Loadshedding solutions?

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Slainte Mhaith

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The problem that is now raising its head is that DIY solutions (battery, inverter, charger) like mine, incorporating lead acid Deep Cycle batteries has a limited number of cycles of around 250 (assuming 50% DOD), before they are spent.

Surely you can get more than 250 cycles from SLA batteries, can you not?

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Slainte Mhaith

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The problem that is now raising its head is that DIY solutions (battery, inverter, charger) like mine, incorporating lead acid Deep Cycle batteries has a limited number of cycles of around 250 (assuming 50% DOD), before they are spent. Whilst that was fine for the ocassional stage 1 and 2 loadshedding, with constant stage 6 (and very possibly higher stages to come), you would eat through your battery life in around 4-6 months.

To replace 2 x 105AH batteries at R2800 each every 4 months does not make financial sesnse.

So i am looking to buy a battery, or batteries, that will give me a total of at least 210AH but which are capable of more cycles and that would last at least a year (1000 cycles) or more. Dont know if something like that exists?

Going full solar at this time is not a viable option for me.

Any advice will be appreciated.

Thanks


Why do you want to go 210Ah?
If you have 2 x 105Ah and draw down to 50% then you are using 105Ah.
A single 120Ah Li battery with 90% dod should match this and give you many more life cycles even at 90% dod.
You pay 30% more but the battery lasts 400% longer (guestimate)
 

Neo_za

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Surely you can get more than 250 cycles from SLA batteries, can you not?

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Based on the charts you show, seemingly yes, if referencing normal lead acid battery performance, which i presume it does. The cycle info i quoted came from another source which sells packaged products (batteries with charger and inverter) and they stated that to be the amount of cycles for lead acid batteries. Maybe they stated it low for commercial reasons to boost lithium sales, who knows.

Think the point still is that with more frequent and longer periods that will be needed to beat stage 6, 7 and 8 loadshedding in a small way (tv, computers, some lights, etc), the cycles remaining in my already 2-year old lead acid set-up will now be quickly depleted, especially when drawing down deeper than before. The question for me then is whether i should replace again with the normal lead acid batteries that i currently have, or to switch to lithium when the time comes for replacement due to deeper DOD and more available cycles, but at a higher cost.
 

Neo_za

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Why do you want to go 210Ah?
If you have 2 x 105Ah and draw down to 50% then you are using 105Ah.
A single 120Ah Li battery with 90% dod should match this and give you many more life cycles even at 90% dod.
You pay 30% more but the battery lasts 400% longer (guestimate)
I see you are a night owl like me.

The 210AH was needed for the lead acid battery set up to get enough watt hours for the things i ran, without going below 50% DOD.

Agree that lithium changes that paradigm and it now becomes a question of just working out how many hours i can get out of it based on my power needs even at 90% DOD and then seeing if the 120AH lithium will be able to cover it.
 

Tommy Transalp

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I'm still using my generator as final backup.....this is the most viable option, both cost and efficiency- wise for me.....
Only drawback is the noise, but one gets used to it.
Lion batteries cost as much if not more than an invertor generator... go figure.
 

Oubones

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Lead acid dies very fast if discharged completely and yes, lithium is much better and if set up correctly should last much longer so actually cheaper in the long run.
I agree with you using your present batteries till they die and the generator when needed.
The inconvenience of the genie is not worth spending a lot off money for!
My opinion.
I nearly started one of mine with the cloudy days and long loadshedding as my inverter on lead acid could not cope but my inverter on lithium breazed through with plenty to spare👍
 

super ten

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Bite the bullet, sell stuff that you don't use, etc, just get the Lithium. It will change your life. Guaranteed. I'm not totally off grid, but my life has changed tremendously.
 

Mikie

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I have a small Mecer UPS to power my router during Load shedding, it used to last min 2 hours so I would make it through load shedding without having to use my gennie. The little 7.2AH Lead Acid battery is taking strain, now I have a few of these little batteries, I was thinking of connecting a second battery to the first in parallel to try extend the up time.
I am no electrician so not sure if this could be a bad idea or if I am onto something.
Can anyone give me sound advice on this? NO I dont have free cash at the moment to go buy a bigger UPS etc etc etc
 

Neo_za

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I have a small Mecer UPS to power my router during Load shedding, it used to last min 2 hours so I would make it through load shedding without having to use my gennie. The little 7.2AH Lead Acid battery is taking strain, now I have a few of these little batteries, I was thinking of connecting a second battery to the first in parallel to try extend the up time.
I am no electrician so not sure if this could be a bad idea or if I am onto something.
Can anyone give me sound advice on this? NO I dont have free cash at the moment to go buy a bigger UPS etc etc etc
My limited understanding is that connecting paralel allows the ah of the batteries to be summed whilst maintaining the same voltage thus extending the use of your UPS. Apparantly it is not good to add new batteries in that way to old batteries. Maybe search net on connecting batteries in paralel, lots of info available.
 

