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Forum Index : Solar : Making Batteries

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InPhase

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Joined: 15/12/2020
Location: United States
Posts: 58
Posted: 07:46am 17 Dec 2020
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Lead acid batteries are simple and reliable. I have done some small scale experiments in DIY battery making and I think it could be worthwhile. There is a tire (<-American for "tyre") shop near me where I can get lead wheel weights for free. They are happy to have me take all I can. So I loaded a 5 gallon bucket full just to get started. My initial tests are limited and not very scientific, but by golly it works.

The way I picture it, I could set up a jig to pour plates 20 x 20 cm and maybe 1/8” thick and rip out a lot of them pretty quick. Press some steel window screen into both sides to get good surface area, another jig to line them up into groups and weld them up. Square plastic pales with lids to make 2 volt cells....

Of course the plates have to be formed by charge/discharge/reverse and that takes quite a while, but that would be dead simple to automate... Of course you'd get nowhere near a manufactured battery in terms of j/kg, but that doesn't really concern me, as I have the room to house it all. Has anyone here had any experience in this area?
 
Warpspeed
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Joined: 09/08/2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 3680
Posted: 08:05am 17 Dec 2020
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I looked into that myself, many years ago.

All the greenies told me the lead would kill me, and the acid destroy the environment, and that I was a suicidal, antisocial, homicidal bastard not fit to live among decent people, and a total menace to society....

But ignoring the internet idiots, one real problem is that the plates of a commercial battery have a fairly fragile grid structure, which has an enormous surface area to produce a fairly low internal resistance within a given volume.

Flat plates will work fine, as long as you allow for a fairly long slow charging time,and a relatively low discharge rate.  Don't expect hundreds of amps peak discharge to run your microwave oven or air conditioner.

So in theory yes.
In practice, not really practical.
Cheers,  Tony.
 
RFburns

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Joined: 21/07/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 29
Posted: 08:27am 17 Dec 2020
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Hi InPhase,
without going into the obvious ohs concerns in case anyone reading this feels the need to point them out!; PLEASE DO NOT ANSWER MY POST WITH YOUR OHS CONCERNS   Wheel weights are not the ideal material (but given the out lay this will work at lower efficiency) as they are a mix of lead and antimony . As I am guessing you are constructing both the positive and negative plates using the same material you are making a Plante battery (given the high reliability/cost/weight of these items these are usually used in situations that require this type of reliability and additional cost - nuclear power stations etc...). I have experimented with this type of battery using pure lead for the plates and conditioning the cells through repetitive charge/discharge cycling (the acid can be a problem to procure now days - I work at a place that uses 99% sulfuric acid so this was not an issue for me - but recycling via old batteries is an option to recover this; it can be easily concentrated by boiling off the water filtered and re diluted to a suitable concentration. There is a great deal of information available via the internet on this type of battery both in construction ,conditioning , maintenance etc... .If you are unable to find said information or are unaware of the OHS implications you should re think home construction of lead acid batteries ,this is however easily achieved with even modest skills and equipment .
Strong like horse smart like tractor!
 
Warpspeed
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Posted: 09:12am 17 Dec 2020
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Yup,
All own my posts on the subject created a massive sh*t storm of criticism, by people that think striking a single match, is so terribly dangerous it could set the entire world on fire.
Cheers,  Tony.
 
InPhase

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Joined: 15/12/2020
Location: United States
Posts: 58
Posted: 01:26pm 17 Dec 2020
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Believe me, the safety aspect is top of my mind. But I'm a firm believer in letting people learn their lessons the hard way. The way I see it, if you're too stupid to take the very basic precautions that would make constructing a battery relatively safe, then you're too stupid to build the battery anyway. So if I blind myself with acid or soften my brain with lead, I reckon I deserve it.

Before finding this place I inquired about DIY inverter making at a few forums and the answer was universal: "Mains voltage is much too dangerous. Best buy one." Then I'd tell them I'm an electrician used to working circuits at hundreds of volts and sometimes thousands of amps, and the response was "Yes, but others may read this.." This is one of the problems with the world. Brave men rode a bomb to the moon, now we're afraid of the signs on bathroom doors.

