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Tip 4 Off-Grid Battery Bank Topic:Batteries

2803 Troy Road Off-grid Battery Bank Tip 4 Photo.

Tip #4 Warm Batteries are happy Batteries

Tip #4 Warm Batteries are Happy Batteries. Take Two

Having come from Florida to Ohio, it's been more difficult a task than anticipated to setup an off-grid system in the variable climate zone.

Presuming that I could pick up my solar panels and batteries leaving Florida, and find the same results in production in Ohio, has been a learning experience (to say the least).

Enter Ohio's less sun and less wind.

It is oftentimes stated all over the internet that solar panels produce better in the winter time than in the summer, and that the batteries perform better when placed in a moderately controlled environment year-round. I heard the first part but somehow missed the last part. Again my glee turned to glum.

Not only was there a need for MORE solar panels,

and MORE wire,

and MORE batteries,

and more connectors,

and more cabling,

and MORE charge controllers,

and MORE labor,

and MORE codes stipulations, ad infinitum and nauseaum,

but 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!

To make up for less sun for instance, it was necessary to install more solar panels to capture the ambient light to equal enough energy to replenish the batteries.

Whereas in Florida I could safely leave the battery banks outside, not-so with the unpredictable 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 never encountered before (and now we are learning through the tele-vision programming that Florida and a few other 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

Springfield Ohio Snow on Solar Panels

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

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 close proximity also has shown my errors in proclaiming (formerly) wrongly in reference to battery-power.

For instance, even in this present-day prose I still advocate at least one (or more) battery banks to be comprised in the fashion of a 12v system. 12v loads without the need for an inverter, connected directly to the source, have advantages.

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 take a 12v battery bank, step it up to 110v, only to step the voltage all the way back down to the very voltage you started with.

However, my staunch claim that "go 12v or die" wanes as nowadays I see there is definitely room for a 48v battery bank (even if it requires an additional piece of hardware.

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

And since the solar array is 48v, and the charge controller and battery bank are 48v, the need to purchased a 48v inverter arised.

Springfield Ohio Snow on Solar Panels

Springfield Ohio Snow on Solar Panels

There are presently 36qty 100watt solar panels and a 48v wind-generator funneling energy into the two 150w 60amp mppt charge controllers.

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.

p.s. The following battery is perfect and honestly being set up for sale if anyone is interested. It is a huge 12v battery with 185ah of energy and is not defective by any means.

Side Note Concerning Choice of Batteries

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