Kenny HendrickOff-Grid Solar and Wind Generated Power

Page Topic: Batteries

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Off-Grid Solar and Wind Energy~! Topic: Batteries Springfield Ohio Solar Power

January's 2018, Winter-time in Springfield Ohio, extremes in weather conditions has proven to be perfect for solar and wind testing.

One day it's 60degrees and sunny, the next day it's 12degrees with low-hanging cloud cover, then another day it's 20+ mph blustery winds.

Between the wind generator and solar panels, in an off-grid scenario, both are paled in priority compared to that of the batteries.

Recently I mused at how the job is almost accomplished out here; 24hours each day, for more than 2 years now, monitoring and tweaking, testing and experimenting,  finally coming to a close.

Mission Accomplished

.
.
.
Springfield Offgrid Ohio Batteries
Then I woke up.


The following findings were not gleaned from the Internet; but rather by trial and error,  and much testing.
S
ome of the information that follows will be CONTRARY to the propaganda on the net in regards to battery power banks.
It is hoped that the next generation will pick up from the following data and build upon the information which follows
.

Onward!


Below are shown the corporate crap; look closely and recognize it. Take special note of the white acid residue at the bottom of the box and around the coroded terminal connectors. This crap is brought to you by capitalists that use the least amount of invested capital to push products that will see their demise over and over and over....in your lifetime.
They, and their cable connectors, are not your friends.

Springfield Offgrid Ohio Battery


But Lo~!

In the photo below are shown two brass connectors.

Springfield Offgrid Battery

These brass connectors were found at a great local store called Rural King. If you don't have a Rural King in your neighborhood you don't get to enjoy their complimentary coffee and popcorn, and a pleasant helpful customer service, and a wide variety of assorted merchandise and equipment.  Furthermore,  if you need hardware like nuts and bolts, DO BOTHER TO COMPARE their prices with the big box stores!

They don't charge per nut or bolt, Rural King sells by the flipping pound!

Suffice to say, the community here in Springfield loves their Rural King.



It was always just presumed that battery connectors will have to be periodically inspected and replaced (because the uncensored portion of the internet told me so).
It seemed inevitable, acid will literally eat the soft metal of the common lead connector, leaving only wires at the posts.
I never heard any other viewpoint on the internet in regards to a solution in off-grid applications.

Unfortunately, we do not have the freedom to visit all the websites that actually exist because our internet is extremely filtered
(90% is not allowed and labeled to us as the "black" and "dark" web and become data that is tucked away via "blacklists").

So cables will need to be inspected, tightened, and replaced from time to time, huh?

Tip #1:

Cut the corporate capitalist crappy connectors from those cables!

If a person were to spend 52cents, they would not likely be buying a Mazeratti.
More likely, the person spending 52cents is buying an item valued at 52cents.
This is not to say that spending more will yield more!
In 2018, it is unsafe to say that the highest prices in the marketplace will ensure the highest quality anything.

One thing is for certain though, those cable connectors sold at walmart, kmart, autozone, etc. are NOT for off-grid applications.
I've been dealing with those cables for over a decade;
Save yourself the headaches and potential power failures (and more!), trust me on this one, cut the cable terminals off, and install the brass connectors.
Springfield Battery Cable
This alternative to corporate-farmed cabling offers the convenience of nut and bolt, as opposed to one-time-use crimp and solder. This method allows for the adding of other connections at a later date, without having to purchase more hardware, and eliminates unnecessary labor.

The cost difference is shocking at first, but when you consider it is a once in your lifetime replacement (as opposed to replacing dangerously damaged cables every other year), coupled with the fact that the automotive capitalists designed cables to incorporate the cable into the connectors, rendering their cables not user-serviceable, and their connectors
not re-usable.


Brass connectors exhibit no sulfation! Why? I don't know why. Maybe if we were permitted to see the whole internet, that a site exists explaining the phenomenon... my tentative guess is that the average automobile is not pushing 60amps into a battery bank, as in the case of solar, wind, hydro, etc. *(referencing an average 48v input configuration)
I did not find this factoid on the Internet!
No more sulphuric mess, no more cable connectors dissolving in areas that are not visible to the naked eye, no more going back to the marketplace to replace the entire cable or connector because of deformity due to stretching, no more checking after weather extremes ... BRASS, with its tighten once design, equates to less maintenance and a more reliable connection.

