Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Running on batteries

You are probably wondering what I have been up to since I got my batteries. Well, quite a bit actually. We have continued working on the gas piping. We still had a leak, and couldn't seem to find it, so we took down the section where we knew it must be, and put it under water.

This was very effective. We found the leaks in a few minutes after we got this set up. Unfortunately, that was not the last leak we have to deal with. However, the gas piping was put on hold, until I got my power system up and running.

Dad had come up with a scheme for attaching vertical studs to the bar joists, so I could mount the power panel on a "wall" that would support the weight without having to use concrete anchors.

After the wall was up, we started to mount equipment. The inverters each weigh about 65 pounds. These things have quite a bit of metal in them.

We also got the battery box set up. We put in a shower liner as protection from any acid that leaks. I am hoping that I never have to deal with that, but better to have a leak contained in the battery box, than spilling all over the floor.

The wiring in one of these setups is pretty involved. Even with all my planning, there were a couple things where I went "wait a minute, we need to redo that".

We got the batteries loaded into the box, and hooked up to the system. Almost ready to test.

Today, Adam came over with the Bobcat. I had been wanting to get the gravel pile pretty well used up, and out of the way. Adam started with the gravel work, and got the driveway smoothed out, and enlarged the turnaround area.

He also took some of the gravel around to the front, and we got the bottom of the walls covered, and I have a covered area outside the front door now. Eventually the area in front of the door will have some sort of paving stones set down to make a patio. But that will most likely be a project for next year at this point.

Adam also got things smoothed up around the house, so it was ready for me to put down some rye seed to keep the dirt in place, and try to make things a little less muddy.

I replaced the caps on the batteries with ones that have a pop top lid, rather than having to unscrew them when I need to check the battery fluid. That should make maintenance less of an ordeal. The battery box still needs to be finished up. There is also some additional wiring work to do in the panel, but for now, the system is functional. The work light that I had on in these pictures, was being run using the energy stored in these batteries, and the AC generated from that by the equipment on the wall.

I bought rye seed today, and put down 56 pounds of it on the areas that Adam worked this morning. Then I covered most of it with straw. I didn't have quite enough to cover all the areas that Adam graded, but I think the most critical are taken care of.

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