When the Battery Bank Dies…

At the end of this past summer, our battery bank of seven years decided to die.  It was an interesting cascade failure event.  One batter cell went dead and could not be revived, then another battery flagged a similar problem.  Pretty soon I was isolating batteries that would no longer hold a 6 Volt change.  The isolation meant I had to drop from a 3 string battery bank to a 2 string system.  I ordered the batteries at the perfect time.  The sun was shining well into September which carried the system long enough until the replacements arrived.  I was happy to receive them, another few weeks and we would have been in real trouble, running a generator to make due for the lack of electrical storage.

The video published was in a file waiting to be edited and published.  I admit blogging and YouTube videos which have grown intertwined has dwindled, and I discussed that briefly on another post.  Currently, I am enjoying Christmas break and I am gearing up for the return to teaching after the New Year’s holiday. I hope this post and the New Year 2019 greets you well.

My wife and I plan to make a list of this year’s highlights this evening and save them to be read next year.  It will be a bonding time between us as we recognize our successes despite the obstacles around us, including replacing a dying battery bank. I plan to include my son in the event as well, and I am curious to hear his own version of events.

May you enjoy this New Year’s Eve, celebrating with family, friends, and have a chance to reflect on the highlights this year.

God Bless,


8 thoughts on “When the Battery Bank Dies…

  1. All the best for a peaceful and sustainable New Year, Mark and Krista. I’m going to send the link to this post to fellow off grid friend living across Victoria Lake from us, who is currently have similar problems with his battery bank. His new batteries are on order. I know he’ll appreciate this.Thanks as always, for thoughtful and detailed as well as your cheerful and varied posts.


  2. Hi. I’m Mr. Beyond Pendantic Electrical Engineer…… 🙂

    I was a grad assistant back when Professor Ug was delivering colloquia about the recent discovery of fire.

    Anyway, when students would come to me with engineering class questions, I’d stress “dimensional analysis”.

    You forgot the hours part in the math.

    Volts X amp-hours = watt-hours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 53old, I am a history/literature teacher that has been robbed of an education in electronics. I have been working on a bicycle generator for my electrical system and the plans online omit important info, like lower voltage produced by a bicycle generator can’t charge a battery of a higher voltage. I did not know this, so in comes the debate on what to do, but I have no background knowledge. So, I begin to research the mess, and so now I am linking two motors in series to hopefully create over 12 Volts. I had to sift through so much false data on DC to DC Step-up Boosters. It’s not a miracle science; more Volts are not created from a magical circuit board; amps are sacrificed to increase the voltage. You know all this much better than I. I really wish I had your background knowledge. When I complete my bicycle generator, wait till you see the video of me saying, “This diode thingy does this, I think, and this Volt meter registers this, probably. The TV turns on because of this, maybe.”

      Recommend any books on electronics for a person who knows this much, I think? I really miss Radio Shack.


      • History was my *FAVORITE* class in all “three” schools; junior high school, high school and college. I attribute this to my junior high school social studies teacher. I’ve settled on three areas that I enjoy, the history of scientific discovery, the Punic Wars and World War II.

        They do make devices that convert 6 volts DC to 12 volts DC, using the same basic idea as the inverters you use. These devices are most often used in old cars to power modern radios. They are probably 90% efficient at their task. And, yes, there is a huge amount of “are they kidding?” information regarding DC-DC power supplies.

        Take a look at http://www.fcctests.com/neets/Neets.htm
        That is the URL of a text for a self study US Navy electronics-electricity course covers from “the beginning” to some reasonably “deep” stuff without diving into the heavy duty math.

        Oh, before school starts up again (and you no longer have free time), search around on the internet for Forrest Nims, and note both his accomplishments and college majors. 🙂


      • Thanks, 53old. I appreciate this. I think electronics is going to become a new hobby of mine. I also appreciate your corrections to the posts, I am very ignorant when it comes to electronics. I grew up in the school system in Portland, Oregon and electronics was never covered in my science classes; it was based on environmentalism. I can save a tree, but that’s about it. When it comes to physics and electricity, I am self taught.


  3. It seems like the self teaching has “done you good” (sic).

    Enjoy the rest of your break….I’m sure you enjoy the breaks as much as my wife did (she taught high school chemistry and physics) before she retired.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s