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  • This is my solar at the moment


    And these are going in as soon as I can afford to build a Base, they weigh in at 1/2 ton more or less. They're 1.3v nicads 70ah each



    Simon

  • Forgive my ignorance, can you explain those numbers on the electronic panel? Also, you are storing in four 12v batteries and want to replace with all those nicads? I'm trying to learn about a solar setup I want to experiment making my own solar panels soon.

  • the left column is the input voltage so in that its at 95.8v at the 28.4v is my battery voltage.
    in the right hand column its the input and out put amps (to the batteries) 7 amps but because of my high input voltage thats translated into 22 amps. the 12v batteries are in series parallel giving me a 24v bank. the nicads are all at 1.3v so theres the need for 20 of them but with higher capacity and higher discharge rates.
    sorry if that sounds like a horrible bunch of numbers
    simon

  • My concern is the nicads, being banned from use from I think the end of next year, banned from sale for quite some time now because the cadmium is highly poisonous to the environment.


    Apart from that, assuming they were used elsewhere before you got hold of them, nicads are notorious for memory issues seriously effecting their suitability for reuse, a lot depends on how they were used previously though.


    Balancing a nicad battery bank like that will be a massive and time consuming challange, what are you using as a cell performance tester?

  • My concern is the nicads, being banned from use from I think the end of next year, banned from sale for quite some time now because the cadmium is highly poisonous to the environment.


    Apart from that, assuming they were used elsewhere before you got hold of them, nicads are notorious for memory issues seriously effecting their suitability for reuse, a lot depends on how they were used previously though.


    Balancing a nicad battery bank like that will be a massive and time consuming challange, what are you using as a cell performance tester?


    What are your thoughts on the Tesla Powerwall?


    paul

  • What are your thoughts on the Tesla Powerwall?


    paul


    Over priced, better stuff is on the market, but I like that it is a mass market plug and play product that seems aimed at people who would not really be the normal sustainable energy customers, Elon Musk who owns Tesla also has a solar panel company so he can offer package deals. the sales should drive down energy storage costs, which is really key to ending fossil fuel dependency, solar cells and panels have already come down to an almost reasonable cost.


    I really want to see an end to the use of lead acid liesure batteries, they are basically completely shit, but all the better options are significantly more expensive at the moment.


    In two years I am sure the standard nomadic set up will be black silicon panels ( 20% efficiency is a small improvement, but they are really way better at collecting energy at less than ideal angles to the sun) and lithium iron batteries, the day cannot come soon enough for me.

  • What about Nickel Iron batteries?


    Paul


    No experience at all, but I kinda assumed they were an expired technology, but lots of old stuff is being resurrected of late, so who knows, I have only ever seen them used in a funky natural disaster and bomb proof telephone exchange in Oregon. It even had a boat mooring on the roof, 10 meters off the ground and 50 miles inland. now that is planning for the worst.


    At the moment lithium iron looks good except the price, the safety is way ahead of what they were like a few years ago, and probably as safe as a lithium battery can get. Usability is brilliant, Not sure about the environmental side though, lithium salt can be mined with plastic child's bucket and spade, but I think the refining is less environmentally sound, then as long as the metal is recycled that impact can be lessened.


    But back to the OP, really, NiCads now needs to be carefully disposed of rather than used, cadmium is evil and even very small amounts of exposure can lead to serious illnesses. Not a great idea to use them, which is why they are now banned. Plus of course unless they are set up well in matched cells the performance of the batteries will usualy be disappointing anyway.


    If you need more capacity, i would suggest you add to the lead acid battery bank you have.

  • The nicads showed up on a load test that they're all working well, and my friend is an off grid specialist so I'm sure he'll help with them, they'll be in a dedicated battery shed with extractor fans run off of the charge controllers aux output.
    If their output goes bad, they can be linked post to post to rejuvenate. Yeah they're dangerous but also very free
    Simon

  • Hi Simon,
    notice the Outback regulator, supposed to be the dogs B, where did you get the nicads from , have you seen panel prices at http://www.bimblesolar.com/ do good prices on Outback kit as well.
    got two 220 watt panels of them with a 40 amp regulator into 4 x 220 amp hr alpha liesure bats http://www.alpha-batteries.co.…tra-plus-leisure-battery/ only 12 volt sys but give me all power I need, run 600 watt invertor for pc n small tools.
    all the best with your new set up, wasnt aware of upcoming ban on nicads till read other replies to your post,
    still lot of experianced input by sounds of threads,
    All the best, stay free G

  • Any one know the UK price on the Powerwall,
    notice the high output voltage of unit blurb says you also need a dc or ac invertor depending on application to connect to powerall unit so it can be used, any one got prices on those as well ? think 10 kwhr is $3,350 in USA for powerwall unit.



