We were finally able to purchase new batteries for our house. The old batteries were old and lead acid, meaning that they were no longer holding a charge overnight. Even on sunny days we still had to run the generator if we wanted run anything after dark. It was becoming ridiculous, and the benefit of having solar was greatly diminished by our need to burn fossil fuels to run the house at night. So, we pitched them. Well, sort of, we are in the process of finding someone who will take them. But they have been detached from the system and replaced with…
Two lithium iron phosphate batteries. They ended up costing about $3000 for two 100 amp batteries. The old lead acid batteries hardly held anything anymore so we were happy to finally be able to replace them. We decided to also move the battery house into the actual house. The lithium iron phosphate batteries are much safer than the lead acid, they are also a lot smaller, taking up about a tenth of the space. However, the biggest reason we made the move was to keep from having to go outside in the middle of the night, during a thunderstorm, or in six inches of snow. Being able to do everything we need to do with the batteries without having to brave the outdoors is very nice.
The hardest part of the move was having to haul Big Blue. Big Blue is our 200ish lb inverter. I was convinced we were going to drop her at some point during the move from the battery house, all the way into the house, up the stairs, and about 4 feet up the wall, right next to the banister. Somehow, we did it. Our arms hurt for days afterwards, but it was worth it.
Now we need about two more batteries and 4000 more watt of solar panels and we should be able to go days without any sun running everything in the house.