Another guardhouse backup power question

So I live in a relatively small complex, 39 units. Currently have a mecer trolley type inverter with lead batteries that were replaced last year ( both inverter and battery) as the previous one had its days. I wanted lithium but there was no stock and since the cctv. Intercom, fence runs off this, I couldn’t be without it for too long.

The current power draw is around 200-300 watts when batteries are not charging.

Now there’s a centurion d10 gate motor that is also going through batteries every 1.5 to 2 months due to loadshedding.

I want to add some panels to be able to charge the batteries and then possibly connect the gate batteries to the trolley batteries as well. In future, will replace the existing batteries with new lithiums.

So questions:

  1. Is it better to just remove the 2 12v 7A batteries in the gate motor and connect directly to the inverter batteries or leave the 2 batteries in the gate as well.

  2. What’s the best option for an mppt /charge controller to charge the batteries. For the gate motor, centurion offer what looks like an Epsolar pwm charge controller which charges an external battery and the the gate motor batteries are then connected to the load output of the charge controller.

  3. If I use a tiny victron mppt, what else do I need to get it work.

  4. Anyone have experience with thr victron pwn charge controllers and is there much difference compared to the other Chinese ones we get locally.

  5. Any better way to do this without replacing everything.

We replaced our Centurion D10 (Smart) motor’s batteries with two Freedom Won 12V 7.5Ah lithium batteries - they seem to be doing much better.

The D10 Smart is a 24V motor that uses two 12V batteries in series. The charger is a bit brain dead though since it does not balance the batteries, and the lead batteries (and now the lithium batteries) were always unbalanced. We’ll therefore have to add a battery balancer as well.

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That was also an option but balancing becomes a problem but I don’t think there js much place inside the motor cover to add a balancer.

Is this motor at a complex gate?

Yes, it is a motor at a complex. Even with the lead acid batteries they went completely out of balance - perhaps check your batteries too to see if they are in balance?

At the top of the motor, there is some space just below the control card for accessories - just need to check if I can fit a small balancer in there. There are two little flaps that fold out left and right just below the control cards.

If the cable run isn’t too far then connect the gate motor to the inverter batteries and see if it works ok. Better to get shot of batteries distributed all over the place.

Not quite your setup, but might give you some ideas.

Where I live we have a D10 on the main gate with 2x 12v 70Ah deep cycle batteries and 300W of solar, this system isn’t connected to AC at all.

Due to the gate being quite busy, the batteries apparently only last 1.5 to 2 years, I haven’t been here so long yet.

We have to make a plan to power some spotlights which is at the gate, this used to be on AC, but we are thinking about taking them off AC as well.

One of the options I thought of, unfortunately quite expensive, is to replace the deep cycle batteries with a Pylontech UP2500 24v battery, this will take 12v batteries going out of balance from the equation, they cost around R20k according to Google. From what I’ve researched so far, nobody else makes a 24v lithium battery with capacity around 2.5 kWh.

Then for our lights, if we want to stick with the AC spotlights and wiring, I thought of getting a Victron Sun inverter. It comes in a 24v version, output on the AC side is 200W which will be plenty for our needs and it has a built in PWM solar controller, I think max 500W PV input on a 24v system.

The D10 is directly connected to the 24v 70Ah battery bank, no small 7.2ah 12v batteries.
At my house where I have a D5 the motor is also directly connected to a 100ah deep cycle, distance around 5m between the motor and battery box with 16 mm2 cables.

Six months ago when I moved in here I hastily bought a cheap PWM controller, panel and LA battery for my gate setup.
I already want to upgrade to a Victron MPPT and I know this battery will probably only last for a year then I’ll go lithium.
Buy once, cry once.

There is a surprising number of options if you look in the right places…

There are many. I’ve seen an esener brand for around 13k. Then there the Hubble and some other new entrants as well.

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Have you considered using the solar lights. I installed 1 at home as I was too lazy to run a power cable to the end of the property so I used a 30w floodlight with panel. So far, it’s been more than 5 years I think without any issues. It still lasts through the night and was a China mall special for around R400. It’s not really 30w if I compare to a 30w 220v light or maybe it is with a duty cycle of 10 %

Thanks, clearly I didn’t look very hard. :smiley:

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In my experience the solar lights is very hit and miss.
At my house I have some bought the same day at the same place, same brand, some lasting and others not. Out of probably 10 bought around a year ago, half is still working properly and 3 broke completely.

Another big problem with them is they reduce brightness through the night just to stay on and it seams they are programmed like that. At 12:00 at night it will have a much reduced brightness, but switch it off and back on again, then suddenly it is at full brightness again.

Oh and that little panel makes it a theft magnet, we actually had one stolen outside the gate just the other day, it lasted a hole 3 weeks, but they leave the normal AC LED’s right next to it alone.