    Ta G

  • That outback has been my saver! I didn't know about nicads either. My inverter is a 1500w pure sinewave with 400ah of leisure batteries and a theoretical 1500w of input. I've got a satellite Internet connection that eats my power when I'm online too
    Simon

  • Most wet cell NI-Cds are from emergency lighting or power systems. They tend to be treated pretty well in these applications and very slow charged, what worries me a bit is why they are free and no longer in use. Memory is an issue if they were used in regular charge /discharge cycles.


    We're they removed because of a change in the law or were no longer needed? or are they failed ones that have been removed from service?


    They will all need testing though.


    I found this on a cruiser and sailing forum, seems a concise explanation of what will be needed before putting them into use and their service requirements. If they are still good, there should be some years of good service left, Ni-CDs can last decades. Apologies if I have misinterpreted the fair use rules and thanks to the person who wrote it.


    "The NiCad service guys have advised the following:


    When the battery first comes into the shop, it is physically checked for defects and capacity tested (at a 1 or 2 hour rate). If it passes, it is recharged and returned to service.


    If it fails the capacity test (for whatever reason), it is discharged completely to the extent that when the cell voltage drops below 0.5 V, shorting clips are attached across each cell and left in place for 12 to 24 hours. It is then recharged (usually over 1 to 4 hours) and capacity tested again. It may require 3 such cycles to bring the battery back to specs.


    If three cycles fail to bring it back, then the offending cell (or cells) is (are) replaced. If there are 5 or more crook cells (in a 24V battery), then all cells are replaced.


    Of course the temperature sensors are also checked during the service along with a lot of other parameters (electrolyte levels, individual cell voltages at 15 minute intervals, etc).


    Capacity tests are carried out at intervals anywhere between 1 month and 24 months (depending on manufacturer and operator requirements).


    There are minor variations in the procedure depending on the manufacturer’s individual maintenance manuals.


    Hope this helps."


    Original link


    http://www.cruisersforum.com/f…cd-batteries-28982-2.html

  • thanks :)
    they were removed from a substation i believe, the power company upgraded to vrla cells to reduce their maintenance costs and room taken up in the station.
    they're all still showing around 1v at the moment but theyll be load tested and set up in a shed with vent fans connected to the outback and set to come on at an absorb point.
    i think they need respect and a good schedule of maintenance.
    thanks for the input, its always welcome
    simon

  • Hi Simon
    have cheap Alcatel one pop phone and have contract on SIM from ee costs me £15 month for unlimited text phone and b/band just tether of phone or use as wi fi hub to run lappy on net, can still stream mixcloud through sound sys and stream movies if need arrises, ie I can have tunes on and other half can watch documentaries on line with head phones, all good. I know satalite looks good but do ya need it ? phone sits conected to usb charge port of 12 volt sys and draws next to nothing...
    hope helps
    G

  • Nope I most definitely do not want this satellite connection but mobile Internet doesn't particularly work where we are and 4g has just started showing up, think I've got a few (lot) more months till the bus is mobile. And I'm licensed.
    Onwards and buswards
    Simon

  • 3g is good enough and I would suspect that its faster than satellite anyway.


    The satellite is 19mbps and always there but we couldn't get 3g signal here until very lately so satellite was an option that got used. now I'm stuck with it ;(

  • Hi, I'm running 15 220 W solar panels on a outback inverter and control with backup diesel generator. Supplying power to 5 LED lights fridge freezer and 2 TVs and charging laptops and phones. I am changing the batteries using to 2 V 775 amp 5 hour rate. Is this enough batterys need advice

  • thats quite and impressive setup, what model is the controller? and the inverter? the 2v 775ah cells are very good and often a choice for off grid setups, are they new or used cells too?
    Simon

  • im still looking into solar panels... where did you get these from and what sort are they as they look massive!

  • they are 250w shattered panels from a friend who was working on a solar farm, they had been dropped on a forklift so couldnt be used. bimble solar have good offers and deals and so does ebay, ive recently upgraded the top 2 panels to 260w brand new ones.

  • im trying to find a setup for charging 24v batteries, but all the systems i have found are for 12v... there are also systems designed for use on buildings that generate 33v! but then you need the mains inveter system which transfers direct to the grid :/
    such a confusing matter!