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Forum Index : Wanted : Batteries

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renewableMark

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Joined: 09/12/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 1280
Posted: 10:53pm 09 Dec 2017
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Hi fellas, I'm on the hunt for some batteries.
I saw some ex phone exchange ones for $80 each, they were super safe 100ah about 4 years old.
Just wondering if anyone knows of some better deals around?

Cheers Mark
 
brucedownunder2
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Joined: 14/09/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1315
Posted: 09:45pm 29 Dec 2017
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Hi Mark ,

I got a couple of good big 155 Ah sealed type from the Nerang scrap metal depot.

They are still fairly good for us "scroungers" ,as long as you wear boots ,you can scratch around for lots of things -

Fairly cheap , they exchange dead batts for whatever is available(it's up to you to decide ) for around $40. so thats not bad , the couple I picked up are ex telstra and were tossed out along with some dead ones ,so have to take your multimeter.

I found that if any are around 12-13 volts they are worth a gamble. the rest are all down around 6-9 ,.some here will disagree with that bush method ,but she works for me.

Bruce
Bushboy
 
renewableMark

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Joined: 09/12/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 1280
Posted: 02:28am 30 Dec 2017
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Thanks for the reply Bruce,
I decided to get an 800-1000ah 48v forklift bank, be around $3-4k depending on final size I decide on.
I had the cash set aside for batteries but the AC and computer needed replacing so I'll have to put it off for a month or three, hopefully, the new year business will be busy again, but many people go on holidays and Jan is dead.
Have to build the ozinverter yet anyway, no rush.

Cheers Mark
 
Madness

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Joined: 08/10/2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 2421
Posted: 10:08pm 12 Jan 2018
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The 775AH forklift battery I got from Ciel has been working quite well, there was one cell that was down though and did fail but they delivered a replacement to me and all is good now.
There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.
 
BenandAmber
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Joined: 16/02/2019
Location: United States
Posts: 727
Posted: 01:19am 04 May 2019
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Renewablemark did you end up getting you a forklift battery

I see Madness has got one

I read somewhere that I may only get like three hundred Cycles out of my batteries so maybe only about a year

So I am curious about other types of batteries

so I don't make the same mistake again but I did get these batteries very cheap


They are 10-year batteries

but only made two cycle very few times in that 10 years

they're back up batteries for power failure just long enough for the generator to start up

I've read somewhere that I may be able to drill holes in these batteries and add water and make them last a lot longer

so I'm very interested in anything to do with batteries on the cheap if any of you Pros have any suggestions please share them
 
brucedownunder2
Guru

Joined: 14/09/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1315
Posted: 01:57am 04 May 2019
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Ben and Amber,

I've had and still got working Valve regulated lead acid batteries for around 15-20 years ,some of them I've thrown out ,because they slowly died.

So, I think you will be happy with your purchase, if you treat them nicely ..

Mine all "fell off a truck" ,but ,thats another story.

Bruce
Bushboy
 
BenandAmber
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Joined: 16/02/2019
Location: United States
Posts: 727
Posted: 02:10am 04 May 2019
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Wow that is incredible do you have any post on how you take care of your batteries
 
brucedownunder2
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Joined: 14/09/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1315
Posted: 03:37am 04 May 2019
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My banks ,3 of them , are all the same brand and Ah type ,so thats first recommendation , . then because of this I can cycle between the banks to give each a similar work time and watch their voltage-even though you may see very slight voltage drop .

apart from that ,I just feel with the palm of my hand along the fronts of the batt cases, you will notice any diff in temp ,the palm of your hand is very sensitive to temp,I've found. when I found one that was warmer ,I disconnected it and are enough , the voltage dropped fast. So--the Ol hand trick is fairly sure of something going wrong.

mine are small banks, around 200-300 Ah. -I have a battery control switch board that has those big red battery switches you see in boats on it -so I can isolate or parallel banks whenever.

( I once connected up a bank mistakenly with 3x12V ,INSTEAD OF THE USUAL 4x12V for a few hours.(48 VOLT bank)
so it was charging into 36 volts?
YOU'LL SOON KNOW, BECAUSE MY ROOM ,WHEN I OPENED THE SLIDING DOOR TO IT ,SMELLED OF THIS ACID TYPE SMELL ,AND ,OF COURSE ,I disconnected them immediately and found my mistake-that was just a couple of hours..
No apparent damage was done ..thankfully .)