My own research on battery building has turned up some promising results. It's true that no battery I build with Plante plates will compete with a commercial battery, but that really is no object given that I'm willing accept the limitations. Adding texture to the plate surface greatly increases the surface area and therefore the capacity. By my calculations, a piece of steel window screen will turn a 825 square cm plate into a 1755 square cm plate. According to the book "The Battery Builder's Guide", you can expect approximately 0.06 amp-hours per square inch of plate = 0.009 AH/cm2. Rounding down to ease disappointment, that's 15 AH for each 20 x 20 cm positive plate. Figure 7 positive plates per cell and you get about 105 AH. Which works out to each cell using about 43 pounds of lead, about 20 kg. Add container and electrolyte, and you've got one heavy cell, then start putting them in series to get the volts up, and before you know it you've got a 1 ton 105 AH battery! But that is all just hot air until I get started....
 
mab1
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Joined: 10/02/2015
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Posted: 07:22pm 17 Dec 2020
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Not trying to discourage you but if the wheel weights have antimony in them as RFb says then you may find your cells have a high rate of self-discharge - may be worth doing a small trial cell first?
 
Warpspeed
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Posted: 08:12pm 17 Dec 2020
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The way I had thought of doing it was to buy some lead roof flashing, and coil it up in a really big glass mason jar.
Another possibility would be to hang sheet lead in an aquarium fish tank.

Never actually did any of that.
Cheers,  Tony.
 
Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
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Posted: 04:50am 18 Dec 2020
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  Warpspeed said  

All the greenies told me the lead would kill me, and the acid destroy the environment, and that I was a suicidal, antisocial, homicidal bastard not fit to live among decent people, and a total menace to society....

All own my posts on the subject created a massive sh*t storm of criticism, by people that think striking a single match, is so terribly dangerous it could set the entire world on fire.


I get them and the safety Sissy's on every single YT Vid I have posted.

The other problem with you striking a match Tony was you probably weren't wearing  a Fire suit, Gloves, safety Glasses, hearing protection, had a Fire brigade and a medivac Chopper with an emergency team at the ready in case something went wrong when you lit that match.

Very Reckless and irresponsible of you mate! Thank Heavens you did not use something really dangerous like a Cigarette lighter!!!


  Quote  But I'm a firm believer in letting people learn their lessons the hard way.


I am constant in wonder as to why we want to protect and preserve idiots so they can survive and breed more inept idiots? The world has more than enough, why would we want to interfere in the process of Natural selection in the first place instead of letting things take their Course? Makes no sense to me at all.
Let them make the mistakes and learn.... or otherwise.  Guarantee so many things they will only do wrong once.  


  Quote  The way I see it, if you're too stupid to take the very basic precautions that would make constructing a battery relatively safe, then you're too stupid to build the battery anyway.


Like I say on my Videos that show things little more complicated than nailing two bits of wood together and all these people ask for " Plans". Ugggh!
If you can't build the thing by looking at it, ( which I say are the plans) then you certainly don't have the skills and knowledge to be operating the bastard in the first place! being able to build these simple things is like a pre qualification and if you don't pass, then go back to the Knitting or stamp collecting Channel!

The other thing I say is " I didn't have any plans, I took what I had, Built the bastard and it worked as it does every time. "
Getting so people need instructions to operate Toilet paper.


  Quote  So if I blind myself with acid or soften my brain with lead, I reckon I deserve it.


Something else from my own position.  If I do hurt myself, which I never have, WTF does anyone out there care? Not like you know me, not like you are going to be in any pain or have to pay the medical bills, I take the risk and wear it.


  Quote  
Before finding this place I inquired about DIY inverter making at a few forums and the answer was universal: "Mains voltage is much too dangerous. Best buy one." Then I'd tell them I'm an electrician used to working circuits at hundreds of volts and sometimes thousands of amps, and the response was "Yes, but others may read this.."


Oh yeah.
I have literally been told, many times, that 12 V is dangerous and should be left to a qualified Professional.

I was on a metal casting forum once and got Kicked off because they said what I wrote was too dangerous and I didn't put on enough warnings if Children shoud read it.  I asked WTF would Children be doing melting metal and where the Fk would their parents be whom were responsible.