To be totally honest with you, I didn't buy the brass connectors for any of the aforementioned reasons!

I had purchased the brass battery connectors as one that might purchase a chrome starter for their prized car.
The connectors were nothing more than "tricking out" the battery bank for show.


Several advantages converting to brass were noticed immediately; No sulfation was the bountiful harvest.

If the uncensored portion of the internet has left anyone else dis-amused and lacking when seeking truth (in any area), and when the internet communications controllers are askew in the shaping of the offering of internet data to further intelligence, the entire off-grid realm holds as the curbed model as evidence of the existence of a censored internet.
I'm just saying, having watched thousands of videos on the topic, and having read and perused thousands more websites on the topic, nowhere was this information concerning a more permanent solution to an inevitable problem found.


That's disturbing!


Along with cable connectors, ought to naturally come the cables themselves. Since the crappy cable connectors don't work well in an off-grid application (or safely for that matter), after changing the connectors, let's look at designing a better cable now.

Tip #2

Design your own Cable scheme

Making your own cabling is critical a pain in the asz.
You won't be accomplishing this with a pair of scissors so break out your sharpest blade, grinder, or precision cutoff saw; and after having chopped the connectors specified in Tip#1 above, clean off both ends, carry the wire to the battery bank, and get a measurement leaving a slight allowance for movement. Be careful while assessing your cut.


It's true, 12v electricity is eons safer than the grid electricity, however handling batteries unsafely can hurt or kill you.
Onward>>>
Below are a set of new batteries. The long wires seen in the photo are temporary as the new batteries have not been incorporated with the other batteries yet.

Springfield Offgrid Batteries

To clarify the necessary cuts, one cut for your SERIES connection and one for your PARALLEL.

A.) When cutting for series connections, make the cables as short and direct as possible. These particular series connections require no allowance for play as they are clear out of the way from the service cell caps, having play in the series connection would be of no good use, that I can think of.

B.) When cutting for parallel connections, make the cables go from the first connector, T H R O U G H to the farthest battery connector that your cable will reach. Less cuts equates to less energy loss and minimizes other potentially detrimental variables.  Seen below are cables that extend from first terminal to the third terminal (WITHOUT A CUT).  In other words the cable is continuous through the second terminal.
*photo coming soon

The argument for custom-cut cables isn't just an argument for safety's sake, or that it looks neater, or that the result are a more-efficient battery bank, but also you are gaining the least cost per lifetime by making your own cables.
Off-grid Battery Springfield Ohio
In our economically controlled societies, the pre-manufactured crappy cables are all cut one-size-fits-all (basically) which leads to critical problems. Anyone having to check the specific gravity of each cell in each battery, or adding distilled water or sulfuric acid to each cell in each battery, has encountered the tangled web the corporate crap creates. Cables are strewn seemingly everywhere no matter how well you try to loom them. The mess of cables causes confusion, is a proponent of potential accidents, causes phantom energy loss due to unnecessary length/distance, and simply looks bad.

Now notice the nice, neat, predictable cables you see in the photos shown below.
*Aside from the evident fact that I don't generally bother dusting the batteries ever (as opposed to the uncensored internet typically depicting batteries that are shiny and probably just for show, financed by the very entity seeking to gain advantage),  also notice that there isn't any acid build-up around the posts and connectors. It is patently impossible to clean the posts without disturbing the dust around the posts...so that's the excuse, i'm just waiting for the day when I have to clean the posts!


Springfield Offgrid BatteriesBrass connectors solved corrosion issue.Offgrid Batteries

Cutting tailored cable lengths allowed for reduced costs in cabling, less phantom energy loss, and a safer workspace.
Direct cable connection from one terminal to the next allows for quicker transference of power with least amount of heat loss (resistance due to excess length), and overshadows the problems caused by excess cable, whether it be at the battery bank or the distance from the battery bank to the end-user device or appliance.

So if the common marketplace only offers one size in battery cable thickness, and only one or two lengths, cutting it all down for tailored cuts meant nothing gets wasted.  If the next generation want thicker cables, let them finance it, these cables are getting recycled as-is ';-)).


