Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Back Home 2017 and Getting The Building Ready for New Solar Batteries

Ahh...finally 2017.  It was a hot hot year down in Florida.  We were supposed to stay until at least February but one morning Mike said to me "do you mind if we go home"?  We were ready so we ventured back home in January.  We were very brave considering we had no idea if we would be able to make it to the top of our mountain.  As long as we arrived during daylight hours we would handle whatever happened.

Looking back now the driveway was the least of our problems, lol.  Everything "looked" good and the house was great.  After the unpacking of the van and the huge mess made from all of our stuff we got some rest.  Almost right away we noticed a problem with our system.  The batteries were not holding a charge.  While I stayed in the house putting things away Mike went up to check on the system.  Lucky for us he has been researching new batteries and planned to change them out this year...just not in the winter.  Oh well.  Looks like we better order them because it will take time to get them.  Mike is going with two Industrial Fork Lift batteries.  So while we wait we get things ready.

We start taking the old batteries out of Mike's building.  He hosed them down and is now drying them off:

We need to clear it out and repaint it:

Batteries are out and we are running the house on the generator:

While Mike preps the building I load up the trailer to take the batteries down to the barn:

We checked all of the batteries and they were still good but we knew we were close for a change anyway.  When Mike checked the system it turned out the water pump was running when it shouldn't have been.  This is what was draining our batteries not a problem with the actual batteries.

Back to the building and getting it ready.  We cleared it out and pressure washed it:

Mike is drying to with the blower:

We are fighting the weather here and trying to get everything done on the "nicer" days.  We need to get it painted and then we will cross our fingers for no snow when the batteries arrive.

I'm on paint duty.  I'm mixing all of the oddball paint for the walls and ceiling of the building:

And grays for the floor:

We used the paint sprayer for the walls and ceiling.  Mike is rolling the floor after I cut in the edges:

Niki enjoying the sun while we work:

The building is ready for us to move stuff back in:

Now we wait.  The batteries are coming on a big truck and we asked our friends at the farm supply if we could have them delivered to their store.  Thankfully they said yes as they also have a forklift.

I'm a little nervous about Mike and I moving these batteries by ourselves because each of them weighs 735 pounds.  Mike told me not to worry we can do it.  Uh oh....wish us luck.

The batteries have arrived.  We go to the farm supply with the trailer and they load them on the trailer for us.

Back home Mike is cutting the metal straps:

We are going to chain one up at a time and move them the the building using the tractor:

Mike lifts the first one up:

And brings it to the edge of the building floor.  Once he got the battery in the building with my guidance we had to get it into place and on top of two pipes.  We are going to use the pipes to roll it into place.  It wasn't "too" bad and we did get it into place:

Second battery coming in:

Mike setting it down on the pipes so we can roll it:

Using a little leverage to move them into place:

Mike setting up our new batteries:

Working on the system:

Mike put some insulation around the new batteries for winter:

The top and so few connections:

Much neater than the old.  We went from 24 smaller batteries to two large batteries that are actually much better:

Whew that was a rough month back.  We got the important things finished now we can move onto the non necessary things.

See you soon.


  1. Outstanding...those batteries are impressive! I'm wondering how the cost was vs. the smaller batteries, since you had to buy so many more of them. And what is the Ah rating on those new batteries?

    Can't wait for the next installment...and we will probably try that pizza too!

    Bill & Claudia

  2. Off topic....But I'm sure that your readers are wondering how you guys made out after Hurricane Irma. I'm pretty sure it went right over your place in Florida, and then headed up to the Tennessee homestead. So many folks have lost so much because of these storms, and it looks like there are more on the way. :-(
    Thankfully, we had minimal damage in Wilmington, NC, but the "Season" is far from over. I did spend time working on the RV, which hadn't been used in years, so it needed some serious work...and still needs some work, when I get back home from work next week. But, it passed the state Inspection, so we have an "escape vehicle" for the family and the 10 dogs, 1 cat, 10 guinea pigs and 1 parrot.

    Bill (PapPappy) & Claudia

    1. Hi Bill....so sorry it has been so long. By then we sold all Florida places. Just after the hurricane we did go down to Florida to look at some property. We have a new project:)

      The storms have been terrible and life changing for so many people. I cannot imagine all of the heartache. I am glad your rv passed inspections and I hope you never have to evacuate. That's a lot of animals to move.

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