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Tip #10 - Don't Molest Your Batteries, ReAp them!
Here comes stupid trial and error experience, Ready?
If you have a battery bank that has a group of batteries all possessing equal high ah (amp-hour) capacity but decide to add a lower ah battery in parallel to the former battery bank, the lower ah battery will eventually become damaged from overcharging and the larger battery will become damaged because of never being permitted to fully charge being capped by the capacity of the lower ah battery.
The repercussions WILL become evident (hopefully under 3 life-cycles ";-). However, having myself done this without ever any knowledge that mixing batteries could possibly be so detrimental, troubleshooting the problem was a long road (I thought it was damaged panel wiring initially), with no thought that a good battery could capitalize an entire bank.
When you live with the power plant so close, as in the case of off-grid applications, the pattern stays fairly constant, you will get to know your batteries.
One day (a long time ago...maybe a decade or more ago) the batteries were not as strong as the day before. Back then I was still new in solar-generated power banks.
I mean everything was still working but the bank was not holding a charge as it always had. Eventually days of this went by in the same manner.
The controllers and inverters began sounding their alarm, and in retrospect I probably should have included the batteries as suspect since the daylight hours all was fine.
It did not happen that way with me.
I tested and re-checked everything BUT the batteries, and when the batteries were finally checked, I remembered that during the daytime the lower ah battery was getting unusually hot during the charge state.
This was one of the life-changing incidents that became a pre-cursor to the discovery of the benefits of micro-battery banks (my term, and in regards to the redundant regurgitated crap on the internet).
I'm calling it mbb just for novelty (micro-battery bank). This is discussed in more depth in another chapter so I'll suffice to say, it's definitely the answer (on so many levels).
It was decided to break up the battery bank keeping the best of the best together and the others for experimental purposes. Following the bank's conversion to an mbb immediately showed the first impressive results I had seen in probably a week prior.
So, to encapsulate, if you have just obtained a new battery, create a wishlist for a match but never, ever mix new batteries with old (or higher ah with lower), it's just not worth it. So if your first battery is stamped with 360ah (hello Trojan), then so ought to be every other battery in that particular bank
Preferably the batteries ought to be purchased new, It's been my experience that obtaining used batteries is a ridiculous crap-shoot that can possibly damage your appliances too.
Would you buy used batteries off of Craigslist for your flashlight? Off-grid battery banks have eons more value than a flashlight. Even though I'm quite anti-consumerism, in the case of batteries, save your sanity and spare yourself an unexpected electrical short or worse, buddy up with the new batteries instead.
Most of us non-wealthy people are aware of the probable benefits of purchasing new batteries over old, but due to so many taxes and fines and fees and insurances and utility bills, codes restrictions, and everything else wrong with modern un-evolved socio-political controls over whether or not we can advance one foot further, used batteries are what you might have to start with. (God be with you)
And as luck would have it, it is just as well (because chances are high that you will be making some mistakes a long the way).
However, the thrill of something operating day and night for free can become a time-consuming hobby as it offers a bit of a rush to know that with the elimination of bills (which puts money, and the labor to earn the money, back on the tables of the plutocrat, ensuring the perpetual ensnarement of another generation beholden to a one-class system which is not your class), but by the elimination of bills and a "job" (that keeps the human compartmentalized and manipulated to do only one myopic set of chores), when offered life (as god gave it to you), the possibilities are endless.
Friendly Reminder: You and I have only 24 hours to live. 3 x 8 = 24. If you give 8 hours over to sleep, one third of your life is completely gone. 24 -8hrs sleep ____ 16 hours left to live.
If you give another third (or 8 hours) over to the employment for another entity, then two thirds of your life is forever gone (despite the PROGRAMMING which changes the mind to consider that a job is life).
-8hrs given over to another entity ("work")
8 remaining hours left to live (or 1/3 of your life is ... life).
So if sleep and "job" alone claim two thirds of your life's potential to do something greater than all those that have been employed before you (and now are neatly tucked under some dirt in a forgotten cemetery somewhere), then what of the last 1/3 that IS your life?
