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Old 10-07-2014, 12:03 AM
lary2of5 Male lary2of5 is offline
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Default Safely changing batteries in a 20 battery setup

After almost 9 years of watering and cleaning by 20 battery setup is in need of replacement. I have disconnected cables while cleaning and watering, but thought it might be a good idea the see what I should do to safely replace the batteries. such as shutting down power from the panels, and shutting down breaker panels, protecting the inverter. I am a first time off grid solar power owner. Any help would be great. Thanks, Larry
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:40 AM
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12vman Male 12vman is offline
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Hiya, Larry.. And Welcome to the mix!

Disconnect your panels from the controller and disconnect the D.C. input to the inverter. That should protect just about everything. Make a drawing or take pictures of the battery/wiring to assure you reconnect things properly. It would be easy to get lost in 20 batteries!

Wear old clothes and have a bucket of water handy with a box of baking soda mixed in, just in case. Mite consider a back brace too..

Good Luck..
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Old 10-26-2015, 12:21 PM
JeepHammer Male JeepHammer is offline
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EDIT: THREAD FROM THE DEAD!
Not a lot of traffic on this forum, I just saw the date on the thread!

-------------------

How do you have your battery strings wired to the inverter?

With mine, I've DELIBERATELY wired the strings/panels so any one string of batteries or panels can be disconnected, while the others remain 'On-Line' to produce power for the house.

If you are 'Hard Wired' then it's probably MUCH safer to shut down the system while replacing batteries...

-------------

SOME IDEAS...

I have NO IDEA how you have your panels wired to the battery strings or inverter,
But I have CONSTANLY messed with mine to make the service/maintenance/replacement as PAINLESS as possible.

Batteries are on roller carts, 6 batteries to a cart.
My inverters are rated for anything from 24 to 48 volts,
I go with 36 volts to keep Amperage Reasonable, and extend amp hour reserve time on each string.

Each cart has a heavy duty, high amperage connector for the battery string.
I simply pull the connector/disconnect and roll the cart out for battery service.

The connector is a 350 Amp 'Anderson' brand connector with a quick disconnect pull handle attached.
These are CHEAP, they are POSITIVE DISCONNECT, no chance of a 'Breaker' failure that allows the battery string to stay connected,
And by using a full size 350 Amp version, there is extra capacity at the connection terminals in the event there is corrosion I don't catch right away...

-------

Since I Rotate In new batteries by STRING, instead of replacing the entire Bank at once,
The panels are wired to charge controllers by STRING,
One string of panels for each String of Batteries,
Then connect to the inverter.

Each battery STRING has a dedicated PANEL String, and a dedicated charge controller.
REDUNDANCY!
Off Grid, it's a WONDERFUL THING!

If a panel goes down, it cripples the entire string,
Same with one battery going down in a battery string.
If I loose a 'String' of panels or batteries, the other strings take up the slack this way...

The string power comes in, hits a string DC breaker, then a 175 Amp Anderson quick connector, (my inexpensive and POSITIVE disconnect)
REMEMBER! Breakers are NOT positive disconnects! Breakers CAN AND DO fail leaving the circuit connected!
That's why NEMA code requires both a positive disconnect AND a breaker...

Then it hits the mains/charge controller for it's string.
Batteries charge, excess is directed to the batteries in a CONTROLLED manner suitable for charging batteries.

Doing things this way, you can add strings when you have extra cash, or need to increase battery reserves or panel production,
WITHOUT disconnecting the entire panel array or battery strings from the inverter.
No black outs, EVER, and it's actually SAFER than having everything wired in a 'Combiner' box...
One cooks in a combiner box, EVERYTHING cooks...
(Ask me how I learned that... )

Anderson connectors are all over eBay for cheap, or you can order them from places like Fork Truck Supply & Repair places.

The carts keep my batteries up off the floor (bad back, I HATE to stoop over or sit on the floor to work),
And carts allow air flow UNDER, as well as between batteries, helping keep the operating thermal spikes under control.

In the winter, I just push batteries together, and strap some insulation board to the batteries to maintain temp...

Just some ideas for the guy off grid to help with maintaining a battery bank in an orderly fashion, reduce maintenance, and generally make the batteries live longer...

Last edited by JeepHammer; 10-26-2015 at 01:18 PM.
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