Using A Jump Starter/Power Box As A Power Supply

As I discussed a few days ago in my blog entry about heating my solar batteries to prevent power outages, I contemplated using a UPS to provide internet service while the inverter was off due to overvoltage.

A day or two later, I was at the store after having had to jumpstart the car using the truck, and it dawned on me that a jump starter box could do double duty for me.  I noted one that included a 12 volt outlet, and I recalled that I had a small, 175 watt inverter that had been only used once or twice in the past decade.

I purchased and charged up the power box, and it was some sort of divine intervention that caused the power system to decide to do an equalization cycle just as the power box was indicating a full charge.

Matching the old with the new to create something useful!

In case I haven’t detailed it before, an equalization charge balances out a battery bank made up of multiple batteries.  It is a much higher voltage than usual, and in this case, with the cold weather, even warming the batteries didn’t make much of a dent in the required voltage (in this case, it was bumping against 34.6 volts!)

As soon as the power went out, I leapt from my chair and assembled my makeshift UPS (well, in my particular case, it was an *INTERRUPTIBLE* Power Supply).

Everything plugged in and ready to hit the power button!

I plugged in everything, and amazingly, it worked immediately!

It continued to work for just under three hours.  Ten minutes later the power came back on as the equalization cycle completed!

I know it looks messy, but it works!

I’m putting this one in the success column, in spite of it petering out prematurely, and requiring a bit of manual intervention.

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