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Old 03-22-2019, 12:42 PM   #1
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Battery voltage drop due to cold weather

So this morning I went to fire up the coffee maker and the alarm tripped on my inverter and turned itself off. After some poking around and reading manuals, I discovered it did this because of the low voltage cut off. Apparently the batteries were reading 10.5 volts this morning when I got up.

After some tooling around and the sun broke the horizon, the solar kicked in and so did the charger when I plugged in, batteries were back up to 13.7 ish while charging.

The only reason for the voltage drop that I can figure is that it got too cold in the electric room (which is located by the backdoor and not fully insulated).

With that said, I was thinking of adding some battery insulation to the batteries and this 150 watt heater for cold nights

Fdit PTC Car Air Heater 150W 12V Energy Saving Small Space Car Fan Heater Constant Temperature Heating Element Heaters(12V 150W)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JKNKBXH..._XWrLCb3P7ST0Z

Any thoughts about this?
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Old 03-22-2019, 12:58 PM   #2
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You're in Florida I assume? What kind of temp did you see?

I assume you're using lead acid batteries? I don't think voltage drops due to the cold, but the capacity definitely drops. I'm talking below freezing cold. If you are using lead acid batteries, check the specific gravity of the acid in the cells and go from there.

If you're batteries were fully charged and it got cold out, you might notice a slight difference in capacity. However, if the battery is half dead and it gets cold, your lack of power will definitely be noticeable. Then again, it has to be at or below freezing. There isn't much difference to a battery whether it's 70 or 50 out.

If you're using Lithium batteries you can throw out all that I just said, those act entirely different.
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Old 03-22-2019, 01:05 PM   #3
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Sorry, should.uave added they are AGM. It was in the 40's last night. It's been cold the last few nights and haven't had any problems. Everything is acting normal now...
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Old 03-22-2019, 01:23 PM   #4
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That heater at 150w without a thermostat control would also be a significant battery drain in a low solar period.
In my mind anyway.
Do they make low watt/amp battery mats like the oil pan heaters?
Just a thought that's been in my head for my just setting batteries?
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Old 03-22-2019, 01:25 PM   #5
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Maybe this thermostat with it? I'll look into battery mats

Inkbird Dual Stage 12V(DC) Digital Temperature Controller Fahrenheit Thermostat https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019I3YCFS..._EHsLCbKZPQ47B
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Old 03-22-2019, 02:31 PM   #6
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The voltage at rest is one thing.

Voltage while charging has little relevance.

10.5V at rest is very low SoC, in fact the definition of ZERO %, and very harmful to longevity to let an expensive bank get that low.

And the difference in the above due to a 40 ambient is vanishingly small.

Your setup needs an overhaul, and in the meantime cut back drastically on your consumption.

Try to stop discharging at 12.2V, an LVD would automate that, but a good BM SoC meter would be more accurate.

And get the bank recharging as soon as possible after hitting that low point.
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Old 03-22-2019, 02:43 PM   #7
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Well, this all is the reason I was confused about everything. The bank was nearly full at 12:00 pm. I have a victron battery monitor, 1400 watts of solar on the roof and I've been plugging in every other day. I've been running this system for about 6 months and have never had this issue. There wasn't enough items running to pull that much out. All that was running overnight when I went to sleep was two 12 volt fans, the inverter, and the fridge.

My batteries are about a year old. They have only hit 50% discharge about 5 times. I've never let them get lower than that and the lowest is usually about 70% discharge. It supposed to be cold again tonight. I'm going to make sure the batteries are full before I go to bed and I'll check the voltage on the.monitor and the inverter before I turn anything on.

Thank you all for the info. I'll update in the morning.
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Old 03-22-2019, 02:49 PM   #8
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Also forgot to mention, the GFCI on the side of the inverter had popped and when I plugged in, it popped the GFCI in the house. I can't find any traces of water anywhere either
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Old 03-22-2019, 02:50 PM   #9
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Shot of the electric roomIMG_20190322_154929.jpeg
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Old 03-22-2019, 03:10 PM   #10
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Dropping these pics at 4:09 pm for future reference. This is with a pot of coffee brewi g, which is what set this off this morning.IMG_20190322_160829_RAW.jpegIMG_20190322_160842_RAW.jpegIMG_20190322_160835_RAW.jpeg
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