I finally got to use my emergency batteries!

A.Justice

Swears he didn't start that fire.
I get frequent brownouts, but blackouts for over a minute here aren't super common. However, yesterday, my 5 year old woke me up to tell me that the power was off and had been so for a little while. I could hear the neighbors Generac chugging away, and the rest of the street was dark.

Boom! This is what I had been waiting for! I go and grab my homemade 2kw battery box and inverter (plus 4kw more in external batteries) , hook them up, hook up the fridge, kill the breaker for our section of house (I currently live with my in-laws in a mother-in-law suite that they had built for my wife's late Grandma while we try to build / buy a home), and feed an outlet to run the ceiling fans, lights, and electronics. My modified UPS was able to keep the internet and wi-fi running the entire time as well, so my son was able to play Left4Dead online while the neighbors needed flashlights.

My wife called from work and was like, "you are loving this aren't you?". She knew I was itching to test all of my new toys out.

The only thing I couldn't run was the HVAC unit, I figured as much though, I only have a 2200 watt PSW inverter. Either way, my family and I were comfortable in a long blackout because of the things I learned on this forum! Thanks Gents (and Ladies)!
 

Q-Dog

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I used my backup 2 nights ago when a thunderstorm took out the grid for about an hour. Was a little sad it didn't stay down longer. TV, fridge, lights and internet/computer without having to deal with a gas generator. I was quite proud of myself. :cool:
 

time2roll

Photon Sorcerer
....grab my homemade 2kw battery box and inverter (plus 4kw more in external batteries) , hook them up, hook up the fridge, kill the breaker for our section of house (I currently live with my in-laws in a mother-in-law suite that they had built for my wife's late Grandma while we try to build / buy a home), and feed an outlet to run the ceiling fans, lights, and electronics.
Glad it worked for you.... however,

Pretty sure turning off your breaker and back feeding an outlet has several NEC violations.
Really need a transfer switch or lock-out device for your safety and others. And ditch the dead man cord.

Stay on the high road, the view is better.
 

A.Justice

Swears he didn't start that fire.
Glad it worked for you.... however,

Pretty sure turning off your breaker and back feeding an outlet has several NEC violations.
Really need a transfer switch or lock-out device for your safety and others. And ditch the dead man cord.

Stay on the high road, the view is better.
Yeah, it's far from code, but I don't own the place and can't do any modifications. The breaker for the entire house was shut off, and only I had access to it while the power was out. I wanted my lights and fans on.

Not code, but not particularly dangerous unless I connect to the grid while the inverter is on, which I was careful not to do.
 

fblevins1

Solar Enthusiast
Yeah, it's far from code, but I don't own the place and can't do any modifications. The breaker for the entire house was shut off, and only I had access to it while the power was out. I wanted my lights and fans on.

Not code, but not particularly dangerous unless I connect to the grid while the inverter is on, which I was careful not to do.
I am in the same situation. I had to use an existing hole in the side of the house to run my panel wires into the hidden solar set up and I keep the panels below the fence line so the pesky housing area snitches don't rat me out. The problem I have is the place was built in the 50's and the management company has absolutely no interest in upgrading the central heating save us renters some money, so I took matters into my own hands. Not up to code and not really capable of dealing with brown or black outs. If we have a brown or black out, then I get my big 5000 watt inverter out and I hook it up to one my vehicles and run an extension cord into the house to keep the living room and refrigerator going until power is restored. Quick question folks, if the house loses power, is the internet really down or if I supply power to the modem and wifi unit will it restore connection to the internet? I have not had the opportunity to check that out but was curious if any of you had experiences with that.
 

A.Justice

Swears he didn't start that fire.
Quick question folks, if the house loses power, is the internet really down or if I supply power to the modem and wifi unit will it restore connection to the internet? .
99% of the time, if the power is out your internet will still work. Internet's normally carried by battery backups at other locations. I have my modem and routers backed up, and even when the power is out I still have Wi-Fi.
 

fblevins1

Solar Enthusiast
99% of the time, if the power is out your internet will still work. Internet's normally carried by battery backups at other locations. I have my modem and routers backed up, and even when the power is out I still have Wi-Fi.
Thank you, I will incorporate that into my back up scheme, even if that means simply running an extension cord to the modem and wifi router.
 