Of course the same idiots also endorsed and congratulated people with 5 Yo's that were using metal forges " With supervision" even though the pictures of said kids showed no adult within 30 Ft.

Seems these days that Personal Responsibility is someone elses Job, not yours. Hurst yourself, that's the fault of the guy at the hardware Joint or the manufacturer of the circular saw you were using at the time for not putting enough safety warnings on the thing that if you stick your fingers in the blade while running it you will loose them.
.
Same if someone hurts themselves doing something completely brain dead like hooning in a car and Crashing it. The approved social position is to feel sorry for them and one never blame " The victim" no matter how stupid and large of an arse Kicking they deserve.  And if anyone does anything while Drunk or on drugs, they are not responsible for what they did so they get off much lighter if not all together.

Good Job I'm not a Judge.  Either produce the person that held the gun to your head forcing you to drink or shoot up or that's another charge on top of the full penality for whatever you did.
/rant.

The battery thing is interesting.
I was just trying to tidy up some things in the shed yesterday and I came across a small wooden fruitbox of large lead sinkers my Grandfather cast.  I remember him getting all this lead from somewhere and making them when I was a Kid. That would have been at least 45 years ago.

Does anyone have any links to the home made Batteries and how to do them?   Seen things on other different batteries but they really seemed quite large and in reality Impractical. Some are said to last decades which seems about the time required to get any meaningful total power out of them.

I had a crack at an earth battery last year. Used aluminium and  rods and copper water pipe. Couldn't make enough power to light an LED despite using multiple stakes each side.

I also seem to remember my Grandfather having a go at melting down some car Batteries but apart from the seriously rather than panic merchant Danger of the fumes etc, There actually wasn't all that much lead in them.

Are there any batteries that use Aluminium plates?  I have shiploads of that and can get plenty more.  Casting that into plates would be right up my alley.

Anyone seen the Vids of the re manufactured Batteries? Not sure if it was here or somewhere else I saw the vid although I had seen them before.

battery Rebuild

This one seems to be more of a complete re manufacture than a refurbishment.

Rebuild

They remake the plates but I am not sure as to why they use the mesh design rather than solid? would seem to make for less surface area as well as less lead which may be the reason.  Also not sure why they fill the mesh with clay? Reduce/ slow the erosion from the acid?

Pretty clear by the look of how much smaller and less plates are in the cells these things are going to have a LOT less amp hours and probably CCA than the original batteries. No doubt price is everything in these places. Quite ingenious and clever the way they have set up to mass produce the plates and different lead parts they have moulds for.

Interesting though. If one made singles cells the size of the whole battery case, still should be some decent amp hours in the whole Pile.
 
InPhase

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Joined: 15/12/2020
Location: United States
Posts: 58
Posted: 05:08am 18 Dec 2020
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  Davo99 said  
Does anyone have any links to the home made Batteries and how to do them?   Seen things on other different batteries but they really seemed quite large and in reality Impractical. Some are said to last decades which seems about the time required to get any meaningful total power out of them.

I had a crack at an earth battery last year. Used aluminium and  rods and copper water pipe. Couldn't make enough power to light an LED despite using multiple stakes each side.

I also seem to remember my Grandfather having a go at melting down some car Batteries but apart from the seriously rather than panic merchant Danger of the fumes etc, There actually wasn't all that much lead in them.

Are there any batteries that use Aluminium plates?  I have shiploads of that and can get plenty more.  Casting that into plates would be right up my alley.

Anyone seen the Vids of the re manufactured Batteries? Not sure if it was here or somewhere else I saw the vid although I had seen them before.

battery Rebuild

This one seems to be more of a complete re manufacture than a refurbishment.

Rebuild

They remake the plates but I am not sure as to why they use the mesh design rather than solid? would seem to make for less surface area as well as less lead which may be the reason.  Also not sure why they fill the mesh with clay? Reduce/ slow the erosion from the acid?


Those are Faure plates. The lead grid is filled with a lead oxide paste. The idea being that the little pores of the paste offer chit tons of surface area for reaction. A flat plate can't compete.

