Winter solstice is an important day when you power with solar.

It’s the shortest sunny period, the earliest evening, and so the recharging capacity will be at its lowest at the same time your usage is likely to be highest. If you’re going to have problems with battery capacity, they are most likely to appear or become a real hassle around the solstice.

This has been a very good year for the Lair’s power system. In fact it’s been nearly two years since I lucked into those four discharged but providentially not ruined Trojan T-105s which proved such an unexpectedly major system improvement. Prior to that, in case you haven’t been tuned in for the whole show, I used two six-volt deep cycle batteries of approximately equivalent capacity, in the neighborhood of 230 a/h each, and prided myself on how virtuously frugal I was being. Someone offered to finance a larger bank one time, shortly after the solar panel expansion, and I turned it down with thanks because replacing a conventionally-large bank would be beyond my financial reach, and therefore I should avoid having one because my usage would inevitably expand to fit my capacity. That wasn’t completely bad reasoning and in principle I stand by it but as is often the case I took it too far. (Sidebar: you ever notice that all the more demented philosophies of human history tend to take one arguably-good idea and then try to stretch it to fit every possible situation? Purges and pograms tend to ensue.) Anyway, while it is true that I don’t practically need and prudently should not have an 8- or 16- or 24-battery bank, an unnecessarily small 2-battery bank was under frequent stress and I spent too much time and mental effort working around its limitations. You can get by with a minimal bank, I did for years, but it’s not the sweet center course.

You live and you learn. It’s good to take a few minutes now and then to reflect on what works well and what could be improved.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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One Response to Winter solstice is an important day when you power with solar.

  1. B says:

    Hey, man, I tried.

    The offer still stands, it=f your current batteries die.

To the stake with the heretic!