Monday, June 19, 2017

Choose carefully when selecting a deep-cycle solar battery

There are several factors to consider when selecting a deep-cycle battery including battery chemistry type, cycle life, maintenance, application and price point.
It’s important to select the right battery technology for your application in terms of battery maintenance. If a site is easily accessible, then deep-cycle flooded batteries are a good choice due to their low cost and widespread availability. If the installation is in a remote area where regular maintenance cannot be guaranteed, then maintenance-free, deep-cycle AGM or gel batteries are the best options despite their higher cost.
In addition, in areas where batteries often operate at partial state of charge (PSOC), the addition of carbon additives have been successful in extending the life of deep-cycle batteries. When batteries operate in off-grid locations or in places with an unstable grid, batteries are often not fully charged on a regular basis. This quickly diminishes the overall life of the battery. Carbon additives, such as Smart Carbon from Trojan Battery, has been shown to prolong battery life and avoid costly frequent battery replacement.
PSOC is a reality of most off-grid and unstable grid systems. Solar panels used in these applications are often undersized, preventing batteries from achieving a full recharge. The same is true with intermittent weather conditions or placement of solar panels in shady areas, which affects a solar installation’s ability to fully recharge batteries.
PSOC is also common in inverter backup systems when batteries are not fully charged because the grid frequently goes down. Because the grid is the main charging source for the batteries, the consistent unavailability of the grid prevents deep-cycle batteries from being fully recharged on a regular basis, resulting in diminished life of the battery.
Therefore, be sure to consider batteries that offer enhanced performance, including improved charge acceptance and faster recharge, in PSOC applications.
Other factors to consider when selecting batteries:
 IEC testing: Look for IEC and third-party test results. Select a manufacturer that employs outside testing companies to ensure the accuracy and validity of cycle life data. Testing to the IEC 61427 standard ensures the batteries meet the rigors of the deep discharge and recharge cycles of renewable energy applications.
 Cycle life: This is measured as the number of discharge/charge cycles the battery can provide at a specified percentage of its rated capacity. Batteries from different manufacturers may have the same capacity rating, but design, materials, process, experience and quality control heavily influence cycle life performance.
Capacity: Review the capacity of a battery to ensure it is properly rated for the application. A battery with insufficient capacity will over-discharge on a regular basis and have a shorter life. An oversized battery is also a poor choice because it will cost more for no added value.
 Brand: With many deep-cycle batteries on the market, choose a battery from a company with a reputable brand and a history of engineering and manufacturing quality deep-cycle batteries for renewable energy applications.
 Price: A battery with a low price is attractive, but if obtained at the expense of quality and cycle life performance, the cost over time will be significantly higher due to frequent battery replacements. It’s important to consider issues other than price when deciding on a battery for renewable energy applications.
For solar system you also need RENOGY 20 AMP MPPT SOLAR CHARGE CONTROLLER which will protect battery from overcharging.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Interfaith Quilters quilt show in Longmont on Saturday

From left: Donna Parsons, Karan Michael and Luanne Ross pose in front of the "Harmony in Blue" quilt Friday morning during setup for the 31st annual Interfaith Quilters quilt show at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 803 Third Ave.

The 99 patches for "Harmony in Blue" were created by individual members of Interfaith and is one of approximately 725 quilts for sale. Last year's sale raised $34,000 for the OUR Center and Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley.

"We really appreciate the community support, big time," said Michael, Interfaith's vice president.

The sale runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Here’s my 2017 New Year’s resolution to you: I want you to focus on your organic social media reach for the next year. As we wrap up 2016, I’ve been reviewing my core strategy for my personal brand and why it matters for all of my clients, small business friends, contemporaries, and others putting out branded content. Over the past year, I got really serious about putting out content on YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, and, most recently, Instagram as they introduced new platform features.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

5 Reasons Why You Should Build A Small Business — Not A Start-up

I know we all want to do important things. We all want to work on important products, start important companies and accomplish tasks that could change the world and have an enormous impact. I see this in entrepreneurs and the tech community more than anywhere else.

The question we ask, whenever we hear about a new business or idea, whether it’s renewable energy or a messaging app or a fucking hamster sled, is this:

Will it scale?

And then if we find out that whatever idea we’re looking at can’t instantly scale to a million users and isn't designed to be a billion dollar concern, we dismiss it. Sometimes, even laugh at it. When we do that, we’re being assholes. Huge assholes. Because starting a big, huge, fancy, sweating tech company isn't the be-all and end-all, and choosing not to do that doesn't make anyone stupid.
In fact, going in the opposite direction is likely to make you happier, healthier, wealthier and shit-tonne wiser. You can choose to found an on-line small business rather than a start-up unicorn. What’s the difference?

A start-up unicorn wants to grow fast and grow big, take on investment and gain dominance.
An on-line small business wants to to grow within clear limits, reach profitability and serve customers.