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Thread: Reconditioning Deep Cycle Batteries for WSHTF

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Reconditioning Deep Cycle Batteries for WSHTF

    Possible Recession/Depression Proof Green Business?

    Woke up this morning thinking, got to do something about the batteries for my solar and wind system. The batteries I have now were installed just before Y2K. They are 12 volt AGM- absorbed glass mat. Interstate Battery sold them then for $700 each and I have eight of them. (I didn’t pay that much, which is another story and business.)

    So am in process of researching if can be reconditioned. Initial search is mixed. Casings are in great shape, so if can‘t recondition, wondering if could rehabilitate them into lead acid? Don’t know much about the AGM’s, they kinda fell in my lap. Was a lead acid gal and Trojan deep cycle’s were my choice.

    There are lots of sites on how to recondition lead acid batteries, including manuals, equipment needed and supplies. Seems like I already have the basic equipment from what my initial search has found.

    http://http://www.chinadepot.com/batripod.html

    Wondering if could kill two birds with one stone again? Pre Y2K, sold solar, wind and batteries and installed simple 12v systems using Heart 1000 inverters. Possibly another business and solve my battery problem too?
    Keep the Shiny Side Up!

  2. #2
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    looks like good info!
    the only exception i see in your link is their "battery treatment". would be difficult to operate a long term SHTF business if your supplies cant be renewed locally.
    any idea from your research what can be substituted for expensive proprietary battery treatment chemicals?

    ::edit to add:: 10-15 years ago i worked in a garage owned by an old timer who told me that "way back when" he would hook batteries up to an old battery tester that allowed you to adjust the load. he said when put on the max load the batteries would discharge so fast that it removed the impurities on the cells and made the batteries like new again. he added that the old batteries were different so this may not work with modern batteries. or it may i dont know
    Last edited by LuzRD; 11-22-2009 at 10:23 AM.

  3. #3
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    LuzRD said:

    ::edit to add:: 10-15 years ago i worked in a garage owned by an old timer who told me that "way back when" he would hook batteries up to an old battery tester that allowed you to adjust the load. he said when put on the max load the batteries would discharge so fast that it removed the impurities on the cells and made the batteries like new again. he added that the old batteries were different so this may not work with modern batteries. or it may i dont know

    Think this is what your are talking about. Sulphation is a constant threat to batteries that are not fully re-charged. A layer of lead sulphate can form in these cells and inhibit the electro-chemical reaction that allows you to charge/discharge batteries. Many batteries can be saved from the recycling heap if they are Equalized In closing, the design life of a battery depends in part on its construction, its type, the thickness of the plates, its charging profiles, etc. All these factors come together to determine just how long your battery may ultimately serve you.

    Equalization
    Sulphation layers form barrier coats on the lead plates in batteries that inhibit their ability to store and dispense energy. The equalization step is a last resort to break up the Sulphate layers using a controlled overcharge. The process will cause the battery electrolyte to boil and gas, so it should be only done under strict supervision and with the proper precautions.

    It is much more tricky to equalize a VRLA battery than a flooded battery with removable caps. However it apparently can be done as described at the Ample Power web site. Since I do not have the space here to describe the Equalization process in detail, I'd consult some of the links on the index page instead.

    This site does an excellant job explaining lead acid, if you are in the business - skip it as it's basics.

    http://www.vonwentzel.net/Battery/00.Glossary/

    Had similiar experience as this guy- and his replacement batteries from the Trojans to VLRA AGM'd were the ones I was selling in my solar business - The ones I'm using my supplier happened to have on the shelf and was too close to mfg expiration date to sell to dealer so I got for a song and dance.

    http://www.wagonmaker.com/newbatt.html

    Still on the reconditioning research.
    Keep the Shiny Side Up!

  4. #4
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    http://www.mpoweruk.com/chargers.htm


    * Pulsed charge Pulsed chargers feed the charge current to the battery in pulses. The charging rate (based on the average current) can be precisely controlled by varying the width of the pulses, typically about one second. During the charging process, short rest periods of 20 to 30 milliseconds, between pulses allow the chemical actions in the battery to stabilise by equalising the reaction throughout the bulk of the electrode before recommencing the charge. This enables the chemical reaction to keep pace with the rate of inputting the electrical energy. It is also claimed that this method can reduce unwanted chemical reactions at the electrode surface such as gas formation, crystal growth and passivation. (See also Pulsed Charger below). If required, it is also possible to sample the open circuit voltage of the battery during the rest period.



    The optimum current profile depends on the cell chemistry and construction.