  Quote  Pretty clear by the look of how much smaller and less plates are in the cells these things are going to have a LOT less amp hours and probably CCA than the original batteries. No doubt price is everything in these places. Quite ingenious and clever the way they have set up to mass produce the plates and different lead parts they have moulds for.

Interesting though. If one made singles cells the size of the whole battery case, still should be some decent amp hours in the whole Pile.


Indeed. My thought was to make flat lead plates and score them with a flea comb or press a steel screen into them to drive the surface area up. Then use some square plastic buckets I can get cheap to house maybe 13 or 15 total plates, making a single 2 V cell. Then just fill racks with them. For a stationary system, it should be a good trade off vs. commercial batteries. Also, all battery plates shed their active material over time, but flat Plante plates are better in this regard since new material is uncovered as old material sheds. This is not true with pasted plates.
 
Davo99
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Posted: 12:03pm 18 Dec 2020
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All Very interesting.
Pouring flat, thin plates should not be hard and it would seem that sheer size could easily trade off surface area of more complex Type plates.

I can see merit in Tonys idea of rolling the plates up. This could be a very easy construction method. 2 layers of lead separated by some material ( fibreglass Matt?)  and stick it in something like some PVC Pipe which could be had in 4, 6 or 8" diameter and fitted with end caps.

Maybe Solder the plates to some threaded rod and hang the assembly from the top to give some room on the bottom for the plates to flake without shorting.
I used this method to hand some tin plates in some electrolyte some time back to use as a Dummy load for testing Generators.  Amazing the load one could create in a $" bit of pipe but of course it also acted as a very effective Kettle so run times were short even if submerging in a cold water bath as the power input easily overcame the PVC's ability to shed the heat.

I surmise the greater the plate thickness the longer the battery would survive but would also seem from what I looked up that 2-3mm would be plenty thick. Maybe do it Paki style and just pour the lead straight out onto a level steel or stone surface and let it find it's own level then cut to size from there. Shouldn't be hard to join strips for extra length. Alternative would be to use lead flashing but that stuff is worth a Bomb.

Seems one would need a LOT of lead though for a battery of any worthwhile capacity. I can see this getting expensive quick!
I did read that battery lead does in fact have antinomy to make it stronger. Around 10% was quoted.  The wheel weights may not be as bad as thought. I remember at the pistol range I used to shoot at which was indoor, there would be drums of spalled Rounds sitting out the front. Was worth a fortune because it was a Mixture of Lead and Copper and I was told each Drum weighed around 2 Tons!

I also saw that the pasted plates themselves can be bought but I was not able to find any local Supplies. Seems plenty available in China and India though. I spose  even if one was using car battery size plates and enough were added per cell the area of the plates would be the same has having fewer larger plates.  Any reason why a battery couldn't have 50 or 100 Plates per Cell?

No Idea the price of scrap lead although I do seem to remember it being in the $2-3 Kg the scrappys were paying for it some time back. Would seem to me though that to make an equivalent capacity battery it would be just as cheap to go buy a forklift  pack.

None the less, this is something I would like to try just for sh*ts and giggles and learning after Christmas. Does not have to be a Huge battery but just making something work would be Rewarding.
 
Clockmanfr

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Posted: 12:50pm 18 Dec 2020
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Yes the PLANTE battery is probably the best to construct.

I have done some preliminary experimentation, but the biggest drawback with the PLANTE is the fact that it needs at least 40 plus charge and discharges to get the Oxide forming on the correct plate.  But its amperage gets better and better as it used.

I have built several small batteries and made new cells for existing batteries.

I use a 80% pure Sulphuric acid mixed at 1 to 15 ratio, where the 15 parts are  distilled/de-ionised water .......  NEVER! NEVER! NEVER!
ADD WATER TO THE ACID,
  Even doing it correctly, adding acid to the water, the water is heated up real quickly in the pour localised area so time should be taken. I see that today you can buy the battery acid already mixed at the correct ratios, so another bonus.

The last 20 years has seen some improvements on the holding containers and that any size of container can be made to order relatively cheaply.

Polypropylene is the material for the container and Polypropylene woven cloth is used for the socks, as i call them.

However getting the battery plates to self support when they are lead is the biggest issue.