Tip #3

Despite the myopic trend in our Nation right now, Think long-term


Thinking long-term is essential when building a one-time power plant that will outlive you and me.
Chances are likely that the next generation will not be that keen on how it all works. Consider your niece or grand-child coming to your off-grid edifice, would you feel safe having her around your power plant by herself? If not, fix it as if you were dying tomorrow!

Long-term, as in longer than just your existence, ought to be the goal.

The title to this tip wavered between: Thinking in Terms of Longevity and the alternate title: Never Throw Anything Away unless it's truly trash.

Since I generally am cash-poor, larger cables were not feasible. However making the most of what I had ensured a great savings in not needing to purchase more cabling to accomplish the new cabling scheme (in other words, I didn't throw away any of the old cables simply because they had become unusable due to corrosion).

This would be a good time to clarify, my garbage is not like most people's garbage. My garbage does not smell and attracts no living matter.

When seeking to live off-grid, garbage is a problem turned into a solution.

Q: So if I don't have a regular garbage pickup, where's my garbage?
A: Glad you asked. As it turns out, it's easy to make less garbage. Firstly, let's define garbage in an on-grid situation vs garbage in an off-grid application.

In an on-grid situation, your trash is trash that could be recycled, however the difficulty in finding the means to purpose it are limited (especially if you live in the cities or apartments).  And furthermore, even if you were able to recycle your trash, it is for another entity that you toil.  The term recycle is defined as re-using a commodity or other material for another purpose.  Recycle is NOT defined as making some other entity fat with your donation (that will later turn around and raise their prices for their product with no thought to your donations).  Typically though, trash in an on-grid situation cannot be separated for recycling, and therefore becomes trash.

However, in an off-grid situation, your trash is immediately a commodity. Recycling is automatic, unless you are cash-flush.

Explained further, garbage basically consists of plant by-products, glass, metals, and styros.

Let's talk trash.
1.) Paper or cardboard.

Since I heat and cook with wood, that garbage is kindling and a necessary commodity (especially in the winter time). So with the elimination of paper, wood, and cardboards from the garbage, instantly transforms my garbage to be less garbage than the next person.

2.) Table scraps
, vegetable and fruit processing scrap, etc., ends up in a sealed compost container and ultimately incorporated into the garden.  The results are phenomenal when incorporated into the garden. As it turns out the soil is starving for nutrition (so likewise when I die, I'd prefer NOT to be simply burned up so that you have to breathe that crap, but I also would prefer NOT to be buried in a box.  It gets no more selfish even unto death when your body has all the nutrients that could replenish your dying planet...just a thought).
So that eliminates table scraps and other plant-matter from my garbage, which is usually where garbage odors originate from.

3.) Steel and other metals
are re-used in all sorts of varied projects.
When there is too much accumulated metals, one phone call makes it all go away (search location: craigslist; search term: metal scrapper). Donating also helps the community by giving the excess to the starving scrappers.

4.) Glass products
are reused in canning, storage, or used as drinking glasses.
Very little glass ends up in the garbage until it results in breakage.

5.) Plastics and styros.

You found MY GARBAGE!!
On average, I'd say there's one bag per month that is carried out to the sealed dumpster (a 40foot bus).

However, even styrofoams have come in handy this winter for temporarily insulating the garage openings shielding me from the bitter cold that is outside right now. (12degrees outside; 84 degrees inside! ";-)

So the useless plastics are garbage, and bagged up.

There are no odors because there's no food-matter left in the garbage. No critters will find sustenance from my garbage.

I state the long-winded aforementioned to curtail the more judgmental among us, that might just assume something incorrectly, and lose the message for the wrongful assumption.  Hello Codes Department.

In short, Think long-term in more than just your garbage, cables, sustenance, energy, etc. Remember you are going to get old;  You are going to get forgetful;  You are going to get error-prone, it's inevitable (if you even live that long).

And as luck would have it, there's not always a clear indication when you begin to decompose while you still live.  We can't necessarily dictate to our minds that we would prefer to be the kind elderly person and not the pervert....it just happens.  A little forgetfulness, then another day and it becomes a little frustration...and bam, before you know it you're finding yourself talking to inanimate objects!
Whatsoever you do, do unto the next generation, your family tree, your neighbor (not for yourself...the initial investment in solar rarely sees a monetary return in an off-grid scenario.   For the next generation, it is nothing BUT profit!

