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Author Topic: Offgridders,,Now is the time.  (Read 3433 times)
biff
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« on: April 09, 2013, 02:40:54 PM »

Offgridders,
           Now is the time to get out the distilled water and top up your batteries.The sun will shine brighter and longer from now on so keeping your bank topped up will prolong the life.It is best to use good quality distilled water unlike me who uses rain water.
       This morning I removed the caps from 60 cells and topped up the lot.I used almost 30 ltrs of water and it took for ages.I could almost hear them breathing a sigh of relief and saying"Ye took yer time about that".But I got it done.
    I had filled a good 10 5ltrs jars from my collector and put 2 in the control house ready for use.when I went to look for the other lot,I could not find them.I had stored them away out of reach for fear that someone would drink out of them.They are after all just 5 ltr water bottles and impossible to tell apart from the ones you buy in aldi,s.So there I was walking about looking to see where i put the damd things 8 months ago.So back I went to the collector and filled up another 4 5ltrs ones.
  The water should be good.It blew in from the east,carrying all the nice acid from Germany and Poland plus that nice glowing juice from Cherry nobel.So its all systems go.Thunderbirds are go!!Wondering would the smell o0f the acid leaning over the batts send  one high,?
                                                Biff
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Billy
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2013, 03:21:30 PM »

Yo Biff, what's with this distilled water lark?

Should have gone for "Hydro Caps".

I dunno what they do but no water needed for six years so far.  Apart from the 15 litres I gave them 'cause they must have used some by now.

I must say you remind me of gardeners question time when they give out the seasonal tips.  Grin

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DaveSnafu
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2013, 03:35:09 PM »

Aye, I remembered yesterday, went and got 10 litres from halfords, they took most of it in 12 cells, about 1.5 litres left.
We have had decent sun for weeks now, just no rain to make the grass grow.
I left the system in the care of the kids for a couple of weeks, I guess it must have been windy as I topped them up about 6 weeks ago.
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2013, 06:00:03 PM »

I get mine in 25l containers for 16.26 inc delivery from HERE.

Did pick some up in Tesco's once as they were clearing it out for pennies.
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2013, 06:27:42 PM »

Topped mine up last week with Halfords di-ionised just before doing a shortish equalisation charge whilst it was very sunny.
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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2013, 07:06:50 PM »

Aye Billy,
        I should have gone for specsavers when I was at it.The sun was blinding bright and the cells were glaring back at me aaaannnnnnd the wind was blowing and there I was leaning over 2 ton of batteries,trying not to spill a drop of eastern promise.
      I still cannot find the other 8 x 5ltrs of water.( I hope to god they are not under the bed)  crack
                                                                              Biff
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camillitech
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2013, 08:33:14 PM »

'Now is the time' my foot Biff, you should be doing it and your SG's weekly and keeping a log  fight

Cheers, Paul
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biff
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« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2013, 08:49:47 PM »

Thats ok for you Paul,
                    You can read and write. fight.I have built in way of really knowing when the batts really really need water,
         And I do keep a log,,well lots of logs,nice warm ones.
                                                                 Biff
                              
« Last Edit: April 09, 2013, 08:52:29 PM by biff » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2013, 09:17:17 PM »

Looking after so many banks on the ferry and at home I've had it drummed into me. It's also a requirement under the 'planned maintenance guidelines' of the MCA. All I can say is that regular electrolyte checks have saved several of the banks that I look after and in my experience a good 'cycled' bank will need distilled water adding every fortnight, OK, it will probably go six weeks or even eight if they're not getting charged properly but then you just end up adding gallons instead of pints.

Cheers, Paul
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'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 4.75kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2013, 08:53:12 AM »

Hi Paul.

I check our banks weekly, usually need to top up every 2 weeks. All logged for future exciting reading!!

 I buy 25ltr drums from an independant motor factors, it comes out at around 12.00.  Cheapest i can buy.

Looks like Billy has carpet down in his battery house, now that is posh.
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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2013, 09:46:39 AM »

