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1.) Build your battery banks (plural) where power is needed.
On the Internet they show many videos and documents that depict a large battery bank to supply an edifice electricity.
On face value, yeah this would appear to be a normal assumption because we've been trained from birth with AC electricity and the fact that their electricity comes into the home through a centralized main into the fuse box. That's our world in modern societies.
HOWEVER, it's been my experience that this is a total waste
of time and unduly expensive offering less yeild than building
micro-battery banks. Micro-plants, if you will.
When you grab a flashlight, it has batteries in it that allow you to
travel around somewhat freely. The power source is in your
flashlight. You are carrying your battery bank around with
you to receive that light. You do not leave the batteries
to the flashlight in the garage and walk out into the night holding a
flashlight with a long wire to the batteries. Now
imagine if we use the
scenario offered by the internet? Now you have a long
reach to the power source....it could be clear at the other end of the
house. When I started out, I did just as the internet solar
gurus advised. I spent a fortune to be starving for power
at night. The problem with a central battery bank
(like a centralized government) is the price of convenience.
Long spans of wire cause
voltage loss. Try this experiment in your spare time:
Grab a 9v battery, check and note the voltage to the
1/10th. Now select the fattest, longest wire you can safely
connect to that 9v battery and then check the voltage at the other end
of those wires. It's lower. You might assume
an inconsequential loss but you'd be myopic in your
thinking. The convenience of a centralized battery bank to
convert a home's electricity is an illusion. Put a
load on the end of that wire and now the loss is compounded by how many
volts have to travel to bring amps to power the load (in other words,
voltage drops from 12.4v to 12.2v when tested without a load, it means
that there is loss
right off the bat and when a load that requires more energy than the
wire is capable of delivering, your wire gets warm...warm wires are
lost energy. Transference loss.
It is better to build micro-battery banks for a number of
reasons. For instance, I have a few lights at the other end
of this large garage. Rather than spend a hypothetical
$1.00 to get the amps needed to power the lights from here to the other
end of the garage; or I could rather choose to put the bank of
batteries at the other end thereby only spending a hypothetical $0.25
to power the same strip of lights. Presently I have
only three battery banks. However if age wasn't so gaining
on me, there'd be 6. Aside from eliminating that wire
loss (thereby increasing your potential yield and duration), there's
also the money savings issue. Let's talk money.
When you venture off to conquer some project, bringing your home
off-grid for instance, you know it will cost $$$$$ to do
so. You don't have that money, in comes the
despair. But what if you have right now $ of the
$$$$$? That's right, micro. The benefit
of a micro battery bank is it's versatility (move it easily to wherever
you might need the power). Today your micro battery bank might
be in the bedroom to handle the lights only, whereas tomorrow you
decide to move into the basement and transfer the small battery bank
(flashlight) with you! Small battery banks are much
easier and safer to manage. Since you don't have the
$$$$$ to cover your home with solar and take it off-grid, start with
the $ you do have. A micro battery bank makes the
hurdles not so high. Lights conquered today with one
battery bank is one-step closer to tomorrow's micro-battery bank (the
computer or dvr or water pump, etc.). Micro
battery banks are safer. Here's an example of the potential
danger in dragging electricity from a central location: One
time I was centralized. I spread wire in a virtual railroad
track all around the building in every room. Now all those
lines were energized, hence loss. Regardless of whether I
used that electricity or not, It still required a draw from the battery
banks to keep those wires energized. So one day I went into
the room I used the most (the furthest point one could go from the
centralized battery bank) and was shocked to the smell of something
burning. I saw anamolies such as some lights were no
longer on, a monitor was off, holy crack bare
wires!!! The problem with a centralized bank of
batteries is that wire size is SO CRITICAL when your batteries are
centralized. Whereas a micro battery bank is a few feet
from the source of power, a micro battery bank is more
direct. I'll stop back to add reasons to this section in
addition to those already mentioned, but I need to touch basis on
something else before it's forgotten...
2.) Don't use automotive connectors.
The industry in a capitalist state at its onset is flush with fine improved products and services. However in a declining economy (https://usdebtclock.org/world-debt-clock.html) it's the reverse. Now to save a buck means buying cheaper ingredients to make your food, within a declining economy it's the cheap lead in your hand tools or dangerous tested and untested monsanto in your backyard. The same goes with the automotive industry, just as all other industries it too offers cheap crack to the consumer (first and foremost). In order to obtain something better that is not in their stock you must first know to ask for that special ordered item. I'm referring to the battery terminal connectors. Brass connectors are not cheap by any means. Overall, I pay about $5.00 per a set of two. My battery banks are all 12v so taking a set of two 6v batteries wired in series equates to $5.00 investment. But when the battery bank needs more duration of power, now the expense is magnified. I have a battery bank about 3feet from me now. There are 6 batteries and each are 6v. So after connecting two batteries in series to reach 12v (thereby making one battery), the other two (four) batteries are connected in parallel. The cost on that is about $60.00 JUST IN THE post
connectors! That's not including the
wire! However, let's look at the common contrasted
offer at the monopoly stores, automotive connectors. I want to
say those things are made of lead but I am actually not sure, all I
know is the metal is super soft compared to brass. Unlike
brass, common battery connectors are maleable. Anyone
working on batteries has experienced once or twice the terminals simply
tearing (as if ripped). We've also seen those connectors
stretch (did you ever need to place screws or other nonsense between
the post and terminal just to keep a solid connection to the energy in
the battery?). Here's a jewel you'll not find on the
net, buy brass, make your own cables, end of story.
