Battery Maintenance and Inspection

squelcheasquelchea Registered Users Posts: 5 ✭✭
Greetings !

Battery details : 12 OPzS solar.power 2170 , 2V 2170 Ah C100 , Hoppecke

 some batteries are an mm away from the low level mark

my questions are : 1. for topping: should i used electrolyte or distilled/purified water ?
2. is it safe to topp while the system is energized or should we de energize first prior on topping up ?

TIA 
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Comments

  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,820 ✭✭✭✭

    Good day,

    Top up ONLY with Distilled Water.   Do so carefully.   Ideally you might want to use a face shield,   or at least safety glasses to protect your eyes.

    Usually,  it is best to add the water during fairly early in the Absorb stage to help mix the added Distilled Water with the electrolyte.

    If some cells are very low,  it is probably a good idea to add some water as soon as you can,   regardless of the charge stage.   If the batteries are new,  the above suggestion of adding water during Absorb is not so necessary ...

    There is no problem in doing this water addition while the system is in operation.

    Vic

    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • SolraySolray Registered Users Posts: 246 ✭✭
    Distilled water.
  • mcgivormcgivor Registered Users Posts: 1,347 ✭✭✭✭
    Hoppecke has some very detailed information available in pdf form with regards to the installation, commissioning and maintenance of their products, I did research into this in the past, but have since deleted the files, the basic information already stated about adding distilled water and not electrolyte is valuable information.
      1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider 150 60 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 8×T105 GC 24V nominal 

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,683 ✭✭✭✭
    A couple of additional thoughts... I keep a box of baking soda and some water nearby to neutralize any acid that gets loose, and I avoid doing maintenance while the batteries are bubbling in absorb. I generally check SGs, add water, etc while the banks are floating.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,951 admin
    Do not fill to the top mark in the cell a cold battery that is about to be recharged. The combination of rising battery temperature (expansion) and oxygen/hydrogen bubbles being trapped under plates and such--You can get electrolyte pushed out of the cell and on top of the battery.

    Generally only fill a cold battery about 1/2 full and check after charging to see if water is still needed.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,683 ✭✭✭✭
    Good point about overfilling cold batteries. I'm curious about how much heating others see during charging. Mine normally only go up by around 2-3°C. Started out early this morning around 17C at ~80%SOC, just about done bulk now and at 19.4C.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,951 admin
    Most of the heating (poor charging efficiency) happens around 90%+ state of charge. One link suggests that Lead Acid batteries are ~60% efficient > 80% State of charge.

    Of course during equalization, charging is near 0% efficient and something like 50% of the energy goes into heating (the rest into Hydrogen/Oxygen gas generation).

    While you can recharge a Lead Acid battery at 20% rate of charge (or higher) when less than 80% SoC, Even a 2% rate of charge can overheat and damage a LA battery at 100% SoC (equalization charging is typically 2.5-5% rate of charge based on battery bank's 20 Hour AH rating/capacity).

    Any lead acid battery that takes 2% rate of charge when in float should be replaced as there is a risk of fire in the long term. Also, check the float voltage (may be too high/charge controller voltage control failure).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • SolraySolray Registered Users Posts: 246 ✭✭
    BB. said:
    Do not fill to the top mark in the cell a cold battery that is about to be recharged. The combination of rising battery temperature (expansion) and oxygen/hydrogen bubbles being trapped under plates and such--You can get electrolyte pushed out of the cell and on top of the battery.

    Generally only fill a cold battery about 1/2 full and check after charging to see if water is still needed.

    -Bill
    1/2 full?? really, I'd think you would at least want the plates to be submerged fully.
  • MangasMangas Solar Expert Posts: 539 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2017 #10
    Keep baking soda eye wash nearby.

    Safety glasses and rubber gloves over forearm.

    Distilled water using an automotive type water filler.  Bulb baster to adjust as needed.

    I keep a plastic hinged mirror to double check the hard to reach and filled cells.

    Next battery cycle is in few years. May substitute the new longer lasting, lower maintenance Trojan AGMs' subject to cost.

    I try to top off our large banks about three times a year. Periodically, sample banks' SOC with a glass hydrometer rinsing with distilled water after use.

    When topping up cells and sampling SOC/SG, I keep a handwritten notebook, time of day, outside temp and sky condition, house thermostats settings and total amount of distilled water used. I sample SOC/SG before topping up banks and then recheck the sample cells a few days later.



