Friday, February 17, 2017

BBBC 2017 #17 and Solar Test

This post is part of ToadMama's Brave, Bold, Blogger Challenge (BBBC) 2017 which is an attempt to make February go by a little more quickly. There are 28 topics, one for each day. 

Simple pleasure

Having a food item be a simple pleasure is probably a bad idea but it is what came to mind today. Just a slice of bread,  lightly toasted with a little bit of butter and sliced avocado. It doesn't get any better than this...

More Solar Testing

Thursday turned out to be a nice, sunny day. Charge current was up to 7 amps so I enabled battery equalization mode on the charge controller. In this photo the Trimetric monitor is indicating a battery charge voltage of 15.5 volts and was continuing to climb during the afternoon. According to the charge controller documentation, the equalization will take about 3 hours. Hopefully, we have that much sunshine reaching the panel.

An equalizing charge is a deliberate overcharge to about 2.5 volts per cell (or about +10%) to remove sulfate crystals that build up on the plates over time. I read that an equalization charge is recommended for new batteries as well. I will need to check the water level in the individual cells as recommended post equalization. The Tristar TS-45 charge controller is set for manual equalization and an absorption voltage of 14.8 VDC. Temperature compensation is enabled so the absorption voltage would be about 15.3 VDC at the 50°F temperature of the garage.

By 1:00, the equalization mode completed and the charge controller reverted to float mode. I was impressed that we had enough direct sunlight on the panel to complete it in one day. The Trimetric monitor indicated that about 30 amp-hours were pushed into the battery today.


  1. I wonder if equalization on your controller is same as reconditioning mode on my "smart" battery charger. I'll have to dig up the manual.