Yes Tony i have used rolled lead from the builders merchants.  I was using Zinc sheet, France ban lead but allow zinc as a flashing for roofs etc, while in the UK lead sheet rules supreme. So raw materials are not a problem.

I decided to make a 2v cell with a total weight that was manageable by one Man/Woman, so about 60kg. For longevity of the battery the plates do not want to be resting/sitting on the bottom as sediment will soon build up and short them out.

Okay the Main design issues for a PLANTE.
   Lead plates re-rolled down to a thickness that is self supporting, then the plates need to be scratched/stiff wire brushed to increase the plate surface area and assist with the Oxide forming. However make the plates to thin then the battery life is reduced as the plates will eventually dissolve into mush. I go with 2mm thick.
   Plates need to be inserted into there polypropylene socks and dry stacked and then lead welded to Busbars.  Busbars need to be above the acid solution and far enough away from melting the polypropylene sock when being joined.
   The battery case needs a lot of thought so no shorting out occurs when the battery ages with sediment.  And supporting the internal weight with minimum contact.
   The battery needs thought about a sealed top so the acid will not spill out, but venting can be achieved.
   The battery plates should fill the case as much as possible so acid fluid is minimal.  

Okay my original analysis on my own PLANTE cells was that i only get about 1/3 of the amperage of a commercial battery of the same size.  But as i have already said the amperage improves as the battery gets worked.

Polypropylene woven cloth socks have changed the game for DIY battery making so get that sewing machine ready, as no more insulated comb separators required now days.  Although they maybe needed in the bottom to keep the plates away from the bottom.

I promised i would take the PLANTE design further for OFF GRID use, so another book is on its way, with 'HOW TO MAKE A LARGE PLANTE BATTERY'.

Officially retire in 3 years so this will be my next project.
Edited 2020-12-18 22:54 by Clockmanfr
Everything is possible, just give me time.

3 HughP's 3.7m Wind T's (12 years). 5kW PV on 3 Trackers, (8 yrs). 9kW PV AC coupled SH GTI's. OzInverter created Grid. 1300ah 48v.
 
jdevine82
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Posted: 01:03pm 18 Dec 2020
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Hi
Not trying to hijack thread just a suggestion of another type of battery that i have come across that does seem plausible to make on mass is the stationary zinc bromide battery. Kinda like a flow battery but uses specific gravity to separate active ingredients. I think it is possible for large scale diy, but a fair bit of testing would be needed. I think also a arduino or something would be needed as it needs to be discharged completely every so often to stop the build up of dendrites.
check out this guy who advises how a bit.
https://youtu.be/j75_mYwA_E8
jason
 
InPhase

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Joined: 15/12/2020
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Posted: 01:30pm 18 Dec 2020
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Making a battery vs. buying a battery depends heavily on how the materials are sourced. Obviously if buying the material ends up costing more, then you've only gained the experience, which is not insignificant, but maybe not the goal overall. If I can get the lead for free, then I think it might be a worthwhile effort. I haven't done the math (<--American for "maths") with bought scrap lead, but it may also be competitive. I would think a bulk metals supplier would also have good pricing on lead ingots. I don't know. I usually do more thinking on these kinds of things than I do doing these things....
 
Davo99
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Posted: 09:31pm 18 Dec 2020
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  Clockmanfr said  

Okay my original analysis on my own PLANTE cells was that i only get about 1/3 of the amperage of a commercial battery of the same size.


All Good information.

I guess the solution is as I suggested, just make the battery 3 times bigger. If the output improves with use, Bonus!

Of course with making it bigger then we also come back to what I mentioned, Cost, which would be the reason for taking the time effort and risk of making ones own in the first place.   Weight could be a problem too although the cells would be made individually and could then be combined and Installed insitu to make that easier.

The other thing which I always think is a significan't factor with LA batteries is scrap worth. Might have more difficulty selling a DIY battery than one would a commercial battery.

How have you been going since your Bout of China Flu Mate? Was it as terrible as the media makes out? You are still the only person I know of that has had it to get any real, first hand info from. I hope you are doing well.
 
