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Systems by Kenny Hendrick
Made with Trash
Solar Panel Kits
Springfield Ohio Discourse
Springfield Ohio's Off-Grid Solar and Wind-Generated Power
**Consumer Warning: Although I've purchased hundreds of the 235ah "Duracell batteries" from Batteries Plus throughout the years, and have no less than 28 of the Duracell batteries at the time of this writ (down from 48), I do not condone purchasing these particular batteries from Batteries Plus due to a recent discovery of deceptive practices perpetrated by the vendor, Batteries Plus.
If you call Batteries Plus or Duracell and inquire about specific gravity or float rate, absorption rate, or any other details about the 235ah sligc125 or the 330ah sli6v305s batteries (in my case), Batteries Plus will have no data. Naturally, since the label on the batteries state that the battery is a Duracell, I called Duracell.
Duracell representatives will inform you that they are NOT a Duracell Battery, despite the label!
Duracell will also inform you that Batteries Plus merely "bought the label" from Duracell. Pressing Batteries Plus further will reveal from their agents that the battery is actually produced by an off-brand manufacturer called Dekka Batteries. This is clear evidence that the business class can sell us anything without recourse and our Nation is presently without any consumer protections. You've been warned. I would suggest Trojan or Rolls Batteries to anyone that wished to purchase a true and tried off-grid battery.
The stickers say they are Duracell batteries.
The sales people down at batteries plus will state they are Duracell batteries. But with just a little more investigation you will find the batteries to actually be Dekka (the off-brand battery manufacturer).
Here's a synopsis:
As I spoke to Duracell, the Duracell Agent stated that "the label was sold to batteries plus", and that Duracell DOES NOT have anything to do with the SLIGC and SLI6V series of batteries (are there others that are being sold in this deceptive manner, I do not know, nor did I inquire it).
Then, having called batteries plus back with this new revelation, I was informed by the sales-person that the batteries are actually a Dekka Battery and not manufactured by duracell (and that I ought to contact Dekka for my answers).
My contention is, if I wanted a Dekka Battery, I would have purchased the much cheaper Dekka Battery. Keep in mind, the prices for these batteries warrants a real-live name-brand battery!
If my aforementioned statements were not true I'd be dragged into court, since it is .
You need not take my word for it, simply call Duracell and inquire about "their" sli6v305s (330ah) batteries or "their" sligc125 (235ah) batteries and learn the truth for yourself!
When in business, it is better to be humbled and down-size while waiting for an up-kick in the economy, than to resort to deceptive desperate practices.
In the long-run, it could cost you more than what was profiteered.
However in our modern-day evolution in the judiciary which is reflexive pro- the business class, Batteries Plus might just change their name to follow suit with all the other rampant deceptive practices being waged against the Americans by the Capitalists.
But this topic is about batteries so...back to the tips.
Tip #4 Warm Batteries are Happy Batteries.
Having come from Florida to Ohio, it's been more difficult a task than anticipated to setup an off-grid system. I just presumed that I could pick up my solar panels and batteries and find the same results in production of where the system might be placed.
Not so. Enter Ohio's less sun and less wind. Although it is oftentimes stated that solar panels produce better in the winter time than in the summer, the batteries perform better when placed in a moderately controlled environment year-round.
Not only was there a need for MORE solar panels, and MORE wire, and MORE batteries, and MORE charge controllers (ad infinitum and nauseaum) to compensate for the lack of sun and wind, but there was also the revelation that the power bank is variable due to the extreme temperature changes!
To make up for less sun for instance, it was necessary to install more panels to capture the ambient light to equal enough energy to replenish the batteries. Also, in Florida I could safely leave the battery banks outside; Not so in the colder climates of Ohio.
During the first couple of years in Ohio, I was not able to do anything with the solar panels and batteries, and then when I became able, codes restrictions were a new obstacle I had not encountered before.
Other new problems were popping up, like who knew snow would just completely cover the solar panels, and then just sit there!?
Who knew that extreme cold would cause a lull in power supplied by the batteries in inclement weather?
For the past 2 or 3 Ohio winters, depending on whom you're relying on for information, I've been living within 3 feet of the battery banks here. There are battery banks on 3 of the 4 walls of this 3-car garage and comprised into Five battery banks in this building as of Mar. 22 2018. Each bank of batteries possesses their own panels, loads, and charge controllers. Being in close proximately has allowed an increased learning of batteries, in general. Having to see the batteries day in and day out has allowed for some level of creative testing. Being in close proximity also has shown my errors in proclaiming wrongly in reference to battery-power. For instance, even in this present-day prose I still advocate at least one or more battery banks just for the 12v loads without the need for an inverter. DC in the raw is attained since most of our items in any given home are about 12v already (so why would you want 110v stepped all the way down to 9 or 112v? It will cost more to do the latter, and in the long-run there will invariably be a power supply needing to be replaced or some other conversion error-prone contrivance). Direct current=nothing could go wrong, and requires no other repairs or replacements for electronics going bad on us.
So, nowadays I see there is definitely room for a 48v (AND SOON TO BE 2!) battery banks in addition to the other banks that are 12v. Having recently assembled a 48v inverter connected to 8qty 6v batteries all in serial, powered by a 4qty 100w solar panels also connected in serial to 48v feeding down to a 60a 150v mppt charge controller to keep the batteries topped off showed the first glimmer of what I've been missing. Since the solar array and battery bank are both 48v I then purchased a pwm 60a 150v charge controller so that more panels could be placed. At the time of this writing I have already accomplished what was formerly written (And then some!). There are now 36 100watt solar panels funneling into the two mppt controllers. I do my laundry at night often now (because It's not possible without doubt (even if the sun should not shine for a few days). The wind generator is also connected (wrongly, I'm experimenting with something stupid there, having come off the roof today has shown me that the experiment was a stupid flop. I'm now rolling with another idea of attempting to go direct to the battery bank since the wind generator and battery bank are both 48v. A prior experiment having performed this exact procedure nearly scared the life out of me. Before I lived in the garage I was in the house where I slept. When going out to the garage, it was noticed that something had burned a quarter or knickle-sized hole directly through the hard plastic of the battery top! I did not know how this could possibly happen since the bank was not overcharged in any way. Since then though, I've come to learn about brass as opposed to tin and lead for the connectors. As soon as I'm done licking the wounds of my recent failed test, it's off to direction two's question: What caused the meltdown? Was it due to crappy corporate products or the need for a more sensitive diversion load?
So, back to the Ohio cold,
This is where common sense ought to have kicked in, cold batteries are bad for tractors and cars, too. If it's too cold, batteries will not supply enough juice to start an automobile.
So in closing, give some thought to place your battery banks where the temperatures are somewhat controlled year-round. If you are located in Florida, perhaps under a shade tree, if in Ohio perhaps your bedroom! With somewhat controlled temperatures, the data and energy gleaned from the charge controller will be easier to understand, supply a predictable volume of energy, and aid in predictable planning for the inevitable completion of your personal power plant.
The Batteries will need to be planned for long-term (unless you're wealthy and can afford to replace them every 3-5 years). I might also add, many battery banks, referred elsewhere herein as "micro-battery banks", offer many more advantages over one huge battery bank. Place the power where you need it (as opposed to pulling the energy through long expanses of wiring which lose current the further away the load is from the bank. Your batteries will live longer without putting such a taxing load on the batteries. Once a bank is self-sufficient year-round, walk away from it and don't "improve" on it any more.
When a bank reaches a utopia of eureka's, simply go build another one elsewhere.
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