, and configure it to forward traffic to your cellular router. RUT240.

The following articles explains it well.

How to set up a cellular helium miner part 1

How to set up helium miner over cellular part 2 updated.

Conclusion

I would recommend setting up the off-grid helium miner in your backyard first to make sure that you have a reliable system that can run for a few days without the sun shining. This is for when it rains and on cloudy days as the solar generation will be close to 0.

Look at your topology and pick the correct outdoor helium miner antenna for the terrain.

There are so many options you can go with I have just picked out some reliable cheap parts that will power up your remote HNT miner.

Make sure to weatherproof the whole junction box whenever cables enter and exit. And drill a small drain hole for any water that may find its way in. Always use an inline fuse to all electrical devices otherwise if there is a fault or short circuit your DIY cellular helium miner could burn to the ground.

Make sure to get the property owner’s permission to deploy a remote helium miner. You can offer a share of the rewards or a monthly rental fee is often a good persuasion tactic.

Check out my ultimate helium miner setup at home tips and tricks, for the best signal in your area.

Let me know in the comments below if you have any deployment issues and I will try and sort it out.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Two questions.

    just fuses for protection? No need for lightning protection or arrestor?

    Bobcat antennas @4dBi seem a good all around option. Can these not be used outdoors if the connectors are weatherproofed?

  2. Many options to power a Helium Miner. The Bobcat 300 uses 12v DC so that can come straight from the battery via a fuse. I was testing out some other miners that are powered through USB hence why the adapter is there.
    The Bobcat can also be powered via POE (power over ethernet)
    For a world-class installation, you could ground the off-grid helium miner with an electrical stake and use an inline N-type lightning arrestor on the antenna cable.

  3. Great read! I’m looking at making an of grid helium rig.

    I don’t see any vent fans. Does the case you have in this post have vents that I didn’t notice? Would fans be a good idea or might there be issues with moisture if it’s raining? Could possibly have a fan inlet on the bottom to reduce the chance of moisture possibly. Thoughts?

    • Vent fans are a great idea in areas that are hot. I would put the fan on the bottom of the enclosure. You may have to install side vents depending on what enclosure you have.

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