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[M] Redefining personal energy security - Page 6

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Posted by Jim Wilkins on March 31, 2019, 11:48 pm

I suppose you meant to recommend Generac. They say memory is the  
second thing to go as we get older.

Like 'ads' I have enough battery + sine UPS power to last through the  
night, and long enough the next day to shovel a path through the snow  
to the generator and woodshed. If I cram the food into the DC-powered  
freezer the batteries should last 2-3 overcast days. Naturally I'd  
store food in the snow during the day and the car overnight (animals)  
if the weather permits but the plan doesn't assume it.

I can't recommend the obsolete and rare APC 1400 Smart-UPS that I  
acquired free-for-the-fixing at a flea market to anyone assembling a  
new backup system and haven't found a reasonably priced alternative  
that can start a refrigerator, especially one with a lower  
self-consumption or load sensing turn-on capability. The APC responds  
to serial port turn-on and shutdown commands when on AC but not on  

I'm trying to design a solar backup system that is safe, relatively  
affordable and doesn't require a degree to assemble and use, though  
the experimental arrangement I have now fails the last badly. So far  
this under-$00 30A MPPT controller looks good.

Posted by ads on April 1, 2019, 6:46 am
On Sun, 31 Mar 2019 19:48:37 -0400, "Jim Wilkins"

I don't recognize the design of that controller so I don't know who
makes it.  

 I have used the EPEver/EPSolar 30 and 40 amp MPPT controllers; one 30
amp (Tracer 3210A) has been in service for more than a year with no
problems (they're a few dollars more but do have remote
monitor/control capabilities, using a $.99 RS485->USB interface with
their free software plus there are extra cost wifi and BLE add-ons).
The Tracer xx10 units can handle a maximum of 100 volts of solar
input.  The xx15 units can handle up to 150 volts on the solar input.

MakeSkyBlue has good prices on higher power controllers (up to 60
amps) but be sure you get the latest version (118 as of this writing).
I have a 60A MSB that's version 113 and while it does work, it has
some quirks that make it less than totally reliable.  The unit I have
is off by 0.25 volts in its measurement and display of the battery
voltage, which is NOT a good thing - that much error in charge voltage
could destroy lithium cells and shorten the life of any lead acid
battery (I'm still working on the bug list.  Ask and I'll post what I
have).  These units are rated for 150+ volts on the solar input.

Midnite sells some great controllers but at 3 or 4 times the price of
the other units,  The 60 amp version is rated for around 200 volts on
the solar input.

Posted by Jim Wilkins on April 1, 2019, 12:12 pm
 <ads> wrote in message  

The display on the one I have is also inaccurate, but calibrated  
meters connected (through fuses) at the battery terminals show 13.8V  
when it's in Float.
https://www.amazon.com/Holdding-Voltmeter-7-5-19-99V-Polarity-Protection/dp/B00MDD6SOY/ref=sr_1_14?keywords .99v&qid54115990&s=gateway&sr=8-14

Gassing is minimal below 14.0V for my batteries, though the last 20%  
of charging is slow. It's easy to check by covering the filler  
openings with clear tape and slowly raising the float voltage. The APC  
1400's float setting was 13.6V which takes all day to fully recharge.  
My Newpoint UPS uses 13.7V. FWIW I've read that 14.3V is the  
threshhold for concern. I take batteries outdoors to equalize them at  
gassing voltages. Stairs and their weight limit me to 12V 100AH.

Posted by Jim Wilkins on April 9, 2019, 10:25 pm
That was a joke:
"What's the first?"
"I don't remember."

Posted by JAB on March 25, 2019, 6:28 am

A home microgrid is being pursued in Hawaii, via economic
incentives...and also in Europe.

In rural US, power outages are quite common, and various means are
used.  From generators, to burning wood in fireplaces....I even use a
backup power supply to run a Rinnai furnace, which is low wattage.
When its depleted, a 12 volt to 120 volt inverter.

For most city dwellers, their options are limited.  A home microgrid
is possible, but a better solution would be a large scale PV/Sun

Off-griders are a special bred, and for many, it just won't work.
Needless to say, capitalists would oppose idealism that strips them of
profits.  Example, Trump's focus on consuming more/more, and public
knowing less about energy conservation, and/or dropping energy
efficiency standards.

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