Show me pics of your insulated battery bank

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pioneerMan
Forum Guru
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:40 pm
My RE system: 12 volt system
26 lead acid batteries, 6V, each rated at 210 amp hours
12 solar panels (Mitsubishi 125 Watt)
Outback VFX2812 inverter and two FLEXmax 60 inverters
Trimetric 2030A battery monitor
Mate 3d
Dual fuel 4500 watt AC generator
Location: Northern Utah

Show me pics of your insulated battery bank

Post by pioneerMan »

Here is just one of the 3 "monoblocks" that comprise our 26 battery bank. I've learned from another thread that this is not an efficient way to put a battery bank together, so we plan on taking action this spring. And I agree the use of old freezers to keep the batteries from freezing may not be the best option, as it includes more cabling and connections that can potentially get corroded.

So, I'm looking for ideas of what our new battery bank configuration should look like. Please post photos of what you have put together so I can get some ideas.

Thanks!

freezer_bank.jpeg
sbrownian
Forum Czar
Posts: 538
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:23 am
My RE system: GS8048 FM80 FNDC Mate3
4kw solar
7kw Kubota propane gen
Had 1200 Ahr FLA Locomotive batts
Just replaced with
2 x 300 Ah ReLion Lithium packs
MUCH more efficient!!
Location: Central Washington State

Re: Show me pics of your insulated battery bank

Post by sbrownian »

I didn't notice, did you have a vent fan tied into the system where it would come on if the voltage level got close to where the cells could potentially start gassing, or is the box left open?
Information, you get not; if incorrect question, you ask..
raysun
Forum Emperor
Posts: 4591
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 5:57 am
My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
SimpliPhi 48-3.8 (6 @ 48v)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator

Re: Show me pics of your insulated battery bank

Post by raysun »

I'd post a picture of my battery enclosure, but what I do in Hawaii isn't especially relevant to your installation.

However, this information on lead acid battery electrolyte is:
At a 40% state of charge, electrolyte will freeze if the temperature drops to approximately -16 degrees F. When a battery is fully charged the electrolyte will not freeze until the temperature drops to approximately -92 degrees F.

The freezing point is related to state of charge due to the chemical reaction between the sulfuric acid in solution and the lead plates. As the battery is discharged, the sulfur combines with lead, leaving the electrolyte more "watery" (lower specific gravity.)

I don't know what temperatures are reached in your locale, but, in addition to the insulation installed, keeping the battery state of charge high will go a long way toward preventing the battery electrolyte from freezing.
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JRHill
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1525
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:12 am
My RE system: VFXR3648, FM80, 3k panels, Mate3s, FNDC, 4ea 3.8 PHIs. EU7000is AGS.
Location: PNW
Contact:

Re: Show me pics of your insulated battery bank

Post by JRHill »

I don't have a picture readily available but imagine a RubberMaid plastic deck box filled with 8 FLA L16s. They filled it end to end almost perfectly with enough room on the lengthwise sides for some scraps of 2" insulating foam but not over the top of the batteries. Outside the house of course. I'd have the lid closed in the winter but in the summer I'd prop the lid open 3.5" with a scrap of 4x4.

Never did I have corrosion requiring the cable ends or battery terminals to be cleaned over the 5 years for the original or the 5 for the replacement bank.. Mr. Pioneerman, you have a major corrosion problem. I can't tell from the picture but I'm guessing you are using copper for the buss bars 'cause I see some blue-green on them. But the terminal studs and nuts are completely covered in corrosion. Are you using mild steel hardware on the terminals? When you get around to cleaning this up be sure to reassemble with stainless steel nuts, flats and locks. Also, get and use some dielectric grease on each stud, both sides of the buss and on the washers/nuts. And your cables, were they home made? If so or not have you inspected and verified there is not active corrosion between the lug and cable?

If your other banks look similar you really need to address this issue. Esp with so many batteries any resistance between batteries, between strings, between cables and between the condition of each of the batteries themselves is a nightmare.

Sorry.
sbrownian
Forum Czar
Posts: 538
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:23 am
My RE system: GS8048 FM80 FNDC Mate3
4kw solar
7kw Kubota propane gen
Had 1200 Ahr FLA Locomotive batts
Just replaced with
2 x 300 Ah ReLion Lithium packs
MUCH more efficient!!
Location: Central Washington State

Re: Show me pics of your insulated battery bank

Post by sbrownian »

Three locomotive starting batteries. 2 - 32v monoblocks + one split in half. (Two 16v sections.)

They are 550ah each and are in series / parallel for 48v at about 1200 ah at a 20hr discharge rate.

Non insulated box. Coaxial vent van at the end, activated by voltage rise.
It is located on an unheated enclosed 'back porch.' It usually gets down to about -10 F in the winter.