Bruce
Bushboy
 
Boppa
Guru

Joined: 08/11/2016
Location: Australia
Posts: 753
Posted: 04:49am 04 May 2019
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The life expectancy depends very much on how deep you discharge them each time, I had a huge bank of exTelecom batteries that lasted well over ten years when I lost track of them after moving interstate, I had them for the first five years, and they never got below 80% charged (ie I used 20% overnight at most, usually less) and after 10 years they seemed still pretty much at full capacity...
I also had a single 120ahr lead acid I used for my first camping battery in the ute, which hit the voltage cutoff every night on the fridge, and after just under two years of once a week/fortnight of usage, was so down on capacity it was unable to run the fridge for more a couple of hours- when it was replaced I actually refitted two instead, they lasted about eight years

So yeah the depth of the discharge is a major killer
 
BenandAmber
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Joined: 16/02/2019
Location: United States
Posts: 727
Posted: 02:55am 05 May 2019
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Boppa and Brucedownunder2 thank you guys for your advice

Have you guys ever heard of adding distilled water

or battery acid 2 AGM batteries that are maintenance free

basically Telecom batteries like boppa was talking about
 
brucedownunder2
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Joined: 14/09/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1315
Posted: 03:07am 05 May 2019
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Yes, and No... I think you could do a search of the forum way back a few years ,I'm fairly sure there was a lengthy discussion on rejuenating AGM'S (ABSORBED GLASS MATT) types. I tried lifting the valve off and pouring a bit of distilled water in one , but gave up -it was just too dangerous (ACID).

but ,have a search and see if you can find the postings.

back to my ladder, and panels..gee , my old legs are not what they used to be ,lol.

Bruce

Bushboy
 
Boppa
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Joined: 08/11/2016
Location: Australia
Posts: 753
Posted: 04:22am 05 May 2019
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These were pre-agm's Telecom batteries, flooded L/A (complete with auto watering system)

Yeah adding water to acid is dangerous, as it can boil and spit back out at you- it's always acid to water (doing it the other way can actually get to the boiling point of water in less than a minute with equal amounts of water and acid!)

Years ago when I was an apprentice we got to do the battery fills where I worked, which was less than pleasant- you literally ended up with your clothes being rags at the end of the day... (we were supposed to get 'acid resistant ' clothes, but they were always out of stock lol, so we went to Vinnies!!!)
We had to dilute the supplied acid 10:1 with water before putting it in the batteries, so it was strong stuff indeed- full respirators and goggles were mandatory, and we had 'filling stations' for each battery (massive things about 70cm high, 30cm wide and 20 cm across) and you filled the premix (ie diluted down to 'standard car battery acid strength' in special glass containers with thermometers, and there was a clock, you wrote the time down on the glass for each level of dilution and waited the correct time, checked the temp, and if it was acceptable, add the next amount...

These days you probably wouldn't even get away with what we were doing without a full 'spacesuit' kit etc

ETA one thing that would be safer, would be adding extra acid mix to it, you can buy 'battery acid' in bulk, don't know about smaller amounts- as batteries are usually shipped 'dry' and filled onsite (or were)
If you mix, diluted to the same level as the batteries existing electrolyte, it would be (relatively) safe to pour straight into the battery....Edited by Boppa 2019-05-06
 
BenandAmber
Guru

Joined: 16/02/2019
Location: United States
Posts: 727
Posted: 04:38am 05 May 2019
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Okay I will keep my eye out for some acid the batteries are new right now but after I use them for 6 months to a year I was planning on maybe trying to do this to make them last longer
 
brucedownunder2
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Joined: 14/09/2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1315
Posted: 04:39am 05 May 2019
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Hi Boppa and others interested,

A story of when I was working in PNG (thats a jungle joint up the road from Oz ..

Anyhow , microwave radio hut , installing solar power for the radio..

We had this French idiot working with us and believe it or not I found him and his mate (also a Frog) , using a gas torch to lead burn the connecting links to huge 2 volt batteries.

