It has been far too hot the last 2 weeks. Today and tomorrow will have heat humidity indexes near or over 100 F, yesterday it got over 95. I’ve only been able to work on the battery build a couple of hours in the mornings before the heat tells me to go home where the AC is keeping the house nice and cool. I have not packed any more syrup either, because of the heat. Working over a bottler that is 185-187 F in this heat doesn’t work for me. I’m a winter person, I’d much rather work in 0 degrees rather than near 100 F.
As far as the new LiFePo4 battery bank goes, I have it all assembled, with the required battery management system (BMS) and it is clamped into a single unit. It sets on a bench, with a 1″ insulation foam under it and a heating pad. When all finished it will be enclosed in an insulated box. The heating pad will keep the battery above 37F because this type of battery can not be charged when frozen. The heating pad has it’s own thermostat and it only uses 65 watts, it will be run off the battery. The battery bank will be able to run that heating pad for over 6 days even if the thermostat never shuts it off, with no sun input (solar) if needed.
I re-routed the heavy battery cables from outside where my retired battery bank was and I’m now ready to make the wiring connections inside, as soon as the weather cools off to under 80. I also will be changing the main fuse from 250A down to 100A, because this battery back up is only to run a 1250 watt electric heater if grid power goes out and my propane furnace to heat the small room the reverse osmosis (RO) machine is in fails. The RO must not freeze. The RO is what removes 75%+ of the water from the sap before it gets boiled into syrup. That 1 electric heater is the only thing being powered except for the heating pad mentioned earlier. Back when the electric heater was the only heat in that well insulated room, if the outdoor temp was -20F the heater only ran about 25% of each hour.