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Small solar storage battery.


Bus Stop Boxer

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Bus Stop Boxer

Just had a small 3.6 kw system installed under the LAD grant scheme. Terrific.

Inverter is a Growatt 3.6 kw model. Just under the roof. Minimal DC wasteage.

Today in bright sun it nibbled just over 3.1kwh output.

Ran the oven for an hour and the meter didn't move. Sweet.

I'm a carer for the old man, so we are at both at home to use production in real time. So we should see some decent real world lowering of grid usage.

However,  i would envisage there will be days where we will be generating a bit more than we use. Even in the UK.

The SEG payments are a fucking insult, so i figure a battery may be the way to go. But given we only have a small set up, i don't envisage a £4k battery providing the bang for buck or any sort of ROI.

So any recommendations for a battery that would perhaps store enough for lights, tv, laptop, etc in the evenings? Sub £1k?

South West UK. South facing roof.

Chz.

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belfastchild
2 hours ago, Bus Stop Boxer said:

Just had a small 3.6 kw system installed under the LAD grant scheme. Terrific.

Inverter is a Growatt 3.6 kw model. Just under the roof. Minimal DC wasteage.

Today in bright sun it nibbled just over 3.1kwh output.

Ran the oven for an hour and the meter didn't move. Sweet.

I'm a carer for the old man, so we are at both at home to use production in real time. So we should see some decent real world lowering of grid usage.

However,  i would envisage there will be days where we will be generating a bit more than we use. Even in the UK.

The SEG payments are a fucking insult, so i figure a battery may be the way to go. But given we only have a small set up, i don't envisage a £4k battery providing the bang for buck or any sort of ROI.

So any recommendations for a battery that would perhaps store enough for lights, tv, laptop, etc in the evenings? Sub £1k?

South West UK. South facing roof.

Chz.

I was going to say 4k is a bit steep as I got a 4.8kwh pylontech and sofar system for 2.4k... but that was a while ago!
I can see 3k for a 2.4k system installed which can be upgraded but thats quite dear for what you get.

Sorry, no help then. Larger battery also allows you to run more stuff during the day, so immersion etc as well as other things, rather than just being  night time thing.

Check if the growatt will allow you to plug anything into it, some do allow 48v batteries to connect directly so you could get away with a couple of lorry batteries connected to it but they would probably need replaced 3-5 years down the line.

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Bus Stop Boxer
20 minutes ago, belfastchild said:

I was going to say 4k is a bit steep as I got a 4.8kwh pylontech and sofar system for 2.4k... but that was a while ago!
I can see 3k for a 2.4k system installed which can be upgraded but thats quite dear for what you get.

Sorry, no help then. Larger battery also allows you to run more stuff during the day, so immersion etc as well as other things, rather than just being  night time thing.

Check if the growatt will allow you to plug anything into it, some do allow 48v batteries to connect directly so you could get away with a couple of lorry batteries connected to it but they would probably need replaced 3-5 years down the line.

Cheers.

I since found one of these that looks suitable. Bit more dosh than planned though.

https://www.dragonsbreathsolar.co.uk/product/pylon-storage-batteries/

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belfastchild
Just now, Bus Stop Boxer said:

Cheers.

I since found one of these that looks suitable. Bit more dosh than planned though.

https://www.dragonsbreathsolar.co.uk/product/pylon-storage-batteries/

I have 4 of those connected to a separate sofar inverter, it acts like a big ups so if the power goes out and main inverter shuts off I can run the house off those.
Useful this time of year because my electricity bill for this quarter will be about 5-6 quid (the crossover/shutdown usage). I run the immersion for hot water and a heat pump for heating/air con etc using those.
Not much use from late Nov to mid Jan but last year I left them at 90% charge then in case of power outs.

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Caravan Monster
18 hours ago, belfastchild said:

I have 4 of those connected to a separate sofar inverter, it acts like a big ups so if the power goes out and main inverter shuts off I can run the house off those.
Useful this time of year because my electricity bill for this quarter will be about 5-6 quid (the crossover/shutdown usage). I run the immersion for hot water and a heat pump for heating/air con etc using those.
Not much use from late Nov to mid Jan but last year I left them at 90% charge then in case of power outs.

