Browsing "Electricity"
Mar 11, 2013 -

Solar Charging WOW

I was down about 15AH when I woke up this morning at 7:00. We had full sun promised for the next week and I needed to charge my laptop. I was doubtful I’d get anywhere near a full charge today, but figured that with the forecast ahead, there was no need to run the engine this morning to give the solar panels a boost.

With the time change, I didn’t start to get much of a charge until well past 8AM. By 11AM, I was down more than 20AH and still wasn’t seeing a positive charge coming in, not even when I turned off the inverter.

I stopped for lunch at 1:00 and was amazing to see that I was now 16.4AH down! In the 20 minutes I took to eat, I saw myself gain a full AH. But that still left me right where I was in the morning.

When I next checked the monitor at 3:00… I got a FULL message! My batteries were charged to maximum capacity!

So it looks like my theory about how the battery monitor works is correct. The amps coming in are only the amps at that moment and every so often, the monitor adds up those amps and adjusts the AH metre up or down as appropriate rather than adjusting the readings in real time.

So the only reading that is truly relevant at any moment is the AH status, and then I can check the amps screen to see if the AH are going to trend up or downwards.

At any rate, full batteries, YAY! Not that I’ve been lacking for power, not by a long shot, but it’s good for the batteries to get a full charge regularly.

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Batteries, Battery Monitor, Communications & Electronics, Computer, Electricity, Solar Panels, Technical    4 Comments
Mar 8, 2013 -

Another Battery Observation

I didn’t post about this latest battery observation on Monday because I wanted to repeat the experience, which I did tonight.

When I shut down for the night on Sunday, my battery voltage was very low, about 12.3 when I was only down a few amps. I had left my computer plugged in all day, but it draws only about an amp when it’s fully charged rather than 4 or 5 to charge it, so I’ve decided to sacrifice the laptop battery for the sake of the house batteries.So, really, I should have been sitting at 12.55V once everything was off and the computer unplugged.

When I got up up the next morning, voltage was about 12.45V, much better than the night before but still not right. I ran the engine for all of five minutes. An hour after shutting down the engine, voltage had stabilized to 12.57V. It’s almost like the computer exhausted the batteries and they needed a little boost.

Similar situation tonight, except that when I unplugged the computer to see where I was at voltage-wise, it was 11.99V!!!!! Even though I knew that was not a true reflection of my amp hour capacity, I couldn’t spend the night with that little voltage! I ran the engine for five minutes and now voltage is holding steady at 12.5V, even with the computer plugged in and a light on.

I’m sure some of my experts have been chomping at the bit to jump back into the electrical theories arena, so have at it! 🙂

And for those who have heard enough about my batteries to last a lifetime, I do apologize. 😉

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Batteries, Battery Monitor, Communications & Electronics, Computer, Electricity, Technical    12 Comments
Mar 7, 2013 -

Thursday Morning Status Report

Good morning blogosphere! It’s a glorious day out here in Texas! The sun is shining! It was warm at 6:30 a.m.! Life on the beach is great!

(No, I have no been dipping into my secret daiquiri stash this morning. Why do you ask?)

Not that you asked for it, but here is a battery status report. I’ve been full up since the weekend. These are the kinds of readings I’ve been going to bed to for several nights now, and this is after charging computers all day, running the whole house inverter to vacuum, leaving a couple of LED lights on all evening, etc.

voltage at 12.63

voltage at 12.63

0.3 amps going out for the fridge and other systems like the propane detector

0.3 amps going out for the fridge and other systems like the propane detector

down 1.5 AH from a 144 available to me

down 1.5 AH from 144 available to me

99.5% battery capacity

99.5% battery capacity

When when I need to charge the computer after dark, I usually see the voltage fall to about 12.3 when the computer is unplugged, but then the batteries rest overnight and I get right back up to 12.5 or more in the morning, matching my battery capacity readings.

We haven’t even had full sun all week, either. Lots of white wispy clouds.

I went to bed very early last night, so I was out walking the beach very early this morning:

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I'm thinking a structure like this could be good for my property in case I ever have to leave the rig there in the winter (not with me in it!). I could wrap the sides in heavy plastic for further protection from the elements.

I’m thinking a structure like this could be good for my property in case I ever have to leave the rig there in the winter (not with me in it!). I could wrap the sides in heavy plastic for further protection from the elements.

Another style.

Another style.

I was excited to see cacti in the Okanagan, but these are much cooler!

I was excited to see cacti in the Okanagan, but these are much cooler!

Lots o' spikes.

Lots o’ spikes.

Ouch!

Ouch!

Warren Schmidt's RV!

Warren Schmidt’s RV!

Another RV shelter.

Another RV shelter.

Love this, but a bit too rich for my blood!

Love this, but a bit too rich for my blood!

More cacti.

More cacti.

The most bizarre structure on the beach.

The most bizarre structure on the beach.

There are boxes in the cubes. L says these folks come here once a year for a few weeks and add on to the place. I checked Google Maps and the last time the Google car was around here, the place was just a platform, no boxes on it. The big question is: what's with the yellow cube?

There are boxes in the cubes. L says these folks come here once a year for a few weeks and add on to the place. I checked Google Maps and the last time the Google car was around here, the place was just a platform, no boxes on it. The big question is: what’s with the yellow cube?

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Batteries, Battery Monitor, Boondocking/Dry camping, Communications & Electronics, Computer, Countries, Electricity, Personal, Solar Panels, Technical, Texas, Travel, USA    4 Comments
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