REMEMBER, IT'S THE NEXT GENERATION that is important, BUY TESTED AND TRUE PRODUCTS (and if you can't afford it, then God probably didn't want you to have it anyway.  What now?  Rebel against God and get the plastic version instead?).   Your death should leave something of substance that will get you remembered, the artifacts of which may be used for generations to come (as opposed to the useless idols and graven images we may accumulate, commonly referred to as trinkets.  Tools of old, for instance, are able to be used to this day.  The cheaper made modern-day tools will rarely survive even our own existence let alone the next.  Buying plastic crap leaves plastic crap.  The owner of whom left the following generation to pay to move the crap to the dump, or have a somewhat embarrassing garage sale in the hopes that someone will buy the plastic crap).

What you choose to leave behind determines your character, your foresight, and more.   Getting old is no new science.    Look around.   No old people?    Fewer old people this year?  Unless you're eyes are diminished by the "statistics" brought to you by others, It appears that death is ever-present with the increase of capitalist crap.

Fluoride in "public" water supplies, genetically "modified" foods, nuclear plants within 30 miles of your home and more contribute to the increase in cancers and early termination of the humans and other wild life.


Since we age, and are prone to forgetfulness, better get some sensors to help you out.

The modern-day old people may be dying prematurely of heart attacks when their forgetfulness to turn off various electric appliances and the electric monopoly require payment for their forgetfulness.   Incorporating sensors tends to the menial tasks.

Much around me is automated, lights, pumps, cameras.

If there's no movement for a specified period of time, electrical connections are disconnected automatically (until there's motion again). So lights and various other electronics automatically turn off when I leave the building or pass out for a few hours. This may not seem like much until you try to live off a battery in the Ohio wintertime!

So, Automation is key, and allows for the long-term life of your battery bank.

Tip #4

Warm Batteries are happy batteries.

Having come from Florida to Ohio,  it's been more difficult a task than anticipated.  I just presumed that I could pick up my solar panels and batteries and find the same production results regardless of where the system might be found. 

Not so.  Enter Ohio's less sun and less wind.

Not only was there a need for MORE solar panels and MORE wire and MORE batteries and MORE charge controllers (ad infinitum and nauseaum), but there was also the revelation that the power bank is variable due to the temperature changes!
To make up for less sun, for instance, it was necessary to install more panels to capture the ambient light to equal enough to replenish the batteries.   Also, in Florida I could safely leave the battery banks outside; Not so in the colder climates of Ohio.

During the first couple of years in Ohio, I was not able to do anything with the solar panels and batteries, and then when I became able,  codes restrictions were a new obstacle I had not encountered before.

Other new problems were popping up, like who knew snow would just completely cover the solar panels, and then just sit there!?

Who knew that extreme cold would cause a lull in power supplied by the batteries in inclement weather?

For the past 2 or 3 winters, depending on whom you're relying on for information, I've been living within 3 feet of the battery banks here. There are battery banks on 3 of the 4 walls of this 3-car garage and separated into Five battery banks in this building as of Mar. 22 2018.   Each bank of batteries possesses their own panels, loads, and charge controllers. Being in close proximately has allowed an increased learning of batteries, in general.

The following TIP is actually found on the internet (but you'll really need to look for it even if you tailor your search in the off-grid websites).

This is where common sense ought to have kicked in, cold batteries are bad for tractors and cars, too.

Offgrid Batteries
So in closing, give thought to place your battery banks where the temperature is somewhat controlled year-round. The data and energy gleaned from the charge controller will be easier to understand, predict, and aid in planning for the inevitable completion of your single-generation power plant production.

The Batteries will need to be planned for long-term (unless you're wealthy and can afford to replace them every 3-5 years).


Tip #5

Fuses are for Automobiles.

Breakers are for AC electricity.

If you don't have them, don't panic.

I have NEVER used any fuses whatsoever...until I came to Ohio.
I'll explain why I have fuse boxes now, whereas my more than 5 years (10 years?) prior to coming to Ohio, I have never used fuses, or needed them.

When I came to this location, I was confronted almost immediately by the codes enforcer and told an investigation would ensue. Audio:    .mp3    .wav   
.avi    .flv    .mp4   
So, moreso out of fear (of those we finance), I installed fuse boxes and quick disconnects (fused-disconnects, also), just in case.

