Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

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Big Jim
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My RE system: Outback FP1 VFX3524, EnergyCell 200RE(4), Isofoton ISF-245 panels(3).

Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

Post by Big Jim » Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:51 am

New to the Forum. My system is about 3 years old. No issues so far. Located in a cabin in Upper Michigan, which is shutdown for the winter. System stays "on" only so that the panels will charge the batteries with the little sun it will get during the winter. Snow accumulates on the panels(tilted as far down as possible), which hampers this the solar charging. Was thinking about installing a small wind turbine just to keep the batteries charged in the winter. Also, the cabin is unheated, so the batteries are in a very cold environment during this period. Have the cabin for 20+ yrs and rarely is there a day when it's not breezy or windy. Any thoughts?
Big Jim

706jim
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Re: Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

Post by 706jim » Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:21 pm

I'm a new member here. I've had solar since 1994 and my batteries stay in the cold for about 6 months every year. I leave the panels charging the system when I leave in November and figure the batteries get zero charge for about 3 months more or less while the panels are snow covered. Since there is no load except the charge controller during this off season, there has been no problem with batteries freezing up or otherwise failing.

Wind turbine? While they sound wonderful in theory, there are a lot more problems with turbines than with panels including failed bearings and out of balance rotors from ice. And unlike solar panels, wind generators rarely reach the output claimed on the box.

So if you've had no problems after three years I wouldn't be concerned about your batteries.

If it is practical, you could always tilt the panels vertical which would shed snow and absorb sun energy from reflection from the snow.

raysun
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Re: Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

Post by raysun » Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:49 am

I agree that the wind turbine is more hassle than it's worth. It takes a surprising amount of wind to get useful work from them, and they are finicky mechanical systems to boot.

Should it get cold enough for the electrolyte to freeze, you don't want to be putting any charge into the battery,.

With no load in a cold environment, self discharge in the battery should be pretty low. "Shelf life" of the charge in an idle battery of good quality is on the order of 6 months.

Leaving the battery to hibernate in winter should not be a problem. I'd simply disconnect it, if there's no load that needs powering and call it good.

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Re: Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

Post by JRHill » Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:01 am

I've wondered, in past posts to this storage issue, of adding a nasty inductive load like a space heater. If one could program system load to a Low Voltage Cut-Out at say, 49.5 on a 48v system with a Cut-In at 5?vdc or so, wouldn't that help to exercise the batteries a bit? Obviously exercising the batteries means that you'd have to service them periodically during those times. But wouldn't it be better than to just let them sit?

I had to check. On the M3 the LBCO is 48v at its highest set point. Cut-in is 56v. Me thinks this could be opened up to higher LCBO and higher restart... Just curious as to thoughts on the idea. Why buy more h/w when it can be done with programming?

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Re: Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

Post by raysun » Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:28 am

I'm of the school of thought that a fully charged lead acid battery will be just fine left to idle away the winter days. The chemistry argues for it. Specific gravity is high, so lead is where it belongs. Eventual stratification could be an issue, but that's going to be a long slow process. Internal discharge is likely enough to keep the battery "exercised".

Batteries are stored "wet" for the most part, between manufacturer and consumer, with a commonly held advisement that the battery has a 6 month "shelf life" between charges. I don't see much in the way of statements to the contrary.

I think I'd opt to KISS.

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Re: Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

Post by JRHill » Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:44 am

OK. I added complicity where it wasn't needed.

raysun
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Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

Post by raysun » Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:03 pm

JRHill wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:44 am
OK. I added complicity where it wasn't needed.
We are all complicit at one time and in some way.

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Re: Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

Post by JRHill » Sat May 16, 2020 12:23 pm

Woke up this AM and stumbled downstairs to get the coffee water heated (propane, BTW). (Rayson, this AM it was Dark Brazilian Santos). I looked at the Mate and battery status was in the green. Woah. Dang. WooHoo! The genset never fired off over night and we're at 51+. And its cloudy! Its a miracle!

But then I realized we slept in and OpticsRE showed .6kWh had already come in. It's like getting a stimulus check and realizing it's really not going to do anything substantial. But it sure felt good for a moment.

