• Welcome to Homesteading & Country Living.
    We are glad you came to visit.
    Ads in your way? Register/login and read with less ads, or ask how to get rid of them.

Solar Energy

Help Support Homesteading Forum:

phideaux

Spectator of Life
Neighbor
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
10,490
Location
West Ky

Meerkat

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
16,827
For how many batteries.

I just threw a big NOCO Genius in garbage.

It almost destroyed my battery pack.

It went bad.

I called them and was not pleased with their response to me.

I have since gone to smaller multiple units , to monitor and keep individual banks charged.
Seems to be working very well.


Jim
It will be for the 6 T105s we have in golf cart for now.
 

Meerkat

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
16,827
Hubby has been using just a regular 6 volt,12 volt batery changer for past 18 yr or so. Kept those last T 105s going on golf caart for 13 yr but these may not be as good as the ones manufactured back then?:dunno:
 

phideaux

Spectator of Life
Neighbor
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
10,490
Location
West Ky
It will be for the 6 T105s we have in golf cart for now.
That's what I thought.

I'm not ever going to use a single charger , especially a NOCO Genius , to charge multiple batteries again.

If it goes bad , you could lose all batteries at one time, that's expensive.

I almost lost all 8 if mine, only because I keep close watch my batteries did I save them after I figured out the charger wasn't working right and was killing my batteries.

I have 4 banks at 12v .
Two 6v each bank .
I can tie 2 , 3 or 4 , banks together to supply up to about 932 ah of power.

I use 4 little , 3A charger/minders , one for each bank .
Here's what I settled on , they are smart and supply 3 amps.

Been working great for about a year.

If one goes bad , it only affects 1 bank.

This is just my own opinion.
Others may like doing one charger.

I can tell you that my solar controller is smart and charges at 30 amp.you can watch the charge % as they monitor and charge. That was important to me.

Here the ones I settled on after lots of homework.
Screenshot_20200518-211533.png
Walmart. $19.85 each.
I own 5 .

Jim

.
 

Meerkat

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
16,827
That's what I thought.

I'm not ever going to use a single charger , especially a NOCO Genius , to charge multiple batteries again.

If it goes bad , you could lose all batteries at one time, that's expensive.

I almost lost all 8 if mine, only because I keep close watch my batteries did I save them after I figured out the charger wasn't working right and was killing my batteries.

I have 4 banks at 12v .
Two 6v each bank .
I can tie 2 , 3 or 4 , banks together to supply up to about 932 ah of power.

I use 4 little , 3A charger/minders , one for each bank .
Here's what I settled on , they are smart and supply 3 amps.

Been working great for about a year.

If one goes bad , it only affects 1 bank.

This is just my own opinion.
Others may like doing one charger.

I can tell you that my solar controller is smart and charges at 30 amp.you can watch the charge % as they monitor and charge. That was important to me.

Here the ones I settled on after lots of homework.
View attachment 42521
Walmart. $19.85 each.
I own 5 .

Jim

.
Thank you Jim that sounds good to me. Will check them out and some more batteries too,and you like the Interstate batteries right?
 

phideaux

Spectator of Life
Neighbor
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
10,490
Location
West Ky
Thank you Jim that sounds good to me. Will check them out and some more batteries too,and you like the Interstate batteries right?
I do like interstate batteries .
But I did a lot of homework/research and concluded that IMHO. That DEKA is a great battery.
I found out that the DEKA is the only battery that KY coal mines use.
I bought 8 , 6v Dekas for my SidexSide about 2 years ago , so I guess they are my favorite.

I can use that pack and the pack of my golf cart (4 Trojans @ 48 v), and the pack in my solar system(Interstates 8 @ 6v ea) to run my house if need be.

Yeah DEKA.

Jim
 

Meerkat

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
16,827
Guess between you and SuperV we should have agood one although very small in comparason to you guys. But it will keep my fridge and maybe chest freezer going,the rest I can suffer thru, I hope anyway. Gotta have ice here in Florida and a fan..
 

Supervisor42

Formerly known as Supervisor42
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
3,798
Location
Louisiana
I'd like to hear Supervisor chime in on the DeKA ,
And
The charging / monitor using smaller tenders ,instead of bulk charging.

He is my battery guru mentor.

jim
Well you saw the 'White Elephant' in my backup system. It was a Deka. (photo on request).
It worked flawlessly for over a decade (until I sold it with the house), I would have to had to redesign it to use solar.
To use solar you have to have it so it can 'harvest' the power and then 'sell' it to the house.
After studying for 10 years, it's obvious how it needs to work. You need 4 states of operation instead of 2.
Generac just this year, figured out how to make a solar and backup system into one.

To answer the previous question, the fewer battery cells you have charging in a string, the closer the cell voltages will be. They get out of sync over time. The more in the string, the further out of sync they can get.
 

Meerkat

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
16,827
Well you saw the 'White Elephant' in my backup system. It was a Deka. (photo on request).
It worked flawlessly for over a decade (until I sold it with the house), I would have to had to redesign it to use solar.
To use solar you have to have it so it can 'harvest' the power and then 'sell' it to the house.
After studying for 10 years, it's obvious how it needs to work. You need 4 states of operation instead of 2.
Generac just this year, figured out how to make a solar and backup system into one.

