I have been running the work lights in the barn using the little third-world solar power system that I built a number of years ago. I think I described it in a previous post; I’ve got a little 11 watt panel and a big hundred-amp-hour AGM battery, and it works very well. My thinking there is that since I’m not at the site during the week, the thing has five whole days to recharge the battery with no load.
That is, as long as there is no load.
When I arrived to start working this morning, there was a distinct whining noise coming from the shed that the solar stuff is in. It appears that I left the inverter turned on when I left last weekend, and it has been drawing a slight trickle of current ever since then. Over an entire day that must exceed the amount of power generated by the little panel while the sun is up. The whining noise is the under voltage alarm on the inverter announcing to the world that the battery voltage is insufficient.
It’s probably still going right now, as I am writing this. I took the key for the condo that I’m moving out of off of my key ring this week. I don’t really need it every day anymore because I’m now staying in my house. The problem is that the same key opens the little solar shed, a fact which I didn’t even think about. So I couldn’t get in today to turn the inverter off. In all likelihood it is this very moment announcing its alarm condition for all the critters and the trees to hear. Perhaps it will give pause to the one of the local deer, which will stop to listen for a moment to the strange noise coming from the human building. I am confident that the grave urgency of INSUFFICIENT BATTERY VOLTS will be completely lost on the animal as it bounds blissfully off into the night in search of some tasty shrubs to munch on.