I contend that the last 1/3 of your life is consumed going to the bathroom, commute-time back and forth to "work", taking the trash out and servicing your ever-distant spouse or worse, falling into volunteering the self to become further programmed via tele-vision or some other ilk.
In effect, in modern-day capitalist society of 2018, the last 8 hours of life is consumed with making your lunch for the next "work" day, replacing damaged uniforms or other garments, repairing all the ridiculous plastic items we invested in, feed the pet, mow the lawn, get the mail, get injured due to exhaustion, etc.
What a waste of life~!
With the elimination of "bills" from ones life, ensures that one not be employed till the day he or she dies (just to pay the ever-manipulated monopolized profiteering utility mafia, for one).
-Oh forget it...End philosophy
The following is a solution for those of us too poor to purchase new batteries during the initial stages of building a power bank. If you have inadvertently purchased used batteries only to find they are not working for you, if the batteries are not physically damaged, the solution detailed below will work for you. This was not discovered on the internet (prior to my making a few videos of the recycling process which is still on YouTube circa 2010).
But first, how this solution became to be known. I had read somewhere of the differences in plate sizes between the different types of batteries and also the problems that commonly occur with all batteries. Most of the common problems with batteries are relatively easy to allow for the rejuvenation of a used or useless battery.
Here's how to bring those fat-plate deep-cycle batteries back to life again.
1.) Dump the solution out of the batteries and flush well with a clean water supply (DO NOT WEAR YOUR SUNDAY-BEST FOR THIS and always find an approved dump site for the old battery acid before the recycling process)
2.) Add de-sulfation solution, shake and let sit overnight
3.) Flush with clean water and add new acid
The batteries will probably already be fully charged, if not feed the battery a 2amp charge for a day and monitor for the rated capacity in absorption.
**Repeat the process until the plates are clean and the debris is removed.
The following notes are offered freely (or if somebody wants to finance the project, I'm all ears):
These notes are not going to solve world-hunger or wipe out cancers, but it's something more than nothing, and it's high-tide we American's started producing something of world-value (other than our present only production of bombs, bullets, wars, poisons, etc.).
THE RETARDED NOTES 1.) Batteries are comprised of a limited number of properties that emit other properties. Batteries are solution (acid) that emit gas (hydrogen and oxygen). There are some plates inside of the battery enclosures. The plastic enclosures hold the solution and plates inside. That's it, right? That's all there is to a battery.
2.) If batteries can convert the liquid acid into a couple of gases, then it ought to be conceivable that we can collect both gases and turn it right back into liquid, right?
3.) Despite the fact that I believe the modern-day battery is not using the ideal plates or enclosures, the modern-day battery is still the prototype in which to improve upon, unless further financing were made available. Why are there no videos or websites showing any experiements in this area? It's as if we were marketed a battery, and everybody just went to sleep cataloging it as the end-all-be-all.
4.) Since the battery spews pure oxygen, can this gas not be collected to be used in an effort to reduce the cost of respiratory systems to our elderly? Or be put to some other good use? Why should this be an expensive undertaking?
5.) Since the battery spews hydrogen gas, and since hydrogen gas is flammable, is it not easily conceivable that we might make an affordable collector for a portable tank to collect the gas for use in heating, cooking, or other means? (*emphasis on "affordable")
6.) How does plastics interact with the battery acid under charge conditions? When do the properties interact and how do they breakdown? Is plastics the best material we can utilize for a battery enclosure? When plastics become warm, do they not alter composition somewhat and spew some foreign property into the battery solution forming unwanted debris?
7.) Anyone that's ever had deep-cycle batteries knows of the long-term effects of the plastics, the batteries become deformed and bulged and potentially become problematic due to leakage. Surely there must be something more durable than plastic? Under a fire condition, burning plastic is a form of napalm.
8.) The earth has a charge. Is there a means to use the earth in some way to safely become a stable extension to a modernized battery?
You have concluded Tip #10 of the Off-Grid Battery Bank Tips
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