Yet another inversor question - new one though!

Matilda

RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
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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
 

windeguy

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Jul 10, 2004
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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.
 

cobraboy

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Jul 24, 2004
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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.
Or, if one battery is bad, the inverter will continue the charge cycle, boiling the other batteries in the process...
 

Matilda

RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
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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
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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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?
 

windeguy

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Jul 10, 2004
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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.
 

Olly

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Mar 12, 2007
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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
 

jrhartley

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Sep 10, 2008
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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
 

windeguy

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Jul 10, 2004
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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
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.
 

Matilda

RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
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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
 

Criss Colon

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Jan 2, 2002
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My bet is the batteries are about gone.
What brand of inverter do you have?
Or is it a "Dominican Vira Lata"?
My 3.6 Trace is 16 years old and still doing just fine!
CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
 

Matilda

RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
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Vira lata from compraventa. 12 posh batteries mind, but they have worked for 12 to 14 hours a day for 3 years. Now they are on holiday and just need to rise to the occasion once every couple of weeks, and it seems to be making them hot under the collar. Have turned them off to let them cool off a bit and consider their options. Behave and stay here and be looked after, or off to the scrap heap.

Matilda
 

NV_

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Aug 4, 2003
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Batteries that get hot and you can hear them boiling and the inverter never stops charging means only one thing. Batteries are gone and need replacing.

Next time buy Trojan T-105s. They are the most expensive battery but they are the battery to buy for inverters (and golf carts lol). New they will cost you around $5000RD. You should get around $700RD back for each of your old ones.

The brand of the inverter is also important but if its working correctly, leave it alone.

Rule #873 for the DR:

Dont fix it if it aint broken.

Also, be careful, hot batteries that are just sucking up charge and not reaching the correct voltage have a tendency of exploding. Battery acid is a bitch on skin.

12 batteries constantly charging and never reaching the voltage required to stop the charging process will cost you an arm and a leg on your next Edes bill.

Also recommend the Trace inverters. Going strong for 16+ years here.
 
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Luperon

Liberals empowered China's crime against humanity!
Jun 28, 2004
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Dominican Rule #1: Make sure the person adding the battery fluid is not in fact stealing it.
 

jrhartley

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Sep 10, 2008
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Batteries that get hot and you can hear them boiling and the inverter never stops charging means only one thing. Batteries are gone and need replacing.
not entirely true- mine boiled a year and a half ago and are still working but with a lower charge in them
 

Matilda

RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
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The batteries are Trojan. I managed to find a battery tester here in the campo. It is not a little hand held yellow thing, but a large metal one with a rubber handle and what looks like half a cheese grater. The instructions are not easy. In fact I do not understand a word of them. Here is just a snippet and the rest is just the same:

7. Measuring the battery off the compartment
1) chuck battery meter on the red rubber band line to the battery the whole piles Note: Chuck of black rubber band line is prohibited to use, to prevent danger
2) with a line test stick into the hole of the bottom of the table body to the battery test frame by frame Lockout Situation, if a cell surface indicates that no reaction (test should ensure good livestock) shows that the charge storage. The pool has been broken every other.
3) Do not expose the tester in the snow

Anyway I tested them all and all read 6.5 or 6.6 and then when you press this little switchy thing they all drop to between 6.2 and 5.8. So no bloody idea at all what that means. I turned them off for 24 hours and checked again and all 6.2 or 6.3 having not been charged and then when pressed switch they dropped to 5.8.

Matilda
 

Luperon

Liberals empowered China's crime against humanity!
Jun 28, 2004
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Stealing the battery??? LOL Come on, you gotta tell the story that contributed to that rule... lol

"The inversor works perfectly, but is getting through amazing amounts of water for the batteries, like 3 containers of battery liquid a week. "

I meant stealing the three containers of battery liquid.


The question is.. was she adding her own liquid or having someone do it for her?