Bryan1

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Posted: 10:03pm 18 Dec 2020
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Have you guys thought about ditching the acid and going the alkaline route, I have now converted 2 N70 12 batteries and both were a total success. When fully charged they sit on 14.5-15 volts and they will start my tractor no worries. I use one of them for the 12 volt fan on my listeriod and they just plain work.

The product used can be bought at the big green shed and it's pool floculant, make a saturated solution after the battery is totally clean.

Now to get rid of the acid just make a baking soda solution and add that to the drained battery, it will bubble away for a few days. Then drain it out, wash with rainwater a few times and make another solution. Keep repeating until no bubbles are evident and leave the soultion in for a few days to make sure.

Then once again wash out several times with rainwater then add the saturated alkaline solution. I just put the battery outside with 4 off 5 watt PV panels for a couple of months to get it to full charge.

The batteries once converted will hold the voltage over time aswell, I checked the voltage of my batteries which have been sitting for months  and they still show 13 volts.

now if one is making their own batteries why not try it out and you will be surprised just how good it is. Now the best part no corrosive acid to brake down over time and be a problem if it spills.

Cheers Bryan
 
Davo99
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Posted: 02:52am 19 Dec 2020
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One of the battery making Vids I watched used epsom salts as the electrolyte and there was also something that was used as a Fertiliser.  Guy mixed it up in a bucket of water with his hand.

He said that the reason they used sulphuric acid in batteries was because it was cheap and the battery companies could make it themselves in house.

Out of interest, Why does the acid need to be removed from the plates? Will the battery not work unless all the acid is removed with the new electrolyte  or is it just because you want to get rid of all traces of it?

Seems you could buy a new Battery Dry as I believe they come from the factory and fill it with ones solution of choice. A non corrosive electrolyte would be a boom in a lot of machinery.  seem a lot of damage done by leaking acid on tractors and other things.

Do all battery electrolytes cause Hydrogen to be off gassed? Id not, that would be worth it to me.  I have had 3 accidents where I exploded batterys now and it's no damn Fun.  Last one  I was just using a battery in circuit with a load and charging it from a n alternator and the thing let go when I wasn't even touching it.  Made a hell of a bang, I got cut from flying shrapnel and Covered in acid.  Thank got I was wearing sunglasses so it didn't go in my eyes.

I started to feel the acid burning me and my daughter looked the back door to see what the unusually loud blast was only to see me hurling myself into the pool in the middle of winter Fully clothed. She tho9ught I had been blown in there.  I wasn't wasting any time getting the acid off.

the battery was not overcharged as I was watching the voltage and amperage at the time and there were no loose connections causing a spark... apart from the fact the thing was outside in open air. I assume some sort of internal spark was created and that set the thing off.

The other times they let go was when I had one under a workbench and dropped a spanner which went across the terminals and caused a spark which also must have ignited the hydrogen ( I was charging it at the time) and the other one was in a vehicle while it was trying to be started and I was under the bonnet.
I was also present when a car that was being welded on at the rear ( New Muffler) had the battery let go under the bonnet. What a Mess that made. Took out the bonnet, a headlight, air flow sensor and air filter housing.

If there was an electrolyte that made Co2 instead of Hydrogen, that would be a big bonus to me.

The thing of charging a battery for a couple of months seems to be a big Drawback. Is that a requirement or just because of your panels low output? Wonder a panel of that small an amperage charges a decent size battery at all.
 
Warpspeed
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Posted: 05:18am 19 Dec 2020
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I am certainly no chemist.

But if you treat a lead acid battery gently it will not gas, and will not lose water, or ever need to be topped up.

Even distilled water will break down into hydrogen and oxygen by electrolysis if you apply enough voltage.

So, particularly with gell type sealed lead acid batteries, charge very gently.
If they are driven to the gassing point, they dry out, and are quickly stuffed.
Cheers,  Tony.
 
Clockmanfr

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Posted: 08:38am 19 Dec 2020
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Hi Dave099,

Me and my youngest age 14 now, have kept well away from everyone since March.

We got our taste buds back about 6 weeks ago, which is real nice as we try different cheeses etc.

My wine taste buds are still shot, and we both keep getting colds and breething is gungy, even though we see nobody.  My boy does not go to school since March and he is home schooled every day online, even so getting him out of his pit each day is a struggle. haha

I am now informed that the Covid virus has changed and we could catch the new variant.    My heart pressure is looked after by my local GP here in France, although i have not actually physically seen her since March, which is good.  

