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Kreole

Battery backup during brownouts

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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. 

 

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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. 

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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
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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. 

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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
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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.

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