After about 9 years of service, they have been replaced by two 300 amp hour ReLion blocks in the basement near the inverter.

Basement temp never drops below 50 in the winter even when unheated, (so no cold charging issues,) and usually doesn't get above 75 in the summer.
Attachments
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Information, you get not; if incorrect question, you ask..
pioneerMan
Forum Guru
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:40 pm
My RE system: 12 volt system
26 lead acid batteries, 6V, each rated at 210 amp hours
12 solar panels (Mitsubishi 125 Watt)
Outback VFX2812 inverter and two FLEXmax 60 inverters
Trimetric 2030A battery monitor
Mate 3d
Dual fuel 4500 watt AC generator
Location: Northern Utah

Re: Show me pics of your insulated battery bank

Post by pioneerMan »

sbrownian wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:28 pm I didn't notice, did you have a vent fan tied into the system where it would come on if the voltage level got close to where the cells could potentially start gassing, or is the box left open?
@sbrownian, the freezer doors are normally in place, I just took them off for my photo. Doing so helps keep out the cold air. There is no vent fan, but each freezer does has a large plastic pipe that ports it to fresh air outside the battery shed. I've been told our battery bank is too large, for the 12 solar panels we have, and the bank has likely never hit equalize charging in all the years we've had it. We are hoping to resolve this in the Spring. But it may be too late, and the battery bank may need to be replaced. <sigh>
provo
Forum Czar
Posts: 720
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:34 pm
My RE system: Sixteen Evergreen EC-120
(4 strings, total 1920W)
Eight Rolls S-550 (2 strings, total ~800Ah @ 24V)
One FM80
One VFXR3524A
Hub 10
Mate3s
FNDC and Trimetric
Honda EU3000is generator
Location: Sierra foothills

Re: Show me pics of your insulated battery bank

Post by provo »

batteries2.jpg

Marine plywood box with lid, rigid polyurethane insulation lined with visqueen, screened air intake lower right, Zephyr vent fan upper left going outside.

Electronics.jpg
Last edited by provo on Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
sbrownian
Forum Czar
Posts: 538
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:23 am
My RE system: GS8048 FM80 FNDC Mate3
4kw solar
7kw Kubota propane gen
Had 1200 Ahr FLA Locomotive batts
Just replaced with
2 x 300 Ah ReLion Lithium packs
MUCH more efficient!!
Location: Central Washington State

Re: Show me pics of your insulated battery bank

Post by sbrownian »

@pioneerMan

You need to be VERY careful if you have a box that has poor ventilation and the batteries are being charged. You can easily get a build up of hydrogen inside of a space that has limited air flow.

Things can go BANG at just the wrong time to really ruin your day.
Information, you get not; if incorrect question, you ask..
JRHill
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1525
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:12 am
My RE system: VFXR3648, FM80, 3k panels, Mate3s, FNDC, 4ea 3.8 PHIs. EU7000is AGS.
Location: PNW
Contact:

Re: Show me pics of your insulated battery bank

Post by JRHill »

pioneerMan wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:23 pm
sbrownian wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:28 pm I didn't notice, did you have a vent fan tied into the system where it would come on if the voltage level got close to where the cells could potentially start gassing, or is the box left open?
@sbrownian, the freezer doors are normally in place, I just took them off for my photo. Doing so helps keep out the cold air. There is no vent fan, but each freezer does has a large plastic pipe that ports it to fresh air outside the battery shed. I've been told our battery bank is too large, for the 12 solar panels we have, and the bank has likely never hit equalize charging in all the years we've had it. We are hoping to resolve this in the Spring. But it may be too late, and the battery bank may need to be replaced. <sigh>
The fumes from a lead acid battery are heavier than air. So unless your pipe is at the bottom of the cabinet and you have another higher to let in fresh air you a not getting any venting advantage. Then your batteries are generating at least some heat which will rise and fight the venting so you aren't accomplishing much. You'd probably have to have forced air in some way that is safe.
provo
Forum Czar
Posts: 720
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:34 pm
My RE system: Sixteen Evergreen EC-120
(4 strings, total 1920W)
Eight Rolls S-550 (2 strings, total ~800Ah @ 24V)
One FM80
One VFXR3524A
Hub 10
Mate3s
FNDC and Trimetric
Honda EU3000is generator
Location: Sierra foothills

Re: Show me pics of your insulated battery bank

Post by provo »

JRHill wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:57 pm
The fumes from a lead acid battery are heavier than air.
Hydrogen?
Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2278
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied VFXR3524A-01's series stacked, replaced GVFX's (2020)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS. Tigo ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 Talesun 275W in series (DC array input to SB inverter/charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input from 14 Talesun 275W, Enphase M215 microinverters

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Show me pics of your insulated battery bank