But in reality, the codes department is hindering discoveries.

The truth of the matter is, I have ALWAYS simply connected to my 12v battery just as you would always Not put a fuse between your flashlight's battery and the bulb!  What's the difference?  Nada.   My lights are battery operated just as your flashlight.

Stable battery power, safe, rechargeable (and not needing all the ridiculous superfluous components that go into AC devices and electricity).

To clarify, when "batteries" are referenced herein, we are not discussing automotive batteries with their paltry plates and violently high ca and cca (cranking amps/cold-cranking amps).

In contrast, when you have erratic electricity (such as in the manner of codes-approved 110v and 220v outrageously dangerous electricity that runs throughout your home), it's then that you need breakers (fuses).  However breakers and fuses don't seem to always work anyway, do they?  *ever lose a computer or television due to electrical issues?  In an off-grid battery powered environment, it takes a hammer to terminate the electronics. In an on-grid scenario, it works one day and just doesn't the next ensuring that our precious materialistic crap surely will not last into the next generation.

1.) 12v is relevantly safe. However, it is not advisable to hold your tongue up to a 12v battery as you might with a 9v square battery.

The volts are safe, the amps can potentially kill you (depending on what type of 12v battery you are experimenting with).

110v and 220v in contrast have killed people around the globe every year, whether it be due to electrical shock, fires, power outages *(medications that need to remain frigid), etc.

When was the last time you ever heard of tragedies caused by a 9v battery or a 12v battery?  That's right, probably never.  I'm not saying something can't happen without fuses, it just hasn't ever for me.

2.) 12v battery power is stable.  Deep-cycle Batteries are stable, and only unless it were purposeful, the energy from batteries never spike (we can't possibly state that about the nation's forced 110v ac electricity.  We have ALL been victims of the power spikes and outages).

3.) 12v Does not create fires. However, we A L L have witnessed the fires from the forced 110v ac electrical grid.   A free country ought to practice what it preaches and become the model nation for the rest of the world to emulate.  Give us a free choice, for starters.

4.) Scams.   Enron-type profiteering/racketeering scandals never happen when you own your own power plant (battery bank).
You aren't going to over charge yourself next year....you aren't going to swindle yourself the year after that....You aren't going to "pull" building #7 at the world trade center embarrassments to destroy the evidence against yourself the year after that.

Fuses are unnecessary in battery power (unless you are in a moving vehicle).  You DO need fuses in an automobile due to the function of an automobile battery, its manner of recharging, and other variables that affect stability.

The point is, 12v is virtually harmless. Nobody has ever died touching both opposite terminals of a 12v battery at the same time (just as its harmless to do so with a 9v battery).

However 220v and 110v monopoly electricity probably will send you off to the hospital if you touched both terminals at their power plant, or you could die, or at very least touching both terminals of that dangerous AC electricity will have you re-think whether or not you ever want to do that again.  Touch both poles of 110v or 220v at the source, and it could very well be a wraps for the rest of the day for you.

In contrast, I've yet to see a codes inspector worry about the existence of a breaker box in the house that runs the dangerous 110v and 220v electricity. He has NEVER been concerned to inspect ("investigate") since the first profit was "made" in the form of a building fee when the house was built in 1940. Why do you suppose that is? When once we had elected officials, has become selected CEO's/Public Relations buffer entities instigated by the upper ecshelon, the "power-elite" (ie. haliburton/cheney; harkin energy/bush, trickle down etc.).

So, do I profess that fuses are paramount to your survival in quickly getting an off-grid system up and operational?
Nope, Sorry.
I'm not going to lie, you're probably just throwing your money to others needlessly, when in fact that money could be better devoted toward your next solar panel or battery.

If you're going to outlaw my 12v battery being used in a stable off-grid manner, then shouldn't one first be concerned in outlawing the automobile that has killed millions?
The autmobile battery is in an
unstable environment, when placed in a moving vehicle.

Tip #6

Micro VS Macro - ?   Hint:  >- Micro battery banks are the answer<-

My findings in more than a decade of experiments show that the mainstream battery bank is simply not the answer.

It's also potentially dangerous.

There is a better way.

