You might recall that back in December a neighbor invited me to haul off these four oldish 6-volt batteries.
I was certain they were no good, and only picked them up to be neighborly. I figured sometime I’d find some salvager who’d be willing to give me a few bucks for them. But they’re Trojan T-105’s, which have a very good rep in solar power systems. And they took a charge just fine, and tested fine, and held their charge fine for, like, months. I really didn’t want to go to the trouble of replacing my two 3-year-old known-good batteries with four maybes, but months passed and I couldn’t find anything wrong with them. Believe me, I tried.
With the weather having turned so beautiful and warm I was just completely out of excuses. It wouldn’t cost anything but some effort and a few new cables to check them out. There was one problem, though…
When I built my powershed in 2012 I was still working on the “spend no unnecessary money” paradigm, and the powershed was made entirely with scrounged materials. Entirely – even when that turned out to be quite unwise. Every time I walk in there I’m a little surprised the floor hasn’t collapsed, and I would not have bet anything that it would survive doubling the battery weight in that corner.
So before I could do anything with the batteries I had to pull everything out of the shed – including the old batteries – and replace the floor with plywood that would bear the weight. That took an hour right there – and don’t forget, Joel, to get the plywood cut to size before you completely disable your power system. Okay?
Then I took the Jeep over to Ian’s place, where I had the new/old batteries stashed. Loaded them up – and damn but deep cycle batteries are heavy – and also cut a piece of surplus plywood to increase the size of the table a little. Dragged the batteries into my powershed, got them set in place…
…and then came the scary part. I am not an electrician. At all. Mostly because I’m afraid of sparky things that shock me.
But I’m also not an idiot, and as long as you’re careful it’s not rocket science. Also I’ve got this book that has a very simple diagram for how to wire up a series-parallel circuit.
So everything’s working. That’s good. Of course I won’t know until this evening – and then recharging the whole thing tomorrow – if I’ve actually improved anything or if I end up putting the old batteries back.
But at least I got a stronger powershed floor out of it, and that needed to be done anyway. Now for lunch, and then I’ve got to put all that crap back where it belongs. Some of it could really use a scrub first.