Always being prepared...

softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,673 ✭✭✭✭
In spite of living in solar paradise, a mountain desert, I have to fire up the generator/genset once or twice a year. Last week I was thinking that I should charge the genset battery and fire up the diesel genset. I chose to work on car batteries in "storage" and exercise a bunch instead.

The perfect storm hit. I went out of town for a bit. The snow fell. The 46 volt low voltage cutout hit at about 2am. Then:
1) Battery lantern quit in spite of new batteries.
2) Window that allows power cord access to genset is frozen shut.
3) Genset battery just barely had enough power to start the diesel genset in freezing conditions.
4) I felt as rusty as a sunken Spanish galleon anchor after running the normal 20 errands in two days. Then dealing with snow and icy conditions for much of the drive back.
5) As is always the case for me, one battery has developed a bad cell. Most are reading about 12 volts. One is reading about 10 volts. Note that I am still using my old 8Ds. The new Fullriver 8Ds will get pressed into serviced pretty soon.

As of 8am, about to go back to solar power. The panels have been swept of snow. The ice will soon be scraped. The genset wil be shut down. Another solar "incident" will be logged.

Conclusion....Do your genset drill before you wake up to no power.
First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries

Comments

  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 1,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Have you run a basic capacity test on the Fullriver DC-260's yet? What is their standing voltage now - after resting for a few days/weeks?

    I recently helped a customer who brought in (8) Fullriver 4D's (DC210's) that had been left unattended in a shop for 14 months without charging. They reportedly saw about 9-10 months of off grid service before the system was pulled out and sold.

    The batteries were reading 12.4v to 12.5v when they came in, so roughly 70% SOC. We did a basic charge at 14.7v @ 60a individually until they dropped to 1.5 amps, then let them float overnight at 13.6v.  Ran a 25a capacity test on each, and got 96% to 99% of rated capacity. Fully charged them again and ran another capacity test - got 101% to 102% - so we called it good.

    They will be going into service in two to three weeks, so they are sitting on a 54.4v float charge until then. I have no idea what the cycle life performance will look like, but they left here providing very strong storage capacity.

    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,673 ✭✭✭✭
    Mine all read 12.58, 12.59, or 12.6 volts on arrival. The storage warehouse was "temperature controlled"....to an extent anyway.

    I charged them all up to 12.78, 12.79 or 12.8 volts with no problems. Since they sit in a freezing room, the voltage has dropped commensurately and equally. I believe they are fine.

    I stored some very high quality gels for four years once. Their self discharge rate in a cool/cold environment was almost non-existent.  The buyer seems quite happy with them after several months of fairly light usage....he has big solar batteries for the real workloads.

    I want to avoid using the Fullrivers until the current 8Ds more or less bite the dust. Having a 46 volt low voltage shutdown when it was cloudy and snowy and I was out of town is not undue reason for alarm. All the security equipment and freezer and fridge place a certain load even when I am not here. I have one bad battery....out of eight. This happens about every 4-6 months. Lesson learned I suppose.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
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