Saturday, January 7, 2012

It's been an exciting day today

Having been pondering over the battery situation here - to whit, the house batteries are losing charge when there's no current and I had ample proof of that yesterday as I watched a little voltmeter go down and down - I decided to have a butchers at the battery bank. I reckoned that there might be one battery that was overheating but I was wrong - there were in fact two of them all swollen up. No wonder the batteries were gently emptying themselves. So I pulled those two out and I'm now down to just 8 batteries.

I've been suspecting that these 90 amp-hour batteries are just too small to handle a surge of about 50 amps on a regular basis and this seems to be confirming things. There's four now that I've had to change, and it's always been the one in the centre of the bank. You may recall that I went to Paris to the supplier just before Christmas and they had some 200-amp-hour batteries on special offer and so I bought 8 of those. That will be a battery bank and a half. Ideally I need even-bigger ones but an issue presents it self with that in that these 200-amp-hour batteries weigh 58kgs and while I can pick them up and walk with them, I can't go far very quickly. Imagine twice the weight.

You might be wondering why I didn't go the whole hog and fit them today. Believe me, it was my intention. But the battery cables that I have - 225mm - aren't long enough. I've had to order some 375mm cables and they won't be here until Thursday next week.

This afternoon, tired of manipulating inverters, timers and the like around, I made myself a plug-in electric board. We start off with a two-pin American plug with 6mm cable wired into it. This goes to a 300-watt inverter screwed to the board. From there it's into an electric meter and from there into one of the hour meters I bought in the UK. Finally it ends up in a 13-amp UK socket. All I need to do now when I'm carrying out some work somewhere around out of range of the main inverters is to take my little board with me and plug it into the 12-volt circuit.

After that I went to the bank to pay in a cheque, reorder my bread and then go for coffee and a chat with Marianne to catch up on the gossip It's her birthday tomorrow, and that set me thinking about all the other people I know whose birthday it is in January. Krys, Marianne, Marianne from Brussels, Mandy. Those names spring straight away to mind and I bet there are loads more as well ( so apologies if I have forgotten you). It really is astonishing.

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