Jump to content

Battery experiment advice


cvzyl
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi guys

I decided that, despite my aversion to batteries, I'd like to do some more experimentation with batteries. More specifically I'd like to do the following:

  • Make use of used LA batteries
  • Build banks of 48V and cycle them lightly - 15-20% DoD

The batteries I can get hold of are either 8V or 12V. The 8V's are 170Ah while the 12V are 150Ah. On a capacity basis I would prefer the 8V batteries. On a weigh basis (I'll be paying per kg) the two banks weigh roughly the same on a Ah/kg basis so not much difference there. So although the 12V's have less apacity the bank is also lighter so on a R/Ah basis it will be roughly equal.

However, charging 8V's are a problem. Using them in a 48V bank does not make a difference to the inverter but if I would like to charge them individually the charging equipment for 8V is scarce as far as I know - I've never actually seen an 8V charger. I also have battery balancers but they are for 12V batteries, I doubt if they will work with 8V.

So, which do I pick? Would also appreciate some pointers on good information on testing of batteries and good lead acid battery maintenance information.

Thanks

C

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jip, nothing ever is easy, 8v pro/cons versus 12v pro/cons.

Off the top of my head, if you are experimenting, go for 12v for it is easier and you have the equipment already to handle each batt.

Not homing in on any specific brand, for they all may have little caveats, all the general in-depth info you may need is here: http://batteryuniversity.com/

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks TTT

Batteries will be Trojans regardless of whether they are 8V or 12V.

As I've said before, I dislike batteries as their cost of operation does not make sense but if I can get the batteries at scrap price, use them for a year or two maybe, and then once they die sell them at scrap price again they shouldn't cost me much?

C

Link to comment
Share on other sites

47 minutes ago, cvzyl said:

... use them for a year or two maybe, and then once they die sell them at scrap price again they shouldn't cost me much?

If you have access, it is the way to go.

Once you have ascertained that it is exactly what you want / need, and the source dries up, then you buy new and be done with the new batts lasting you 10+ years at 20% DOD.

What do you get them for? PM me if it is private for I may be interested in the 12v range also, being easier with smaller systems, one batt instead of 2.

Trojan gives voltages per model for bulk, absorb and float.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, cvzyl said:

Thanks TTT

Batteries will be Trojans regardless of whether they are 8V or 12V.

As I've said before, I dislike batteries as their cost of operation does not make sense but if I can get the batteries at scrap price, use them for a year or two maybe, and then once they die sell them at scrap price again they shouldn't cost me much?

C

I just want to know where you're getting Trojans at scrap prices. I thought I had a foot in the door locally, I know a battery supplier who services a lot of golf carts (there're a whole lot of very rich people in the Helderberg area who play a lot of golf). Something changed though, it seems even rich people with golf carts now drive them until the batteries are absolutely dead... and whatever comes out slightly usable is no longer sold at affordable prices :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't play golf but got to know a guy with contacts at the local golf clubs.

I have no idea whether they are still "slightly usable", he said that he can test for dead cells, but that's about it. I'm looking at it as an experiment, bank of 8 batteries will cost me less than R3k, worth the risk plus it's something new to tinker with. This damn Infini requires absolutely no managing or monitoring, I'm getting bored. Time for something new to play with.

Anybody know of companies that buys scrap batteries in Cape Town area? Once the experiment "ends" I need to dispose of the evidence...

C

Link to comment
Share on other sites

53 minutes ago, plonkster said:

Something changed though, it seems even rich people with golf carts now drive them until the batteries are absolutely dead... and whatever comes out slightly usable is no longer sold at affordable prices :-

Economy must then indeed be extracting its toll at all levels. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh dear... Land Rover jokes, anyone?

Why does the Discovery have a rear window demister? To keep your hands warm.

What do you do if you're out in your Defender and run into wild animals? Stop pushing and hide in the car!

I have a wind-up paperweight in the shape of a Defender on my table. If I wind it up, it leaks oil for 2 minutes.

A Land Rover remains the best vehicle for Africa. If it breaks down on the road, you merely have to walk a few meters towards the nearest wreck to find spare parts.

Of all the Land Rovers built in history, 90% are still on the road. The other 10% made it to their destination.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

plonkster, I am used to the jokes. My brother is a very serious Toyota and Land Cruiser fan and he always has a lot to say about my LR. 

But, between his two Land Cruiser bakkies and 2 VX's he's had to replace the top, gearbox and torque converter. My LR has never been opened...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The prevailing opinion among friends are that if you are going to some far-off place, take the Cruiser. If it's a local event, take the Land Rover. Land Rover parts are cheaper.

I'm in the cruiser camp because I'm in the Toyota Camp. Personally, I don't think I could ever justify the cost of a Land Cruiser. In most cases, a Hilux will go there too and is a lot more flexible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

43 minutes ago, cvzyl said:

2 VX's he's had to replace the top

That's not perhaps the 1KZ-TE engine? I know some of the earlier VX models came with that engine (as did the Hilux) and in many ways I'm still not quite sure what Toyota was thinking with the 1KZ engine. When everyone else was fitting direct injection Turbo Diesels, Toyota made a last-ditch effort to use an old design and came out with the 3-liter naturally aspirated indirect injection (aka precombustion chambers) Diesel bakkie. Adding a Turbo and electronic speed control (the -TE) just hardly made it acceptable. The 1KZ-TE had quite a bit of head failures. My father has one of those: He had a broken valve guide on his. The 1KZ-TE, being indirect injection, also isn't particularly fuel efficient.

