Crap. That barely worked at all.

Four elderly batteries turn out not to be enough to run Ian’s system. It would boot up but not stay running for more than a short time, and this morning I finally figured out how to display the error message…

“Low AC output voltage” can only be caused by low DC input, and that’s that. My brilliant improvisation did not work.

Or at least not well enough. The system seems to cycle on and off to the point where so far my frozen stuff hasn’t begun to thaw, which it certainly would have by now if the freezer were simply unplugged. So there’s that. May need to bring out the generator if I want to wash clothes, and that’s going to be an interesting adventure since I’ll have to run power to the washer AND the pressure pump at the same time. Good thing that back in 2020 I impulsively made a way to provide alternative power to the pump, huh? Powering the water heater isn’t strictly necessary for clothes washing but it would be if I wanted to use the shower. And then there’s the question of what the water softener will do without power…

Yeah – I’ll bet not one of these batteries would pass a load test.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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11 Responses to Crap. That barely worked at all.

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’ve some experience with inverters and battery banks, series parallel setups at 24 volts. I have no idea how you got 14 years out of those batteries. What brand are they, if I may ask?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Oh, and also, 4 6 volt batteries CAN make 24 volt if they are wired in series, But it is a stop gap measure.


  3. Mike says:

    If it’s not one thing, it’s another. If Ian is going to replace the batteries, he should look at Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries. Much better life span and much less fire risk than Lithium-ion batteries.

  4. Joel says:

    I have no idea how you got 14 years out of those batteries.

    I’d like to take all the credit and say it was entirely due to careful maintenance. There WAS careful maintenance but mostly it was a very low cycle rate, maximum something in the neighborhood of 15% except in extreme conditions like what happened in the very very overcast late December/early January of last winter. Even that was kind of a warning sign that they weren’t doing well.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The adventures continue…
    Tree Mike

  6. Anonymous says:

    No idea what new batteries cost but a donation to the tip jar. Hopefully it’ll help. Though I imagine Ian makes way more than I do. But the Shower Fund needs feedi9ng.

  7. malatrope says:

    Anonymous up top: they look like Rolls-Surrette. If so, they are very good batteries, for FLA.

  8. Dr. Coyote says:

    Lithium batteries are great, and I use them for my home and portable small solar setups – both LiFePO4 and various lithium ion types. However, if there’s a chance of the battery room temperatures dipping below freezing, be aware that charging many lithium chemistry batteries while cold will kill them. If you go the lithium road, be sure to read the spec sheets on this.

    Honestly though, for a stationary application like this where weight and slosh aren’t a concern, it’s still hard to beat the price and performance of good old FLABs. Also, you won’t have to (potentially) change out the solar charge controllers.

  9. Joel says:

    Anonymous up top: they look like Rolls-Surrette. If so, they are very good batteries, for FLA.

    Oh! Sorry, I meant to respond to that. But yeah, they’re Rolls-Surrette. Expensive but a very good way to go for the application if you have the cash.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Not that it matters now, ’cause’s I’m out of that island game, but we used Deka G27s, 24 volt parallel series, and a bunch of them. Best i could get from them was three years. I think Rolls-Surette is pretty much top of the line, but could never get the boss to spring for an upgrade.
    Still….14 years…you must have been sweet talking them at every servicing to get that from them.

    Don’t know why I cannot log in with a name now, I think that’s on my end


  11. Arthur says:

    I gather that Ian isn’t there much, but when he is would enjoy having electrons flowing. To that end, a small propane-powered gennie comes to mind, instead of solar. Which would come with its own set of complications, so maybe solar would be better.

    And, along those lines, what would it take to create a “utility room” structure at The Lair ? Small insulated space with a small washer and propane-heated shower (I’m thinking of something like the Zodi, but a bit less rustic), powered by the Honda 2000?

To the stake with the heretic!