The old batteries are important – recycled from the owners car once he buys a new one. The Deep cycle batteries which we are told are the right product for this environment, in reality do not hold a charge over the winter when not in use.
The wire is because the panels have to be placed a quarter mile from the house in order to catch the sun in winter. But they still charge the battery about 0.2 volts per day. This means you can take a battery from dead, when it reads 11.7 volts, to fully charged – when it reads about 12.7 volts – in just 4-5 days.
The other vital ingredient is being really stingy with usage.
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