tok-tokkie

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I have some Blue Nova Lithium batteries and charge them with a normal 'dumb' charger.
As long as the current is within limits and the voltage does not exceed 15V, they are happy.
They have a built in battery management system that ensures all is OK. The battery itself stops charging when it is full.
Have had them for quite a while and very happy with them.
Oh! I have a Victron charger which has a setting for Lion batteries which the manual stresses should be used. I have just Googled it & find that once the battery is fully charged a lead acid charger will damage the lithium over time. Not nearly as catastrophic as I thought.
 

Oubones

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You need to check the charging amperage, but I would just connect another 7a/h.
It is your decision as the I have asked a guy in the business and his comment was it depends from ups to ups.
A small 10/20w solar panel with a cheap chinese controller might work well!
 

Mikie

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My guess is that, if it cant handle it, it just wont charge properly
Going to give it a shot, at the moment, like yesterday, 4 hours loadshedding in the afternoon, I am firing up my Gennie just to power my router, serious waste of fuel IMHO, my laptop battery will last the 4 hours no problem
 

Slainte Mhaith

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Oh! I have a Victron charger which has a setting for Lion batteries which the manual stresses should be used. I have just Googled it & find that once the battery is fully charged a lead acid charger will damage the lithium over time. Not nearly as catastrophic as I thought.
That is very generic and can differ a lot imho.

First you have to differentiate between Lithium and LiFePo4, the latter having higher internal resistance with higher soc and thus less chance of overcharging. I think most batteries are LiFepo4.

Then chargers also differ greatly. My old LA charger give a constant current and ramp up the voltage to a limit and then start reducing the voltage. Thus the max voltage is just too low to fully charge the LiFePo4 battery. Not a bad thing as mentioned in the article. Some chargers can push the voltage much higher. Others have pulse cycles and other functions not suitable for Lithium. But knowing exactly how your charger work is normally an unknown thus recommended to use the Li charger
 

sidetrack

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I have a small Mecer UPS to power my router during Load shedding, it used to last min 2 hours so I would make it through load shedding without having to use my gennie. The little 7.2AH Lead Acid battery is taking strain, now I have a few of these little batteries, I was thinking of connecting a second battery to the first in parallel to try extend the up time.
I am no electrician so not sure if this could be a bad idea or if I am onto something.
Can anyone give me sound advice on this? NO I dont have free cash at the moment to go buy a bigger UPS etc etc etc
This one ?


I'm really impressed, it carries my router and fibre box for 4 hours easily. Even at stage 6 I had no problems at all, previously my little multimedia box used to drop connection now and then from the wifi but since I have installed the small UPS no problems at all.
 

Mikie

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This one ?


I'm really impressed, it carries my router and fibre box for 4 hours easily. Even at stage 6 I had no problems at all, previously my little multimedia box used to drop connection now and then from the wifi but since I have installed the small UPS no problems at all.
Thanks Sidetrack, have added to my wishlist, this would be the preferred solution
 

IceCreamMan

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Here’s one
 

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Roxtar

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I bought a biga$$ genny a few years ago for R5999, it holds 40L of fuel and can power the entire house! I have kept the stove and geyser off for obvious reasons although the stove is a gas unit...There is a quick change-over switch in the house so makes using easy and cheap... Once a year a spark plug change and 1 liter of oil and off you go.... The unit stands far enough from the house to not not bother when running....

For minimum capital outlay there is still nothing to beat a simple genny imo... However, I am looking for a UPS setup for the home-office when not required to run the genny and for those shorter load-shed periods, so reading and watching with interest thanks... 👍
 

Beebop

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I bought a biga$$ genny a few years ago for R5999, it holds 40L of fuel and can power the entire house! I have kept the stove and geyser off for obvious reasons although the stove is a gas unit...There is a quick change-over switch in the house so makes using easy and cheap... Once a year a spark plug change and 1 liter of oil and off you go.... The unit stands far enough from the house to not not bother when running....

For minimum capital outlay there is still nothing to beat a simple genny imo... However, I am looking for a UPS setup for the home-office when not required to run the genny and for those shorter load-shed periods, so reading and watching with interest thanks... 👍
I also have a genny, and yes its convenient, but running at roughly 2,5 litres per hour, 10 hrs of load shedding a day is way more expensive than a decent solar/battery installation.
 

Mikie

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Nevermind the noise the thing generates
 
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