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Tip 4 Off-Grid Battery Bank Topic:Batteries

2803 Troy Road Off-grid Battery Bank

Tip #4 Warm Batteries are happy Batteries



Having come from Florida to Ohio has been a difficult transition.

When I left Florida, I had presumed that I could just place the solar panels and batteries in any other State and find the same results in production.

Enter Ohio's less sun and less wind.

Not only was there a need for MORE solar panels to catch the ambient light of Ohio, but also more wire, more batteries, more connectors, and more cabling, more charge controllers, more labor, but along came more codes stipulations.

To compensate for the lack of sun and wind, there was also the revelation that the power bank is variable due to the extreme temperature changes from season to season!

Whereas in Florida I could safely leave the battery banks outside, not-so with the unpredictable climates of Ohio.

Codes restrictions were a new obstacle I had never encountered before (and now we are learning through the tele-vision programming that a few States have passed a "SUN TAX", no joke).

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

Springfield Ohio Snow on Solar Panels

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

For the past 2 to 5 Ohio 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 comprised into Five battery banks in this building as of Mar. 22 2018. Each bank of batteries possesses their own solar panels, loads, and charge controllers. Being in close proximately has allowed an increase in learning of batteries in general, and has allowed for some level of creative testing.

Being in such close proximity to the battery banks has increased my understanding of renewable battery power.

Although I still advocate that there be at least one 12v battery bank, powering 12v loads without the need for an inverter, the need for a larger voltage has proved to be necessary.

Since most of items in any given home are 12v, or as in the case of laptop computers 15v-20v, it makes little sense to use an additional device (inverter) to step-up a 12v battery bank to 110v, only to step the voltage all the way back down to the very voltage you started with.

In retrospect, I am not sure how I ever survived without a 48v battery bank!

Springfield Ohio Snow on Solar Panels Snow on Solar Panels
Battery Bank

Springfield Ohio Snow on Solar Panels

There are presently 36qty 100watt solar panels and a 48v wind-generator funneling energy into two of the five 150w 60amp mppt charge controllers (I think there's about 70 panels now).

The 48v inverter allows me to perform functions I hadn't formerly the privilege to enjoy, such as doing laundry at night.

The effects of varying temperatures upon batteries, wire, solar panels, inverters, controllers, etc., probably should have been common knowledge to me. It wasn't.

Common knowledge would know that cold batteries are a problem to all vehicles, cold batteries will prevent an automobile from starting so naturally it would follow suit that energy fails by extreme temperatures.

So in closing, give some thought to place your battery banks where the temperatures are somewhat controlled year-round.

If you are located in Florida, perhaps under a shade tree, if in Ohio perhaps your bedroom!

With somewhat controlled temperatures, the data and energy gleaned from the charge controller will be easier to understand, with more predictability supplying a volume of presumed energy year-round, and aid in battery bank longetivity.


Side Note Concerning Choice of Batteries





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