got 4 batteries whats next

jeanweddingFebruary 22, 2009

Want to go solar and wind much as possible

Bought four T 105 6 volt golf cart batteries. What the next step??? I assume an inverter? Been checking out u tube stuff etc. Want to start small and buy stuff slowly. Priced solar panels. expensive. Im willing to solder my own and make.

Retired, have more time than money

Bought "alternative power video" > I dont live in the boondocks here. Kind of city plenty of houses here. right now burning wood for my heat. Wood not seasoned long. Cause I USED MY OLER WOOD by Deember. All wood is free from neighbors and after Sept 14 winds, January 9th ice storms. Been doing so for several years. No fun but gas and electric bills are going up and up. It would be nice to have a turbine with all this wind lately. wish they would hurry up and improve solar stuff and prices. Im a long time reader of Poplar Science Magazine.

Cold and getting older.

Thanks all


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greetings. well, first off, buying batteries was the last
thing we did, but you might be able to build a system
around them.

are they flooded? or sealed? whats their amp hours?
who makes them?

if you'll post a link to their website, i'll look them
up for you

don't even look at inverters yet, you've got other work
to do first

you need to really start with your loading, write down every appliance you use, and for how long

most of your appliances will have the watt usage on the cord, or on the appliance itself, also, dont forget all your lightbulbs, of course, compact flouresence will be better watt users than traditional incandescent bulbs, try to switch out the ones you use the most first. if money is tight, dont pressure yourself to go and buy a whole house
full of new bulbs, just change the ones you use the most, than every payday or so, you can buy a few more.

post when you've gotten some work done on "loading" and
we'll move on to the next step

i know PV panels are expensive, but don't get discouraged
yet, lets take things one step at a time, and work thru
all the variables, then we can try and find panels that
are affordable to you, or if wind would be a better option

oh, and before i sign off, dont forget your phantom loads

anything with a wee light is gonna draw watts, consider putting your tv and such on a power strip

good luck! looking forward to helping


    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 9:07AM
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Thanks all
sorry I should have posted that the batteries are Trojans T105, heard about them on a radio show with a guy off Grid completely
I am way ahead of the game. Ive been using compact Fl. for years. I even years ago bought adaptors, some I still use. Ive heard about phantom loading or standby power usuage years ago.
I dont watch tv . So when Hubby goes back to .....
The whole THING tv, SATELLITE DISH, DVD PLAYER, GETS uNPLUGGED FROM WALL. I only listen to talk radio via radio or media player or use laptop.
I also keep toaster unplugged. I should unplug convection combo microwave. I used to. But now I use the convection only part for my baking and reheating etc everyday.I dont trust microwaving foods. I have to move the fridge to unplug it. One of those switches wont work cause it doesnt have grounding plug.
My stove is gas. I was unplugging it but I found myself forgetting to plug it back in when turning the knob. Im used to walking a way, after turn knob. I scare myself when I realize gas is on and igniter not working cause plug in wall not plugged in.
During the hot weather I use my tabletop Old Fabreware Turbo convection oven with timer built in to heat or cook or bake my food. It keeps the heat out in the garage not the house. a bit of a Pain in the ...... but I do it.
I have books for alternative from the 70s but its hard getting Hubby on board.
Hubby and I fight when he is here cause I unplug so many items when not using. I try to use the switch (surge unit)on back of the entertainment center when he finally turns off the TV.
I open my insulated roman shades ( I made, Warm Window) as much as possible on sunny but cool days.
Yeah I know about switches and etc and "standby power"
My one weakness is my heated Toto seat..
I use the blower sparingly on the zero clearance fireplace.
I wear thermal ware and wool sweaters, etc. Cause house is so cool. Im cold natured anyway. Most people think Im eccentric, But I call myself thrifty.
So I need to figure out what I keep plugged in like sump pump, chest freezer in basement, fridge, upstairs three electric clocks, dishwasher(plugged in in basement ceiling Cordless phones and chargers, etc???
All my appliances are Euro style. I dont using dryer. Its been unplugged for many many years in basement
I use wooden drying racks, hang clothes in bathroom or in garage during nicer weather. Stiff towels,LOL.
Oh what is "loading"????
Yeah I love to be able to use thermal mass, etc, solar heat, But its hard to get Hubby on board> Plus we are retired and DIY - ers. We have so much on our plates now .
Plus have lots of solar sites bookmarked years ago

But I dont give up easy.
Thanks Tesa and Gary and any one else who offers suggestions

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 4:23PM
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phew, well, sounds like your on the road, but you
still should do some loading working

you really need to see your loading, if you see it
on paper, it will help you decide what you need to
work on

loading is writing down all your electrical usage
watts per day, or watts per hour, i did it one step
at a time, i started out with watts, then i took notes
for a few day, and got an average of watts per day usage

then i was able to see where the most usage was, and
how/when i could modify it

for instance, i noticed the bathroom light was on for about
4 hours a day, so i decided to go with a CF light in there

also, the kitchen/dining room light was on for quite a bit
so i changed that one too

you need to really look at usage first, when you see it on paper, you'll be better able to modify things

i'll poke around and have a look see at the trojan batteries

so european appliances are 220 volts?? are you in europe??