So just one trip to the supermarket once a week and a trip with the car and trailer to the builder merchants for supplies.

Allot of elderly folk around us have died or admitted to hospital, so folk here are real good and all wear masks all the time in Public places.  The Police with there random roadblocks have given up examining my paper work each time i go out, but now there is a curfew at night time.

Its the schools here that are the problem, my lads old school still have cases confirmed and elderly relatives hospitalised. But schools just carry on as nothing has happened, just plain bloody crazy!   Those education folk have to much authority, again its the individual teachers that are expected to implement way beyond there normal teaching!
Everything is possible, just give me time.

3 HughP's 3.7m Wind T's (12 years). 5kW PV on 3 Trackers, (8 yrs). 9kW PV AC coupled SH GTI's. OzInverter created Grid. 1300ah 48v.
 
Clockmanfr

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Posted: 09:11am 19 Dec 2020
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I only understand the PLANTE type.

2 lead plates separated by space or insulator,  15 to 1 sulphuric acid.  One plate will be positive the other negative.    NOTE In my experience its random which will be which.

Apply a charging voltage to what you want the Positive plate.  Then load the cell and discharge.  Each time you do this a oxide will form on the appropriate plate.
And repeat and the oxide coating gets better.

Roughing the plates helps the oxide to form/adhere.  

Commercial manufactures ready dry coat there plates with this oxide during the manufacturing process and this is normally in the plates mesh matrix.

Size of a 2v cell.   Then what i have found preliminary, the most cost effective build is a case of about 250 x 250mm x 700mm long. And i can stack about 40 plates inside, 20 negative 20 positive's.

Remember that the polypropylene home made sock material cloth is never consistent, so its a trick to keep the battery consistent.

Especially when for a 48v system you will need 24 batteries and each must have the same output in voltage and amperage.

Getting the plates in dry is a tight fit, but better to leave some slight play as the plates buckle slightly when in use.  Getting the battery apart when its been wet is very very hard without breaking the case.  Learnt the hard way!  

At that size expect the commercial battery boys to give 800ah to 1000ah, we get about 1/3rd of that say 300ah.

But over time that gets better as the oxide on the plates gets better.  Also if the lead sheet is thick then with decent charging regime then the battery can last decades.  
Commercial guys give the most minimal materials and the battery is designed to break down with age.   Where with the properly made PLANTE cell The battery just gets better.

Get the PLANTE battery right and you have a decent battery that will last nearly a life time.    

I believe that EXide are the only commercial battery maker that actually make a PLANTE battery. But not sure of the life span, especially looking at those thin lead sheets that they use.

I have been asked why is there no Commercial interest in manufacturing this type of PLANTE battery?    I just reply "Think about it".
Everything is possible, just give me time.

3 HughP's 3.7m Wind T's (12 years). 5kW PV on 3 Trackers, (8 yrs). 9kW PV AC coupled SH GTI's. OzInverter created Grid. 1300ah 48v.
 
InPhase

Regular Member

Joined: 15/12/2020
Location: United States
Posts: 58
Posted: 04:27pm 19 Dec 2020
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No battery manufacturer wants to make a battery that will last 20+ years. Instead they pack a bunch of thin pasted plates that can deliver tons of current for short periods into a case. They only last a couple of years as a starting battery and 4 or 5 years as a gently used energy storage battery. A Plante battery will be bigger and heavier for 1/3 or less of the amp hours of a commercial battery. But if it is maintained, it will just keep going and going. Being able to remove cells and open them fully is a plus in my book.

This battery type is not meant to compete with portable battery systems for traction or starting. It is a stationary "lighting plant" battery. In the early 1900s many manufacturers sold "farm plants" that consisted of a kerosene engine driving a 32 volt dynamo for rural lighting. On a rack nearby would be 16 glass jar cells forming a 32 volt battery. 100 to 300 amp hours was common. An upgraded option was for automatic start at a preset voltage. Delco was a well known brand in the US and many collectors prize them: http://delcolight.com/20.html
 
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