So last night, keeping an anxious eye on my voltage readout, I celebrated bedtime by doing something I haven’t bothered with in years: I went out to the powershed and turned the inverter right off. This left me with lights* but eliminated the usually-but-not-right-now insignificant parasitic draw from the inverter. Three days with no sight of my shadow had finally pushed my much-improved electrical system back to where it was in 2013 or so.
None of this would matter to a normal person: Batteries are expendable commodities and numerous neighbors find out theirs are low when their inverters shut down. Long-time readers know I went through a lengthy period where I scrounged all my infrastructure and a single shorted cell on a worn-out second-hand battery could be a disaster. I grew used to babying batteries. And as of this past summer I have four new batteries for the first time ever, and I’m sure my ex-wife would complain that I treat them with more consistent loving-kindness than I ever showed her.
So this “crisis” is for informational purposes only, is what I’m saying. I never came close to involuntary inverter shutdown.
Anyway: I got up, took care of TB’s needs, and went outside to switch the inverter back on. Came in and recorded voltages…
The upper read-out is for the main battery bank, four T105s connected to the inverter. The lower reading is for 2 older (very old, and just showing signs of failure) T105s that run my 12-volt lighting. Since the beginning of winter those two batteries have begun to track consistently lower voltage even fully charged, and they discharge a tiny bit faster. With the inverter off all night we just barely bumped down below 12.0 volts (no load) for the first time … ever, really. I took that pic at 7 am, and watched carefully while doing other things. The sky cleared overnight so I knew we’d be on the road to recovery as soon as the voltage began ticking upward…
So that’s good to know – on the fourth day I’d either have had to ration electrical usage or give serious thought to whether hooking my battery minder to the battery bank as a whole would actually work. Pretty sure it would work in a straightforward manner – it works on 2 batteries, why not 4 – but I’ve never really tried.
* Much of the main cabin has been retrofitted with 12 volt LEDs, and the addition has nothing but. So all I really needed the inverter for was charging wireless devices and of course the vital task of grinding coffee.