Saturday, July 9, 2016

I think I got a dud...

Been running one of my Frankenstein systems pretty hard and fast the last month along with quite a few spotty solar days.  This is my experiment with deep cycle marine batteries from AutoZone.  Suddenly found a dramatic decline in the bank's ability to hold a charge overnight.  Pretty sure I got a dud in the mix.  A battery bank is only as good as it's weakest teller.  Will check them all tomorrow afternoon after they get a good gulp of juice from our first full day of sun in awhile.  90,98,75,0,B

11 comments:

Margery Bills said...

Sorry to hear that.

Larry G said...

I know the type and brand of deep cycle battery is a hot topic on some RV boards..they distinguish between what they call "starting" batteries versus - "house" batteries.

Golf Cart batteries seem to be preferred by some.

I was just reading about some off-the-grid folks who bought a 12-volt fridge and powered it with 2 solar panels that charged 2 golf cart batteries wired together and they said that it's functioned for years without a problem - other than checking fluid levels once a year.

this was the company that makes 12volt fridges

http://www.sundanzer.com/product_category/household/

Stuart said...

I am on my 3rd set of batteries in 16 years. The first set was bought with six panels. The folks had not taken care of the batteries. They were Exide large truck size deep cycle batteries. The next set of batteries were Interstate L-16 deep cycle batteries. The batteries currently in use are NAPA golf cart batteries. These batteries have proven to be the best. They maintain of 25 volts, 24v system, over night. The array, mixed panels some over 16 years old, is rated at 2500 watts. A 6000 btu air conditioner is run off the system during the day. The highest amperage seen off the array is 64 amps. The batteries are equalized every 30 days.The catalyst caps, which replaced the regular caps, make a big difference in water consumption. For the cost, the golf cart batteries will be the most economical. Freshness probably has a lot to do with performance.

Larry G said...

I'm agog that you run an air conditioner off the batteries! I would imagine the KIND of air conditioner is also equally important - i.e. one that is very efficient!

Maybe this will encourage John to get those other panels he has - installed and pumping out juice!

Carl J said...

You could use a balancing charger. Once one battery starts to go, if you charge them all at the same rate, it will just accelerate the weak link's decline. A balancing charger will allow you to keep track of the state of each battery, and it will eke out the life of them all by not overcharging the bad one. They're common with lithium packs, but generally not seen as necessary with LA batteries, however if you're very dependent on keeping them healthy, better safe than sorry?

Stuart said...

Actually, the AC would not run for very long on batteries. The AC is only run during the days with good sunshine. In effect, the AC is run off the solar panels. One misstatement, the former AC was a 6000 btu unit. The current AC running is an 8000 btu model. It keeps the living room quite comfortable. The central unit is set on 82. This computer is also running off the solar system, very clean electricity off the sine wave inverter.

Larry G said...

curious - if the batteries are linked together in series - how would a balancing charger work? Also to Stuart - what are battery "caps" and how do you "equalize"? sorry about the dumb questions.

Larry G said...

I wonder if Johns situation is the same - i.e. heat during the day but cooler at night so just pepino is needed?

How about 12volt fridges - do they go "dormant" at night or is there enough juice in the batteries to keep them cold?

Happy Prospector said...

Some good Solar reading can be had a "Handy Bob"s Blog". Lots of good info for your Solar Power education.

Larry G said...

good blog! thanks!

Larry G said...

Thank HP - the blog is excellent. much appreciated.