    Ranch Off Grid System & Custom Home: 2 x pair stacked Schneider XW 5548+ Plus inverters (4), 2 x Schneider MPPT 80-600 Charge Controllers, 2 Xanbus AGS Generator Start and Air Extraction System Controllers, 64 Trojan L16 REB 6v 375 AH Flooded Cel Batteries w/Water Miser Caps, 44 x 185 Sharp Solar Panels, Cummins Onan RS20 KW Propane Water Cooled Genset, ICF House Construction, 2 x High Efficiency Variable Speed three ton Central A/C 220v compressors, 2 x Propane furnaces, 2 x Variable Speed Air Handlers, 2 x HD WiFi HVAC Zoned System Controllers
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,951 admin
    Lead acid battery plates should never be exposed to air.

    1/2 full means the space above the plates.

    Empty is water level where the plates are just about to be exposed. Full is the full marker of the battery cell. ( the inch or so of water space above the plates).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,683 ✭✭✭✭
    I have trouble judging relative fullness through the small fill holes. As far as I can tell, there are no marks. I just try to wiggle a light around and try to fill to about 1/4" below the bottom of the fill hole. It helps to have a helper.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • mcgivormcgivor Registered Users Posts: 1,347 ✭✭✭✭
    squelchea said:
    Greetings !

    Battery details : 12 OPzS solar.power 2170 , 2V 2170 Ah C100 , Hoppecke

     some batteries are an mm away from the low level mark

    my questions are : 1. for topping: should i used electrolyte or distilled/purified water ?
    2. is it safe to topp while the system is energized or should we de energize first prior on topping up ?

    TIA 
    Attached  are the Hoppecke instructions for your battery, some valuable information.
      1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider 150 60 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 8×T105 GC 24V nominal 

  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 411 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2017 #14
    Estragon said:
    A couple of additional thoughts... I keep a box of baking soda and some water nearby to neutralize any acid that gets loose, ...................................................................................
    Good advice!

    I also like ammonia (standard stuff from the supermarket) because it is a great neutralizer and doesn't leave the white residue everywhere. Depending upon the situation, you can use it straight or diluted with water, just think about ventilation. This is a common approach in my world of PV battery rooms when replacing flooded batteries. Spray it down and rinse well. Lather, rinse, repeat as required.

    Something often missed: Hold the cable connectors vertical and pour some under the insulation. Otherwise the acid WILL creep back down to the terminals later if you don't neutralize it. Go ahead, ask me how I know o:)

    Marc
    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • squelcheasquelchea Registered Users Posts: 5 ✭✭
    Guys,

    thanks for all your inputs. Appreciate it, this will be the first time we will refill this Hoppecke OPzS batteries after almost 2 years after purchased. 
    found some distilled water from Shell (Battery water). see below pics.

    @Estragon: for cleaning the loose acid: ill dump it first with baking soda and wash it with water, right ?
    * ill add on my list the checking of SG's as well.


  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,683 ✭✭✭✭
    You could, but I'd mix the baking soda and water first, then use to neutralize.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • mcgivormcgivor Registered Users Posts: 1,347 ✭✭✭✭
    With baking soda solution make sure all the caps are tightly closed, you don't want any to enter cells, the pdf I attached covers this, if memory serves me correctly.
      1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider 150 60 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 8×T105 GC 24V nominal 

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 1,683 ✭✭✭✭
    > @mcgivor said:
    > With baking soda solution make sure all the caps are tightly closed, you don't want any to enter cells, the pdf I attached covers this, if memory serves me correctly.

    Absolutely! The whole idea behind using it is to neutralize acid. Neutralizing the acid in your batteries would be a manifestly bad idea. Neutralizing acid on your jeans (not that jeans are a good idea while working on batteries) not so much.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,820 ✭✭✭✭

    squelchea said,  "...    this will be the first time we will refill this Hoppecke OPzS batteries after almost 2 years after purchased   ... "

    Is this system a backup for grid power,   or is it an off-grid system that is cycled daily?

    Even as a backup system,  which is cycled infrequently,   would expect more water consumption than is implied by the above statement,  if the charge parameters are correct.

    More later,   Vic

    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • mcgivormcgivor Registered Users Posts: 1,347 ✭✭✭✭
    That is a long time without adding water, I'm guessing the AquaGen recombination system is in use.
      1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider 150 60 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 8×T105 GC 24V nominal 

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