Apologies for derail, been meaning to ask on here:

What's worth looking at for heating 20m3 shed? It's well insulated as sheds go. Really don't want a solid fuel burner in there and the current solution of an electric oil radiator is only going to get more costly. Other electric consumption averages about 150 Kwh / month, so not huge but definitely also interested in solar and batteries as a contingency to keep the freezer and lights on if things really go to shit as much as a money saving effort. Got a 30m2 easy to access south facing tin roof that panels could go on. It's shallow pitch only about 5 degrees. Have access to reconditioned air con units and a tame air con engineer for heating if that helps.

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1 hour ago, Caravan Monster said:

Apologies for derail, been meaning to ask on here:

What's worth looking at for heating 20m3 shed? It's well insulated as sheds go. Really don't want a solid fuel burner in there and the current solution of an electric oil radiator is only going to get more costly. Other electric consumption averages about 150 Kwh / month, so not huge but definitely also interested in solar and batteries as a contingency to keep the freezer and lights on if things really go to shit as much as a money saving effort. Got a 30m2 easy to access south facing tin roof that panels could go on. It's shallow pitch only about 5 degrees. Have access to reconditioned air con units and a tame air con engineer for heating if that helps.

Thermal solar ( evacuated tube type), pump and rad? iff you want heat then collecting heat whenever it is available seems a better bet efficiency wise than PV, unless you want to PV for lighting and other stuff, certainly worth comparing against cost of zircon unit. Would it be completely standalone or are you routing mains to the shed, if so just using the panels on a grid tied system might be a better bet, at least you'll have consistent supply regardless of weather.

For thermal only again the coke can DIY blown air heating panels I saw on YT years ago seemed like a possible addition.

 

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belfastchild
1 hour ago, Caravan Monster said:

Apologies for derail, been meaning to ask on here:

What's worth looking at for heating 20m3 shed? It's well insulated as sheds go. Really don't want a solid fuel burner in there and the current solution of an electric oil radiator is only going to get more costly. Other electric consumption averages about 150 Kwh / month, so not huge but definitely also interested in solar and batteries as a contingency to keep the freezer and lights on if things really go to shit as much as a money saving effort. Got a 30m2 easy to access south facing tin roof that panels could go on. It's shallow pitch only about 5 degrees. Have access to reconditioned air con units and a tame air con engineer for heating if that helps.

Ive a very insulated metal shed as an outdoor office (50mm kingspan type stuff all around, maybe deeper on the floor) and previously a small blown air heater would heat it in winter. Ive now 2 freezers in there so the excess heat from them is enough to keep it at a reasonable temperature most of the time.
If you have electricity out there or are putting in solar and inverter, maybe worth putting the inverter in there as the losses will heat the place up (might be too hot in summer for freezers and inverter/batteries though so its an open question).

Its really all a question of how much heat you will actually need. I insulated the hell out of mine so when it got to -15C here a few years ago, inside was just touching 0/-1 with no intervention. Shaded by trees so even in summer gets to around 12-15 in there with nothing else on (usually 10 degrees or so off ambient).

Start from how hot or cold it gets and how much heating you need, if I change my cfl bulbs in there to 2x60w lightbulbs plus me and computers it would probably be enough heat. Its a storage area now though as long as it doesnt get damp (dehumidifier set) thats the main thing.

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24 minutes ago, belfastchild said:

Ive a very insulated metal shed as an outdoor office (50mm kingspan type stuff all around, maybe deeper on the floor) and previously a small blown air heater would heat it in winter. Ive now 2 freezers in there so the excess heat from them is enough to keep it at a reasonable temperature most of the time.
If you have electricity out there or are putting in solar and inverter, maybe worth putting the inverter in there as the losses will heat the place up (might be too hot in summer for freezers and inverter/batteries though so its an open question).

