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Thread: Backcountry Engine Preheat

  1. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    This used to be an option when ordering new 180/185s.
    My 180 has oil dilution, but it won't much change the damage of a cold start - just makes it easier to power up dissimilar metals and get them moving against each other. I've never used it, as preheating makes sense.

    Used the Honda EU1000 and Reiff on cylinders, oil cooler and pan, with only cowling plugs (no engine cover) in -20F temps this week - no problems.

    Did have to choke the Honda about 30% to keep it running smoothly in those temps. Dense air.
    Last edited by JohnnyR; 12-31-2017 at 09:26 PM.

  2. #82

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    Don't have my Honda 1,000 handy. What size SCAT are you using?
    Routing out an opened window?
    Thanks for the great idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by eskimo77;699820


    Attachment 33493
    Exhaust out the scat, heat out the grate louvers for the cabin, cord out to the little buddy heater in the cowling.

  3. #83

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    I think it's 1-1/4". Will have to check next time I'm at the plane to be sure. Exhaust out the window or a baggage door.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post
    That is what Sam White used to do. Probably the most incredible resourceful outdoor man that ever lived.
    I met him briefly before he passed. Had a guy from work that lived nearby Sam that took him a fish or some game to go with his garden produce. We had tea and he talked about flying his L-5 Stinson and winter camping...that's where first I got the heads up about an instant camp in the cold. Then Joe Mattie another trapper told me he carried one too so the idea stuck. Both of them surely outdid me when it came to going and doing in winter. Different class of folks back then than now.

    Edit: https://www.amazon.com/Sam-White-Ala.../dp/1575101300

    Gary[/QUOTE]

    Gary,

    All true, of course. But for the audience here, it's important to note that Joe Mattie flys a Cessna 206 on his winter adventures.....A little more space and load carrying capability than the average Cub.

    MTV

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by DENNY View Post
    Real old school stuff was to drain oil at end of flight and heat on stove before flight. What a lot don't add is they also used the Tent cover over cowl to preheat the engine before adding oil.

    How about oil dilution with gas. Another old school way to get the job done!!

    DENNY

    DENNY
    Denny,

    The primary reason those folks drained the oil at night was that most if not all those engines were radials, with remote oil tanks.....so most of the oil was in fact not in the engine at any given time. And, the tanks were really hard variable to impossible to heat while heating the engine. Look at a Beaver sometime.....the oil tank is between the pilot and co-pilot's knees.

    And, as Johnny noted, oil dilution works fine if you don't have to pay for engine overhauls......

    MTV

  6. #86
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    For those of you that use a 1000W generator, do you carry a separate fuel supply for it? Or does the tank hold enough for normal use? Does it burn 100LL? Or are you running car gas in your plane?

    Great thread!

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    Ammo can works great—first one I made was like pic-second one I made I only used one hole and align xgk stove right under hole. Anywhere from 20-30min per side depending on OAT—longest I’ve needed to preheat is close to 1.5hrs but it was -22 OAT

    Undo engine cover and unlatch all cowling latches-then resecure two front bungees on engine cover (I undo all hatches prior to so when I switch sides it’s a quick process—I need to unlatch cowling so I can fit hose in)

    Stuff scat hose into rear opening on side of engine

    place heater where you can stick other end of scat hose to ammo can-ensure stove is centered under the hole of ammo can

    i also ensure other side of rear engine cowl gets stuffed w excess engine cover material so heat doesn’t leak out.

    Once im done I usually give it about 20 minutes minimum to sort of equalize-then fire up engine.


    The gennys I’ve used will shut themselves off if you don’t mod it or stick the genny in something like a cardboard box with venting cut outs (which then it will work great)—plus they don’t run on 100ll but the xgk does and if you don’t have a reiff and just have an oil pan heater (like me) the ammo can is way faster.

    And you can heat water on the ammo can or stove—genny not so much....it usually takes me awhile to get things moving when if I need preheat ie preheating isn’t what slows my roll....

  8. #88

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    I have run my Honda on whatever is handy 100LL, auto gas, or blend. Does fine on whatever is handy, it I had steady diet of 100ll I would check the plug often.
    DENNY
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  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
    For those of you that use a 1000W generator, do you carry a separate fuel supply for it? Or does the tank hold enough for normal use? Does it burn 100LL? Or are you running car gas in your plane?