Post by Mike Curran »

https://smart.tigoenergy.com/p/pZXn7SZQyO45?date=2021-04-19
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221
sbrownian
Forum Czar
Posts: 538
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:23 am
My RE system: GS8048 FM80 FNDC Mate3
4kw solar
7kw Kubota propane gen
Had 1200 Ahr FLA Locomotive batts
Just replaced with
2 x 300 Ah ReLion Lithium packs
MUCH more efficient!!
Location: Central Washington State

Re: Show me pics of your insulated battery bank

Post by sbrownian »

JRHill wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:57 pm
pioneerMan wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:23 pm
sbrownian wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:28 pm I didn't notice, did you have a vent fan tied into the system where it would come on if the voltage level got close to where the cells could potentially start gassing, or is the box left open?
@sbrownian, the freezer doors are normally in place, I just took them off for my photo. Doing so helps keep out the cold air. There is no vent fan, but each freezer does has a large plastic pipe that ports it to fresh air outside the battery shed. I've been told our battery bank is too large, for the 12 solar panels we have, and the bank has likely never hit equalize charging in all the years we've had it. We are hoping to resolve this in the Spring. But it may be too late, and the battery bank may need to be replaced. <sigh>
The fumes from a lead acid battery are heavier than air. So unless your pipe is at the bottom of the cabinet and you have another higher to let in fresh air you a not getting any venting advantage. Then your batteries are generating at least some heat which will rise and fight the venting so you aren't accomplishing much. You'd probably have to have forced air in some way that is safe.
If the battery cap filters aren't working right, you can get a bit of 'mist' from the electrolyte, but hydrogen is the 'lightest' element on the charts...
Information, you get not; if incorrect question, you ask..
sbrownian
Forum Czar
Posts: 538
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:23 am
My RE system: GS8048 FM80 FNDC Mate3
4kw solar
7kw Kubota propane gen
Had 1200 Ahr FLA Locomotive batts
Just replaced with
2 x 300 Ah ReLion Lithium packs
MUCH more efficient!!
Location: Central Washington State

Re: Show me pics of your insulated battery bank

Post by sbrownian »

Mike Curran wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:09 pm viewtopic.php?f=24&t=8827
Very nice.

@pioneerMan
If air is the only medium you have to transfer heat, I would look into some kind of 'plate' style of heat exchanger where cabin air could run through and return, but not let any of the air in the battery box get back into the cabin.

Edit ... Bleah.. Wrong thread..
Last edited by sbrownian on Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Information, you get not; if incorrect question, you ask..
pioneerMan
Forum Guru
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:40 pm
My RE system: 12 volt system
26 lead acid batteries, 6V, each rated at 210 amp hours
12 solar panels (Mitsubishi 125 Watt)
Outback VFX2812 inverter and two FLEXmax 60 inverters
Trimetric 2030A battery monitor
Mate 3d
Dual fuel 4500 watt AC generator
Location: Northern Utah

Re: Show me pics of your insulated battery bank

Post by pioneerMan »

Mike Curran wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:09 pm viewtopic.php?f=24&t=8827
Mike, those red batteries look like a nice option if I do need to replace my bank. Can you you give me a link to the manufacturer's website? Also, tell me more about your 12 volt fan. I didn't see it in your photo.
JRHill
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1525
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:12 am
My RE system: VFXR3648, FM80, 3k panels, Mate3s, FNDC, 4ea 3.8 PHIs. EU7000is AGS.
Location: PNW
Contact:

Re: Show me pics of your insulated battery bank

Post by JRHill »

provo wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:07 pm
JRHill wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:57 pm
The fumes from a lead acid battery are heavier than air.
Hydrogen?
I had done a quick lookup and the answer was the fumes would settle. I stopped at that and posted the precaution. Yes and yes about the hydrogen. I'm not a chemist. Hydrogen Sulfide? I don't know yet. But this isn't something to screw with in any fashion so maybe I spread some disinformation but on the side of safety. I've never had a battery explode. Lord forbid - I'm 1.5 hours away from help.

Here was the source and Batteryuniversity has been a good resource:
https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/art ... d%20spaces.
sbrownian
Forum Czar
Posts: 538
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:23 am
My RE system: GS8048 FM80 FNDC Mate3
4kw solar
7kw Kubota propane gen
Had 1200 Ahr FLA Locomotive batts
Just replaced with
2 x 300 Ah ReLion Lithium packs
MUCH more efficient!!
Location: Central Washington State

Re: Show me pics of your insulated battery bank

Post by sbrownian »

JRHill wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:36 pm
provo wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:07 pm
JRHill wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:57 pm
The fumes from a lead acid battery are heavier than air.
Hydrogen?
I had done a quick lookup and the answer was the fumes would settle. I stopped at that and posted the precaution. Yes and yes about the hydrogen. But this isn't something to screw with in any fashion so maybe I spread some disinformation but on the side of safety. I've never had a battery explode. Lord forbid - I'm 1.5 hours away from help.

