No winter is the same....

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No winter is the same....

Postby JRHill on Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:48 am

So, up to a week ago, this was the winter that wasn't. Just warm drizzles and a lot of fog. Then some really cold weather was forecasted compliments of our friend the polar vortex. That's a bit out of the norm for the Pacific Northwest. Then some snow was added. Then some more snow - and more - and more. What a hoot! But the wife isn't hooting so much as I had a shiny new knee installed two weeks ago and she gets to do all the animal chores and, well, everything else outside. On a normal day its 20 minutes (1.25 mile) to a minimum maintenance road so barring a true emergency we're effectively snowed in. Heh, with the knee, can ya imagine the fun chaining all for tires on the rig?

The new battery bank started its 4th year in August and is doing MUCH better than the first set that died young due to under-absorption. But it's generator fuel conservation time so I'm biting the bullet and going deeper into the batteries before charging and reducing Absorb from 3 to 2 hours and bumping the absorb from 60 to 60.8v. Even with an inverter generator running slow on the absorb its not the time to use gas for 800 watts (the closest I come to extending/finishing off the absorb cycle when on gen charging).

Why am I rambling on with this story? Its because of the over and over and over discussions on absorb time and voltage with flooded batteries. This new set of batteries (Aug 2015) is performing pretty good because of, in my opinion, keeping them regularly recharged with a good absorb. And that's more than a couple of hours. The benefit? At a time like this they are much more able to withstand changing the parameters with conservation as the priority. In other words, right now, when the genset runs its hitting as hard as possible - temp compensated and then getting shut down to conserve fuel. Fuel is cheaper than batteries and justifies the longer absorb until you can't get to more fuel. When all this weather passes I am absolutely sure I can revert to a lower absorb voltage with the time back to ~5+ hours as the gen is retired for the season and the sun comes back. And all it cost me is some distilled water with a very little more gassing.

Best,
Hopalong Jim
JRHill
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Posts: 516
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:12 pm
Location: South central WA
My RE system: -House: FM 80, VFX 3648, FlexnetDC, FlexWare xformer, Mate 3 / Hub, WattPlot/, 2925w SunTech 195, Trojan L16RE-B Batteries. Backup 1: Honda EU7000is w/2 wire auto start via FM80 aux, backup 2: 11kw Miller Bobcat;
-Well: Grundfos 11-SQF-2 pump, controller & AC switch (CU200, IO101), Tristar 45 Controller, 780w SunTech 195, Trojan golf cart batteries.
-All running since July '11 with various upgrades and workarounds.

Re: No winter is the same....

Postby JeffinthePeace on Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:57 pm

Jim -
My takeaway is that you understand your system well enough to make necessary adjustments.
Advantageous for the off-gridder: usually we optimize, sometimes we conserve, sometimes we just make do.
As for myself, I continue to learn.
Take care of the knee. At least the snow has eased out of the WA forecast!
Cheers
J
JeffinthePeace
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Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:20 pm
Location: Peace Country, British Columbia
My RE system: VFX3524 Inverter/Charger.
2 x FM80 Charge Controllers.
12 Trina PV panels: 365W, 48.0Voc, 9.3A Imp.
Total 4380W PV.
Midnight Sun Combiner Boxes.
Mate (Original) and Hub4.
TriMetric 2020 Battery Monitor.
1065 Ah Yuasa 85T-21 FLA 24V battery bank (10 yrs old).
10kW 120/240VAC Kubota/Stamford diesel generator.
PSX-240 Auto Transformer for generator charging.
No Utility Grid available.


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