Once upon a time, I followed all the advice I could get my hands on concerning solar, wind, batteries, controllers, inverters, the science of wire distance/drop, ad infinitum and nauseaum. So just like EVERYBODY else, with only one view that regurgitates itself all over the internet, I built that large battery bank. This did NOT work for me.

I tried 12v banks, 24v banks, and 48v banks. I tried using different gauge wire, building a couple of solar trackers, and more.
Still,  garbage results.

Here's what works. In the same instance that you would never park the battery to your flashlight at the other end of the house, is the same reason I'll give toward credence that micro is preferable over macro battery banks.

Springfield Micro-Battery Bank of Ohio
Micro-battery banks work better because they're basically item-specific!  The lessened number of appliances and task-oriented hardware ensures a healthy battery in time of unexpected need.

The first micro battery bank made here was by accident. After moving a bank of batteries that no longer were expected to be needed, I became busy with other projects. Having left two solitary 6v batteries in series created a solitary 12volt "battery",  also left were only two lights connected to the battery (12v 16.5' strip lights).   I was pleasantly surprised that weeks later,  the single battery (6v x 2 = 12v) was looking pretty damn good (unlike the other battery banks which were much larger yet by morning were leaning to the 12.2v mark). Having the lights and solitary battery had suddenly become appreciated because I needed light within the location at the time.

So I left that bank and those lights alone (figuring I'd get to them when time permitted).

That bank has been running for years now without ever a hitch!

Consider those micro battery banks as your insurance.   If ever needed, it's an easy task to pool your resources, and if that day should arrive, you know your batteries will be healthy and fully charged due to their load being light (no pun intended).

The voltage following each night at that first micro battery bank is the highest of all the other battery banks when checked pre-dawn. Whereas the other battery banks range around 12.3v or 12.2v or 12.4v (under loads) by dawn.

When a battery bank can go a week without sun or other power input, that's a "done" battery bank, now leave it alone and go build another one.

When you finally get to the point where that load amply takes care of itself, walk away.

It is better to have a fully charged battery that is barely used,
than to have a battery over-used and short-lived.


Whereas a large battery bank, although still leaps and bounds safer than the monopoly's AC electricity, having been transformed into smaller micro battery banks, just made battery power even safer.

Imagine this scenario: 
You have an impressive power bank supplying energy to all the appliances in your home.   Nice.
However, if one solitary cell should go bad in that power bank, your entire house is thrown in an unreliable state.
Let's say for instance that one of your appliances, a large inverter for example, went bad due to having a short.   That solitary short can potentially affect your entire bank's energy, hence your entire home's energy.

Whereas a micro battery bank is easier to troubleshoot, remedy, and it doesn't take down your entire home!

If one of my battery banks ever incurs some unforeseen problem, it shouldn't require a great undertaking to not only identify early on (before the damage), but also, in a pinch I can always jump the load to another battery bank while the problem is figured out.

Tip #7

Battery Gas?


Question:

Batteries are noted for what type of gas?


a.) Sulfuric
b.) Hydrochloride
c.) Helium
d.) Nitrogen
e.) Fluorine
f.) Peptic



Your Answer Here: ____________________


Hint:  The question is loaded.  "Hydrogen" gas is not even a choice in the question above. Furthermore, not all of the choices were gases at all.  We all have heard of the "dangers" of hydrogen gas, which can be emitted from a battery usually when in the charge state.   I don't know what batteries those testers and teachers were using to plant this fear-factor, but I'm assuming it's not the type of batteries I've been living with for over a decade.

Suffice to say, the hydrogen-scare, like fuses, might be over-rated and not applicable in any industry that I can think of (that uses batteries, such as, everything....find me a person that blew up due to smoking over a battery and I'll eat worms, for instance).


Example:
On the net is a website that advocates putting a DC 2-wire wind generator through a blocking diode and directly into the equally rated battery bank.  This did not work at all for me so I don't advocate it.  But
where was my bomb?
As it turned out, t
he 48v wind generator melted the lead connector of one of the battery cables.  The molten metal created a perfect dime-sized hole completely through the top of the battery!
Apparently the wind generator that kicks up into the high 80's in voltage was enough to cause lead to melt, but the battery didn't create enough hydrogen to cause any noticeable damage.   (*in fact that battery worked fine for months after with just a piece of electrical tape covering the hole).   Later the battery was given in exchange for reducing the "core charge" extortion unapportioned tax/fee.

