Anyone Have Solar Panels On The Roof?

Discussion in 'Home Improvement' started by Dwight Ward, Oct 30, 2022.

  1. Dwight Ward

    Dwight Ward Veteran Member
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    Now those I don't remember. How large is the battery in the photo?
     
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  2. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    Childhood memories: 6"-8" tall x 2.5" diameter. I recall a portable radio that took one, and I had a battery operated slot car set that took the (either 1 or 2 batteries, I don't recall.)
     
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  3. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Veteran Member
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    I used both the lead acid deep cycle and the nickel-iron batteries back in the day of using solar, wind, and hydro. The biggest problem I had with lead acid was they didn't last more than three years. The nickel-iron I bought 10 years used from the telephone company and used them 10 years and they were still up to specs and I sold them for more than I paid.

    They are big and heavy is the biggest problem. Cost wise they are the best because of their lifespan. The other plus is they are 100% recyclable. They are only good for a home installation. I found them less maintenance than lead acid. I had a bank of both and charged the nickel-iron with solar and wind. I had the 24/7 small hydro generator on the lead acid.

    Lithium is the best for performance, size, etc., but I see them making us dependent on foreign lithium. Lead acid is certainly a proven method. I went through 12 lead acid batteries in 10 years and never had to replace the four iron nickel and in fact, made a few dollars on them.

    With today's high shipping charges, iron nickel can be a bigger initial investment but will pay off in the long run. The thing with buying iron-nickel used is to make sure they were properly maintained. For years we ran two local mountain top VHF and UHF repeaters on iron-nickel with solar charging and never had any problems.
     
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  4. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    From what I was reading, both lead acid and NiFe must be ventilated because of their fumes. I believe (but am not certain) that lithium are sealed. When I worked in communications (radio, microwave, satellite, fiber) we used Exide lead acid batteries in our earth station shelters. When I worked in office building security & access control systems, we used gel-cell batteries (3" x 3" x 6") to back up the security control panels. I assume that gel-cells are fine for indoor low-amperage applications, because that technology never arises in these conversations. Heck, maybe they're not even made anymore.
     
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  5. Dwight Ward

    Dwight Ward Veteran Member
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    What does the maintenance of nickel-iron batteries involve, Faye?

    ...and why does some of my post show as a link? Weird.
     
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  6. Dwight Ward

    Dwight Ward Veteran Member
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    Were you using the kind of lead-acid batteries with removable caps that needed topping off with water? You're supposed to use distilled water but I never did.
    My current lead-acids are sealed.
     
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  7. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    I don't know. These were in remote regions at the base of microwave & satellite antenna towers. I don't remember if they even made sealed lead acid batteries in the 80s. Some of those stations were pretty remote...
     
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  8. Dwight Ward

    Dwight Ward Veteran Member
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    Batteries are called batteries because they are a battery of direct current cells, i.e., a line-up of cells. This is the kind of useless junk from fifty years ago that I remember even as I now forget people's names ten seconds after I learn them.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 12, 2022
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  9. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    I had no idea.

    Now, guess what this is:

    Assault and battery.png
     
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  10. Dwight Ward

    Dwight Ward Veteran Member
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    That's Frosty The Snowman wearing a combat helmet.

    Technically speaking, that battery isn't a battery but a power cell, since it doesn't have multiple cells.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 12, 2022
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  11. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    That's an interesting point, because they are "C cell," "D cell," etc. I never even thought of a single cell not being "battery" [pl.]
     
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  12. Faye Fox

    Faye Fox Veteran Member
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    What are the maintenance practices for nickel-iron batteries?
    The following maintenance practices will enable your nickel-iron batteries to continue to perform optimally:

    • Replace the electrolyte every 10 years – The electrolyte degrades over time due to carbonate buildup, so replacing it every 10 years can help recover this loss.
    • Add distilled water to your batteries every 1-3 months- Water in nickel-iron batteries is also lost during electrolysis as oxygen and hydrogen.
    • Charge and discharge the battery regularly- Nickel iron batteries are designed for intense cycling, so you should always be charging and discharging them.
     
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  13. Dwight Ward

    Dwight Ward Veteran Member
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    All that sounds minimal. Thanks, Faye.
     
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  14. Von Jones

    Von Jones Supreme Member
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    Interesting.

    I have seen posts/ads whatever about incentives/tax credit/financing of some sort on Facebook. Living in the city I would think there would be limitations of some sort. To me it just doesn't seem feasible unless you lived in the suburbs or rural.
     
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