Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Kreole

Battery backup during brownouts

Recommended Posts

davedude
13 hours ago, Kreole said:

I am exploring the option of using batteries for back up during brown outs which are frequent here on Siquijor island.  I have seen them used in the Dominican Republic and they seem to be quite adequate depending on the load and duration of the brownout.  Plus side is that they are easy to charge when there is electricity on, and they are quiet, and take up little space, are easy to install and set up, and batteries can always be added or subtracted depending on need.  Did I mention quiet and non-polluting? 

Down side is that you should only allocate power to the most necessary utilities and appliances, such as lights, refrigerator/freezer, fan, computer/accessories, and others that draw very low amount of current.  Running aircon is an extravagant use and will run the batteries dry in a short time.  You will need extension chords unless you pre-wire your house with the appropriate system to accommodate battery backup.  Any suggestions and experiences will be much appreciated.  Thanks ahead.  

I spent the money on a battery backed up solar system to power critical functions. Solar panels charge a battery bank and an inverter runs off the battery's. It is sized less than 2K watts and only provides one AC circuit of 115VAC. I use this circuit to power my security system, surveillance system, internet, and phone. It is a separate circuit and not grid connected. Those functions (deemed critical by me) are always powered and never affected by electric utility supply issues. Basically the system provides power and charges the batteries in the daytime and it runs off the batteries at night.

For the refrigerator, lights and fan I run a Honda EU2000 generator if necessary and have 25 gallons of ethanol free gas treated with Stabil locked up in a metal flammables cabinet.

The batteries I got for free, surplus used from work but still with useful life left. They are 105ah AGM batteries especially for backup applications. I have 12 of them in three banks of four. Each bank is fused and switched. All battery wiring is equalized so each battery sees the same length of cable to the distribution bus-bars. This is a 12vdc system so I have some really beefy cabling connecting everything. High current DC wiring stuff is not found at your local Home depot or Lowes! LOL. I made my own battery bank busbars, and the rest of the DC system components is a mix of marine DC stuff and solar system stuff.

On sunny days I get about 33 amps continuous off of my panels. Not enough to charge all the batteries so I have to charge only two banks max at a time. This was supposed to be a small system but kinda grew a little bit. Next time I will do a much higher voltage system.

I am not sure but I had heard the Elon Musk batteries were very expensive and it is still cheaper and better to run old school lead acid. I do not know this for a fact. My employer just installed a new battery UPS system using a butt-ton of gigantic 2 volt DC lead acid batteries. The cases are clear so you can see the guts. Pretty sweet setup.

I guess you could put me in the pro-battery camp..... :-)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul
17 minutes ago, davedude said:

The batteries I got for free, surplus used from work but still with useful life left. They are 105ah AGM batteries especially for backup applications. I have 12 of them in three banks of four. Each bank is fused and switched. All battery wiring is equalized so each battery sees the same length of cable to the distribution bus-bars. This is a 12vdc system so I have some really beefy cabling connecting everything. High current DC wiring stuff is not found at your local Home depot or Lowes! LOL. I made my own battery bank busbars, and the rest of the DC system components is a mix of marine DC stuff and solar system stuff.

Why did you not go with a 24v system, at least?

Also, how many watts of panels are you running?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
davedude
2 minutes ago, Paul said:

Why did you not go with a 24v system, at least?

Also, how many watts of panels are you running?

Wasn't going to be that big to begin with and I was kinda anal about 12vdc for some stupid reason I can't seem to remember now LOL!

Well I have over 800 watts of twelve volt panels. Bought a few at a time as I could afford but made sure they matched electrically. Thing is I do not get that much out of them...claimed wattage is bunk I think, real world wattage nets much lower.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul
2 minutes ago, davedude said:

Thing is I do not get that much out of them...claimed wattage is bunk I think, real world wattage nets much lower.

Check each panel individually. Something is rotten in Denmark.

Or, possibly, shading?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
davedude
2 minutes ago, Paul said:

Check each panel individually. Something is rotten in Denmark.

I need to do that...will have a lookie see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim Sibbick

A year or so ago, I stayed at a ski lodge that was completely off the grid. They had gas for heating and cooking..Water tank for drinking and washing. Wood heater for heating and to heat the water for washing.

But the most interesting thing was the lighting. They had 2 lighting systems. They had a 240 volt lighting system for when the generator was running. And a completely separate 12 volt lighting system with LED lights..

The 12 volt light system was run off 2 car batteries and a solar panel available cheap in any camping store.

For the really cheap option, I am thinking. Install a similar lighting system. have UPS for the computer. Cook with gas and don't worry about the ref. It will still stay cold if you don't keep opening the door. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kreole
13 hours ago, Paul said:

I assume you decided against your genset idea, considering the last line of your first paragraph? If that is your only reason for not doing so - they are super quiet already, they sip petrol and have a very small footprint on the environment. Even batteries cause damage to the environment, if parts of them are thrown away. 

If you are going to do that, I would strongly urge you to go the route @RogerDat did with his system.

You will fare better off, if you go with a quality charger than with some cheaply made unit.

