Saturday, January 10, 2015

Solar System

I think I might finally be getting a handle on the battery bank saga.

Our original bank boiled dry after 2.5 years and I figured that the answer would be to essentially double the battery capacity. It's really kinda funny how wrong that can be. :D

Our new battery bank is huge and fancy and less than 2 years old. And going down hill fast.

It's supposed to last at least 7 years. SO I know, from past experience, that it must be the loose nut putting it together that's causing the problem. I ordered the original system from and they bailed on me when I was trying to figure out what I'd done wrong the first time. I discovered that one does not run an equalization charge on maintaince free batteries, and you have to reset the defaults on your system to avoid that.

Lesson learned.

Bank 2 was bought from a solar "guru" in Durango. He was helpful and good to deal with. Unfortunately, I didn't know the right questions to ask so as to garner the right answers.

I was researching today and stumbled upon the user forums at Northern Arizona Wind and Sun. I enrolled and listed out the difficulties I was having. As of this evening I think I have a workable solution and a means to bring it about. It appears that I have oversized the battery bank for the given generation from solar panels that I have. The answer is to add 3 panels and upgrade the charge controller to handle the loads. In the interim I'll run the generator in the mornings and let the bank run absorb charge most of the day. That should bring it back up quite a bit. Also I now have a better plan and understanding for how much absorption time to run. along with a decent equalization schedule.

It's quite nice chatting with folks who just want to help. Now I just have to have someone hit a pole on  a Sunday so I can afford the upgrades.......

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Day one.

Today has been a quite pleasant day. We chilled out, internetted in bed for a bit, prepped the house for company that's coming in late tomorrow, I even installed a timer on our well pump to help preserve our batteries through the really cold months. Today started out filled with snow and cold, moved into some lovely sunshine and now there are soft clouds drifting across the mountains just to the west. I have to work tomorrow but it should be pretty calm, Crys* is off till Monday. The deck has dried off nicely on the south side, but the north side is still frozen and chilly looking. We've been sipping some nice fancy booze today. Started out with some of the Pyrat Cask 1623 that Crys* gave me for Christmas and followed that with some Stranahan's Mt. Bierstadt Snowflake limited edition whiskey. We'll finish with a sipper of some Hyland Park 18 year in front of the TV tonight.
It's a rough life, but we try to manage.