When my batteries (20) are charged or fading, I can have a "blackout" every 20 seconds... WHY? I do not want to have a fire or death in the system. I AM older and do not understand what the maintenance is. I have a 12K backup Coleman generator. I am having to use WAY too much. My batteries and the system are 5 years old. I just don't get it.:confused: n


  • n3qikn3qik Solar Expert Posts: 741 ✭✭
    Re: circuitry???

    What brand and model number are the batteries. Do you have a voltmeter, if so, we will need some voltage readings.
  • GreenPowerManiacGreenPowerManiac Solar Expert Posts: 453 ✭✭✭
    Re: circuitry???

    Never heard of batteries doing this. May be something else doing the "Hiccups" in the works like a charge controller or inverter, transfer switch. We need to know how things are set up before a verdict can be met.

    What voltage is your battery system ?
    Do you have an automatic transfer switch to the generator ?
    Wattage of output from inverter ?
    Charge controller type ?
    Anything else would be helpful.
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  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: circuitry???

    " When my batteries (20) are charged or fading, I can have a "blackout" every 20 seconds"

    i'm not exactly sure what it is you are saying here. are you saying that you give them a full charge and the power just fades off quickly? are we talking deep cycle batteries here and what make and model? there are some generic batteries that a 5 year lifespan is normal. many from walmart are in this category. if you suspect something is amiss in your system then you will have to give us more details to help you try to figure out what's wrong.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,157 admin
    Re: circuitry???

    I am going to suggest that you find a family member/neighbor/friend/professional who is familiar with electrical systems to help you with your setup.

    20 lead acid storage batteries is a large system by any measure. If you are not sure of what you are doing--accidentally touching the wrong parts, wearing jewelry, drop metal tool across battery bank, and/or setting up your meter incorrectly can result in serious injury or worse.

    It sounds like you are running an inverter and you are having problems with the inverter output failing. It could be anything from a bad inverter, to undercharged battery bank, to a worn out battery bank (probably prematurely from improper loads/charging cycles and/or lack of maintenance; if flooded cell batteries--have you been keeping water levels up with distilled water?).

    We can make some suggestions here--but you need to be sure you understand exactly what you are doing. And some suggestions such as using a hydrometer to measure your specific gravity may not be possible if you have AGM/Sealed storage batteries.

    By the way, what are your power sources? 12 kW genset. Solar Panels? AC utility power? etc.?

    If you have any digital photos you can post of the major components (battery bank, charge controller(s), inverter, electrical panels, etc.)--It may help too.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: circuitry???

    I am assuming you have 20 batteries - if so they are probably the typical golf car size and type. If they are 5 years old, they might be getting very near the end of their life.

    How are and how have you been keeping them charged up?
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: circuitry???

    What do you use this system for? Off grid full time? Emergency power? Back-up? Who designed/built and has maintained this system?

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,091 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: circuitry???

    Inverter automatic low DC cut-out ?
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    gen: ,

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