    Great thread!
    With my Reiff system I can easily get two preheats on a single tank of fuel. I could probably get three.

    My inverter generator doesn't like 100LL. In fact none of my Honda equipment does. My older 3600 rpm generators run fine on avgas.

  10. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    With my Reiff system I can easily get two preheats on a single tank of fuel. I could probably get three.

    My inverter generator doesn't like 100LL. In fact none of my Honda equipment does. My older 3600 rpm generators run fine on avgas.
    I fill the Yamaha 1000 with mogas before I leave, then it's good for a couple of (Reiff) pre-heats. If I need more, a little of the 50/50 mogas/100LL mix from the wing tank drain or gascolator will do the trick. Many folks run 100LL in these little generators, some without problems, some with. 50/50 seems fine.

  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
    For those of you that use a 1000W generator, do you carry a separate fuel supply for it? Or does the tank hold enough for normal use? Does it burn 100LL? Or are you running car gas in your plane?

    Great thread!
    Contrary to others experience I run my Honda 1000s and 2000s on 100LL almost exclusively and never had a problem. Same goes for my snowmachines, chainsaws, outboard motors, weedwhackers or whatever. I just got back from 12 days at my cabin, ran Honda 1000 probably 3-4 hours a day with temps down to -25, just purrs on 100LL. My Arctic Cat 570 fan Bearcat has 5800 miles on it and never had a drop of auto fuel in it other than the first tank from dealer in 2010. I see no need to have anything other than 100LL at cabin cause I’ve never had any issues with it, and auto fuel has terrible shelf life and all sorts of additives that I have no need for. Bring a small 1 gallon can so you can drain 100LL from plane and fill Honda. Usually can get 2 preheats per full tank on 1000i.


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  12. #92
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    Stewart I think really makes the best point: Each situation may have a different system to work best.

    In a couple of years I hope to be parking inside a warm hangar. That is best. But once I take to the sky and head to Juneau, well, if I get stuck because of daylight or snow I will need a way to heat up- having a Reiff would be great!

    Heading out on the trap line for the day, or heading down for a deer hunt for the morning, even in the Maule, carrying a gen set is not on the top of my list of things I want to be doing, or really have space for- just a day trip right? Well, when that day trip turns into an overnight, I really like having that third or fourth option. This is where the Catalytic heater works great, or as a back up to that my camp stove as a remote 'get me out of here'! The camp stove with some scat and a sheet metal reducer to cover it will heat just fine- even more simple than the ammo can.

    Admittedly, propane and butane does not work well in severe cold. If that is my preheat, I have been known to put the bottle in my sleeping bag or tent to keep warm until I need it. I keep the propane on the floor of the plane by my seat to warm up with cabin heat. Once the engine compartment heats up with the catalytic heater, it keeps the bottle warm so flows just fine with no flame. On low my heater will run 24 hours with some to spare.

    No one answer will work all the time. Even MSR stoves will fail, if pre-heat is mandatory, have more than one method when remote.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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  13. #93

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    Agreed. Two is one and one is none.
    Carry or have available redundant capability. I have the Honda genset + Reiff, but have available at camp a different, gas-based solution in case the genset dies. That MSR stove + pipe section is always there.

    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Stewart I think really makes the best point: Each situation may have a different system to work best.

    In a couple of years I hope to be parking inside a warm hangar. That is best. But once I take to the sky and head to Juneau, well, if I get stuck because of daylight or snow I will need a way to heat up- having a Reiff would be great!

    Heading out on the trap line for the day, or heading down for a deer hunt for the morning, even in the Maule, carrying a gen set is not on the top of my list of things I want to be doing, or really have space for- just a day trip right? Well, when that day trip turns into an overnight, I really like having that third or fourth option. This is where the Catalytic heater works great, or as a back up to that my camp stove as a remote 'get me out of here'! The camp stove with some scat and a sheet metal reducer to cover it will heat just fine- even more simple than the ammo can.

