2803 Troy Road
Springfield Ohio 45504
*Hint: Micro battery banks are the answer
This does not work
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 viewpoint that regurgitates itself all over the Internet, I built that large battery bank of more than 40 over-priced 6v batteries.
This did NOT work for me.
I tried 12v battery banks, 24v battery banks, and 48v battery banks. I tried using different gauge wire, building a couple of solar trackers, and more.
Still, poor results.
My findings in more than a decade of experiments show that the mainstream battery bank is simply not the answer (on so many levels).
It's been found that a large battery bank is also exponentially more dangerous when the ah (amp-hour) rate is increased.
There is a better way.
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.
Micro-Battery Banks work better because they're basically item-specific and easily controlled, taking less time to troubleshoot if problems should arise!
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 created and/or discovered by chance.
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" because of the series connection; also left were 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 showing exceptional results (unlike the other larger battery banks which were by morning 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 on maintenance-free auto-pilot 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 was the highest of all the other battery banks when checked pre-dawn. Whereas the other battery banks range around 12.1v or 12.2v or 12.3v (under loads) by dawn, the micro-battery bank showed higher!
This is my 2018 Advice to any prospective off-gridders out there:
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 battery bank for the porch lights or computer room.
This is advice for Ohio climes.
In sunnier places such as Florida, Arizona, Southern California, etc. only a few days are requisite for reserve power due to the lower States possessing more hours of reliable sunlight.
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.
However, if one solitary cell should go bad in that power bank, your entire house is thrown into 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, easier to 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 (preferably before the damage), but also, in a pinch, I can always jump the load to another battery bank while the problem is figured out.
Whereas in a large battery bank situation, If something should fail, I now am reduced to entering the danger zone of the large battery's potential energy, but then what? Troubleshooting could go on for hours in an attempt to locate the underlying problem (and now it's time to hope that the flashlights are fully charged!).
Furthermore, if the micro battery bank happens to be a 12v bank, in a pinch I can use a car, tractor, or other emergency boost expedient to bring up the battery bank in time of need.
In closing, for those of you that are off-grid and finding it difficult to maintain your 12v battery bank or the items that require 12v, here's a trick:
During those times of limited sun and wind, your battery banks may become somewhat depleted of energy. DO NOT KEEP GOING IN THAT DIRECTION. If you see your battery banks at 12.4v and there's no forecasted sun, or if you find out too late and need to sever loads to save the batteries, then this trick will help anyone with multiple battery banks.
12v battery banks can become a nuisance at times due mostly when powering higher voltage items or even 12v items with higher amp draws.
48v battery banks however offer some stability in that it takes more to draw them down (since they're already closer to the 120v inverter goal).
The 12v loads here were in jeopardy of being completely turned off to save a battery bank due to a month of nil sun and wind. I didn't want the items turned off because they were mostly cameras, microphones, DVR's, lights, speakers (basically the entire 12v loads in the entire building).
1.) Grab a computer power supply.
2.) Cut and remove the end connectors leaving only wires.
3.) Bundle up the yellow wires.
These yellow wires will become your 12v power supply wires.
Twist the stripped ends together
4.) Now twist the solitary green wire with any one of the black wires.
5.) All of the other remaining black wires can be stripped and twisted together. These will become your negative connection.
6.) None of any other wires will be needed and can be individually taped and pushed to the side.
Here's what your module should look like:
You just built a stable 12v power supply (now hook the black group of wires to your negative busbar and the yellow to the positive).
This will NOT charge your 12v battery bank so leave the battery bank out of the loop using your quick disconnect (or breaker disconnect).
This power supply can be connected to a battery bank's inverter, or shore power, just plug in as you normally would (a wall socket).
NEVER have a charge controller in the loop. Disconnect the Controllers and any Direct Connection to the battery bank (if running a 12v battery bank as the primary source via direct connection).
Likewise, any battery bank's 110v inverter will suffice (regardless of base system voltage) if there's no available 110v from the AC monopoly.
****If anyone is squeemish around the process or if you do not have an available power supply, contact email@example.com. Cost including power supply is $55.00 and not a gerbil less. This offer is available to buyers that are familiar with our United States Post Office website (usps.com) and are fluent in their postage outlay. Ordinarily a buyer that is fluid with the postage functions will choose the weight (which I give you over the phone or via email), then you choose your time/cost selection (cheapest is usually the best deal). When you pay for your postage you'll notice the option to "print" your postage. Whether you save a copy for your records or not, I would need a copy of that postage (thereby placing the printed postage which includes the to: and from: on the box and voilà, done). Since I don't drive, usps picks up for free!
1.) Place a switch between the black and green wire.
By adding a wall switch (or any type of switch), now permits more control over the circuit as a master cut-off.
2.)Connect one or more 5v usb connectors to the 5v output of your power supply.
This will allow for stable 5v to charge phones, tablets, flash-lights, etc.
Note: Any of the black wires are common ground/negative, regardless of what voltage you choose to use.
For instance, one black wire to one string of either 12v+, 5v+, 3.3v+, etc.; another black wire to either 12v+, 5v+, etc.), can be used.
And finally be mindful of wire thickness and length or distance from the power supply to the appliance you intend to energize. For example, you can feel confident when connecting a 16' strip of led lights directly to the power supply (or within close proximity). However, if you later decide to add another length of lights to a distant room of your edifice, you might find the lights to be dim or partially working due to the voltage drop when distance (and wire thickness) becomes variables of concern. If experiencing adverse signs, increasing wire thickness might help (charts referencing wire/voltage/drop are obtainable via any Internet search engine). A better method might be to simply allocate another additional battery bank nearer to the distant location so as to eliminate the potential problem entirely.
Benefit of stable voltage
For years I ran my 12v items DIRECTLY to the 12v battery. The problem arises when high-draw appliances surge the battery bank, or when the charge controller begins its routine of adding higher voltages into the batteries, etc. Most 12v appliances will have some variance, so it's not like my stuff was burning up prematurely. But by using the hacked power supply I now gain the benefit of knowing that there are a slew of protections within the hacked power supply to ensure that the voltage remains stable, regardless of what's happening elsewhere within the off-grid grid.
Spoiler Alert: The defective "duracell" battery may not have been caught in time and did not respond well toward the restoration process.
For a period of time during my younger years, I worked as a restorer of bad batteries
(mostly from cripple or elderly upon their electric carts, chairs and motorized road-worthy golf carts).
When I make mention of the sludge found at the bottom of a battery within the video, I am not referring to one of my batteries.
(which have always drained a dark color and without sludge).
At least one of the past clients expressed using some marketplace gimmick compound that he added to his batteries.
(hence the visit to me). ⛽
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