So I was complicit today in looking for miracles.

raysun
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My RE system: Flexpower One: FX3048T, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
Outback 200NC batteries (8 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

Post by raysun » Sat May 16, 2020 12:51 pm

JRHill wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 12:23 pm
Woke up this AM and stumbled downstairs to get the coffee water heated (propane, BTW). (Rayson, this AM it was Dark Brazilian Santos). I looked at the Mate and battery status was in the green. Woah. Dang. WooHoo! The genset never fired off over night and we're at 51+. And its cloudy! Its a miracle!

But then I realized we slept in and OpticsRE showed .6kWh had already come in. It's like getting a stimulus check and realizing it's really not going to do anything substantial. But it sure felt good for a moment.

So I was complicit today in looking for miracles.
Nice coffee!

Gotta love that summer sun, no matter how obscured.

I gotta admit (gloat actually) that I never see full output from my arrays. By the time the sun is high enough in the sky, my battery is in Absorb! (3rd world off-grid dirtbag problems.)
Screenshot_20200516-094812_Chrome.jpg

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Re: Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

Post by JRHill » Mon May 18, 2020 10:53 am

raysun wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 12:51 pm
I gotta admit (gloat actually) that I never see full output from my arrays.
Think BIG! BP is going to make green hydrogen. Then they may do ammonia from that. Why waste all that solar potential when you could use all those wasted electrons for the nuts and beans? And if ya don't go that far you could use the H2 to go to town and back for the coffee. Maybe both?

And you could change your user name to "rayselon" (wink).

Appreciate you,
Jim

raysun
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My RE system: Flexpower One: FX3048T, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
Outback 200NC batteries (8 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

Post by raysun » Mon May 18, 2020 11:02 am

JRHill wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 10:53 am
raysun wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 12:51 pm
I gotta admit (gloat actually) that I never see full output from my arrays.
Think BIG! BP is going to make green hydrogen. Then they may do ammonia from that. Why waste all that solar potential when you could use all those wasted electrons for the nuts and beans? And if ya don't go that far you could use the H2 to go to town and back for the coffee. Maybe both?

And you could change your user name to "rayselon" (wink).

Appreciate you,
Jim
😅😅😅😅

My wife and I run a free seed library where we make vegetable seeds available to the folks in need in our community.

Maybe I'll set up a free charging station for the Tesla owners in need in our community.

JRHill
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Re: Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

Post by JRHill » Mon May 18, 2020 11:38 am

raysun wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 11:02 am
JRHill wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 10:53 am
raysun wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 12:51 pm
I gotta admit (gloat actually) that I never see full output from my arrays.
Think BIG! BP is going to make green hydrogen. Then they may do ammonia from that. Why waste all that solar potential when you could use all those wasted electrons for the nuts and beans? And if ya don't go that far you could use the H2 to go to town and back for the coffee. Maybe both?

And you could change your user name to "rayselon" (wink).

Appreciate you,
Jim
😅😅😅😅

My wife and I run a free seed library where we make vegetable seeds available to the folks in need in our community.

Maybe I'll set up a free charging station for the Tesla owners in need in our community.
I can see the headline: Tesla moves all opps to TX and sets up charging in Hawaii. The excess power will be microwave beamed to areas of high demand. Oh, and with free internet access....

raysun
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My RE system: Flexpower One: FX3048T, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
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Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

Post by raysun » Mon May 18, 2020 1:00 pm

:lol:🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

jbakker
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Re: Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

Post by jbakker » Wed May 20, 2020 4:36 am

I thought the Starlink system was to be used for charging up Teslas using the Microwave beams form the satellites................


Starlink is a satellite constellation being constructed by SpaceX to charge all Models of Tesla Cars.................


There may have been some editing on that :grin:

raysun
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My RE system: Flexpower One: FX3048T, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
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Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

Post by raysun » Wed May 20, 2020 4:44 am

jbakker wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 4:36 am
I thought the Starlink system was to be used for charging up Teslas using the Microwave beams form the satellites................


Starlink is a satellite constellation being constructed by SpaceX to charge all Models of Tesla Cars.................


There may have been some editing on that :grin:
Since Elon has now taken the Red Pill, I believe he is looking into rolling out a new charging infrastructure. I think he said it was going all organic.

jbakker
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7 banks of 14 cells each from a 2017 Chevy Volt. Parallel for the AMP Hour. 7 Chinese made BMS systems.
Location: Goderich Ontario Canada

Re: Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

Post by jbakker » Wed May 20, 2020 4:53 am

Oh no he didn't take the red pill.......................on second thought that explains a lot.

