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Emergency Preparedness Solar Batteries Water Freezer Discussion (Read 3280 times)
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Emergency Preparedness Solar Batteries Water Freezer Discussion
Jul 3rd, 2021 at 3:33am
I was having a emergency preparedness discussion with a friend and thought maybe someone else would benefit from the info so here it is, it was several messages and if the links don't work you will need to do a search.

The price since I got my LTOs actually went up, they have the round ones now that are really big, just looking at them you can't tell but measure 66mm X 160mm (66160), the problem with these is you have connections on both sides and have to deal with that.
6PCS Yinlong 2.3V 40Ah 66160 Iron Titanate Battery Cylindrical LTO Solar Cells

I like these, you can stack them and they come with connection hardware so you can get them hooked up fast. They all connect on one side only which is better I think. 33Ah 2.3V 759Wh per cell (or stack of cells in series)
5pcs Yinlong LTO Lithium Titanate 33Ah 2.3V Battery Prismatic type

I have the 55Ah ones of these, they are wider and longer, working perfectly. I do 10 in series because I go to about 25.08V max on the li-Ions and that matches good. If you started out with LTOs you could do whatever you want. It's a pain to connect these, so those small ones are not worth all the work for only 11Ah.
24 PCS Kokam LTO Battery 2.4V 11AH Lithium Titanate Oxide Pouch Cell

If you don't mind using thick cables you can go with 12V and then you have less cells in series, depending what you are doing. For a larger system go with 24V.

Freezer: It seems like you can only go maybe one hour OFF and it will go from 0F to 21F inside. The top is always cool and I'm thinking about tape-ing that foam board insulation on top. The sides get warm of course because they use that as a outside heat sink so you can't insulate that. I am sure they didn't insulate those hot coils away from the inside very well, oh well, it is what it is and is not that hard to run on solar.

It also runs like 50% cycle on and off, 5 mins on etc...

I can go two hours on the fridge. And it runs like 20 mins it seems twice a hour maybe 15.

Point is that you have to make sure that you power the freezer in a dependable way so if you are depending on the power company, you want a back up. It's only about 65W when running with start up about 150W I have seen.

If you think a borrowed gen will work, you will need a big battery charger I guess, the LTOs will quick charge but you really want some solar panels.

On your grid going down, you may need a reality check, turn off your main breaker for a while and tell me how it goes. Start with a hour and go more from there. Do it at night sometime too.

I lived in a trailer with a gen and it wasn't fun lugging gas around. I had a couple of big 12V batteries I could charge which helped and the trailer was 12V so that made it easier. One overhead 12V light was like 2A back then so maybe now with LEDs it's not too bad.

Fuel will be hard to get and you may use more than it's worth to go get more.

If you have a Kill-A-Watt you should check your freezer running. Let's say 75W. And remember it's half of that at 50% run time.

You will need enough panels to run it and also charge your batteries for use at night.

So figure 75W solar minimum, and there are some losses but I think you have some 250W panels anyway. You could also go on craigslist and pick up some 300W + from a guy near you. Get a cheap MPPT controller that says you can put 24V panels on 12V batteries but it should have adjustable voltages or a Li-Ion setting.

A 250W panel will give you maybe 7 hours of good sun in the summer. and then you will want to calculate maybe 17 night hours at 38W = 646Wh and don't underestimate that because there are other losses like the inverter and you
may want to charge phones etc... Plus clouds !

I used some bricks and some #12 solid wires to put some panels out there and they are still that way. I know you have a dust problem but since you have water it's not a problem if they are on the ground (or one of those lite touch car type brushes). They mount up real quick this way. See:

Those now have 3 standard bricks high (sideways) on the back side with the wire looped through to hold down the EMT pipes. Makes the rain water flow off OK. One brick high would work OK too or flat as you see wasn't bad but water pools.

The old people really need A/C so that RV may save them but the stock roof one I had needed like 1200W to run and a good gen to start it, it would bog down. A window air for $150 and 5000 BTU would be only 500W and maybe 800 start. Swamps in July suck here, you know that. (Las Vegas)

You could probably survive on LEDs at night using 18650 batts, then charge the batts in the daytime somehow, which takes time. Basically a camping adventure. Right now you would have to run a A/C most of the night, so think
about that. The small space of a RV is good but it leaks cool like mad. One north room in the house would be better energy wise.

In an emergency you are going to be so happy to have more then enough solar panels and batts and the LTOs don't need any maintenance so if they just sat for years in the garage they would be ready. Wire #10 and some MPPT controllers would be good to have too but some big diodes would help in a pinch and LTOs can be over charged a little and not damaged so you could manually watch and be a human controller even with lead acids.

Maybe just grab stuff off the net (camping stuff at walmart
like steno cans) and stick it in the garage, anything that won't go bad and play with it over time maybe but it's better to have it than not and money in the bank won't do you much good when the SHTF.

Talking about water tanks, they sell a black 400 gal one and I think a small pump for a RV would be good enough. A filter for drinking would be a must but things like flushing is no problem.

1) They are black and need to keep it dark so water does not grow algae. Anywhere the sun touches algae will grow.

2) Clear an area of rocks and then get a few buckets of sand and lay it around where the tank will go, that will keep the rocks from coming to the surface (and they will) and piercing the tank.

3) Try and put it in a spot where there is some shade.

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