*Aging or Ageing? Both seem to ‘fly’. Dictionary gives them both equal time….?
We have 12 batteries in 3 separate groups. They are all of the same size and age and each group makes up a 200/210 amp hour ‘pack’. So the three packs give me 600 ah. Maybe 630. My alternative energy friend, Mike made some discrete queries regarding the state of my system and then politely suggested that he come by and help me rotate them.
“Yeah. Rotating ’em stretches their working life. It’s a good thing to do.”
“Splain that, dawg. What does the rotation look like?”
“Well, imagine these four batteries lined up in a square. They are then marked numerically say 1, 2, 3 and four and so are the spots they are in. Clockwise. We will rotate their positions beginning with number one down here at 7 or 8 o’clock and going around til we get to the one here (pointing) and that’s number four. We mark ’em and then take the bank apart and make sure that all the batteries are put back into the same group but in different places. In this case, they will be 3, 4, 1 then two. Repeat for the other two banks.”
“Well, I am in to this shuffle if you say so but what is the logic? Seems we are just moving batteries around. Given that they all make up a 48 volt pack battery, what difference can moving them around make?”
“No Idea. But it works. Batteries are weird, man. It’s like the juice comes in and the juice goes out but the middle batteries do not get their share or something. So, ya gotta mix ’em up to get the most out of all the batteries. Don’t ask me, man. All I know is that it works.”
So, we did it. We mixed them up. We took them all apart one group at a time and cleaned every terminal and did other minor ‘battery fuss’ and then rotated them. Then we put ’em back. Took the afternoon to do it. Half my batteries are up at waist level (brilliant) and half of them are under that level on the floor (stupid). Getting at huge black batteries on the floor in the back of the closet is awkward and heavy going. Each battery weighs 160 pounds. But, working together, it was easy.
“I think these are 250 amp hour batteries, Dave. With three sets, you have 750 amp hours of batteries, dawg! That’s some serious juice, man!”
“I am pretty sure they were sold to me as 210 maybe 220 amp hour batteries. I rounded down in my head – to 200. So, I have been figuring 600 and I thought that a smidge light. But if they are 250’s then that’s 750 amp hours and that would be great. Mind you, they are all five years old so they are on their latter days.”
“Gonna cost you more than $6,000 to replace these. More if you go with Surrette or Discovery. But they may see you out.”
“I know. That’s how I plan these days. Can I get something now to ‘see me out’? Grim, eh? I used to only look at inch thick stainless steel fittings to see me out but now I am asking for the warranty on clear plastic roofing. It’s all relative. Another decade and it’s green bananas and hard avocados. Mind you, working with a gazillion amps of batteries like this and I could easily be seen out prematurely so it’s all moot, really.”