Car Batteries for back up power

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rudyc

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i was thinking of doing a small solar power kit, to power some car batteries and use the batteries to power some small things in the house in case of an electrical outage. but i'm not too smart to do a diy project, and dont have enough money to get it done professionally. i have a few small cellphone chargers that have the solar panels.

i am thinking about getting a few used car batteries, and charging them up right now with this http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-...65828142&sr=8-17&keywords=car+battery+charger
since i already have this. i can charge a few car batteries and bike batteries. recycling places usually have a few that are good batteries.

use this to power a few items http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-...&qid=1365828220&sr=1-58&keywords=car+inverter


i live in houston, and i am prone to having tropical storms and hurricanes. it gets hot over here, even in night time. i dont have burgler bars, so windows will be closed all the time, so having a way to power a fan would be a good idea. i dont want to use a generator at night since they are loud and need to be outside.

so the main question is,

If i get some used batteries, will they charge up and last a while? is this even worth my time and effort?

i know that once the power is gone, there would be no way to charge the batteries back up again, but i just need them, for a few days. i also have a battery trickler that can "help" a little bit.

btw, the items in the links, i already have, since i needed them before, or at least items similar to them. and the only items i wil be spending money on will be batteries.

new batteries are expensive, and i can get some used batteries for about 10 bucks a piece, so 6-10 batteries seems like a good investment.
 

Trapper

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If you can find them get marine deep cycle batteries. They are made to charge, run down and recharge many times. Car batteries will not cycle and burn out much more quickly. For the cost of a bunch of regular old car batteries at the end of their life you can get a marine battery that you can depend on. Two marine batteries will serve you better than 10 car batteries.
 

rudyc

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Thanks Trapper. i know car batteries are not meant to run down, and recharge. i was always told that once the battery dies the first time, be prepared to buy a new battery since it might fail again.

wow are they expensive, but they seem to be worth it. thanks for the tip i will surely look into it.
 

Sir Cody

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I know going solar the professional way may sound expensive but there are federal refunds and state incentives. Also banks give lower interest loans for going green. If your power goes out for a few days or longer you dont want to rely on a couple marine batteries unless you plan on running a fan only. I can give you more info if you would like.
 

rudyc

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thanks sir cody, but i was looking in enough power for a fan to keep cool in the summer time if the power were to go out. solar power is too expensive for me right now. and i cant afford to get any mopre loans right now. i only have a few used car batteries that i was able to salvage from a recycling business.
 

ubduomk

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hey rudy, i've found 12 volt 120mm computer fans will push air quieter and more efficiently than a regular 120v ac fan.
120mm fans can be had for as little as $3 each, you don't need an inverter, will push about 500-1000 cfm and only about 20-24 watts power drain!
for comparison, a cheap $20 electric fan (http://www.globalindustrial.com/p/hvac/fans/office/holmes-20-inch-box-fan) pushes up to 1200 cfm but it uses 100 watts- 5X more electricity!
 

Loomis

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i was thinking of doing a small solar power kit, to power some car batteries and use the batteries to power some small things in the house in case of an electrical outage. but i'm not too smart to do a diy project, and dont have enough money to get it done professionally. i have a few small cellphone chargers that have the solar panels.

i am thinking about getting a few used car batteries, and charging them up right now with this http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-BM3B-Battery-Maintainer/dp/B0051D3MP6/ref=sr_1_17?ie=UTF8&qid=1365828142&sr=8-17&keywords=car battery charger
since i already have this. i can charge a few car batteries and bike batteries. recycling places usually have a few that are good batteries.

use this to power a few items http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-PI500BB-Power-Inverter/dp/B0050VFA8G/ref=sr_1_58?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1365828220&sr=1-58&keywords=car inverter


i live in houston, and i am prone to having tropical storms and hurricanes. it gets hot over here, even in night time. i dont have burgler bars, so windows will be closed all the time, so having a way to power a fan would be a good idea. i dont want to use a generator at night since they are loud and need to be outside.