    Admittedly, propane and butane does not work well in severe cold. If that is my preheat, I have been known to put the bottle in my sleeping bag or tent to keep warm until I need it. I keep the propane on the floor of the plane by my seat to warm up with cabin heat. Once the engine compartment heats up with the catalytic heater, it keeps the bottle warm so flows just fine with no flame. On low my heater will run 24 hours with some to spare.

    No one answer will work all the time. Even MSR stoves will fail, if pre-heat is mandatory, have more than one method when remote.

  14. #94
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    My Alaska experience is limited, and dated: 2000-2004 when I was stationed there. At the time I preheated this SuperCub with this Northern Companion and I thought that was a really good set up. Then the next year I got a spot with electricity and put a Reiff on... now I was really cooking. Nobody that I can recall at that time was discussing carrying around a generator.

    I suppose what amazes me, and what I find really cool, is the continuous innovation and improvements in the old airplanes many of us are flying. Preheat is just one example... bushwheels, better avionics, thrust mod, VGs, satellite communication. And many more.
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  15. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	34413

    My Alaska experience is limited, and dated: 2000-2004 when I was stationed there. At the time I preheated this SuperCub with this Northern Companion and I thought that was a really good set up. Then the next year I got a spot with electricity and put a Reiff on... now I was really cooking. Nobody that I can recall at that time was discussing carrying around a generator.

    I suppose what amazes me, and what I find really cool, is the continuous innovation and improvements in the old airplanes many of us are flying. Preheat is just one example... bushwheels, better avionics, thrust mod, VGs, satellite communication. And many more.
    First, Thanks for your service.
    Second, if I went out to the airport and saw my plane looking like that I'de go home put my pj's back on, climb back into bed, curl up in the fetal position and cry myself to sleep.

    From Genesis: "And God promised men that good and obedient wives would be
    found in all corners of the earth."

    Then he made the earth round... and He laughed and laughed and laughed!
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  16. #96

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    The size of Scat tubing that will thread onto the EU1000 exhaust is 1-3/8".
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  17. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40m View Post
    First, Thanks for your service.
    Second, if I went out to the airport and saw my plane looking like that I'de go home put my pj's back on, climb back into bed, curl up in the fetal position and cry myself to sleep.
    Gee Glenn, our best flying up here is when the plane looks like that in the morning.

    Broom off the frost, clean the windows and store covers while preheating, then light her off and have a great day!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  18. #98

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    Unfortunately, this won’t work for long when it gets truly cold. Even the mountaineering blends don’t function well in -20 temps, even when you store them in your sleeping bag. White gas stoves are more reliable in those circumstances.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colorguns View Post
    Attachment 33248Attachment 33249Attachment 33250Attachment 33251
    Coleman, This fits in a small box. I put screws in the cap to hold it up off the burner so air can filter up. Dryer hose. Heats fast and with a cowl cover on does great. May find minor changes as you go along with it.

    Doug

  19. #99
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    Since we now live in a world of cheap Li-ion power banks, has anyone tried using their plug-in pre heater with one of the larger banks (essentially something 500w or more)?


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  20. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eferr View Post
    Since we now live in a world of cheap Li-ion power banks, has anyone tried using their plug-in pre heater with one of the larger banks (essentially something 500w or more)?


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    Ummm, those installed heaters by Reiff or Tanis pull what? 750 Watts continuous? And, depending on temps, you’re gonna run that thing for up to an hour or more?

    I hope you’re flying a Boeing to carry the “jump pack”.

    MTV

  21. #101
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    That was a cute reply. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the standard Reif on a 4-banger only pull 300w? Might be able to squeeze 2 hrs preheat. At ~16 lbs for a unit that size, doesn’t seem like an unrealistic question to pose to the group.


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  22. #102
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    Having used a battery bank and solar panels for a couple of decades? We avoid using appliances that make heat from electricity. It sucks the batteries down faster than anything. Coffee makers, blow dryers, etc. No bueno. And we have near 1600aH of storage.
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  23. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eferr View Post
    That was a cute reply. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the standard Reif on a 4-banger only pull 300w? Might be able to squeeze 2 hrs preheat. At ~16 lbs for a unit that size, doesn’t seem like an unrealistic question to pose to the group.