But where was my bomb!?   Doesn't our programming tell us of the dangers of hydrogen gas from batteries ?


Ahhh....but when INDUSTRY has an accident, media PROGRAMMING is quick to flip the script and sell us on how safe it is (oddly enough our military was sold similarly on a slightly maligned statement concerning radiation..."sure you're hair will fall out, but it will grow back...."...phhhtt....).

Suddenly it's all safe (for that week in your mind):
http://www.powermag.com/lessons-learned-from-a-hydrogen-explosion/
All of a sudden "our" corporate media PROGRAMMING quickly jumps into action to assure the exposed public the exact opposite, stating:
"Toxicity/Poison Hydrogen is nontoxic and nonpoisonous. It will not contaminate groundwater (it’s a gas under normal atmospheric conditions), nor will a release of hydrogen contribute to atmospheric pollution. Hydrogen does not create fumes."  (day is night, black is white, blah blah blah)


Now let's discuss what we NEVER get to hear about, the OTHER gas that a battery creates.
Do you know what that other gas is?

Probably not.

It's OXYGEN.

Why do you suppose that we've ALL heard only of one component that a battery creates? Hydrogen.
Why would it not be equally important to mention that a battery creates another gas? PURE oxygen.
I'm not saying I'd bottle the stuff up and save it for when I'm on the common respirator, but it sure seems like a rather important gas to forget mentioning.

Considering the fact that I smoke like a chimney, and have had a firewood stove that pretty much stays lit year-round and located within 3 feet of one of the battery banks (6 batteries, presently), apparently the hydrogen scare is extremely over-rated as I'm also within three feet of both the firewood stove and the closest battery bank.

Here's how it was explained to me as to why it's almost impossible to blow up.
 
Hydrogen is lighter than oxygen, and lighter than other gases that we breathe.
If hydrogen escapes the battery and you are standing over the battery, that hydrogen zips past you at a rate of (fast).
But even in a somewhat controlled test environment, when collecting the hydrogen in such a way as to re-direct that hydrogen through a small plastic hose,  lighting the other end creates a flame that is barely able to be kept lit.

***Just another reason against macro battery banks !



Tip #8

Automation - Do it before you lose it

Humans are forgetful, easily distracted, and other things too.
When building your power house, use photo-sensors, motion-sensors, timed-switches, etc.

The "lights", for instance, are the easiest items to automate.  virtually all of the lighting in this building turn on and off by themselves.   If the lights sense no activity (for whatever period I pre-determine in the configuration, usually five minutes), they simply "know" to turn themselves off.

You are going to get old (hopefully), and forgetful (probably), and therefore some safeguards in addition to switches and sensors should be amply considered. 
 Fool-proof and maintenance-free is the Goal.

Tip #9

Consider DC to DC;  as opposed to DC to AC to DC

Alternative title: No Inverters Allowed

If you are on a budget, DC to DC is the answer. Many Get their panels and batteries then plug in a large inverter that pulls the voltage created by the batteries up to 110v.

Using a large inverter to handle your entire life's electricity consumption is blindly having faith that the inverter will never break down.
If you simply must have inverters, at least use a bunch of smaller, cheaper units (the larger ones are outrageously priced and putting all your energy requirements into one inverter is risky). Similar to the advice to choose micro battery banks over macro, so ought to be your mindset toward inverters. If a micro-inverter ever goes down, simply piggy back to another inverter that is still working. voilà, mom lives!

The loss of a micro-inverter doesn't break a budget to replace.

Whenever possible,  DC TO DC without the phantom
DC to DC is tantamount to zero phantom loss (not counting distances or mis-wire-sizing). Why would you want to charge a battery bank at one voltage, then step the voltage all the way up to 110v, only to have it step-down to the exact voltage you started with?

If it's a 12v appliance that you are needing to power, simply remove the step-down converter, split the wires and voilà....no more potential problems of a step-down converter going bad on you.

Converting electricity from one extreme to the other is needless loss.

Tip #10 - Don't Molest Batteries, ReAp them!

 
Here comes stupid trial and error experience, Ready?

