Monday, December 19, 2016

took a shot...

Three years ago I set up a new system with my solar.  I took a chance with deep cycle marine batteries from AutoZone and I seem to have lost the bet.  One of the batteries shit the bed back in July.  The other three are just barely OK but no longer holding a charge very well overnight.  I am waiting on a deal from a local guy on some AGMs to replace these next month.  (My original set of golf cart batteries lasted 6 years - but I  have 2 AGM batteries that are still going strong after 9 years.)  Because of that, I have been having to run my generator for about an hour after sunset and again in the early morning if I get up before sunrise.  About a month ago the pull rope broke and I replaced it.  This morning I got up way too early (5 AM) and decided to fire it up.  Now it seems the entire recoil assembly is about to shit the bed as well.  Took me about a half hour to get it to crank after fiddling with it in 26 degree darkness.
As soon as I got it started I went online and found a replacement on Ebay.  I ordered it at 6 AM, it shipped out at noon, and will be here Thursday.  They even called me at 8:30 AM to say they were very sorry but the red one was no longer in stock - all they had were blue and black.  I told the nice rep that it didn't really matter and they could flip a coin and choose a color for me.  By the time the sun came up I felt like I had already put in a full day.  Our latest 2 day cold snap ends tomorrow.  Looking forward to a nice warm Christmas.  39,44,26,0,B

18 comments:

Sam Keith said...

You might want to try some 1.2 VDC really large lead-acid cells such as are used on some commercial forklifts. I have had good luck with (40) of those on a 15 kW peak output solar system which I have in central Texas. Have lasted over (10) years being maintained at a minimum of 24 V and a maximum of 48 V. They never get very discharged. I think that is why they have lasted so long. Would you describe an AGM battery ? I don't know that term. Thanks.
.

John Wells said...

https://www.solar-electric.com/agm-battery-technology.html

Rocky said...

I think I has a suloution to your green house heat problem in the summer really want you to try it befor I pump a bunch of money into doing a green house like yours further south, if you flip your fans around to pull air out the building and some ads pipe from outside the building under ground to the inside building wouldn't it cool the building. I know it doesn't relate to this post but I'm try n to figure everything out before I move to my desert land.

John Wells said...

The two AGMs I bought 9 years ago were $240 each including shipping and were 75 Amp hr. Amazon has 100 Amp hr now for $175 including shipping (not bad for a 65 lb item). Note: my old AGM's are sitting at 13.4 volts after the sun goes down - my AutoZone batteries drop to 12.5 as soon as the sun goes down after being charged to 14.8 all day. Not sure what my local guy has coming in next month or what the price is. I will find out tomorrow.

John Wells said...

Rocky...nice idea but I don't have the money to excavate for the piping as the greenhouse is sitting on rock and it would take very large piping and a lot of fan power to provide the cooling needed for my entire greenhouse. Next spring I am going to try sectioning off a corner in my greenhouse (about 100 sq ft) with plastic and cool it with a small window unit AC. I have more than enough solar to run a 5000 btu unit during sunny days. To be honest, bugs are even more of a problem than heat.

Larry G said...

well I bet John has thought about making his own batteries.. but decided not to.

what would be the obstacles to doing that?

John Wells said...

Make my own batteries is not an option and was never a consideration.

Margery Bills said...

Sorry for your inconvenience. It has been 23 degrees here in the hill country by San Antonio. My dogs mostly like to come back in the house.

Margery Bills said...

Rocky, I think that plan might work.

Stuart said...

John, I am on my third set of batteries. The first set did not last long. I bought them with the first solar panels. The guy bought the panels and batteries for the millennium crash. Never took the panels out of the boxes and never charged the batteries, big D sized truck Exide batteries. The next set of batteries were Interstate L-16 batteries, disappointing. The current batteries are NAPA golf cart batteries. I just looked at the meter, 5:15 am. It is at 25.2 volts, 24 volt system. These batteries are the best ones. The water save caps work well, caps replaced originals. The batteries are equalized ever 30 days, Bogart meter reminds. Even though NAPA batteries are probably made by the same factory as other batteries, NAPA probably has better specs and possibly QC. Also, picked the batteries up at the local NAPA store, so, shipping was not a factor.

toufic said...

caveat, my experience with batteries reaching end of life is not tremendous

however, would it be possible that they've gotten sulfated? There's a guy over in TorQ who sells a kit to fix that, he also open sources it if you want to do it yourself:

http://store.holyscraphotsprings.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=107&zenid=2a10367f23e89eb2ae22926184351514

I've met the couple, they're really on the up and up, and also share some values as well. Their blog covers a lot of what they've done over the years in Truth or Consequences:

http://www.thegoodlifelab.com/

Keep up the hard work and hang in there!

Dani said...

What about lead crystal batteries? Or lithium?

John Wells said...

toufic...thanks for the tip, I will check it out. Although I have never met Mikey and Wendy, I have corresponded with them since before I moved to the desert. I bought his chest freezer temperature controller. http://thefieldlab.blogspot.com/2011/03/fridge-upgrade.html

Jon P said...

With all the water you have stored wouldn't a swamp cooler be good in a garden room. A window air conditioner milks any moisture that there may be.

On Ebay I see 'UPG 12V 100Ah SOLAR WIND AGM SLA DEEP CYCLE VRLA BATTERY 12V 24V' for $170.
I would also check with Ring at Many Stones. He knows a guy who every couple of years sells some used AGM gell batts at a great price.

Keep up the research and testing so when I am ready you have done all the work! :)

John Wells said...

Jon P...a swamp cooler would be a good idea to add WITH the AC - but not enough cooling power on its' own. That's and even better price on the battery I am considering. The guy Ring knows is the guy I am waiting on. Did you figure out where my tract is yet?

rj said...

Rocky, cooling using earth tubes has proven to be ineffective. You can't transfer enough heat (from outside air entering the tubes) into the ground. And then the ground just heats up and practically no heat transfer occurs. On top of that you end up with a home for bugs and mold that is being funneled into your space. Even deep well geothermal cooling is losing favor with the advent of high efficiency air to air heat pumps / air conditioners. Mostly because of the high cost of geothermal installation and the extra fluid pumps required. John P, yes evaporative coolers do work in dry climates and years ago were widely used in the southwest in homes. I use one in my 120 sq ft greenhouse, but they have to be about 5000 cfm to work (basically house sized)and they use a lot of water, to say nothing of the amps needed for a good sized fan and a water pump. The water use can be a problem if your only real source is rainwater in a desert.

Jon P said...

Found same battery for $160, http://www.ebay.com/itm/OCEAN-HY12-100-12V-100AH-AGM-SLA-DEEP-CYCLE-BATTERY-FOR-SOLAR-WIND-VRLA-12V-24V-/162137261924?hash=item25c0224764:g:onMAAOSw6BtVSsFc
I haven't had time to look for your tract but will.

Unknown said...

ALL THE BATTERY INFO YOU WANT OR NEED

https://www.solar-electric.com/deep-cycle-battery-faq.html/

AGM Batteries are especially successful in the desert since they are immune to dehydration which is the curse of battery maintenance since distilled water is otherwise necessary for flooded lead-acid batteries, but they do not have high watt hour capacity.
A successful battery bank must operate within the range of 12 - 13.7 VDC for max longevity.