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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hood Vehicle Motor vehicle Wheel Automotive exterior

I work maintenance in a level one Trauma center. We have several large Cat diesel generators. They use a large 210 amp hr @ 20hrs, 1500 CCA battery designed to last 8-10 years. Joint commission requires we change them at 2 years . I asked for a got 2 . A few years ago I salvaged a 20 watt solar panel from a monitor I picked up a 1000 watt inverter from the big CPU . A friend who plays with solar some bought a controller then decided that he wanted a bigger one , I traded him a 12 pack of Mt. Dew for a controller.. I have bought a few terminals and small parts. I can trickle charge these batteries I don't have enough panels to run it daily. I don't have heavy enough cables to twin them together to run something bigger. What I have done is put what I have together to make sure everything works before I spend money. I have batteries, panel and controller in an old garden wagon I have had for years I have clamps from an old jump box on the inverter . So I can pull this out in the sun to charge store inside hook the inverter and run my furnace for a few days . Pull it out to a car or garden tractor or if necessary I could jump a semi tractor . Eventually I plan to build a box that fits in the wagon to hold batteries , controllers , inverters and solar panels on the lid, maybe even have lights mounted on it. Right now it is quite useful around the house and at the moment I have less than $20 out of pocket invested. Working rough draft of a power supply no where near finished
Hood Vehicle Motor vehicle Wheel Automotive exterior
 

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Always Loaded
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Very cool man! Should upgrade with one of the Renology 100W panels. Would up your investment a lot, but for $100 you could charge those batteries 5X faster.

Considering the way the wind is blowing, you might be relying on that for essentials very soon. Upping your ability could be life changing. That little contraption might be worth more than a Mercedes in a year.
 

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Very neat. I am jealous.
There should be some form of charging the battery pack from standard power or a generator. Been a long time since I played with DC or anything of the sort, so that is way beyond me right now.
But worth the search.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Very neat. I am jealous.
There should be some form of charging the battery pack from standard power or a generator. Been a long time since I played with DC or anything of the sort, so that is way beyond me right now.
But worth the search.
I have battery charger . We have in the past ran the generator a few hours to keep house warm fridge and freezer cold etc. Then off, this conserves fuel and keep noise down . This with the inverter I have should run my furnace . I would put a standard charger on it and recharge it anytime I ran the generator
 

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I have battery charger . We have in the past ran the generator a few hours to keep house warm fridge and freezer cold etc. Then off, this conserves fuel and keep noise down . This with the inverter I have should run my furnace . I would put a standard charger on it and recharge it anytime I ran the generator
Kinda what I was thinking, except a built in unit that is capable of taking power from anywhere else to feed the batteries when you have the opportunity.

Saw a neat unit a while back,the family tow it up to their cabin every summer. Not only did it charge from the solar panels on it but from expansion panels. As well as DC from the truck, or the generator, or household power when available.

Basically it was rigged to run their whole normal house all night and recharge the next day even when it was being used.

Again, way beyond my ability to describe properly. Didn’t get that long a time to dig into it.
But I am still jealous of your unit.
 

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I got a few that were being disposed of from the hospital I worked in. Gave one to my brother in law and have 2 for myself. They power the internet modem and Ipad for about 2 hours of continuous use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I got a few that were being disposed of from the hospital I worked in. Gave one to my brother in law and have 2 for myself. They power the internet modem and Ipad for about 2 hours of continuous use.
In some earlier testing of some of the components . I put a meter on one of the batteries . Hooked up the inverter . I ran two Dash mini cookers . Two canned biscuits where flattened and cooked in the waffle maker tater tots where cooked on the griddle 4:30 minutes each then an egg and slice of ham @ 3:00 minutes each these pull ~350 watts each this was nothing charging the battery it started out at 12.68 volts at times with both cooker pulling power it dropped to 12.65 volts as soon as I disconnected everything it returned to 12.68 volts. These batteries weigh 120 lbs each
 

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Cool beans. I had something along that line using 6VDC golf cart batteries obtained from the local links for just a few dollars. Are your cells the flooded lead-acid type - ie will produce H2 while on charge?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Understand this is just a rough mock up to test what I have is capable of. Before I spend money to upgrade it . Once I get a box to fit in the wagon and provide a stable platform a better panel and maybe a bigger inverter are priority upgrades
 

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For the first few years I lived back here I did not have power besides what propane could give me. I had a generator, but it was too loud and expensive to run for long periods so I only ran it a couple times a week. I was at a safety meeting one day and the highway department was getting all new solar signs and I quick grabbed what they were tossing away. I have to admit that first set up didn't look half as good as yours does, but I had two plug ins on my screened porch and I loved it! I could finally do laundry without sitting there cranking for hours on end. There are many places that we can scrounge up a small power supply.

You did a great job in your set up. I am glad I never took pictures of mine because it was not pretty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
For the first few years I lived back here I did not have power besides what propane could give me. I had a generator, but it was too loud and expensive to run for long periods so I only ran it a couple times a week. I was at a safety meeting one day and the highway department was getting all new solar signs and I quick grabbed what they were tossing away. I have to admit that first set up didn't look half as good as yours does, but I had two plug ins on my screened porch and I loved it! I could finally do laundry without sitting there cranking for hours on end. There are many places that we can scrounge up a small power supply.

You did a great job in your set up. I am glad I never took pictures of mine because it was not pretty.
I am an old hillbilly , pretty is in performance to me . I have carried water from a spring to wash clothes . Lived with the bathroom being 100 ft out the back door . Running water was a shallow well pump on a dug well with a garden hose through the window. I will upgrade this but it will provide power as it sets.
 

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Your batteries are awesome, but 20 watts of solar panel isn't nearly enough. 200 watts is a good start. Get them while the getting is good.

20 watts times 6 hours of sun is only 120 watt-hours of usable power. A typical house consumes 29,000 watt-hours of power per day. If you don't have A/C or all electric appliances it can be a lot less.

 

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I got a few that were being disposed of from the hospital I worked in. Gave one to my brother in law and have 2 for myself. They power the internet modem and Ipad for about 2 hours of continuous use.
Sounds like that battery is basically dead if you only get 2 hours for an internet modem and iPad. I have units that AT&T sold to customers that are basically a small 7 amp/hour 12 v DC UPS box and they will power the internet modem a minimum of 4 hours.
 

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Sounds like that battery is basically dead if you only get 2 hours for an internet modem and iPad. I have units that AT&T sold to customers that are basically a small 7 amp/hour 12 v DC UPS box and they will power the internet modem a minimum of 4 hours.
Yeah this one has 4- 12 volt batteries in it.I will have to get new ones.
ones for it. Audio equipment Wood Electronic instrument Floor Flooring
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Your batteries are awesome, but 20 watts of solar panel isn't nearly enough. 200 watts is a good start. Get them while the getting is good.

20 watts times 6 hours of sun is only 120 watt-hours of usable power. A typical house consumes 29,000 watt-hours of power per day. If you don't have A/C or all electric appliances it can be a lot less.

This is just what I have scrounged up . I understand I have just enough to trickle charge it . I have the basics I have less than $20 in what you see in the picture. I need to improve the enclosure . Heavy enough wire to twin the batteries together to run in tandem them a bigger inverter is next I can charge it with a battery charger if necessary
 
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