Its really all a question of how much heat you will actually need. I insulated the hell out of mine so when it got to -15C here a few years ago, inside was just touching 0/-1 with no intervention. Shaded by trees so even in summer gets to around 12-15 in there with nothing else on (usually 10 degrees or so off ambient).

Start from how hot or cold it gets and how much heating you need, if I change my cfl bulbs in there to 2x60w lightbulbs plus me and computers it would probably be enough heat. Its a storage area now though as long as it doesnt get damp (dehumidifier set) thats the main thing.

Dual / multiple use and scavenging power for other stuff like refrigeration or growing plants / seedlings under lights is a nice idea if you have a corner spare.

Have thought about other passive measures- like reflective panels to reflect any available heat / light back onto buildings to keep them warer / dried out as mochas  possible - same with green which i am putting by fence line, in early season will definitely be putting something reflective on the fence opposite the sunny side.

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Caravan Monster

@onlyme @belfastchild There's electric and all the services here, even 3 phase if required. Looking at my electric meter logs, in the coldest years the difference roughly representing heating consumption goes up to about 350 Kwh / month in the coldest months. That's running a 750W heater in the main shed and another on frost setting in the toilet / shower to stop the pipes freezing. I suppose even if the electric price goes up to £1 / Kwh, it'll hurt a bit, but it's not the end of the world - I'm looking at it from the point of view that it makes sense to utilise say £5k (that would be otherwise be losing purchasing power in the bank) on a small scale project that reduces outgoings and provides a bit of resiliency in an uncertain world. And I lost 4 stone in weight when the nonsense started and feel the cold more now, being a fat bastard really saved on heating xD

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belfastchild
1 hour ago, Caravan Monster said:

That's running a 750W heater in the main shed and another on frost setting in the toilet / shower to stop the pipes freezing.

Is there anything you normally run that you could put out there? Fridge, chest freezer, computer server? Of course they will use less energy as the difference will be less in a colder building but all the losses would be used to heat the place rather than just wasted.

750w isnt really that much in the scheme of things but as you say its opportunity cost.
I sunk 10k into my system, my cash isa is giving 0.1% so would be losing on it as we speak. Im running air con at the minute (wouldnt have ever thought of installing if I was paying for it). Dehydrator is running on some leftover stuff and herbs from the garden and slow cooker is also on with stuff pulled from the garden and running one of my two fridges down.

It wasnt just a single charge/discharge cycle but stuff like what I could do with all the extra energy that the battery allowed and where could I crossover (going back to 2nd hand electric lawnmower for instance rather than petrol one, using immersion to heat water rather than oil etc etc).

The likes of the pylontech are scalable. I started off with 2 went to 4 to allow me to store a day and a halfs energy. Can batch cook for a couple of days and then freeze.
I spent years getting my electricity usage down and have more than doubled it since.

As @onlyme says have a look at passive stuff, shelter the shed from wind (put pallets against it?) etc etc. I built a small conservatory onto my kitchen last year with a full block north facing wall with loads of insulation. On sunny spring/autumn days I just leave the door open and the heat comes in to the rest of the house, plus growing herbs and starting tomatoes early and pretty much jalapenos all year round now! I bought the grow light led strips a couple of years ago but havent got round to building a growlight for there. I just pick the herbs/peppers in the summer and either hang up to dry or run through the dehydrator (another thing I would never buy if I had to pay for electric).

Its just getting used to the mindset of being seasonal and over here, charging stuff up, using power in between the summer storms!

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nirvana
23 hours ago, belfastchild said:

Dehydrator

as in a food dehydrator? never heard of them before, must get out of the woods more often xD

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belfastchild
On 15/06/2022 at 14:49, Caravan Monster said:

750W heater in the main shed an

Totally against the grain of the thread but have been looking again at the 5kw cheap chinese diesel night heaters for my campervan. Went off the idea when they went to 150 quid but they are back down to 85 quid or so (ebay, vevor online).
They will be cheap, not designed to run all the time etc etc but Ive enough tools to fix/make parts for them (well ok, thats the theory).
But... I dont know if they will run off home heating oil (they should), red diesel (they should) and/or a mix of used veg oil (they should but not in winter although the fuel source is either a combined tank or a separate tank used indoors.