I think he may have gone down the rabbit hole a little too deep. :eek:

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Re: Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

Post by JRHill » Wed May 20, 2020 8:38 am

In our area, in nice weather, you don't go down rabbit holes after taking any pill. There's likely a timber or western rattler down there awaiting you.

Also coming out in the news is Tesla's bi-directional capability. So after bench testing your flux capacitor with all your excess stationary power, when you mount it in your Tesla vehicle you have the power needed to launch. If it works, please go back in time and find the folks who standardized FLA battery warranties to screw the owners. Please educate them as to how much distrust, frustration and aggression it will create in the future.

jbakker
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Posts: 215
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:47 am
My RE system: 2 VFX3648 Inverters 2 FM60 150VDC Charge Controllers Mate3 3.4 KW of panels 15kw JC Onan NG Generator made in 1975 I love that generator almost as much as my wife.
7 banks of 14 cells each from a 2017 Chevy Volt. Parallel for the AMP Hour. 7 Chinese made BMS systems.
Location: Goderich Ontario Canada

Re: Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

Post by jbakker » Wed May 20, 2020 8:45 am

Well, that would make a nasty surprise in a rabbit hole............... no o them snakes around here.

In regards to the flux capacitor and time travel the Tesla cars can't, I have heard that they just go from 87 mph to 89, the skip over 88 :grin:


I can't help my self...........

I do agree on the FLA warranty BS

raysun
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My RE system: Flexpower One: FX3048T, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
Outback 200NC batteries (8 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

Post by raysun » Wed May 20, 2020 8:56 am

JRHill wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 8:38 am
In our area, in nice weather, you don't go down rabbit holes after taking any pill. There's likely a timber or western rattler down there awaiting you.

Also coming out in the news is Tesla's bi-directional capability. So after bench testing your flux capacitor with all your excess stationary power, when you mount it in your Tesla vehicle you have the power needed to launch. If it works, please go back in time and find the folks who standardized FLA battery warranties to screw the owners. Please educate them as to how much distrust, frustration and aggression it will create in the future.
:lol:

I have very bad news to report. I did get the excess photon circuit hooked up, but due to the pandemic, the flux capacitor is on back order with no ETA, so I took the drive unit off a photon torpedo to use as a flux sink. I didn't have a stock Tesla charging cable so rigged a CCS cable up. It all looked good. Flush with apparent progress, I convinced my neighbor Viktor to let me borrow his Model X to give it a try. I hooked it up, and the damn thing just vanished! No smoke, no flash, no ozone smell, just gone.

Now I'm really worried. I think Vikor is part of the Russian mob that seems to have congregated in Discovery Harbor here on South Hawaii Island. I told him that some local Ice Heads must have stolen his X while it was charging. I don't know if he bought it.

I'm spending the day furiously documenting my system so the spousal unit knows how to run it, should I disappear.

If she comes onto this forum, please help her.

Nice knowing all you.

Aloha, e malama pono!

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Re: Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

Post by JRHill » Wed May 20, 2020 9:10 am

TOO MUCH INFORMATION. THIS SITE IS NOT SECURE.

Dang, rayson. I've appreciated knowing you.

raysun
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My RE system: Flexpower One: FX3048T, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
Outback 200NC batteries (8 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
Suniva 330 watt panels (12 - 6 strings of 2 in series)
Hyundai 355 watt panels (6 - 3 strings of 2 in series)
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

Post by raysun » Wed May 20, 2020 9:34 am

JRHill wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 9:10 am
TOO MUCH INFORMATION. THIS SITE IS NOT SECURE.

Dang, rayson. I've appreciated knowing you.
https://youtu.be/ZNDBo3spnwg

Lewis-H
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Re: Keeping batteries charged during winter shutdown

Post by Lewis-H » Sat May 23, 2020 6:10 am

Remove batteries, storing them in a cool, dry place where they won't freeze. (On wood surfaces, in garages or storage facilities, is recommended.) Ideally, trickle charge batteries or charge them monthly. This prevents self-discharge and extends lifespan.

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