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  1. #1
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    Default Inverter Question

    Reading all the recent inverter & battery threads has led me to a question.......

    At our house in the campo the electric is off more than on. We spend days there, but obviously can't leave any food in the fridge - coolers are our friend. So, we're going to have an inverter installed soon. All the talk about the cycles has me concerned. The house is almost always empty, my suegra spends a few days a month there, rarely more. She sleeps there, but we never do. It's only used daily when we're in DR [and, of course, everyone descends on it during Semana Santa because it's at the beach]. We pay a flat electric rate, no meter, so I'm not concerned about energy consumption - I'm concerned that the batteries will be dead in a year with all the use they'll get. I don't want to be spending $800-$1000 every year. Is there an on/off switch to inverters? If so, would you recommend turning it off when leaving for extended periods? Or are we better off just leaving it on and unplugging the fridge etc.?

    AE

  2. #2
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    You must leave the invertor ON!Even a short period (a few weeks) will allow the batteries to drain dead.Then if the batteries are dead the invertor wont turn on!Double trouble!

  3. #3
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    Will the inverter be secure? It could be the target of thieves.

    You can turn it off, no problem, while you're gone. No need for it to operate while no one is there.

    The inverter can be easily disconnected from the batteries, one terminal will do it, so the batteries won't discharge.

  4. #4
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    True....you must disconnect the cables to prevent discharge.But if you dont...trust me.....I learned the hard way.They will discharge rapidley.

    As far as securing the invertor,use the blue cement screws to attatch it to the wall.Then strip the heads so no one can then unscrew it.This wont stop a determined thief with a hammer and chisel but it will slow down or stop a kid(s).

  5. #5
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    Default battries won't discharge?

    Trojan: Periods of inactivity can be extremely harmful to lead acid batteries. When placing a battery into storage, follow the recommendations below to insure that the battery remains healthy and ready for use.

    NOTE: Storing, charging or operating batteries on concrete is perfectly OK. The most important things to avoid:

    Heat. Avoid direct exposure to heat sources, such as radiators or space heaters. Temperatures above 80 F accelerate the battery's self-discharge characteristics.
    Step by step storage procedure:
    1. Completely charge the battery before storing.
    2. Store the battery in a cool, dry location, protected from the elements.
    3. During storage, monitor the specific gravity (flooded) or voltage. Batteries in storage should be given a boost charge when they show a 70% charge or less. Completely charge the battery before re-activating.
    For optimum performance, equalize the batteries (flooded) before putting them back into service. Refer to the Equalizing section for this procedure.

    Properly store the batteries, I suppose where they are is ok, it should however met these aformentioned recomendations, it is sensible.

    and put them on a automatic trickle charger, it works cuando hay luz and will maintain a minumum charge in the batteries, although you need to take into consideration what type of battery bank you have, as most triclke chargers are going to be 12 or 24 VDC, if you have 36 or 48 VDC, you will have to remove and adjust some of the jumpers to make the battery bank the correct voltage for your charger.

    You are on your own in securing your stuff from theft, I am sure you are aware of this need.

  6. #6
    Platinum
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    Default

    Good advice with the trickle charger. Cheap and effective.

  7. #7
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    Great info, thank you. It sounds as though we should just leave it running and pay the piper if the batteries die a fast death, there is no way my 89 yr old suegra with be able to take care of anything like that. I'll probably just tell her to unplug the fridge.

    Because of the locals [they even steal our outside light bulbs and replace them with burned out ones - and don't get me started on the little platano plantation they have all of the sudden, and magically all our little shoots disappeared], we plan to put everything inside the house, batteries too. Is there any reason why we shouldn't do that?

    We do have a caretaker who comes by to check on the property and irrigate the trees [another reason I realized last night that we should leave the inverter on, he needs the electricity for the water pump, which is in a separate small building].

    AE

  8. #8
    Moderator - Clown Central
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    And "who" is going to maintain the batteries.

    Using small outdoor cages for the batteries is an open invitation for them to be stolen.
    I use an attached concrete battery room for mine.

    The Distilled water level must be maintained in the batteries.
    Water level should be checked about every 15 days, 30 at the most in my opinion.

    The house is almost always empty
    With the house being vacant,
    ... most likely the batteries and the Inverter will be missing on your return.



    SantiagoDR

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SantiagoDR View Post
    And "who" is going to maintain the batteries.

    Using small outdoor cages for the batteries is an open invitation for them to be stolen.
    I use an attached concrete battery room for mine.

    The Distilled water level must be maintained in the batteries.
    Water level should be checked about every 15 days, 30 at the most in my opinion.


    With the house being vacant,
    ... most likely the batteries and the Inverter will be missing on your return.



    SantiagoDR
    We have a caretaker who we trust with keys to the house, before we leave we'll buy sufficient distilled water to leave with him. Either he or his son are on the property all the time, so hopefully it will not be stolen.

    Someone told my husband that batteries with some gel sealing are sold? You don't have to add water??? Haven't seen that mentioned here, anyone know about this?

    AE

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDJones View Post
    Gel batteries are great, but super expensive.
    I figured there was some kind of catch. How much more do they cost than the regular ones?

    AE

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