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Thread: Solar workout for Christmas

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    2,695

    Default Solar workout for Christmas

    I spent most of today working on my honey-do list that my wife gave me. One item on the list was to put the Christmas lights up. As I was putting the lights up an idea started brewing in my head. Why not run the lights off of my small solar setup? This will be a good workout for my batteries and will be a good test to see how quickly the batteries recover the next day.


    As of right now, my system is tiny. It consists of a pair of old 100 amp/hr AGM batteries, a single 50 watt solar panel, and a cheap MPPT charge controller. Testing today showed the panel putting out an average of 2.5 amps of current through the charge controller for 4 hours and 2 amps for another 3.

    So starting tonight, I will be running about 200' of led lights for a few hours and I'll see tomorrow how long it takes the batteries to recover.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,197

    Default



    Looking forward to your results
    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    mississippi
    Posts
    2,017

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    I got ahead of the ole Christmas lights this year. The wife's B-day is next week--- I got her one of the deluxe ''shining stars'' projection lights in 3 colors for her gift. Our home is 5,600 sf under roof, 2,800 sf 14' below ground, 2,800 at ground level with a white steel ''barn'' roof--- a perfect screen for the lights. She will love it, thankfully it has been too rainy for her to fuss too much about not strings light on ground level decks yet.
    ''the heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left'' Ecclesiastes 10:2 [ NIV ]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    3,107

    Default

    Sounds like a good test. I did something along the same lines, it taught me a lot about what to realistically expect from my solar backup system.

    Please report back with findings!
    In a crazy world, it's the crazy man who can get by - and it's about to get cray-cray up in here.

  5. #5

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    I stopped decorating a few years back. Basically, I wanted to fade off into the woodwork and the airial populations eyes. You can't see there is a house on my property and you can only barely tell there are buildings on my place from the sky in the daytime. Not at all at night. We also built a non-reflective hood over our security light after we had them installed below the tree line. Nothing to see here. Move on.
    Remember what Einstein said:
    I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    2,695

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    I turned it on at 6 pm with a battery bank voltage of 12.87 volts. I'll let it run for a couple of hours before turning it off and taking a voltage reading. I don't want to kill the batteries so I'm taking baby steps.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Mountains & Lakes of the extreme NorthEast
    Posts
    1,272

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Camouflaged View Post
    I stopped decorating a few years back. Basically, I wanted to fade off into the woodwork and the airial populations eyes. You can't see there is a house on my property and you can only barely tell there are buildings on my place from the sky in the daytime. Not at all at night. We also built a non-reflective hood over our security light after we had them installed below the tree line. Nothing to see here. Move on.
    Nice, Cammie, a gal after my own heart.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
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    Here is a little background on the batteries, and why I am saying they are on their last legs.

    I bought 6 agm 100 amp/hr batteries in 2012. They were 3 years old at that time and were telecom battery backups. I used them for a couple of years, then passed them on to my brother who is notorious for abusing and killing batteries. About a month ago, I got 4 of the batteries back. All of them had less than 11 volts. 1 of them was registering 4 volts, another was at 9 volts, and the other 2 were a little over 10 volts. I managed to save 2 of the batteries. So this is why the batteries are on their last legs and I am doing baby steps.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  9. #9

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    You might think I'm silly but I also covered my camera lense on all my devises with red tape.
    Attachment 1009

    Quote Originally Posted by Winni View Post
    Nice, Cammie, a gal after my own heart.
    Remember what Einstein said:
    I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
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    Alright, after 2 hours the battery bank voltage was at 12.5 volts. I took this reading 2 minutes after turning the power inverter off.

    Btw, the power inverter I am using is serious overkill. It is a harbor freight special, 2k watt continuous 4k watt surge model. I'm sure if I put my small 300 watt inverter on the lights then it would not pull the bank down nearly as fast. In a couple of days I'll try to get a reading on just how much current is being pulled by this current setup.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

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