Now with all the safety caveats about carbon monoxide, noise, etc etc You could use your greenhouse heater thing to keep temps above zero then something like that (combined with electric fan/oil filled radiator) etc to pick and choose which is the best option at the time.

Summer is also probably the time to pick up a cheap (ish) super ser type heater, I got 3 last year, all with full/half full bottles for reasonable amounts (dearest was 90 quid, fancy log effect one with 2 full bottles). Probably going to be dearer etc but allows you to pick and choose, plus like the electric heaters, are portable.

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reformed nice guy
On 15/06/2022 at 14:49, Caravan Monster said:

@onlyme @belfastchild There's electric and all the services here, even 3 phase if required. Looking at my electric meter logs, in the coldest years the difference roughly representing heating consumption goes up to about 350 Kwh / month in the coldest months. That's running a 750W heater in the main shed and another on frost setting in the toilet / shower to stop the pipes freezing. I suppose even if the electric price goes up to £1 / Kwh, it'll hurt a bit, but it's not the end of the world - I'm looking at it from the point of view that it makes sense to utilise say £5k (that would be otherwise be losing purchasing power in the bank) on a small scale project that reduces outgoings and provides a bit of resiliency in an uncertain world. And I lost 4 stone in weight when the nonsense started and feel the cold more now, being a fat bastard really saved on heating xD

If its solely to stop pipes bursting then have a look at "trace heating", sometimes known as pipe heating cables.

Its a thin, flexible insulated heating element that you run along piping. They usually have an in built thermostat to only come on at a low temperature or you can get ones that are on all the time.

They only use a few watts per metre and they are rated to go under the normal pipe foam.

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Caravan Monster
3 hours ago, belfastchild said:

Totally against the grain of the thread but have been looking again at the 5kw cheap chinese diesel night heaters for my campervan. Went off the idea when they went to 150 quid but they are back down to 85 quid or so (ebay, vevor online).
They will be cheap, not designed to run all the time etc etc but Ive enough tools to fix/make parts for them (well ok, thats the theory).
But... I dont know if they will run off home heating oil (they should), red diesel (they should) and/or a mix of used veg oil (they should but not in winter although the fuel source is either a combined tank or a separate tank used indoors.

Now with all the safety caveats about carbon monoxide, noise, etc etc You could use your greenhouse heater thing to keep temps above zero then something like that (combined with electric fan/oil filled radiator) etc to pick and choose which is the best option at the time.

Summer is also probably the time to pick up a cheap (ish) super ser type heater, I got 3 last year, all with full/half full bottles for reasonable amounts (dearest was 90 quid, fancy log effect one with 2 full bottles). Probably going to be dearer etc but allows you to pick and choose, plus like the electric heaters, are portable.

When I was first here I did have a super set heater and managed to set fire to the wooden toilet seat with it one winter's night. Learned by trial and error xD

Having analysed my fairly minimal electric usage, the most effective approach looks to be a solar + battery set up (hopefully) before winter from a medium term money saving and resiliency perspective. Learn how to use it and observe effect on electric consumption over winter. Maybe we'll have a better idea of where the world is headed next year and I can sort out improved heating in 2023, but it'll be either a diesel night heater (I'm happy to pay full whack for a new eiberspacher) or a solid fuel burner (as a former chimney sweep I can't stand the dirty horrible things, but it may make most sense). 

