Looking for a site on wiring a 12 volt battery system...

Discussion in 'Alternative Energy' started by thegriffiths, Dec 4, 2006.

  1. thegriffiths

    thegriffiths Well-Known Member

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    I have a 30 x 30 barn that is a good ways from any electric. I am using lanterns and flashlights now but when I get some more animals I would like to be able to turn on some lights in the barn.

    I need a good informative website on what to buy, how to install and how to use 12 volt battery powered lighting and such.

    I have at least a dozen batteries that hold a charge well (from my uncles hovaround wheelchairs) and will be recharging them here at the house as needed.

    Thanks for any advice or extra info!
     
  2. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    Home Power Magazine, Google search for 12v power systems
     

  3. no1cowboy

    no1cowboy Single male homesteader

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    I have been running my house on 12v for som time now, unless you plan on using the excistning wireing (if any) I would use #8 wire for main wire run and #10 to branch off to lights and outlets.
     
  4. hunter63

    hunter63 Well-Known Member

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  5. thegriffiths

    thegriffiths Well-Known Member

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    I have a lot of 12-2 electrical wire. I am just going to wire some 12 volt lights...would this gauge wire be ok?
     
  6. 12vman

    12vman Offgridkindaguy

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    12 gauge wire... 30' @ 12 volts can only carry 5 amps safely with a 5% voltage drop. If you make a seperate run to each fixture from the battery and stay under 5 amps, You should be OK. (Don't forget fuses!!) A long run with small wire will go up in flames in short notice if you should get a short at the far end. Fuse each run at the Source!!

    What kind of 12 volt lights do you plan to install? Just remember that one back-up bulb (1156 type) will almost max out one run of 12 gauge wire at 30'..

    no1cowboy has the best idea. Run a larger "Buss" centered in the building and make drops from it. That's how I have things wired here. This avoids some of the wire loss issues..
     
  7. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Remember, 12v is 1/10th of 120v.

    So you will only be able to put 1/10 of the power on any given wire compared to it's 120v rating.

    --->Paul
     
  8. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Supporter

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    One thought would be to go with LED lights. They use very little power making the wire runs safer and the batteries last longer. In the evening and at night they provide so much light to our dark adapted eyes that they seems bright.

    Another thought would be to use a small inverter off of a 12v battery to give you AC for the lights thus making the longer runs easier. Have two batteries and switch one out of your car back and forth.
     
  9. thegriffiths

    thegriffiths Well-Known Member

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    So would it be easiest to maybe run regular 120 in the barn and then just connect it to an inverter? Or do what I was thinking and make it totally 12v?

    I have an inverter...so maybe it would be cheaper that way.
     
  10. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Running straight 12 volt wiring will eliminate inverter losses,which can be substantial.All that heat coming off that inverter is wasted power.

    BooBoo
     
  11. lodestar

    lodestar Alternative Realities

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