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    These systems pull a lot of power. I guessed high, but Reiff states 750 continuous watts for their high heat model, which is what I’ve used.

    MTV

  24. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Having used a battery bank and solar panels for a couple of decades? We avoid using appliances that make heat from electricity. It sucks the batteries down faster than anything. Coffee makers, blow dryers, etc. No bueno. And we have near 1600aH of storage.
    28 years off grid taught me that also! The battery packs are not quite there yet, good as there are. What we (pilots and ebikers, I'm both) is a high quality (reliable.....) SMALL gen set, 500 watt max and maybe 350 continuous, that weighs about 15-18 pounds. The small Yamaha/Hondas are great, but still too big, I don't want to pack my 27 pound Yammer around just to run my 200 watts of heat pads on the Rotax. This issue has come up repeatedly in ebike forums, enough that someone with a large fortune could probably make it a small fortune by coming up with some such animal. Not a big enough market to make it worthwhile, too bad.

  25. #105
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    As stated above, electricity to heat means a big power draw.

    It's a math problem. Find out the continuous draw of the heating element in amps. Compare this to the amp hour rating of the battery. An easy example would be a heater that draws .25 amps, connected to a 1 amp hour battery. The battery should power the heater for four hours.

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  26. #106
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    Part of the problem is converting 12v power to push a 700 watt @ 120vac appliance. A few years ago I bought a 12v heat pad intended for airplane engines. That pad puts out the heat but would it last long enough with a typical battery to heat an engine? No idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    It's a math problem. Find out the continuous draw of the heating element in amps. Compare this to the amp hour rating of the battery. An easy example would be a heater that draws .25 amps, connected to a 1 amp hour battery. The battery should power the heater for four hours.
    It's not that simple. Battery capacity is usually specified for a specific discharge rate, typically C/10. Discharging at higher currents will significantly reduce the capacity.
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  28. #108
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    Much obliged to the collective wisdom. It seems like the scat/duct and backpacking stove is going to be my plan for now. I am going to install the safe-heet sump warmer since KEUL rarely goes subzero. When you folks are preheating in the sticks, is it generally more than a 2-3 hour affair? Say at 0°F ambient.


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    Gabe is going to give me crap about this but if you have a 4 cylinder EGT/CHT you will know what the engine temp is and how long you have to heat (oil temp is a required gauge). With an engine blanket 3 hours should be good Lycoming says you only need preheat below 10 degrees.
    DENNY
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  30. #110

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    Has anyone combined jump packs in series to create a 48V system? 12V wont do much but 48V DC or even 72V DC (locomotives) are fun to work with and open new opportunities. Plenty of 48V heating elements around. 72V DC is only fun until there's smoke.

  31. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by frequent_flyer View Post
    Battery capacity is usually specified for a specific discharge rate, typically C/10. Discharging at higher currents will significantly reduce the capacity.
    Yep. It's called the amp hour rating.

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  32. #112
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    Had an old to timer tell me once heating with electrics is a dead short. Well we know not really but you get the idea.
    it takes a lot of electricity to do what a little gas will do. With the gensets you are still using gas to make electricity to make heat. When you could skip all the engine and generator/electrical stuff to get heat.
    But the gensets “may” be safer, a lot of extra hardware for safety. All that said I live WAY down south.
    Dave


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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    Yep. It's called the amp hour rating.
    Yes but the specified capacity, expressed in amp hours, is only the capacity for a specific discharge current. That current is typically one tenth of the capacity (C/10) so a 1 AH battery may provide 0.1 A for 10 hours but it probably will not provide 0.25 A for 4 hours.

    Battery data sheets usually provide a family of curves showing capacity for different discharge rates. Probably worth a look for anyone thinking of using a battery powered heater.

  34. #114
    Dave Barras's Avatar
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    I was told once you discharge a battery a few times below 25% it will never regain its original full capacity.
    something else to consider if correct.
    Dave


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  35. #115
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    Depends what the battery was designed to do. Car starting batteries are different compared to deep cycle batteries and both are different than solar system batteries. A guy could probably use battery power to preheat but the battery wouldn’t be very portable. Floor scrubber batteries come to mind. They’re built for a long, steady discharge. They’re big, heavy, and are 6v so you’d need 2 of them. A 1000w generator is a much better choice.