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nirvana
1 hour ago, Caravan Monster said:

a solid fuel burner (as a former chimney sweep I can't stand the dirty horrible things, but it may make most sense). 

methinks this makes more sense AND they're not actually that dirty if you burn wood that has been dried plenty

ie I've got a large burner and I took the flue out last year for the first time in 2 years, there was hardly anything in the pipes!!! even if you've got a diesel heating you need some sort of 'vent pipe' yeah? so why not just use a solid fuel burner.....I'm in the process of making a spare one from a gas bottle.....knowing me it'll never get finished lol

the point is you can make em cheap from bits of metal......and just collect wood when you're out n about in the forest :)

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Caravan Monster
36 minutes ago, nirvana said:

methinks this makes more sense AND they're not actually that dirty if you burn wood that has been dried plenty

ie I've got a large burner and I took the flue out last year for the first time in 2 years, there was hardly anything in the pipes!!! even if you've got a diesel heating you need some sort of 'vent pipe' yeah? so why not just use a solid fuel burner.....I'm in the process of making a spare one from a gas bottle.....knowing me it'll never get finished lol

the point is you can make em cheap from bits of metal......and just collect wood when you're out n about in the forest :)

Diesel heaters heat clean air - the burner side of things is completely sealed from the hot air blower:

Even the very best solid fuel burners running perfectly at the right temperature still manage to coat the room with a film of ash / soot when you load fuel or empty ash. They're ok in draughty larger houses, but as volumes get smaller and better draught proof, the more unpleasant to live with they get.  

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nirvana
30 minutes ago, Caravan Monster said:

Even the very best solid fuel burners running perfectly at the right temperature still manage to coat the room with a film of ash / soot when you load fuel or empty ash. They're ok in draughty larger houses, but as volumes get smaller and better draught proof, the more unpleasant to live with they get.  

yeah fair enough......I was aware of the popularity of those eberspracher type things with the camper van fraternity....like you say great for a small space.....I've got circa 70 square meters on each of 2 floors and I only use a single log burner for heating in the winter (and that other burner I'm making is a reserve for 'downstairs')........i actually prefer to go to bed in a 'coldish room' with my ski balaclava on and a hot water bottle in the middle o winter if necessary lol......something I dislike  about having too much hot air right in my face in a 'confined space'......I used to think I'd be able to live in Thailand but now I'm starting to think it might be too hot for me!!

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4 hours ago, nirvana said:

methinks this makes more sense AND they're not actually that dirty if you burn wood that has been dried plenty

ie I've got a large burner and I took the flue out last year for the first time in 2 years, there was hardly anything in the pipes!!! even if you've got a diesel heating you need some sort of 'vent pipe' yeah? so why not just use a solid fuel burner.....I'm in the process of making a spare one from a gas bottle.....knowing me it'll never get finished lol

the point is you can make em cheap from bits of metal......and just collect wood when you're out n about in the forest :)

Consistent supply of dry wood is key, preferably free, sounds fanciful but I have one at the moment, they are rare and nobody local is going to let you in on their supply of free fuel - though it often comes at a price anyway of what is involved in recovering it. there are a few companies around in wood products that still pay for waste to be taken away. Edit - and are happy for you to take it away for free as long as they trust you on their premises to not nick other stuff.

Edited by onlyme
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On 14/06/2022 at 14:04, Bus Stop Boxer said:

Just had a small 3.6 kw system installed under the LAD grant scheme. Terrific.

Inverter is a Growatt 3.6 kw model. Just under the roof. Minimal DC wasteage.

Today in bright sun it nibbled just over 3.1kwh output.

Ran the oven for an hour and the meter didn't move. Sweet.

I'm a carer for the old man, so we are at both at home to use production in real time. So we should see some decent real world lowering of grid usage.

However,  i would envisage there will be days where we will be generating a bit more than we use. Even in the UK.

The SEG payments are a fucking insult, so i figure a battery may be the way to go. But given we only have a small set up, i don't envisage a £4k battery providing the bang for buck or any sort of ROI.

So any recommendations for a battery that would perhaps store enough for lights, tv, laptop, etc in the evenings? Sub £1k?

South West UK. South facing roof.

Chz.

PM me as needed.

I have a 2-3kW system with several pylontec batteries and more panels and another battery on the way.  Brilliant.  Running at a 50% reduction in electric usage YTD and improved energy security.  Produced 6kWh out of the 7kWh consumption yesterday!