    * Burp charging Also called Reflex or Negative Pulse Charging Used in conjunction with pulse charging, it applies a very short discharge pulse, typically 2 to 3 times the charging current for 5 milliseconds, during the charging rest period to depolarise the cell. These pulses dislodge any gas bubbles which have built up on the electrodes during fast charging, speeding up the stabilisation process and hence the overall charging process. The release and diffusion of the gas bubbles is known as "burping". Controversial claims have been made for the improvements in both the charge rate and the battery lifetime as well as for the removal of dendrites made possible by this technique. The least that can be said is that "it does not damage the battery".




    http://www.electronics-lab.com/proje...036/index.html

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    LuzRD says:

    the only exception i see in your link is their "battery treatment". would be difficult to operate a long term SHTF business if your supplies cant be renewed locally.
    "battery treatment is:
    magnesium sulfate -Epsom salts!!!

    http://www.ehow.com/how_4853344_reco...d-battery.html

    How to Recondition a Lead Acid Battery
    eHow Contributing Writer w D Adkins

    If you have an automotive or other lead-acid battery that isn't working properly, you may be able to recondition it. Lead-acid batteries decline in performance most often because sulfur accumulates on the lead plates of the battery, corroding them and blocking electric current flow. The good news is that you can often use a common household chemical, magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) to recondition a lead-acid battery. If you follow the proper procedure, the magnesium sulfate will remove the sulfur and restore the battery to normal operating condition....

    I'm also finding sites that recondition more then lead acid batteries. In SHTF - many of our prepper stuff depend on batteries of some type and it would be good to know and have supplies to recondition them for our own benefit and barter.

    I'm coming to a conclusion on what may be best case for me regarding batteries for my set up. Tune in later for some websites I'm using to do that.
    Keep the Shiny Side Up!

  6. #6
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    I started out on this thread not knowing batteries could be reconditioned by desulfating three or four times for additional use by two methods. Battery treatments using magnesium sulfate or tetrasodium EDTA and battery chargers that have desulfating abilities. There are chargers with built in desulfating reconditioning, along with their charging duties, and dedicated units as in the pulse type. (Thank you Dubyagee for putting me on the pulse track.)

    The Achilles heel to off grid power is storage. No where did I find in the research that batteries needed for alternative energy could be stocked or shelved for a rainy day. They go bad and become useless. You can put a trickle charge to them, but without the charge and discharge cycle, they still will not last long term. So they are not an item you can stock up on unless you find a place that sells empty cases and buy electrolyte separate. (Found some empty cases overseas and electrolyte is about $6 for two quarts. If you find some cases, would be very interested.)

    My wind generator is a 403 Windseeker - early model without the micro processor. It is way past the 10 year warranty, but it is like I just took it out of the box. For Y2K had updated panels to 100 watts of which I have 5. This year, I put the last two of my 20 year old 45 watt panels on my son’s RV and they too were in very good condition. Batteries didn't fare so well. Have gone through several sets over the years. My first year here in Colorado, we had an exceptional long freeze and so did the battery bank. I’ve tried ones you must maintain, maintenance free, gels, and AGM’s - those are the latest, best and longest to hold up at 10 years now for me.

    So, if it was not a SHTF situation, I would do something different, but because my plans are for unknown future events and supply, this is what I‘m thinking. Back to basics. The box type fork lift batteries are the heartiest of the lead acid type. On the up side, they have the thickest plates and durability and on the down side are the heaviest. They handle discharges and charging well. I’ve used this battery before and found they like a heavy load. As I had two 8D’s, with my living style had to work hard to drain them down some to keep them healthy. Lights on 24/7 - kept crock pots on when not cooking, heating water. Being lead acid will need to monitor, and maintain, which given the anticipated events, I believe a plus. There lifespan is up to ten years, but with the ability to desulfate and recondition expect they will serve for quite some time.

    The top of the line is Crown and they go for $6,000 (an Arizona solar company has them on sale for $4500) NOT in my budget - Interstate Batteries carries 8D‘s for about $200 each. Four would be something I could realistically handle financially and from previous experience cover my current energy needs with a little left over.

    Vector Smart battery chargers come with desulfators on their higher end chargers - $85 and up - but they include micro chips. For my personal use, just love solar so, I’m putting a Solargizer 735X130 IS-12-L Desulfator at $82 on my Christmas list. The company below carry several types of pulse desulfators and chargers.

    http://www.chargingchargers.com/puls...FRPyDAodHTyPmw

    Magnesium sulfate is Epsom Salt

    Tetrasodium EDTA It’s used in cosmetics and MRI’s and by some higher end motorcycle battery mfr - more life to the battery. $15 a pound -see alton moore web for supplier or check local.

    http://www.deathstar.org/~flash/edta.html blog on topic and

    http://www.alton-moore.net/index.html more on reconditioning batteries, tetrasodium EDTA and building your own Desulfator. (Also check out his homemade windmill with diagrams)

    Also, like his version of reconditioning because he allows for turning the battery over and emptying it, flushing, and the EDTA seems to take longer to clean, but does a better job. You can also choose to add new electrolyte.

    Distilled Water is recommended for battery maintenance - This one is $99 and I use it daily. Compact and easy to use and OH! And It has a buddy, Mr. Distiller for those hot toddy moments and I use it daily. Ah, no didn‘t mean that!.
    http://waterdistiller.com/distiller-water/
    Last edited by AunteeMz; 11-25-2009 at 10:12 AM. Reason: adding to alton
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  7. #7
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    Auntee I use a de-sulfator on my solar system from www.batterylifesaver.com...... My batteries are deep cycle Everride Maxx-29. I have had them in my bank since 1996. No problems so far. .. offgrid.

  8. #8
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    Good to know - thanks for the information
    Keep the Shiny Side Up!

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