Tuesday, May 19, 2009

24 Volt Battery? But I have a 12 volt inverter.

I received an email from a customer with this question. He had a 1,000 watt 12 volt inverter but he had one 24 volt forklift battery. Here is my response to him.

There are a few ways to do it. One is to get a 24 volt to 12 volt converter. Most only handle up to about 200 to 500 watts. That's not enough for this situation and they cost about $200 for the 500 watt version.

Another is to use 2 inverters, so you would have to buy another 1000 watt inverter. But they cost about $50 on ebay plus some shipping.
In this case you would charge the 24 volt battery with the windmill but each inverter would connect to only half of the battery. You would have to try and balance your loads. Don't use too much power from one side and not the other.

Probably the best way is to split the battery into 2 sections, 12 volts each. You will make one cut shown below. Only cut after the battery has sat for at least 6 hours with no charging. Then run connections as shown below. This will parallel 2 sections of 12 volts each. This doubles the amp hours of the battery rating. So, if it is 700 amp hours at 24 volts, this would now be 1400 amp hours at 12 volts. But the two sections should be close to the same resting charge. If you charge and desulfate for a few days and let the battery sit for a day and each section is about 12.7 volts then you are good to go. If one section is 12.6 and the other is 12.2 then the low half needs to be desulfated before connecting the two together. The lower side will always drag the other side down and eventually ruin it as well.



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