Goes with internal wall insulation (where feasible and alternatives where not), low wattage everything (including pcs), a 20p fix until late next year, a broken dishwasher!, use the smaller electric oven), use a microwave where possible even if just to pre-cook, log burner with a good wood supply, a professional grade log splitter to do deals with, and an oil combi for hot water (hedged with div paying oil company shares!).  Also an electric vehicle.

Feel like I've done all I can for now.  I might move to off peak electric for charging when the fix ends. 

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OurDayWillCome
On 14/06/2022 at 16:36, Bus Stop Boxer said:

Cheers.

I since found one of these that looks suitable. Bit more dosh than planned though.

https://www.dragonsbreathsolar.co.uk/product/pylon-storage-batteries/

Lifepo4 batteries are the way to go. Don’t explode, don’t burn. Thousands of cycles if you use a good BMS. I’m trying to start a UPS business up at the moment and these are what I will be using.

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On 17/06/2022 at 16:39, Caravan Monster said:

Diesel heaters heat clean air - the burner side of things is completely sealed from the hot air blower:

Even the very best solid fuel burners running perfectly at the right temperature still manage to coat the room with a film of ash / soot when you load fuel or empty ash. They're ok in draughty larger houses, but as volumes get smaller and better draught proof, the more unpleasant to live with they get.  

That.s OK because they match the small airless box.

But some folk on here think draughty larger houses will no longer be desired. Each to their own I guess.

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9 hours ago, OurDayWillCome said:

Lifepo4 batteries are the way to go. Don’t explode, don’t burn. Thousands of cycles if you use a good BMS. I’m trying to start a UPS business up at the moment and these are what I will be using.

interesting, I'll invest, and be your distributor in frogland :P

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13 hours ago, OurDayWillCome said:

Lifepo4 batteries are the way to go. Don’t explode, don’t burn. Thousands of cycles if you use a good BMS. I’m trying to start a UPS business up at the moment and these are what I will be using.

An increasing number of 'stealth growers' are buying UPS. For odour control, the fan needs to keep running.

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13 hours ago, OurDayWillCome said:

Lifepo4 batteries are the way to go. Don’t explode, don’t burn.

Dont ever, ever, say that to a client.

They will burn, just at higher temperatures.
The cheaper ones or defect in manufacturing make them more prone to internal short circuit.

In general, yes, they are the safest option but Ive had more of them self destruct than any other type of battery over a short period (say 3 years).

13 hours ago, OurDayWillCome said:

Thousands of cycles if you use a good BMS.

On average about half the cycles of the pylontech type. Estimate 3-5 years of use before dropoff instead of 5-8. The BMS has to be better for them as well.

Lifepo4 blow agm and lead acid batteries away for storage but I wouldnt pick them over the likes of the pylontech myself (obviously since I bought pylontech).

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9 minutes ago, belfastchild said:

Dont ever, ever, say that to a client.

They will burn, just at higher temperatures.
The cheaper ones or defect in manufacturing make them more prone to internal short circuit.

In general, yes, they are the safest option but Ive had more of them self destruct than any other type of battery over a short period (say 3 years).

On average about half the cycles of the pylontech type. Estimate 3-5 years of use before dropoff instead of 5-8. The BMS has to be better for them as well.

Lifepo4 blow agm and lead acid batteries away for storage but I wouldnt pick them over the likes of the pylontech myself (obviously since I bought pylontech).

 

Just curious - in what way did they self destruct?

In a dramatic way with flames, bangs and gases venting - or just quietly slipped away to battery heaven in the night?

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37 minutes ago, invalid said:

 

Just curious - in what way did they self destruct?

In a dramatic way with flames, bangs and gases venting - or just quietly slipped away to battery heaven in the night?

Swell up and then emit gasses. So as long as you dont breathe it in, they are safe enough from a combustion point of view.
Its the short circuit aspect which could start a fire in other parts of the equipment and although 500C is very high to get them going, it depends what they are co-located with.

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