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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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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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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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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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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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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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