keeping batteries warm?

we have 12v batteries to support our solar power.  our problem is keeping them warm when we are not at home.  does anyone have any suggestions?  we are often gone for work for 3 - 5 weeks, so we can't do wood or waste oil, and days without sun wont help our batteries.  this year it is very cold, night time wind chills below -10

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mag1213 (author) 7 years ago
thanks these are great idea's but i don't think any of them are going to help, because of the length of time we are away.  we are thinking that maybe the battery room, 8'X8' might be heated by putting a propane heater in a seperate shed, and pumping heat into the battery room.  possibly an rv heater kept at the lowest setting, and making sure there is enough propane to last for the longest possible time....... we are still open to all suggestions!
lemonie7 years ago
You can get these things for keeping fermentations warm "heating belts" trays and for keeping reptiles warm "heating mats". If you are to put heat into things it'll cost you in energy, so insulate as well.

Well the batteries won't get wind-chill ! You're right though, too cold isn't good for health or charge retention in Lead-Acid cells. Thing is, you NEED ventilation, during the charge, cells emit hydrogen. I can't thing of a neat method, because of the shortage of energy, that said, if you ain't there, and its sunny, and the cells are charged, there'd be no harm pushing the warm into the cells store.

How about standing them in tanks of water/antifreeze, and pushing any excess energy into a heater coil immersed in the tanks ? The batteries won't mind being wet (below their terminals of course....

Koosie7 years ago
Maybe stopping them from getting cold.  Try wrapping them in tinfoil or that emergency blanket material.

Hope this helps.
klee27x7 years ago
Assuming your solar creates enough electricity to make this worthwhile: put the batteries in styrofoam coolers with an electric heater in each cooler. Maybe a 12V incandescent light bulb?