do you know if solar would be better than wind??

your location makes a big differance!!

some places are better for wind, some for solar

home power zine is fantastic! if you can afford it, get

we use our automobiles to charge our cell phones, no
a/c type chargers its a small load, but if you keep it
plugged in all night, it can turn into a big load

here in texas, south east texas, we have very mild winters,
so i'm mostly interested in cooling, but if you have hard
winters, you might want to look at heating, as your main
concern, if you will


    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 8:10PM
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Check out this site for suggestion on saving power.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 6:34AM
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thats a cool site. good information.
thanks for the link


    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 8:11AM
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First of all is there a way to go back and check to have the followups to my post emailed to me????? I must have forgotten to do so.
Hello all again No Im not in Europe> Im just very thrifty and energy conscience for years now.. My washer is 220 an Asko> I told yall I was a way ahead of the game> My motto is reduce, reuse ,recycle, and do without. LOL
My Dishwasher is Creda. Low flo toliets when bought, prob one of the first here in my city, plumbers would laugh at when asked about at plumbing supply houses. Duh....
Just got my combined gas and electric bill it is over $110.00. I did have furnace pilot light turned off for quite a while. Mine is an older furnace. We rebuilt it several times since the early 70,s but seems okay> Sure dont have money for a newer one. Have the lifetime Survivor WH with the igniter for years. wish now I would have bought the on Demand unit.
Thanks all will check out those link

Im freezing( really just cold) even though its 50's outside. It was sunny but now overcast here in Ky. Im ticked off I have gas furnace thermostat set at 54 degrees. I burn wood in my zeroclearance fireplace. Im cold natured with cold hands, feet and legs and unfortunately a senior (oooooo, yuk).
To save on energy I sleep under many blankets, with pillows on top of me even. With a cap on my head. even.
I am miserable cant wait for warmer but not hot temperature.
I guess I will go out in neighborhood and scrounge some more wood. I heard a chain saw. I have lots of firewood now but its not fully seasoned.
Im just telling you all where Im coming from> Im not the typical wasteful American. Im thankful for all my blessings.
Remember you all I so appreciate your help
Take care all

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 3:08PM
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i think you have to check the box when you start
a post to have all replys sent to you, i don't think
you can do it now

have you been working on your loading??

those 220 appliances are gonna be hard, 'cause your
gonna have to have a different inverter, i think

do you have anything on dc power at all?

is your entire load ac? 120 and 220?

if your still serious about trying to use solar
you need to give some loading info so we can get
a realistic idea of how many panels you'd need,
and see if those batteries are even gonna be enough

those batteries are just gonna sit and not do you

and you can't let those things sit too long, they need
to be in use, sittin' around isn't good for them

you might be able to get enough power from a small PV
array to power lights and a small radion, and things,
but big load appliances, thats gonna be hard

your last post stated your gas/electric bill was 100 bucks?

thats not too bad, you might consider stuff that would cut
that, like a propane water heater, for a few hundred bucks
you might be able to get a used propane fridge, they are
small, but work just fine, my family hasn't suffered one
bit from having a smaller fridge, and the darn thing
runs off propane


    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 9:53PM
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Hi, Jean. Solargary and garymunson give links to great sites for you to learn more about solar energy and energy conservation.

If your refrigerator and chest freezer have any age on them at all, they are probably serious consumers of electricity and hinder your ability to be off grid. But studying conservation techniques would do a great deal to lower your energy bills and perhaps be more realistic in your situation. It sounds like you are already doing alot. Congratulations on your conscientious effort to consume less energy.

Also, Jean, if hubby isn't interested in this project, you'll have a hard time accomplishing what you want to do. I'm sure you're already aware of this. You know, you need to put a trickle charge on your little battery bank to keep them topped up. Maybe you and your hubby could buy a small solar panel suited to that purpose and that would give the two of you an opportunity to experiment. Solargary, do you know what size she would need to keep a trickle charge on those Trojans? Jean, does the off-grid person who sold you the batteries live close by? Perhaps he would be willing to help you out. Good luck with your efforts.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 1:46PM
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Here's some personal information that might help also... I'm using pure solar and wind power so my experiences are hand's on. I have 2,000 watts of solar panels, a 4,000 watt inverter, 8 L-16H Trojan batteries and run my home just as anyone else would being on the grid. I use my microwave, clothes washer, dish washer, 2 computers, lights get left on 24-7 and everything like my camera, 500 foot well pump, GPS, electric refrigerator(Full size) radios, ETC using rechargeable batteries so they consume power as well. I use my 52in Flat screen television to watch my DVD's when I have nothing to do.

The downside is, I can not use an electric clothes dryer so I bought a 115 volt - propane dryer and it works perfectly. In the 10 years I've been using my system, I had to go to town to find out when the power went off because it never goes off here.

I hope this helps anyone who might need the information.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 7:49PM
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pioneer farmer, our panels produce 2400 watts into 24 Interstate batteries which are about the same size as your Tojans. I wonder what size your wind charger is? Our system would not support the deep well pump or the frig. You didn't say what kind of frig or if you use a generator very much. Your numbers could be misleading without that information.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 2:02PM
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