Once my solar was installed Lee wanted to do a bunch on ‘tests’ to ensure everything was operating as it should. And believe me he has all the right gizmos to do this !!
Gawd, There’s just so much to learn my poor little brain is about to explode !! Good thing I have my EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT for the pesky little details like FANCY MAPS and the various and sundry other items I assign to her !! LOL
Now I can’t guarantee any accuracy here because I was scribbling notes as fast as I could while he was talking. The following is my notes transcribed.
TESTING PHANTOM DRAW
This mean testing how much draw is being used with nothing on. Those secret little gremlins hiding behind the walls and under the rig that are using MY power without my knowledge !!! Pfffftttt !!!
Panels must be turned off and anything else that is running.
When we first tested it ‘something’ had a drain of 3.2 – 3.5 AMPS. Lee said that was a LOT. We checked around for possible sources of this draw. The outside TV was plugged in but not turned on. We unplugged it anyway and then re-tested. Now showed 4/10ths of a draw. Even though we plugged the TV back in and re-tested again the draw still only showed 4/10ths ? Lee figured we disrupted something which stopped the 3.2 drain.
He was satisfied with the 4/10ths number.
TESTING OTHER SOURCES OF DRAW
With only Inverter on and nothing running = 2.5 AMPS
With Inverter on and Computer running = 8 AMPS. Four hours of computer use = 32 AMP Hours and I have 100 AH’s safely to play with.
Only D/R overhead (LED) light on = .4 AMPS
Only Fridge on = .5 AMPS – BUT Lee said this was because it was ‘not burning’. It would likely take 1 AMP BUT if the side of the rig is facing the sun then it will cut in more often and therefore take more AMPS
EQUALIZING THE BATTERIES
Lee set the dip switch on the Controller to automatic equalizing – should do it every 30 days now automatically.
When I see a rapid blink on the inside monitor that means the batteries are equalizing. While equalizing, the inside monitor will read more AMPS coming in than I’m used to seeing and a higher voltage reading. While the batteries were equalizing the monitor showed 15.2 volts and 12.8 AMPS.
TESTING THE HEALTH OF BATTERIES BY CELL
Batteries must be fully charged in order to do this. Make special note if there is significant difference from cell to cell.
6 cells numbered left (passenger side) to right.
1. White Zone = 1.24 - Starting to weaken – likely due to overfilling. CRAP !!
2. Green Zone = 1.56
3. Green Zone = 1.56
4. Green Zone = 1.56
5. Green Zone = 1.55
6. Green Zone = 1.50
NOW if only I could understand all of this !! I’ve come to accept the fact that I likely never will – BUT thanks to Lee, I do have a teenie weenie better understanding than I did before.