Now the 1KD and the 2KD... those are beautiful engines... except that they still have a timing belt and not a chain :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nope, it's the Cruiser SW's, he's got a 100 series with a straight 6 4.2l diesel if I recall correctly (that one had the gearbox and torque converter issues) and then he's got a 200 VX with the V8 diesel - no failures yet, still too early. His older Cruiser bakkie had the top problem at 160k km's.
My LR is on 280k km's, no problems. (Except adding oil :D)

The KZ-TE engines were used in the Hilux and Prado, a very poor engine if you ask me. Thirsty and not particularly powerful or reliable.

C

Link to comment
Share on other sites

42 minutes ago, cvzyl said:

The KZ-TE engines were used in the Hilux and Prado, a very poor engine if you ask me. Thirsty and not particularly powerful or reliable.

True. I get confused, because there is also a Prado VX. No idea what engine that one has.

I would not say the 1KZ-TE was a poor engine. I think the failures, as a percentage of the number of engines out there, still rate in the single digits. BUT... this was definitely somewhat un-Toyota-like.

Still wondering about the 1AD though (the 2 liter Diesel used in the Avensis, some Corollas, some RAV-4s). Read a few horror stories from people overseas. Haven't heard a single complaint locally. The Brits are rather fond of its cousin, the 1CD, used in Taxis. I hope I'm in good hands... or I'm going to cry hard and long :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Ok guys, I am now the proud owner of 8 x well used T-1275 Plus batteries. I must say the Trojan's are definitely in a different class to my current batteries, very heavy and solid. But I can see that they've had a tough life so will have to see how the experiment turns out.

So I'm looking for all the Trojan experts out there. I am busy charging each battery individually using a CTek charger before I connect them in a bank. But since my Infini cannot go to the voltages required to equalise (64.8V) I need to make another plan. Can anyone recommend standalone chargers that can do this?

Thanks

C

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am unable to find charging devices that can go as high as 64.8V, even looked at MPPT chargers. @plonkster & @TTT, can the Victron equipment go this high? I had a look at the spec sheets of some of their equipment and they also seem to top out at around 59-60V. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, cvzyl said:

I am unable to find charging devices that can go as high as 64.8V, even looked at MPPT chargers. @plonkster & @TTT, can the Victron equipment go this high? I had a look at the spec sheets of some of their equipment and they also seem to top out at around 59-60V. 

Jip, you can program separate charge controllers to the batts requirements.

IF, and I say IF you go down this route, we will help to make sure you get the right model, and I say IF before we get derailed again. ;)

To demonstrate that proper high amp battery chargers cost a small fortune, and tend not to have equalization functions, see more ideas here: http://www.ledsales.co.za/store/department/61/AC-to-DC-Battery-Chargers

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Louw and TTT for your offer of assistance. I have no problem buying Victron, I'll buy whatever can do the job.

One problem with an MPPT is that I would have to connect panels to it. As I intend still using my panels with the Infini inverter that would be a schlep to switch around once a month when I want to equalize. Does Victron (or someone else) offer 48V chargers that would be able to equalize up to 65V?

Only other alternative would be to go for the smallest available MPPT and buy the minimum amount of panels. They will only be used for equalizing once a month.

C

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@cvzyl to save me some time, that I can suggest a controller:
Volts coming in from panels?
Amps coming in form panels?
Future expansion planned?
Do you want a LED display, or not, on controller? 

You may need to buy a cable to program the unit or it can come pre-programmed for you.

EDIT: Made a alteration to the post.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, cvzyl said:

Ok guys, I am now the proud owner of 8 x well used T-1275 Plus batteries. I must say the Trojan's are definitely in a different class to my current batteries, very heavy and solid. But I can see that they've had a tough life so will have to see how the experiment turns out.

So I'm looking for all the Trojan experts out there. I am busy charging each battery individually using a CTek charger before I connect them in a bank. But since my Infini cannot go to the voltages required to equalise (64.8V) I need to make another plan. Can anyone recommend standalone chargers that can do this?

Thanks

C

Cobus what ctek charger do you have? Some of them can do 15.8v recondition and according to the datasheet for the batts they only need 15.5 for eq
http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/datasheets/T1275Plus_Trojan_Data_Sheets.pdf
Since you have the infini you can just isolate the batts from the inverter and do them one by one using AC supply from your inverter(PV)
The ctek also comes in a 24v version if you need that, should be a lot cheeper than getting a whole different solar charge setup

Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

@cvzyl to save me some time, that I can suggest a controller:
Volts coming in from panels?
Amps coming in form panels?
Future expansion planned?
Do you want a LED display, or not, on controller? 

You may need to buy a cable to program the unit or it can come pre-programmed for you.

EDIT: Made a alteration to the post.

 

TTT, I don't have any intention of using this setup for anything but battery equalisation. My current panels are 12x250W Antaris panels, Voc 37V each and Vop 30V. They are wired in one string of 12 in series.

Because it will be used for equalisation only I don't need anything fancy on them, just a button to start equalisation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought about it.

Panels must NEVER be disconnected when there is a load currently being drawn.

You would need to swap at night to get full use from panels that day?
Disconnect panels from Infini, connect them to controller.
Wait till the controller is done, can take a whole day, definitely a few hours.
Disconnect panels from controller, connect them to Infini.

How do you picture yourself changing the panels from inverter to charge controller and back?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...