If you want batteries to run an inverter, then power your appliances, you are definitely headed in the wrong direction. You would have to spend CONSIDERABLY more on the batteries and inverter / charger, than you would on a single Honda EU20i inverter generator. Keep in mind, the lower the voltage, the higher the amperage draw. At 12v or 24v, how many amperes would be needed for an inverter just to provide 2 or 3 amperes of output? So, a generator would be a much cheaper, much more economical way to go.

My :twocents:.

I really appreciate the information, and it keeps me going back and forth.  In the end, I will take recommendations before I do any type of set up.  Honestly I do not have the tools or expertise, although I am a good learner, so all things will be considered.  Again, thanks for such a stimulating response.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul

We had a short power cut today, about 2 hours. I just took the cover off and put the genset outside. I switched off the main breaker feeding the house and fired up the little gal. Gave 'er a bit of time to warm up, then connected the house loads to it. Then, I switched eco-mode on. She quieted right down and purred like a kitten the entire time running. Trust me when I say you won't be disappointed with a Honda Inverter. Just choose the size you need for your application.

By the way, the 2,000 watts (surge, 1600 watts continuous) unit will run an inverter refrigerator, a freezer, 3 UPS's, a network, a desktop computer with dual monitors, a speaker system, and all the lights and fans you want. It will still not be under anything near a full load.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kreole
52 minutes ago, Paul said:

We had a short power cut today, about 2 hours. I just took the cover off and put the genset outside. I switched off the main breaker feeding the house and fired up the little gal. Gave 'er a bit of time to warm up, then connected the house loads to it. Then, I switched eco-mode on. She quieted right down and purred like a kitten the entire time running. Trust me when I say you won't be disappointed with a Honda Inverter. Just choose the size you need for your application.

By the way, the 2,000 watts (surge, 1600 watts continuous) unit will run an inverter refrigerator, a freezer, 3 UPS's, a network, a desktop computer with dual monitors, a speaker system, and all the lights and fans you want. It will still not be under anything near a full load.

Did you buy your Honda generator in Cebu?  If so, how much?  Or are you still in Cambodia?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
davedude
14 hours ago, Paul said:

 

Or, possibly, shading?

I have a really good southern exposure spot with no shade. On cloudy days however, I do not get enough juice out of the panels and have to use a charger.

I need to upgrade my inverter to an inverter/charger. Been looking at Outback, Magnum and Xantrex brands. Will cost me $$$$ but it is the next step in my plan. I might change the voltage then to 24 or possibly 48v.

The inverter I am using is a Xantrex Prowatt 2000, a good rugged unit intended for marine application I think. Pure sine wave output and was the best I could do cost wise at the time. I have been running it 24/7/365 for years with no issues.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul
9 hours ago, Kreole said:

Did you buy your Honda generator in Cebu?  If so, how much?  Or are you still in Cambodia?

Bought it in Phnom Penh. Had to order it. It was $888 USD. I was going to buy a second one. But, may wait and buy a 15kva Denyo for $3,500 USD. That would run the entire farm. I am in Battambang, 5 hours from PP.

7 hours ago, davedude said:

I need to upgrade my inverter to an inverter/charger.

Sounds like you need more PV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AlwaysRt
On 6/2/2017 at 5:09 PM, Paul said:

We had a short power cut today, about 2 hours. I just took the cover off and put the genset outside. I switched off the main breaker feeding the house and fired up the little gal. Gave 'er a bit of time to warm up, then connected the house loads to it. Then, I switched eco-mode on. She quieted right down and purred like a kitten the entire time running. Trust me when I say you won't be disappointed with a Honda Inverter. Just choose the size you need for your application.

By the way, the 2,000 watts (surge, 1600 watts continuous) unit will run an inverter refrigerator, a freezer, 3 UPS's, a network, a desktop computer with dual monitors, a speaker system, and all the lights and fans you want. It will still not be under anything near a full load.

What would you recommend as an upgraded UPS battery? I have a APC 650 that I have my TV as a monitor, laptop, and router plugged into. The 12v 7Ah battery lasts about 10 minutes in a brownout so I was thinking of replacing it with a 12v 100Ah or 200Ah battery to get 1 or 2 hours of available runtime. This last year we have had almost daily 5-20 minute, weekly 20-50 minute, and monthly 1-2 hour brownouts. All I care about is continuing to read/type on the forum or watching a video. I am fine doing without lights, ref, etc for the short amount of time which also makes going the generator route an exercise in futility for the most part. 

Is there more required to do this than finding the right kind and size battery?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul
42 minutes ago, AlwaysRt said:

All I care about is continuing to read/type on the forum or watching a video.

You addict. :D

42 minutes ago, AlwaysRt said:

What would you recommend as an upgraded UPS battery?

Keep in mind, the larger battery  you go with, the longer the UPS will take to charge it. UPS units, typically charge very slowly - like, maybe 1 ampere per hour? They aren't quick, for sure. 