What can I say lads, Cry
                       Guilty,!! banghead I have been cruel to my batteries,All 2 ton of them.I have been bad.I have let them go for months at a time in fact the 48volt section never got a drink for over a year and the 72volt section tasted the last drop of juice september last.
  And me a moderator,!!well for the next ten minutes anyhow.
   And even worse,,They never experienced the joys of an equalising charge,the biggest charge to come their way has been 141v,which is the equivilent of 14.1v to a 12 volt battery.(mind you,there was one night that a grey box controller gave up the ghost in a force 8 and the voltage went up to 161volts the inverter shut down and the turbine decided to try and disappear into the night.Ahh ,(Mary Hopkins) "Those were the days"
My battery Pack is a green topped cholride 72v x 600ah hyster forklift truck + a 48v x 800ah powersafe pack,one carried the other into its present situation some 6 years ago and has not moved since.There have been the odd occasion when it was taken down to 116 volt but very odd.99% of the time it never falls below123volt.It will take today to convert all my lovely acid rainwater to nice battery power and then the performance will improve once again.I have set up a 120volt pmg to charge the pack up to 150volt for 10 minutes at a time but never actually got round to doing it.It looks like I might have broken a few rules so I will have to try and improve my conduct towards my batteries.But I learned that when you connect a big 48ah pack to a smaller 72ah pack that the big ah one will hold its drink a lot longer than the smaller ah one,despite the 24cell difference.I made a lot of other intresting observations in relation to this but the main one is,The system still works beautifully and long may it stay that way.     Biff
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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2013, 04:34:12 PM »

Strewth Biff,

I just couldn't cope with the chaos,



I must have a touch of OCD, I like one neat inverter, one battery bank and one generator all configured to take the decision making out of my hands. My head is full of mince at the best of times and having to worry about when to do an EQ or when to turn on the genny would just not work for me, specially as I'm away from home so much. I can just imagine what the wife would say if I gave her a list of instructions about when to do all that stuff you do.  fight

Cheers, Paul
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'Off grid' since 1985,  Proven 2.5kW, Proven 6kW direct heating, SI6.OH, 800ah Rolls, 4.75kW PV ,4xTS45, Lister HR2 12kW, , Powerspout pelton, Stream Engine turgo, 60 x Navitron toobs and a 1500lt store. Outback VFX3048 and 950ah forklifts for backup,
biff
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« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2013, 05:33:06 PM »

Ahhh,I see where you are coming from,
                              I can say with mine and on mine eart that your truly would be loath to issue instructions to same wifey.They would all come back and hit me on the hearing aid.Nope,Im the one who does all the exciting force 8 rescue operations(or used to do).
     You are probely under the impression that I am connecting up packs of batteries etc,,etc, but no, Im doing no such thing.The 72 volt and the 48 volt are all one big happy family of 120volt and there has never been a hand put near them apart from topping up the water and perhaps hooking up an array.
    Indeed the whole affair has run smoothly since I first drove the forklift into its present place 6 yrs ago and connected up the batts.I am happy to say that my experiments with the hubs and blades bore good results,abeit purely by chance and our turbine now runs through the storms without a bother.Then there is the water heating dump load systems which I completed a few weeks ago,so the whole kiboodle is totally automatic.
    I love the picture of you filling your batteries.I can see at a glance that you know your stuff.The born engineer in you shines through immediatly.No,,I am not taking the Michael.You even have an face guard to protect yourself against the acid.The workshop is spotless,its almost as pretty as my loft. Grin.
 Even Cyril is gleaming with pride.No its not OCD,its just your rigorous training for the ferries bearing fruit.Such life dependant training is serious business and rightly so.However,speaking from experience,I think that those nice batts should be in their tank,safely tucked away to one side with their sides carefully supported to keep them from sagging during an accidental prolonged equalising charge.Mistakes can happen.I know.I made loads of them.
                                                            Biff
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biff
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« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2013, 08:29:41 PM »

This is the correct tank for your valuable cells,It still has room for the ribbed pads round the outside and the divider in the middle.Once the cells are set into this tank,they are safe from damage except from the top which can be covered over.I have seen these same cells belly out of shape.

     All my 60 cells are set solid into tanks like these.It is also a safety requirement,If a cell does happen to blow,it blows verticle and is 80% less likely to cause a chain reaction.Blowing verticle means that anyone nearby get a chance to get clear.I know 2 brothers who have been through the experience and they told me it was the tank which saved their lives.The cell which blew up went verticle for 20ft and struck the underside of a tin roof,showering everybody with acid and bits of lead,it was much the same effect as a mortar but the remaining batteries did not ignite.So these tanks are a good thing.
                                             Biff
« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 08:44:53 PM by biff » Logged

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Billy
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« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2013, 12:25:32 AM »

Ah, Andy, that's because they were living in the dining room (wheelhouse) at the time.  They have since moved to the motor room, above the propeller shaft.  With all this fuss I felt obliged to check the red things.  According to Rolls the fluid is the correct height above the grid, actually a bit high.  Probably because I put that watery stuff in a few years ago.

Why don't all  batteries come with these caps?

Biff, where are you and your buddies, remind me not to visit, sounds feckin dangerous.   Grin
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 12:32:06 AM by Billy » Logged
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