Yet another July disaster - my third one.

softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,347 ✭✭✭✭
1) The upright commercial freezer is a really big energy hog - it probably has a powerful defrost function to keep food pretty - frost free.
2) Yesterday was very cloudy.
3) Old forklift battery overnight voltage fell so far that inverter shut down.

Got things going again this am - easy enough. But freezer seemed to call it day after bringing the temp down to 28F. Hoping it just needed a short break - set the timer for a 10 minute check. Significant problem if the freezer died. Just bought 120 pounds of frozen chicken. Update - freezer still quiet after 15 minutes - good chance it is dead.

The old forklift battery is weak. Bought it cheap - seller thought it was 48 volts. It is 24 volts and I had no real use for it. So I played around with it for years. There is a cell that is weaker that the rest but there are several cells that no longer real good.

My Cotek inverter does not have a Equalize function. Nor does my 24 volt IOTA charger. Thinking I should try a poor mans Equalize with nothing to lose - charging 10 or 11 cells at a time - for a prolonged period. I've done a few short equalization's in the past.

I can go a few weeks using the main 48 volt system for everything. Though the apparently dead commercial freezer is a real issue.

There may be some chest freezers at Lowe's. Quite a trip but doable.

Hate to give up on the forklift battery but there is a good chance its days of reliable hard work are over.

Of course - it is cloudy today. Another July trifecta.

I'll be OK - but a pretty significant inconvenience to have the freezer and the forklift battery go AWOL at once.
My little empire is too big for my budget and almost 62 year old energy levels.
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

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,347 ✭✭✭✭
    The old commercial freezer has roared back to life.

    Charging 11 cells at a time for a "poor mans equalize" is not aggressive enough. Still leaves total battery voltage below 29 - so far. Did not feel comfortable charging 10 cells at a time but I suspect that is my only  chance. Strongly suspecting pretty severe sulfation. It sat for a long time before I bought it. I also ignored it at times - frustrations with used panels supplying voltage but no amps.

    I charged up the battery prior to this effort at equalizing. Iota charger takes 650 watts I think - it is fairly stout.
    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
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,347 ✭✭✭✭
    With the freezer alive again - I could maybe squeeze another 1-2 years out of the forklift battery with some half decent equalization's.

    Lot to be said for charge controllers with an equalize function.
    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
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,347 ✭✭✭✭
    I literally moved the no power alarm from the 24 volt to the 48 volt system - yesterday. Immaculate timing indeed. Never really considered the old forklift battery to be too weak for the commercial freezer. But that thing is an energy hog.
    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
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,347 ✭✭✭✭
    Soon be finishing the four hour "poor mans equalization". Forklift battery will no longer power the commercial freezer. Should still do two efficient chest freezers.  I'll have a new and much louder "No Power" alarm any day now.

    Still curious why things were seemingly fine until one cloudy day. Checked the early AM voltage just two days ago - 25.0 volts. Need to do some more figuring.
    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
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,347 ✭✭✭✭
    Prognosis: Stick a fork in the forklift battery. It is done.
    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
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,740 admin
    Possibly a bad start capacitor for the compressor? Usually pretty cheap to replace....

    Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,347 ✭✭✭✭
    Freezer just needed a break I guess. Not the Perfect Storm but some anxiety was incurred. It is down to about 10F now. Not too bad considering all the food in it. Tomorrow mornings voltage reading will be - interesting. As will the freezer temp readings. Last reading was -5F a few days ago. I just moved it to a warmer setting.

    Sometimes I tire of all the stuff constantly going sideways. The more I do the more stuff goes sideways it seems.

    Did four hours of poor mans equalizing on the forklift battery. Shows 750 CCA from 1650 pounds and over 14 volts. It is - toast. Internal resistance about 7.5. Though I look forward to AM readings out of morbid curiosity. It sure died pretty quickly. Had been preparing to give it a couple more panels too. Had not seen the massive energy needs of the commercial freezer coming - until I bought all the frozen chicken.
    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
  • wellbuiltwellbuilt Solar Expert Posts: 479 ✭✭✭
    That sucks
    Out back  flex power one  with out back 3648 inverter fm80 charge controler  flex net  mate 16 gc215 battery’s 4425 Watts solar .
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,875 ✭✭✭✭✭
    softdown said:
    ........Still curious why things were seemingly fine until one cloudy day. .......
    Everything always goes fine, until it doesn't
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,347 ✭✭✭✭
    Main battery bank is an absolute beast. Showed 49.9 volts at 530am. Powering three freezers and the fridge - the upright likely never shutting down. It used 2.2 kWh between noon yesterday and now - 18 hours. Seems to show a lot of resilience below 50.0 volts.

    Commercial freezer now at -3F - should be ok I hope.

    Thinking I may use the forklift battery for a small chest freezer - sure it will handle that chore.

    In the middle of a crisis things always seem rather grim. After it passes - I usually reflect and think  "That wasn't so bad really."

    The commercial freezer not working for half an hour had me going a bit. Been prepared for the eventual demise of the forklift battery. I paid $425 I think - so not the end of the world.
    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
  • kc8adukc8adu Solar Expert Posts: 48 ✭✭✭
    the freezer likely was in a defrost cycle.
    i would have found the timer and cranked it past this cycle just to get back to cooling.

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,347 ✭✭✭✭
    That would explain why the food was thawed more than it should have been. It was my suspicion as well.

    Five years and still getting frequent surprises it seems.
    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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