Here was the source and Batteryuniversity has been a good resource:
https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/art ... d%20spaces.
I have hounded and hounded the owner of the system I watch about a face shield and goggles ANY time he starts messing with pulling the caps on the batteries for adding water, SG readings, etc.

Summer time, 30 minutes MINIMUM to a hospital. Winter time, two to three hours..


If the inverter conked out as a result, and the pressure tank was charged, there was enough water for about a 5 minute shower, and it was just inside the door from the batteries.

I think that was one of the reasons for going with the ReLions this fall. That, and I kept hounding him about putting a 3kw load on the system and just seeing how long it would run before getting below 46.5 volts.. Even bought two 1500 watt heaters at a thrift store for like $5 each and told him how to make sure to put one on each leg.
He never did try it, but I suspect the results would have revealed that 1200 ah was closer to 600 after 9 years of service.
Last edited by sbrownian on Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Information, you get not; if incorrect question, you ask..
Mike Curran
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2278
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 6:28 pm
My RE system: Outback - Garage roof:
- 8 (2x4) Evergreen 180's into one FM80 (2007/2020 - replaced MX60)
- 6 (2×3) ALEO S79-300's into one FM80 (2017)
- 2 grid-tied VFXR3524A-01's series stacked, replaced GVFX's (2020)
- 12 Surrette/Rolls 2V x 1766Ah (2007)
- Hub10.3, Mate3s, FNDC, RTS. Tigo ES maximizers on each PV module.

Westinghouse Solar - Barn roof: (2012)
- 30 (2x15) 235W panels with Enphase M215 microinverters, grid-tied

Outback Skybox - Barn roof: (2019)
- 14 Talesun 275W in series (DC array input to SB inverter/charger)
- 3 SimpliPhi 3.8 batteries, 48V, 225Ah total
- AC coupled input from 14 Talesun 275W, Enphase M215 microinverters

All self-designed and self-installed
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Re: Show me pics of your insulated battery bank

Post by Mike Curran »

Pioneer - The fan (only 1 of 2 identical battery boxes are shown, each has a fan) is located inside the top of the white, 4" PVC "T" you see at the front bottom of the battery box. They draw air in thru the bottom 2 legs of the T and across the finned heat exchanger located inside (https://www.supplyhouse.com/Slant-Fin-1 ... t-2-Length), and exhaust the heated air thru the top of the T.

Those are Rolls batteries https://www.rollsbattery.com/
https://smart.tigoenergy.com/p/pZXn7SZQyO45?date=2021-04-19
https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/Hctc107221
JRHill
Forum Emperor
Posts: 1525
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:12 am
My RE system: VFXR3648, FM80, 3k panels, Mate3s, FNDC, 4ea 3.8 PHIs. EU7000is AGS.
Location: PNW
Contact:

Re: Show me pics of your insulated battery bank

Post by JRHill »

Thanks folks. So much has been made about the dangers of FLA batteries that its just dismissed. Then it gets extended to a "bomb" outside their house which is also dismissed because it never happened under the hood of their rig.

Mr. Sbrownian, if I lost my eye sight they might as well bury me.

I love my SimpliPhis. No more water. No More SGs. No more worrying if about the plan (the Mate3 is showing Battery Status Red now, so what: 52.5).

This doesn't help Mr. pioneerMan though. He has a 12v system and things to do and things to plan to do.
sbrownian
Forum Czar
Posts: 538
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:23 am
My RE system: GS8048 FM80 FNDC Mate3
4kw solar
7kw Kubota propane gen
Had 1200 Ahr FLA Locomotive batts
Just replaced with
2 x 300 Ah ReLion Lithium packs
MUCH more efficient!!
Location: Central Washington State

Re: Show me pics of your insulated battery bank

Post by sbrownian »

JRHill wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:24 pm Mr. Sbrownian, if I lost my eye sight they might as well bury me.
Yep, I understand completely.

Had cataract surgery about 2 years ago, right eye first, second eye 6 weeks later.
Vision was great for about 4 months. First noticed 'jags' in straight edged things in my right eye, and it progressively got more and more distorted. (Retinal distortion.)

It (luckily) started clearing up a little, then the left eye went south. It got much worse than the right.
Luckily the right eye started improving to the point I was doing pretty well as a semi-one-eye person.

Doc wanted to try stuff to both eyes, but I said no. Get the left eye back, and then you can mess with the right. Told him if my 'good eye' degraded to as poor a vision as in the left, I would have to quit my job and wouldn't be able to drive.

Funny how important things become when it directly affects YOU. (And why I now think that people shining high powered green lasers to attempt retinal damage shoud be treated just the same as someone trying to chop off your hand..)

/kicks soapbox back into the corner..
Information, you get not; if incorrect question, you ask..
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