The OTHER cables (whether purchase through autozone or walmart) will be
replace over and over and over. Like everything a declining
capitalist state offers, those cables carry a short shelf-life, which
in turn equates to residual future income to the entities that are
"forward thinking". Brass connectors not only last (I
can't finish this sentence because I've not had one become defective
yet), but also I've noticed that there is no longer a designated clean
up of the sulfation at the terminals! Whereas the corporate
crack offered at the stores would require my twice or thrice periodic
cleaning of the sulfation, brass gives me that time to my life
back. Since I don't have to clean sulfation anymore,
it means it's safer. Now I'm not needing to move around
wires with a tool to clean those terminals and posts using
brass. One more potential accident is removed from my life
using brass. So far no repeat trips to the store to buy
replacement connectors, hence no additional transportation costs are
future surprises. Trust me, there's other things I've
noticed about these brass connectors but need to move on to my next tip
before that one is forgotten.
3.) Cut your own wire.
It's a pain, but do it.
Whereas the corporate crack offered at the stores are pre-cut either
being too short or too long (NEVER just the right length because a
micro-battery bank is not an automotive battery). Some battery
banks are stacked, some are inline to form the ending voltage whereas
mine are side-by-side. By designing your own cables you
eliminate waste. I generally will take one of those dozens
of defective automotive cables that I have in a file cabinet, and cut
the length to connect three batteries in parallel. In other
words, I don't cut to connect two wires on the parallel, it's one wire
that goes continuously through. The brass connectors
have enough thread left on the bolts to allow for this method better
than having two wires. By eliminating the length of your
wire from one battery to the next adds to the ability to quickly
deliver energy when it's required suddenly and
quickly. Without the ridiculous excess of corporate
automotive wires I now have safer battery banks to be
around. Tools no longer get hung up on the loops of wire
because by cutting your own the wire is tight to the battery tops (as
opposed to looping up above the battery bank). In essence,
I turn one salvaged wire length (after cutting their crackpy connectors
off) that would ordinarily connect one battery to the other, into three
batteries connected without any additional cuts). No cuts means
less loss, less accidents and short circuits. Cutting your
own wire is versatile. Cut what you need, no
looming, no working around this wire and that when checking specific
gravity in your battery cells, etc.
4.) Purchase only
I'll get to this one soon, rest assured there's
a mountain of reasons you want wet-cell over sealed
batteries. Time to eat, shower, etc.
5.) Go DC. End of story. Cut the wall wart!
Recently I had a bad month; no sun, just dark and rainy (matter of fact, I'm in it now). So having little sun and not enough wind has left the battery banks with some rather deep sighs (low voltage draws). Aside from turning off everything that is not entirely essential, there's little else you can do other than relax and wait for the sun to come back into vogue.
However one of the battery banks was drawn exceptionally
low. I couldn't figure out why since almost everything
other than the server and modem/router and a few lights and whatnot
were all that were left on, everything else had been disconnected
pending sunnier days. I checked each battery's cells
for specific gravity and all looked fine but the bank didn't seem to be
taking a charge as it should. It was decided that one by one the
remaining items would be removed to another battery bank and that the
problem must be located.
AS IT TURNS OUT, the batteries were NOT the problem.
One of my prized pure sine-wave inverters appeared to be sucking
power. Following its removal from the batteries, the
batteries almost instantly sprung back to life.
THIS IS WHY I SAY: just keep it simple. If you have a 12v
battery bank, buy 12v appliances. Having an inverter is
just another thing that could go wrong since the inverter contains a
slew of components and each one of them just itching to fail.
As another example, just today 2/25/18, it was decided to change out
the firewood stove's fans from ac to dc. I took pictures of
the damaged open/bare wiring that had melted and surely posed a hazard
sooner or later. The wiring was rather thick (not just the
plastic jacket); whereas my 12v conversion using old computer fans have
very fine wires that will not likely be able to start a fire and will
simply disintigrate if crossed from heat). To extend the
life expectency insulation was wrapped around the delicate
wiring. The fan (soon to be fanS) is much quieter than the
ac counterpart that was removed.