Old Batteries - New Batteries - Generator

stmarstmar Solar Expert Posts: 362 ✭✭✭
I had my old, they actually are 12 years old), batteries checked and only one was bad, 3 were good according to a parts store's instrument. I don't know whether to keep the old ones for back up or get rid of them, it does not seem feasible that they would last too much longer. My new batteries seem to be maintaining a consistent near float voltage and if it is sunny the voltage increases of course and the AC Input is 0 amps, my load runs about 2 on average during the day. I have not had an outage since installing the new bank. I did wire in the AC-2 generator circuit, I did a test before I terminated AC-2 and the voltage on that circuit from the generator was within normal range, around 127 volts. That voltage was from hot to neutral, when I went hot to ground that voltage was cut in half. Is that because the Honda EU2000 ground is not bonded to the neutral?

Comments

  • South AfricaSouth Africa Solar Expert Posts: 295 ✭✭✭
    Re: Old Batteries - New Batteries - Generator

    BB gave me a point to ponder on earlier when he mentioned the cost of learning to properly charge batteries, only to find out 8 years later you had it wrong. :-)

    So here is a thought. If the batteries are still ok, maybe sell or even better, donate them to a newbie who is starting out. :-)

    That way they can learn without the fear of losing a lot of money. :-)
  • stmarstmar Solar Expert Posts: 362 ✭✭✭
    Re: Old Batteries - New Batteries - Generator

    I am leaning toward putting them in a friends system to see how they work, without damaging his system, they are a lot more powerful than what he has at the present. At the most I would only ask salvage price/barter for them, that way he could get what use he could out of them then recoup his investment. I would say that if they lasted that long they must have been charging correctly.
    BB gave me a point to ponder on earlier when he mentioned the cost of learning to properly charge batteries, only to fin out 8 years later you had it wrong. :-)

    So here is a thought. If the batteries are still ok, maybe sell or even better, donate them to a newbie who is starting out. :-)

    That way they can learn without the fear of losing a lot of money. :-)
  • South AfricaSouth Africa Solar Expert Posts: 295 ✭✭✭
    Re: Old Batteries - New Batteries - Generator

    Excellent.

    I am selling at a loss / or donate parts that I have no use for anymore to new solar interested people who want start, as someone did to me once.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,488 admin
    Re: Old Batteries - New Batteries - Generator

    You probably (on typical quality batteries) learn after 8 years you were doing it right. Or after 2 years you were doing it wrong.

    And if they die at 5-6 years--Was that you doing it right/wrong, or simply the quality of that battery brand/model.

    Also--You can be doing it "right"--And an equipment failure/visitor decided to run a hair dryer--Took your battery bank dead over a couple of days--In my limited experience, taking older (but still working well) lead acid batteries "dead", pretty much means you need a new bank.

    There are lots of ways to murder batteries.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • stmarstmar Solar Expert Posts: 362 ✭✭✭
    Re: Old Batteries - New Batteries - Generator

    BB, since you have the EU2000 could you confirm what the voltage is to ground? As I stated in my op I am reading 1/2 of the voltage (60+)hot to ground and 127 hot to neutral. Just want to make sure nothing is wrong before I have to use the generator/AC-2. Also, do you run your generator for a set time or do you monitor the inverter/battery readout and if so what values/times do you use?
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,488 admin
    Re: Old Batteries - New Batteries - Generator

    I have "pickled" the Honda for emergency use when the utility power fails (have not needed it in 10 years -- so far)... Hopefully somebody here that uses the genset daily can give you the real numbers.

    In theory, the generator should output around 110 to 117 VAC, and (as far as I know) the there is no "neutral" to generator ground connection. So any AC output to ground reading with a DMM is going to be a "floating" voltage with virtually no current behind it (i.e., a digital meter may read 60 volts from AC to ground--Put a 100 watt light between AC output and ground, and the voltage will fall to zero across the lamp).

    Most (all?) small (<~3.5kWatt) generators have floating AC outputs. Above ~3.5 kWatts, they usually have neutral bonded to generator frame/ground lug (I believe this may be required by code somewhere in the fine print). Ground bonded AC generators (and larger AC off grid inverters) become a "problem" for off grid homes. You should have Neutral Bus bar grounded to the home's ground system in only one spot. You put a bonded AC inverter + a bonded backup genset, and you can get weird problems (like blown generator control modules and fried grounding wires) with "multiple" ground bonds.

    In general, "acceptable" AC voltage, under load is from ~105 to 132 VAC--Although, 110 to 125 VAC is where I would want to see it operating typically (under load).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Old Batteries - New Batteries - Generator

    I am going to the cabin tomorrow so I can take a V reading between hot and ground on my EU2000i.
    But really it is irrelevant as ground is not part of the power circuit.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,753 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Old Batteries - New Batteries - Generator
    Also, do you run your generator for a set time or do you monitor the inverter/battery readout and if so what values/times do you use?
    I manually monitor the battery voltage and watch the sky. When the battery voltage is high enough, and the charge amps start to drop off, is when I usually shut off the genset and let the PV take over. Maybe at night I have to run it again for another hour before bedtime if it looks like the next AM will be nasty and I want to sleep in.
    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 ,

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