Solar Batterys

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by CODIACRCMP, May 7, 2005.

  1. CODIACRCMP

    CODIACRCMP Well-Known Member

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    I was just wondering can you store solar power batterys outside in a shed in -0 weather or do then need to be in a heated room?

    Thanks
    Danny
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Danny, you will be taking a chance on them freezing and bursting. They can handle fairly cold weather if the are charged up, but then you wouldn't be able to use them because you would draw them down. A friend of mine had a nice set up with an outside box. Unfortunately, the box was on the north side of her home. The first time the batteries were drawn way down in pretty cold weather (not below 0*) they froze and burst. She was out a LOT of cash and couldn't afford to replace her batteries. This meant she was without electricity for several months.

    During the years we lived in a travel trailer the (solar) batteries were in the storage area under my bed. I should have had the area vented outside, but didn't. The trailer got pretty cold many times, but never as cold as the shed that was unheated and the batteries did quite well.

    Your batteries don't have to be kept super warm, but do try to keep them above freezing as much as possible.

    Good luck on your endeavors.
     

  3. fordson major

    fordson major construction and Garden b Supporter

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    batterys lose efficentcy and can freeze below 32 degrees farenheit . best kept in a warm well vented area. what type of batterys and charger are you using? in planning your cabin southern orientation can help with heat gain even on very cold winter days.
     
  4. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

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    Ours are in an insulated lean-to on the east side of the main room with vent low and high to keep the battery room as warm as the living room, (we have sealed batteries, if you don't, the battery box itself must be vented to outdoors, ) air circulating from batteries can explode due to hydrogen gas, which is produced during the chargeing phase.
     
  5. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here is something you can think about. When building your Cabin/house/living place---build a box that is only accessable from the outside, TOTALLY SEALED but not insulated, that pretrudes into your heated living area of your home, maybe use it as a seat inside or under the bed, this way the batteries can stay warm from your heat. I would insulate the outside access door, but you will need to put in a IN and OUT vent for your battery box as close to the top of the box as possible so it can vent the poision gases out. You could use something like a old dryer vent with the flaps removed, even a small 12 volt fan could be hook inside the dryer vent, that cound be put on a timer so the fan can run a few minutes each hour. What I do is run REAL HEAVY wires from the battery box to a junction/fuse section in side the living area so I can keep the inverter inside as well as my 12 volt fuses for lights etc. I also have mounted inside a Voltage meter/monitor so I can keep a eye on battery condition(my new inverter has one built in). I also have one of those thermometer with one of the long wire probes that I keep the probe inside the battery box so I can monitor the temp. AS a Bonus I have another battery in the box that is not tied to my main batteries. I only use this battery if the main batteries go weak during the night. I use LARGE disconnects on my battery wires and inverter so I can change to another battery if needed. Picture this---------You are kicked back inside your warm cozy "Home", its freezing outside, you watching some TV or what ever, your Solar battery power goes out, battery voltage to low-------you can smile because you have that extra battery installed---you just have to walk over to your "Set-up" unplug main batteries, plug in other battery, finish your tv movie and go to bed. You can deal with the weak batteries tomorrow. Make sure if you do this that ALL wires are brought from the battery box to the inside of your home as low as possible and TOTALLY seal around them. It doesn't get as cold here as it does there for sure, But when building or installing anything, I try to put in a little extra effort to make my set-up as comfortable and as possible. I put my water pump and tank inside my storage building so when its going to get below freezing I turn on a small gas heater so the pump want freeze (I have to run the heat anyway because of my worm beds in the building), but if its going to be in the teens(cant imagine below 0) I have my water set-up so I can drain all the lines till the temp gets back up. I always keep a few gallons of water on hand. Hope some of these idea's might help you. I know you are just getting started and it sure brings back memories of my starting 5 years ago. I know in another posting you said something about getting chickens(I think)--unless you can grow or get most of their food free, I would not start with them until you get everything set-up. I have chickens now and I feel I would come out better(money wize) to buy eggs from the store or a friend that has yard chickens, But I like them, so I spend the money for their food. LOL. Good Luck. Randy
     
  6. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

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    We keep our Trojan L16's in an insulated, vented battery box next to the cabin. We make sure to keep them well charged in very cold weather, and during the day when the temp went to -20, we ran the generator most of the day to keep them charged and warm. No problems with them, but my husband is very diligent with their care. Eventually, they will be in a heated room...everything takes time out here!