To answer the previous question, the fewer battery cells you have charging in a string, the closer the cell voltages will be. They get out of sync over time. The more in the string, the further out of sync they can get.
Not sure I understand but in golf cart its in parell, not series.6 T 105s.
 

viking

I know a lot of things, but master very few
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
609
Location
S.W. Oregon
We haven't had a grid power failure for a number of months and I'm considering doing a battery drain down test, batteries have shown that they have been constantly topped off by the solar array and the inverter/charger and are sitting at a constant average of 27.5 volts but just sitting there with no major discharge, they tend to get sulfite build up on the cells so I think it's about time to have to drain them down a bit and have an equalizing charge cycle done. It seems that every time I'm around where batteries are being sold, like Costco, I check on their 6 volt golf cart batteries and recently Costco has gotten in Interstate 210 amp hour batteries, when we bought a ours their batteries were 205 amp hour, still great but I like to get as heavy duty as I can, yeah the 210's are now up to $98 and change compared to the $80 + I got all ours for, that's alright, I'm happy with what we have and they do a dang good job. Anyway, if I changed out all the batteries to 210 amp hour, I'd only gain 50 amp hours, presently the total is 1,025, but I have space for one more bank and the cables to connect them which would raise the amp hours to 1,230, but I think we're okay with what we have, if I had to do a total change out of batteries, then I'd add another bank and use 210's. Actually my biggest problem is that the solar backup shed is a mess, still have a lot of nuts, bolts, Strong-Ties and stuff from the solar array build that are in boxes as well as tools and other things laying around, we seem to never have enough storage, I do have another shed that I just cleaned out some concrete forms to give a neighbor for his green house project, thing is, anything I put in it needs to be tarped because bats use the shed and droppings get on everything, but I'm happy to have bats around and it's amazing to see the moms nursing their babies. The job they do in taking care of insects is awesome.
 

Supervisor42

Formerly known as Supervisor42
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
3,798
Location
Louisiana
We haven't had a grid power failure for a number of months and I'm considering doing a battery drain down test, batteries have shown that they have been constantly topped off by the solar array and the inverter/charger and are sitting at a constant average of 27.5 volts but just sitting there with no major discharge, they tend to get sulfite build up on the cells so I think it's about time to have to drain them down a bit and have an equalizing charge cycle done...
If you keep them at a float voltage of 27.5v (perfect for AGMs and SLAs) that is above the gassing voltage for most flooded deep-cycle batteries, you may want to look into a watering system (inexpensive and perfect for guys like me that procrastinate) especially if you have a lot of batteries. Gravity-fed is perfect as there is no rush in turn-around time.
BFS-Batt-Bank-36V-300-clean.jpg
It's not rocket science and 'some guys' have been weeding out the stuff that doesn't work for decades ;).
The perfect float-voltage varies with different battery manufacturers and how concentrated the acid is and their plate chemical composition.
 
Last edited:

viking

I know a lot of things, but master very few
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
609
Location
S.W. Oregon
If you keep them at a float voltage of 27.5v (perfect for AGMs and SLAs) that is above the gassing voltage for most flooded deep-cycle batteries, you may want to look into a watering system (inexpensive and perfect for guys like me that procrastinate) especially if you have a lot of batteries. Gravity-fed is perfect as there is no rush in turn-around time.
View attachment 42566
It's not rocket science and 'some guys' have been weeding out the stuff that doesn't work for decades ;).
The perfect float-voltage varies with different battery manufacturers and how concentrated the acid is and their plate chemical composition.
I figured that there had to be something like this around, I'll have to check with the Interstate battery store in Grants Pass to see if they can get me this system. Yeah, it's easy to procrastinate, having to crawl under the counter and fill each cell from a plastic cup while holding a flashlight while avoiding acid splashing can lead to that. Thanks for posting the pic.
 

Supervisor42

Formerly known as Supervisor42
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
3,798
Location
Louisiana
Viking, Try one of these out to fill the batteries with. Pretty precise and will allow you to stay at arms length. I've used these since I was a kid to keep batteries topped off.

https://www.amazon.com/Tool-Aid-14600-Battery-Filler/dp/B000M5X0MS
I always had a couple of those.
They are essential if you accidentally overfill a cell. Simply use it to transfer liquid to another thirsty cell.

@viking There are 3 types of watering systems. One is for freezing temps. You definitely don't want that one.
Not because it isn't great, but it is designed so the fillers do not hold water, freeze and burst.
They intentionally weep into the battery after they turn off. If a watering gun is connected only once a month, it is not an issue at all.
For a perpetual water supply, it is a problem.
@phideaux mentioned Deka batteries.
Here's mine with the freeze-proof watering system because it lived outside. The White-Elephant:
IMG_2933.JPG
24v, 510 AH, 1,000 lbs.
 

phideaux

Spectator of Life
Neighbor
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
10,490
Location
West Ky
The best time saver I've found , easy , precise fills,
Holds 1/2 gal of distilled water.
View attachment 42815
Jim
I have an electric SidexSide with 8 , 6v batteries, a golf cart with 4 , 12v batteries, and 8 , 6 v battery pack for solar power.
That's 72 holes to fill.
I ain't gonna spend the whole summer filling them.
It only takes a few easy minutes to fill 8 batteries , using that filler .
Cost about $10.

Jim
 

Latest posts

Top