Disaster was sure to happen-- they did cover the batteries with wet hessian bags ,but the bloody batteries were hooked up to the solar and charging at 48 volts . Well ,yep, you guessed right --BANG .. bloody glass (the batt cases were glass) , acid and molten lead exploded everywhere.

Anyhow , me and a couple other guys picked this guy up and dunked him in the water tank next to the shed-thank God there was plenty of water .(Rains every hour in PNG ),

end of story , we packed him up with the first aid kit and one of the missionaries came to the rescue and finished the job(patching him that is)..

He learn't a very important lesson that day -- Oh, no hospital or anything like that ,this was in the jungle, helicopter only transport.

Bruce


Bushboy
 
Boppa
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Joined: 08/11/2016
Location: Australia
Posts: 753
Posted: 07:08am 05 May 2019
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We never used the gas torch lol

But we did use to do 'terminal post reforming' on the batteries at times, but that was done with batteries that had been offcharge for a good period(memory it was 24hrs?maybe 48hrs?) and we used the 'carbon rod' and jumperlead method (except that wasn't allowed, no jumpers were allowed at all in the battery area, we had a special lead made up with a sealed oilbath knife switch and a battery terminal that had to be fitted to the other post of the battery...

You fitted the steel form over the remains of the post, filled it with lead balls(I suspect they were tiny fishing sinkers lol) about 3mm in diameter, put the carbon rod into mix and pushed the switch lever down, after a few seconds of current being applied, you started swirling the rod around and topping up the mold with more lead balls until it was full to the top, kill the power, pull the rod and and swipe with a knife to give a clean 'top' to the post...

Wait a couple of minutes and pull the form off- bingo, one new shiny battery post...
 
renewableMark

Guru

Joined: 09/12/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 1280
Posted: 07:08am 05 May 2019
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  BenandAmber said   Renewablemark did you end up getting you a forklift battery
...............


Yes I did mate, 630Ah 48v, seems to be plenty for our needs.

If you want something for your RV don't forget you can't use the flooded type as they expel gas when being charged, and actually a little under load.
Cheers Caveman Mark
Off grid eastern Melb
 
BenandAmber
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Joined: 16/02/2019
Location: United States
Posts: 727
Posted: 07:12am 05 May 2019
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After that story there's an image burned into my brain

I don't think I will ever forget to make sure a battery is not charging before having any kind of Flame around it

you never told us what happened to the Frog
 
BenandAmber
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Joined: 16/02/2019
Location: United States
Posts: 727
Posted: 07:26am 05 May 2019
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I have taken the 3-cylinder diesel generator out

Out of the its bay to make room for batteries charge controller and inverter

This Bay is vented I'm not sure if I would have to use non-vented batteries or not

but after the story from above I better be checking into it

I know the very back smallest Bay has three very large batteries 4 starting the bus

The bays are huge you could fit a washer and dryer side by side in them and it is 8 ft wide or deep what ever you would call itEdited by BenandAmber 2019-05-06
 
renewableMark

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Joined: 09/12/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 1280
Posted: 09:16am 05 May 2019
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They produce hydrogen gas (which rises). (and goes Kabooooom)

They also produce a mist from the electrolyte evaporating and it's slightly acidic.
If that's in a luggage compartment of your bus then it will eat away at the metal unless you pay very good attention to venting.

I fitted a hood over the top of mine made from core flute plastic stuff. Signs are often made from this.
Then fitted a fan to extract the gasses, mine runs out the top of the garage roof.
here Edited by renewableMark 2019-05-06
Cheers Caveman Mark
Off grid eastern Melb
 
BenandAmber
Guru

Joined: 16/02/2019
Location: United States
Posts: 727
Posted: 01:54am 06 May 2019
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Renewablemark

That is a very good idea
I'm really worried about it

I think I will do something very similar in the bus

my family is going to be in this bus

that would not be good if something blew up or acidic gas

I'm trying to run any of my concerns past you guys

I can't think of everything I'm not educated enough to think of everything

So thank you for taking your time to help me and my family be a little bit safer

Edited by BenandAmber 2019-05-07
 
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