  36. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by DENNY View Post
    Gabe is going to give me crap about this but if you have a 4 cylinder EGT/CHT you will know what the engine temp is and how long you have to heat (oil temp is a required gauge). With an engine blanket 3 hours should be good Lycoming says you only need preheat below 10 degrees.
    DENNY
    Denny, I’ve never relied on CHT instruments as an indicator of sufficiently warm engine to start during pre heat for the simple reason that cylinder heads are designed to dissipate heat. That implies that they’ll also GAIN heat fairly quickly as well.

    But, when pre heating a cold engine, what I want to accomplish is to get the CORE of that engine: the crankshaft and its oil bath and system, warm enough. Cylinders warm fast, but it takes a while to get that inner core warm enough to play safely.

    My policy regarding pre heat is “Longer is better”.

    As to Lycomings recommendation of starting as cold as -10 F without pre heat: That is indeed Lycoming’s recommendation. I’ve always viewed that as an absolute emergency case, though. There have been a couple times I was out somewhere in deep cold, and parked too long, where my engine MAY have got that cold, and I started it anyway. The alternative was sleeping out there at -30. I’ve done that too, and it’s less fun than I prefer.

    But in those cases, the engine core is likely warmer than the rest of the engine. Not sure that’s a legitimate “excuse” but….

    That said, there’s no way I’d go the the airport on a 10 degree morning, fire up an unheated engine and go fly.

    But then, there was the Fort Yukon preacher who apparently never preheated……

    MTV
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  37. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Depends what the battery was designed to do. Car starting batteries are different compared to deep cycle batteries and both are different than solar system batteries. A guy could probably use battery power to preheat but the battery wouldn’t be very portable. Floor scrubber batteries come to mind. They’re built for a long, steady discharge. They’re big, heavy, and are 6v so you’d need 2 of them. A 1000w generator is a much better choice.
    Generator is the best choice for sure. However since we have rabbit trailed talking batteries, I just purchased new silicone gel batteries for my cabin solar energy system. These are the only batteries I’ve ever heard of that go to 100% full discharge, and recharge normally. In fact the manufacturer warranty is for 10,000 discharges to 100% discharge for 5 years. Of course that’s not normal use, typical discharge levels are less than 50% or less. Also these are rated for -40F storage with less than %5 loss of storage and start taking charge far below 0°F. As a testimonial of performance, the Alaska Railroad is changing out all batteries system wide to these. You can buy from pilot Kirk at Susitna Energy in Anchorage. www.siliconebatteries.ca


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  38. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooter7779h View Post
    Generator is the best choice for sure. However since we have rabbit trailed talking batteries, I just purchased new silicone gel batteries for my cabin solar energy system. These are the only batteries I’ve ever heard of that go to 100% full discharge, and recharge normally. In fact the manufacturer warranty is for 10,000 discharges to 100% discharge for 5 years. Of course that’s not normal use, typical discharge levels are less than 50% or less. Also these are rated for -40F storage with less than %5 loss of storage and start taking charge far below 0°F. As a testimonial of performance, the Alaska Railroad is changing out all batteries system wide to these. You can buy from pilot Kirk at Susitna Energy in Anchorage. www.siliconebatteries.ca


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    Interesting!

    MTV

  39. #119
    stewartb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Wolf Lake, AK
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    Not much capacity in the 6 volt models. And I wonder what they consider 100% discharge. Probably around 11.5 volts? Cool technology at any rate.

    My Rolls Surette 6v batteries have approx 800 aH of storage so with 4 in series-parallel I get approx 1600aH at 12v. Both inverters I've used have built-in 100 amp+ chargers so require a 6kw generator to recharge in the dark months. Managing a smaller system would make recharging easier but frequency of recharges greater. Pick your poison, I guess.
    Likes Coondog liked this post

  40. #120
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
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    Palmer, AK
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    Hey Scooter
    Do you know anyone that's used them for an extended time? Like a year or more? If so, what was their impressions?

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    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.

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