The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Golf cart battery backup power

using golf cart batteries for supplemental lightingThe Plug and Play Solar kit came with a pair of 12 volt DC light bulbs. We haven't mounted the solar panels yet, but the 2 golf cart batteries we bought this past summer still had enough charge to power a few nights of reading after dinner.

Hooking up the batteries to a trickle charger during generator time seems to be topping them off enough to keep the lights on.

We actually saw an Electric Company guy today, so maybe we'll be plugged back in before night fall?

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Do you still have your power cube(s) laying around? Mine finally died and I tore into it and the battery was fully charged. The compressor was dead and something in the inverter was shorting out and making the battery voltage read as if it was dead and not allowing anything but the LED light and the DC outlet plugs to function. The 18ah battery inside may be of some use even if the rest of it is trash.
Comment by Brian Sun Jan 20 20:16:57 2013

You should look for some LED lamps that you can run on 12V. Modern LEDs give plenty of light at low power. My living room is plentifully lit by three 6-Watt LED spotlights that give 280 lumen each at a color temperature of 3000K. Mine are for a GU10 fitting (220 V) but equivalent spots are available in GU4 format (12V).

Fluorescent lights can also be also very efficient, but for technical reasons, they are usually run on AC. Since they need ballast, they're not that efficient on DC.

Comment by Roland_Smith Mon Jan 21 02:14:30 2013

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