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Old 09-11-2019, 03:05 PM
ajole ajole is offline
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Every time I see this thread title, I wonder WHY anyone would want to use a car battery on the Solar System? Maybe to brighten up Mars? Or charge up Uranus?
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Old 09-11-2019, 03:06 PM
lasers lasers is offline
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I didn't mention, I would prefer to stick with 12 volt output. I think it will be more useful that way. My thought is I would be able to power anything that is designed to run on a vehicle or camper power system that way. And I can use a cheap-ish power inverter if I need 120 volt.
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Old 09-11-2019, 03:06 PM
biathlon biathlon is offline
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https://www.google.com/search?q=batt...hrome&ie=UTF-8

https://www.backwoodssolar.com/

Go here. Using start batteries for deep cycle applications is not a good idea.
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:33 AM
pengyou pengyou is offline
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If I were using car batteries I would put them in something that had a constant energy drain - maybe night lcd lighting? Something that has predictable energy requirements.
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lasers View Post
It just feels like such a good deal on the panels that it would give me a chance to play with a useful amount of solar power on a low budget. But since my number one concern of being without power for more than a couple days is my freezer I would like to have a system that could keep that running as well. Even if it could only run when the sun shines that would be better than nothing.
When I was picking up 100 watt panels 20 years ago, seems like I was paying upward of $800 per panel.

I understand prices have come down since then.

While your panels sound like an incredible bargain, I'd probably check around first to compare pricing, and find out just how old these are... Remember, they used to have a life expectancy of 20 years... They might be worn out...

I can't advise you on converting 36 down to 12, but it sounds like you've gotten decent advice there...

Re using car batteries?
Better used than left setting on a board until they become useless...
After the batteries have played out, then you can get actual battery bank type batteries... Or... Even the whole golf cart...
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st0n3 View Post
When I was picking up 100 watt panels 20 years ago, seems like I was paying upward of $800 per panel.

I understand prices have come down since then.

While your panels sound like an incredible bargain, I'd probably check around first to compare pricing, and find out just how old these are... Remember, they used to have a life expectancy of 20 years... They might be worn out...

I can't advise you on converting 36 down to 12, but it sounds like you've gotten decent advice there...

Re using car batteries?
Better used than left setting on a board until they become useless...
After the batteries have played out, then you can get actual battery bank type batteries... Or... Even the whole golf cart...
The story behind the panels is they were installed in 2017 in a large array. This summer there was a grass fire under them and damaged some so the entire array was taken down. A friend of a friend bought a few dozen of them and resold 3 to my friend who realized panels were only a small part of the cost of off grid solar so gave up on the idea and offered them to me. Supposedly they were tested and still produce 100% of what they are rated at. Although at that price and my intended use of them even if they only produce 1/2 of what they are supposed to it will be more than I need.
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Old 09-12-2019, 10:52 AM
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Everyone I know thst understands PV panels and batteries has murdered their batteries at some point.
Even very smart folks with Electrical Engineering degrees.

My advise is buy used panels and cheap batteries and get some experience.
Try not to burn down your house while you learn.
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Old 09-12-2019, 01:29 PM
InOmaha InOmaha is offline
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If you're using it for a ice fishing shack, couldn't you use one to run the small loads and charge the batteries and the other 2 to dump power to a simple resistance heater?
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Old 09-12-2019, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by InOmaha View Post
If you're using it for a ice fishing shack, couldn't you use one to run the small loads and charge the batteries and the other 2 to dump power to a simple resistance heater?
If one panel is enough for the load I need that is fine. But I would also like the ability to run a chest freezer in case there is a power outage of over a couple days.