A.Justice

Swears he didn't start that fire.
Thank you, I will incorporate that into my back up scheme, even if that means simply running an extension cord to the modem and wifi router.
You can get used UPS units on eBay or craigslist for almost nothing. There's three packs of small ones (around 50wh) for under $50. They're even cheaper if you get a unit without a battery, and add it yourself later. I got one without a battery on eBay for about $15, extended the battery connector outside of the case, and connected an old battery that was about five times larger (same chemistry though).

I like the UPS because it's automatic and in a small self-contained unit. It also lets the internet keep running while there's brief brownouts, without the need for running extension cords all over the house. If the power is out for a long time, I can plug the UPS into my inverter for a seamless, no down-time, transfer.
 

MurphyGuy

Solar Addict
Glad it worked for you.... however,

Pretty sure turning off your breaker and back feeding an outlet has several NEC violations.
Really need a transfer switch or lock-out device for your safety and others. And ditch the dead man cord.

Stay on the high road, the view is better.

That's only partly true.. you only need to install an interlocked breaker.. they sell them at the hardware stores.. they device prevents the main breaker and the "generator breaker" from being turned on at the same time.

This is how my off grid system works.. It is usually completely isolated, when we lose power, I flip that interlock and connect to a special 50amp plug.

Looks like this:
1631663848827.png
 

Supervstech

Administrator
Staff member
Moderator
That's only partly true.. you only need to install an interlocked breaker.. they sell them at the hardware stores.. they device prevents the main breaker and the "generator breaker" from being turned on at the same time.

This is how my off grid system works.. It is usually completely isolated, when we lose power, I flip that interlock and connect to a special 50amp plug.

Looks like this:
View attachment 64712
Correct.
I install these for my customers all the time.
 

time2roll

Photon Sorcerer
That's only partly true.. you only need to install an interlocked breaker.. they sell them at the hardware stores.. they device prevents the main breaker and the "generator breaker" from being turned on at the same time.

This is how my off grid system works.. It is usually completely isolated, when we lose power, I flip that interlock and connect to a special 50amp plug.

Looks like this:
View attachment 64712
Yes of course. My comment was not in regard to your system.
I did mention a lockout device as an option.

I hope you do not connect with a suicide cord into an outlet.
 

MurphyGuy

Solar Addict
Yes of course. My comment was not in regard to your system.
I did mention a lockout device as an option.

I hope you do not connect with a suicide cord into an outlet.

Actually, I do use a suicide cord..... I'm not perfect..

Besides, if my 25kWh lithium ion battery bank, driving two SMA Sunny Island inverters, were to electrocute me, I'd probably make the evening news for being the first person on the planet to be killed by his own battery system.. At least I'd go out in style and be first! LOL
 

fblevins1

Solar Enthusiast
You can get used UPS units on eBay or craigslist for almost nothing. There's three packs of small ones (around 50wh) for under $50. They're even cheaper if you get a unit without a battery, and add it yourself later. I got one without a battery on eBay for about $15, extended the battery connector outside of the case, and connected an old battery that was about five times larger (same chemistry though).

I like the UPS because it's automatic and in a small self-contained unit. It also lets the internet keep running while there's brief brownouts, without the need for running extension cords all over the house. If the power is out for a long time, I can plug the UPS into my inverter for a seamless, no down-time, transfer.
I am so hard wired these days to think about using batteries and an inverter, it didn't even occur to me to use a UPS, which of course is a battery and an inverter and maybe an ATS to switch it over. If I had a spare inverter that was small enough for the task, I do have a spare 36 AH AGM but the only spare inverter I have is a 5 KW superwhammodyne blue tooth controlled unit that is way overkill. I do have to be careful how much time I spend on here though....you guys already have an AC/DC all in one clamp and meter and now UPS on my wish list. Christmas is coming though.
 
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