Well, I had wondered.
Ever since the electrical system rebuild, my inverter has shut itself down due to low voltage exactly twice – before this morning. Both times were due to profligate behavior on my part following cloudy weather. But the past four days have been gloriously sunny. So if I left my ‘pooter on all afternoon and into the evening until around nine, I saw nothing wrong with that. A few months ago there’d have been nothing wrong with that. The batteries were fully charged yesterday afternoon – as fully charged as they can be, poor things.
And everything would probably still have been all right if I hadn’t fallen asleep in my chair, book in hand, CFL lamp burning, and woke up with a stiff neck after midnight. Even that wouldn’t have caused a problem a few months ago – but that’s not now, and then I compounded the error by switching all my gear on this morning before the sun rose over the top of the ridge, and that was the final straw. The inverter clicked off, and we were done.
The really distressing part was how quickly after sunrise the battery voltage read over 13 volts. It’s a shallow vessel that fills quickly…
But now at least I have a better idea of what my batteries can do in their weakened state. The good news is that we’re past the solstice, so the days will be getting longer from now on. And I already know not to be stupid when it’s cloudy. As long as I don’t overuse the ‘pooter I’m fine until I can replace the batteries, even though that will probably take a while. At least through the winter, every erg of fund-raising will go toward eye surgery even if I read by kerosene lamp.
I’m going to shut it all down now and go do my chicken thing. Later than I should, but it’s still frickin’ cold.