I don't think it would be worth it to use the other two for heating. Usually when the sun is shining heat isn't needed. Where it would work is if I could keep the shack warm all the time but that tends to end up with the shack bobbing in the water after it melted through the ice, or worse, after it is bobbing in the water it gets well below 0 and now the shack is frozen in the ice up to it's roof.
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Old 09-12-2019, 04:43 PM
arleigh arleigh is offline
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In the day I was getting started, the best battery was the 6 volt deep cycle golf cart deep cycle batteries . The were great for two reasons .
1. in a motorhome than had the amperage to start engines .
2. they had the ability to be drawn down with out hurting them.
3. @ 6 volt increments one could choose to link to other voltage requirements .
4. common battery used all over the world.
6. take a charge better than a 12 volt car battery.
7.
I am coming to the 12 year end of the batteries I now have .I have been holding off for the newer better batteries being made available .
I wish I could afford the flow battery but the price is a bit over my head.
At my age I probably should settle for another set of what I got, and let it go at that.
12 years is a good run.
I run a bit on the grid but my last electric bill was $27. I know it's high , I'll keep knocking it down.
It is not the price of the solar and wind mill or the batteries , it's the savings of having power I can rely on NOT frying my electronics ,which the electric company does not pay for.
Most people do not consider this cost, I do.
Not once have I seen an insurance company rush out to replace all ones stuff in the middle of a storm, it just doesn't happen.
But I have lights and power to all my stuff while every one else is going with out indefinitely. If my battery system is insufficient, I charge that system with a 5 HP engine /alternator .If the need is greater I have other generators to kick in.
I did not build this all at once , I did it through the years, learning and planning for the worst case scenario(having enjoyed a few). Not with the high tech others enjoy here, mind you, but learning as I go.
I started with used panels and used batteries and used voltage regulators, even a used inverter. and this long before LED lights.
You got it much cheaper than I, new panels are less then half the price pr watt than I paid for used ones.
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Old 10-03-2019, 11:19 AM
lasers lasers is offline
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Just an update and a thanks to those who pointed me in the right direction.

I bought the 3 panels but haven't picked them up yet. I plan to go with 3 30 amp mppt controllers. I figure that will give me the most options( i could use each panel and controller in separate places or tie them together)

Right now I have a KILL-A-Watt meter on my freezer so I will have some real numbers to work off of. Once I know the numbers I will look at a power inverter. The freezer is 22 cubic feet and probably 30 years old. If it draws too much power I may start looking for something smaller and more efficient second hand.
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:01 PM
workquik workquik is offline
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The car batteries in my system are now five yea s and still going. My control unit shut off before the are fully drained. 8 new batteries, cheapest I could find, $45 plus tax. All I run is a 16 cf refrigerator some LED lights and box fans..
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Old 10-03-2019, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by workquik View Post
The car batteries in my system are now five yea s and still going. My control unit shut off before the are fully drained. 8 new batteries, cheapest I could find, $45 plus tax. All I run is a 16 cf refrigerator some LED lights and box fans..
How many watts of solar panels do you have?
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Old 10-03-2019, 01:59 PM
workquik workquik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lasers View Post
How many watts of solar panels do you have?
Right at 4 thousand.
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Old 10-03-2019, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by workquik View Post
Right at 4 thousand.
It takes that much just to run a fridge? I was hoping the 960 I have would run a chest freezer.
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:22 PM
pengyou pengyou is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lasers View Post
It takes that much just to run a fridge? I was hoping the 960 I have would run a chest freezer.
Is your chest freezer set up to run like a fridge? Do you have an inverter with it or need to run 110v ac?
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Old 10-03-2019, 09:52 PM
lasers lasers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pengyou View Post
Is your chest freezer set up to run like a fridge? Do you have an inverter with it or need to run 110v ac?
It is set up as a freezer. At the moment I have nothing to run it but it is 110 and I need to get an inverter to run it on solar.
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Old 10-03-2019, 09:59 PM
workquik workquik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lasers View Post
It takes that much just to run a fridge? I was hoping the 960 I have would run a chest freezer.
I could run more but I'm running only what I need it will run a chest freezer in addition to to rest. I use an inverter for the fridge.
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