If you have a battery bank that has a high ah (amp-hour) capacity and add a lower ah battery in parallel, the lower ah battery will eventually die from overcharging and the larger battery bank that it was charging from will become damaged because of never being permitted to fully charge.

Luckily I caught the error as it was occurring (about a week before figuring it out) and not too much damage was done.

It is verifiably better to keep all the batteries in your particular banks the same.
  So if your first battery is stamped with 235ah, then so ought to be every other battery in that particular bank be likewise.

Problem Batteries?
Here's how to bring those fat-plate batteries back to life again.
I made these videos in 2012 (youtube tucks them away pretty good though so I think I may be the only one that's ever viewed these...well, other than you).

WARNING: Back then I didn't know how to edit the videos expediently so therefore the videos have room for improvement, no doubt.   Only watch if you must.   ***The caps being installed on the batteries are NOT the stock caps, they are owner-provided self-watering caps.
 


Part One
 
***The old coot that I did the work for "on these exact same batteries" had pulled a fast-one on me and either brought different batteries that were also dead stating they were the same batteries he brought in to me only a couple of months earlier, or he had damaged them himself.  As shown by the specific gravity test, there was zero positive solution.  Evenso, this time he had brought the batties with something new attached to the batteries, a self-watering system which was not attached the first time he brought the batteries in.  So It was apparent that he either brought in different batteries or he learned the hard way on how to operate those self-waterers in some way, perhaps inadvertently flushing the acid right out of the batteries. 

Part Two

**At point 12:01 in the video you hear me mis-term by stating there weould be a 2v charge applied to the batteries overnight, I mean to say 2amp, not 2volt.



Fact is though,  we need to take care of our old coots because someday we might be one of those, too.   Even if what the old coot did was wrong, he will not live forever, in fact he's probably already dead as I write this.  I'm of the persuasion that for each moment you or I still have a heartbeat, is sheer luck.  Any moment now one of us will die.  Losing "time" or some materialistic thing such as a couple of containers of sulfuric acid that was purchased is a small thing.  If there's a God, is he/she/it  such a weakling that it could not replace the loss if it were requisite of some greater scheme of fate?

There, so now it's God's problem!

Part Three
*Used was a laptop to take the video, so this is a video of a lot of stuff that is not in focus.







The following notes are offered freely (or if somebody wants to finance the project, I'm all ears):

These notes are not going to solve world-hunger or wipe out cancers, but it's something more than nothing, and it's high-tide we American's started producing something of world-value (other than our present only production, bombs, bullets, wars, poisons, etc.). 


NOTES
1.) Batteries are comprised of a limited number of properties that emit other properties.   Batteries are solution (acid) that emit gas (hydrogen and oxygen).  There are some plates inside of the battery enclosures. The plastic enclosures hold the solution and plates inside.    That's it, right?  That's all there is to a battery.
2.) If batteries can convert the liquid acid into a couple of gases, then it ought to be conceivable that we can collect both gases and turn it right back into liquid, right?
3.) Despite the fact that I believe the modern-day battery is not using the ideal plates, the modern-day battery is still the prototype in which to improve upon unless further financing were made available.  Why are there no videos or websites showing any experiements in this area?  It's as if we were marketed a battery, and everybody just went to sleep cataloging it as the end-all-be-all.
4.) Since the battery spews pure oxygen, can this gas not be collected to be used in an effort to reduce the cost of respiratory systems to our elderly, or be put to some other good use?  Why should this be an expensive undertaking?
5.) Since the battery spews hydrogen gas, and since hydrogen gas is flamable, is it not easily conceivable that we might make an affordable collector for a portable tank to collect the gas for use in heating, cooking, or other means?
6.) How does plastics interact with the battery acid under charge conditions and when do the properties interact and breakdown?   Is plastics the best material we can utilize for a battery enclosure?  When plastics become warm, do they not alter composition somewhat and spew some foreign property into the battery solution forming unwanted debris?
7.)  Anyone that's ever had deep-cycle batteries knows of the long-term effects of the plastics, the batteries become deformed and bulged and potentially become problematic due to leakage.  Surely there must be something more durable than plastic.  Under a fire condition, plastic is napalm.
8.) The earth has a charge.  Is there a means to use the earth in some way to safely become a stable extension to the battery?

I'll stop back to add more to this later.


THIS CONCLUDES THE BATTERIES PAGE


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