With that said, I would probably go with a 50ah battery, to replace the 7ah "alarm" type battery most of these units use. Depending on how old your current 7ah battery is, that should provide you with ample run time. 

What all are you running, currently off your UPS? I run two on my main computer. One is a 650; the other a 750. Together, they run 2 monitors, the sound system, and the CPU. I have another 650 that only runs the modem / router and another router. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AlwaysRt
1 hour ago, Paul said:

What all are you running, currently off your UPS? I run two on my main computer. One is a 650; the other a 750. Together, they run 2 monitors, the sound system, and the CPU. I have another 650 that only runs the modem / router and another router. 

50 inch TV as a monitor, Globe LTE router, laptop, and speakers. My APC 650 UPS is less than a year old and still has the original 12v 7Ah battery that it came with.

Is there a type of battery to specifically look for? I saw a 100Ah and 200Ah battery at Handyman that look like sealed, very large UPS batteries. Is there a brand name to look for or stay away from? (here in the Phils)

Edited by AlwaysRt
added another paragraph
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul
26 minutes ago, AlwaysRt said:

Is there a type of battery to specifically look for? I saw a 100Ah and 200Ah battery at Handyman that look like sealed, very large UPS batteries. Is there a brand name to look for or stay away from? (here in the Phils)

I've been away for over 5 years. Someone else would have to advise you on quality. But, Motolite use to have pretty decent batteries. I would look for any decent quality deep cycle battery. Definitely go with sealed lead acid, over flooded lead acid. Again, keep in mind the time it will take to recharge the battery with the UPS charger. 

If the UPS has telephone line protection, you can remove that with one screw in some UPS units, typically, and just extend the battery wires through the opening(s) left at the rear of the unit, to connect to the new battery. If they are APC units, you can drill holes in the case to run the wires through. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AlwaysRt
5 minutes ago, Paul said:

I've been away for over 5 years. Someone else would have to advise you on quality. But, Motolite use to have pretty decent batteries. I would look for any decent quality deep cycle battery. Definitely go with sealed lead acid, over flooded lead acid. Again, keep in mind the time it will take to recharge the battery with the UPS charger. 

If the UPS has telephone line protection, you can remove that with one screw in some UPS units, typically, and just extend the battery wires through the opening(s) left at the rear of the unit, to connect to the new battery. If they are APC units, you can drill holes in the case to run the wires through. 

Thanks, I knew you had been gone but noticed you are well versed in solar which often includes backup batteries. If I find my UPS can't keep up the charge, what would be the next step up while sticking with the UPS vs generator setup? (as I mentioned in an earlier post, the typical brownout lately is over before I would have the chance to decide to use a generator and get it started.)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul
8 minutes ago, AlwaysRt said:

If I find my UPS can't keep up the charge, what would be the next step up while sticking with the UPS vs generator setup?

Read THIS THREAD. @RogerDat has a very reliable system going at his home.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul

@AlwaysRt,

Here is another thread that may interest you. But, it would entail you purchasing an inverter.

SOURCE LINK

@fordtech uses a similar design at his home.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PhilsFan
On 6/2/2017 at 5:03 AM, Kreole said:

Did you buy your Honda generator in Cebu?  If so, how much?  Or are you still in Cambodia?

I priced the Honda 2000i a few months back. about a 2-300 dollar premium in d-phils over US pricing, so about 1200 US dollars, I believe? Exchange rate is at all time highs...now would be a good time to purchase if funds are available to you. I will be buying this year and perhaps so solar panels as well. Just waiting for Tesla's pricing to come down when Gigafactory gets cranked up...then it will be the Powerwall for me.

Edited by PhilsFan
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul
1 minute ago, PhilsFan said:

I priced the Honda 2000i a few months back. about a 2-300 dollar premium in d-phils over US pricing, so about 1200 US dollars, I believe? Exchange rate is at all time highs...now would be a good time to purchase if funds are available to you.

Wow! The EU20i's here are $888 USD, out the door. Cheaper than even in the US, I see.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PhilsFan
2 minutes ago, Paul said:

Wow! The EU20i's here are $888 USD, out the door. Cheaper than even in the US, I see.

In Cambodia Paul? or Phil's?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul
25 minutes ago, PhilsFan said:

In Cambodia Paul? or Phil's?

Phnom Penh is where I purchased mine. I am in Battambang, Cambodia.

They are also 50hz units here. Not 60hz, like you would run in the Philippines. But, that just goes to show you the difference, most likely, in import duties from one country to the next. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PhilsFan

I am just so pumped for the future of personal energy production. A few more years and for a few grand you will be able to make your own choices of how you obtain your power in most places. A monster battery to power your house, clean power for your electronics...cheap solar or wind or water production choices. A dream come true for the independently minded.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul
Just now, PhilsFan said:

A dream come true for the independently minded

In SEA, it will also mean more reliable, dependable, and stable power.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PhilsFan

I really hate buying electronics over and over here. Stable power is key.  Agree.

Gosh Paul, thats alot of agreement between you and I today. We better be careful, Lol.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Sailfish Bay Fishing Charters

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Guidelines. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..