so the main question is,

If i get some used batteries, will they charge up and last a while? is this even worth my time and effort?

i know that once the power is gone, there would be no way to charge the batteries back up again, but i just need them, for a few days. i also have a battery trickler that can "help" a little bit.

btw, the items in the links, i already have, since i needed them before, or at least items similar to them. and the only items i wil be spending money on will be batteries.

new batteries are expensive, and i can get some used batteries for about 10 bucks a piece, so 6-10 batteries seems like a good investment.
I've been running 2 12v car batteries for the last year & a half. I charge one, use one. I charge them back up with a 90 watt solar array one at a time. If you use solar you will have to have at least 75 watts to charge it back up in one day. I have a 750 watt DC to AC inverter, and run an extension cord thru my kitchen window.
Last week we had two tornado touchdowns. No they weren't F5's thank God, but they did take the power out for 12 hours. All I did was run that extension cord into the house and ran two 2' fluorescent lights, a 12"x 12" fan (10 watts) & a 6" TV. By the time the power came on the next day my battery reading was 11.6. Came in real handy. It did exactly what I planned it to do. I have pictures of my set up under Solar Power.
The deep cell Marine batteries are the best, but car batteries will do when funds are short.
 

Loomis

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Cool thanks for the info man.
I forgot DEEP CYCLE car batteries. Better than nothing. Starting batteries woun't last constant charging too long.
You can get DEEP CYCLE car or Marine batteries and they will work very well.
 

WilliamAshley

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rudyc --- electricity is not a need I personally wouldn't go into debt for solar, it is a "value neutral" thing between 3-7 or so years if you are running off grid based upon monthly hydro charges that is default monthly billing. But I wouldn't even worry about it.

Unless you are in an area where there is no water don't even worry about it. People get use to heat once they are around it.

None the less I'd go with golf cart style batteries not marine batteries. I did marine batteries and while they are still working for me a few years later, and they allow me to use the internet, my computer or use the odd filament appliance for a bit etc.. its really not worth the money. Unless you have surivival critical needs or are coordinating ham EMCOMM for people don't even worry about backup power. The only reasons would be medical reasons, or massive refridgeration needs and those arn't $200 solar solutions.

Pay your loans off imo. going into debt is just stupid.

Unless you have a cost nuetral budget planned to pay off the loan and interest it is just not financially prudent.

IMO AGM deep cycle is not the way to go you want Deep Cycle batteries that you can top off with water.. not the car batteries but you want heavy duty golf cart type batteries for cost economy, if you have a lot of money to blow there are better batterires but marine batteries are not the best. I thought they would be best for me because I was planning on getting a boat within a few years and transfering things out.. my plan changed in large part due to a multithousand dollar theft that cleaned out all my finances and then some. None the less golf cart style batteries are best in terms of AH. If you can get them. But you are going to need to understand everything before doing it unless you are just experimenting.

It will probably run arond $1000 to get a worthwhile set up going but you might be able to do it for half a third or less than that.


imo you don't want major solar pannels for car battery charging, as car batteries should trickle charge.

None the less you will have a little bit of power, but unless you have medical needs I would consider things to be a novelty if running off one or two car batteries, you will have a little power but not enough for too much, maybe emergency lighting, and short duration use of something.

If you are only using it during that odd day the power goes out, it might be ok, but you might as well just pick up a battery charger, for $50 or less, but are you going to get $50 value out of it?

also you will need an inverter or your backup stuff will have to run on 12v.. low watt inverters can be got for relatively little, none the less you will only be able to run devices that don't comsume a lot of power. A relatively low cost inverter for $100 or less will be enough to run backup power, most power adaptors for electronic devices and a few other odds and ends but nothing big.

I would not take a loan to do that though.
 

rudyc

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I'm not thinking any thing big. Just small for lighting and maybe a fan. I can live in the heat but a small fan can make a small difference. I have a small inverter that I posted a link in the comment above. I also have a charger I can charge for now on some small batteries that I got at a recycling yard. In all I spent around 100 bucks. With small fan batteries inverter and charger.
 

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