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  1. #1
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    Default Yet another inversor question - new one though!

    I have a large inverter - I think 6kw and 12 batteries. I needed it when I lived in a D area and the electric was off a minimum of 12 hours a day. I now live in an area with 24 hour power (in the campo in the middle of nowhere!). The electricity is sometimes never off at all, all week, sometimes half an hour every few days, and occasionally for up to 6 hours once a fortnight or once a month. The inversor works perfectly, but is getting through amazing amounts of water for the batteries, like 3 containers of battery liquid a week. Why is that happening? Is it because they are constantly charging? Should I turn it off when the batteries are charged and then manually turn it on when there is no electricity? Or is there some other problem? Before when the electricity was off all the time, one gallon of battery water lasted 6 months.

    Matilda

  2. #2
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    It does sound like the batteries are in a constant state of charge which can waste a large amount of energy in heat.

    Are the batteries hot?

    Does your inverter have lights that show what state it is in? Like orange for the first charge state (called bulk), then blinking orange for the second state (called absorption) and then green for float? If not in "float" with no recent blackouts, you have a problem either with the inverter or the batteries are old and won't stop charging because of how the inverter detects when the batteries are full.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by windeguy View Post
    It does sound like the batteries are in a constant state of charge which can waste a large amount of energy in heat.

    Are the batteries hot?

    Does your inverter have lights that show what state it is in? Like orange for the first charge state (called bulk), then blinking orange for the second state (called absorption) and then green for float? If not in "float" with no recent blackouts, you have a problem either with the inverter or the batteries are old and won't stop charging because of how the inverter detects when the batteries are full.
    Or, if one battery is bad, the inverter will continue the charge cycle, boiling the other batteries in the process...
    Cabin Attendant,
    Augusto Pinochet Helicopter Tours

  4. #4
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    It doesnt look like the lights are changing to float like they used to. Batteries are 3 years old and inverter who knows as got from a compraventa 3 years ago. So assuming old - can I turn it off and just turn it on when the electricity goes? Will the batteries hold their charge and if so for how long? I only really need it for the once a month 6 hours off, but you never know. The problems of 24/7 luz! Sorry Windeguy!

    matilda

  5. #5
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    how about you just disconnect the bad batteries? i am sure you can still sell them, albeit at a low rate. stay with 8, maybe?

  6. #6
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    OK. The lights not changing to green along with being 3 years old indicates it is likely one or more batteries are failing. It still could be an inverter problem, but the batteries are likely.

    Can you adjust the charge rate on that inverter and turn it down to the minimum charge rate? If so turn it down and save some energy that way.

    If not and you want to just turn it off until you have a power failure, it will depend upon how much power the batteries have left after being off for a period of time. Even new full batteries will "self-discharge" over time, so you will have to charge them up at least once a month.

    I would recommend someone testing the batteries. If you can find a bad one, maybe you can find someone with an older battery for sale to replace it.

    Another possibility is to find the four or eight best ones of the twelve you have and just use those four or eight for now to get you through the short blackouts.

  7. Likes Matilda liked this post
  8. #7
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    Matilda,
    You need to test each battery with a "Battery Load Tester" . Not all "Electricians" have one ! If you google it you will see what one looks like.

    From your description is sounds like a Battery or two and I agree with windeguy that replacing a bad one with one of a similar age is a good option.

    Olly and the Team

  9. #8
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    my little man turned down my batteries when they were constantly bubbling and charging( so that they are full at a lower levelso to speak) , but no idea how he did it- I think you turn something on the inverter the little round dials - if they are hot i would turn them off until you can get someone to look at them


    have you checked that all the terminals are tightened well - they gradually come loose

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhartley View Post
    my little man turned down my batteries when they were constantly bubbling and charging( so that they are full at a lower levelso to speak) , but no idea how he did it- I think you turn something on the inverter the little round dials - if they are hot i would turn them off until you can get someone to look at them


    have you checked that all the terminals are tightened well - they gradually come loose
    A good thought as well. If the inverter has battery type settings, the normal setting for Lead Acid batteries is #7 on a Trace DR series for example.

    If you move that selector switch to setting #6 for a different style of battery, it will lower the voltage the batteries need to reach before switching out of Bulk charge to Absorption and the batteries might then go to Float. This could work for several months.

  11. #10
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    The inverter is supposed to flash green when charging, then red and green when floating. For some reason it is permanently green. Batteries not hot to the touch, but I am assured they were heard boiling. For the time being have moved the breaker to Street power only, but the inverter is still on permanent green but I assume they are not charging. Can't find an on off switch for the inverter so although we are on street power, I don't know if that is still powering the inverter and hence the batteries. Thanks for all advice, I will find a little man to test batteries.

    Matilda

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