Sunday, February 19, 2012

TESTING–TESTING–TESTING

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.

02

03

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.

7 comments:

  1. Now you have to label this post so you can find it again when you need to refresh your memory. Interesting read.

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  2. Thank goodness for Lee. You totally lost me on this one. But it all sounds good.

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  3. Clark, Not to worry - I have all this typed in a file under SOLAR !

    Oh Sandie, I am soooo lost also. LOL

    Rox, No, I certainly can't run what I want. I still need the generator for the microwave. It's also a learning curve big time here for me. I'll be monitoring the panels to see what happens each evening until I get a comfort level.

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  4. WOW! That is one heck of a lot of knowledge!

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  5. That's quite a system, don't you feel POWERFUL?

    I'm slowly figuring out what things are for, but I don't understand much more than that until they break, die or need service. Then I learn more about them. (Unfortunately.)

    Hopefully we won't need to worry about our solar systems. They are supposed to just keep going without a lot of care on our part. I just have to check my battery cells for distilled water every couple of weeks, and I have a Microsoft Outlook task set to remind me.

    I'm looking forward to what you think about your system once you've been using it for a few weeks. :)

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  6. Barbara, LOL - That's how I have to learn also - when something breaks or simply doesn't work anymore.

    I'll do an update on my solar in a few weeks. All I know so far is that I haven't had to run my generator since I got it - other than to use the microwave to heat up my tea. And THAT'S a good thing.

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