New batteries... ...five years later.

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A friend of mine was called in to set up someone's off-grid package, with all components brand new / never used / sitting in storage for five years.

The UL16 batteries are showing about 3.3 to 3.8 volts each. Any hope for these? Recommended resuscitation techniques?

Thanks,

- Ted

Comments

  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,501 admin
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    Re: New batteries... ...five years later.

    Probably out of luck... Try recharging them and use one of those $200 Desulfators--or take Niel up on his $50 magic spell (make sure that Niel doesn't quote you $50 per battery charm--you want the $50/bank spell--works almost as well). :p

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: New batteries... ...five years later.

    it's a shame, but even a $100 spell won't bring them back to life i fear. even if they accept a charge and work somewhat, you will find it won't be long before they die completely. this was because all batteries lose a few % of there charge each month and i've heard as high as 7%. i'm guessing being that they were new they were losing probably 3-4% each month that passed making them about half charged after a year passed by and that's if you're lucky. sulphation started in early on and they certainly were dead around 2 years and you're talking 5 years here. time for new batteries and lesson number 1 learned.
  • H2SO4_guy
    H2SO4_guy Solar Expert Posts: 213 ✭✭✭
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    Re: New batteries... ...five years later.

    I would try to charge them up SLOWLY at 2 amps or less if you can. YOu might be suppirsed that some may recover, but there is a good chance that you won't recover all of them. It doesn't hurt to try. If you have one of the desulfators, I would then try them for at least 2 weeks of hitting them with the pulses and see how that goes. Just don't let the desulfator bring down the charge too much.


    Skip
    12K asst panels charging through Midnite Classic 150's, powering Exeltechs and Outback VFX-3648 inverter at 12 and 48 volts.  2080 AH @ 48 VDC of Panasonic Stationary batteries (2 strings of 1040 AH each) purchased for slightly over scrap, installed August 2013.  Outback PSX-240X for 220 volt duties.  No genny usage since 2014. 
  • VolcanoSolar
    VolcanoSolar Solar Expert Posts: 56
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    Re: New batteries... ...five years later.

    Thanks, I'll pass this on.

    My friend found a receipt in with the goods -- make that NINE years later!!

    Another sad part was a new-in-box Trace 1500 watt inverter, that mice built a home in (chewed through the box) and filled to the brim with seed shells and feathers and other little mice-type things. We blasted it clean with compressed air, but get no action when wired up and turned on.

    - Ted
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: New batteries... ...five years later.

    let me guess as he got scared because y2k was coming and forgot about the stuff he ordered and stored when it passed with few problems? you know that v8 commercial? well do that a few times to him until it dawns on him.
  • Windsun
    Windsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
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    Re: New batteries... ...five years later.

    Yup, sounds like one of the many Y2K fiasco systems that were sold and never used.

    We had a lot of fun, and made a lot of money off of people that refused to believe us when we told them flat out that nothing was going to happen. We even had people trying to order solar panels overnight UPS on new years eve....
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: New batteries... ...five years later.

    if they come back to you wanting to get rid of it all tell them i'll give them 5 cents on every dollar on select items and halfsies on shipping. picture devilish smile here.:cool:
  • Windsun
    Windsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
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    Re: New batteries... ...five years later.

    We have bought a few systems back, but we don't pay much - much of the stuff sat in storage for years unused, so obviously any batteries are totally shot, and much of the equipment is outdated or obsolete. About the only thing really worth much are panels, which we were paying around $2.50 a watt for, since nearly all were discontinued models.

    Have not seen much of the Y2K stuff for the past couple years, I guess that most of it either got sold, dumped, or used by now.

    It was funny really, people used to get really mad at us for telling them the whole thing was stoopid hype.
  • nigtomdaw
    nigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705 ✭✭
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    Re: New batteries... ...five years later.

    If folk bought this stuff because of Y2K fear expecting the lights to go out at Midnight, what use is a Xantrex DR inverter still in box unwrapped and a shed of unwired batteries going to achieve, I suppose stupid enough to buy it in the first place,follows stupid enough not to connect it all up.:confused:
  • rplarry
    rplarry Solar Expert Posts: 203 ✭✭
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    Re: New batteries... ...five years later.

    I had almost forgotten the Y2K fiasco. At that time I owned and operated a SCUBA diving charter boat. It was an inspected vessel, and the US Coast Guard wanted me to submit a Y2K plan of what I was going to do to prepare for the big event. I thought about it for a while and then sent them a letter on my company letter head that basically said I was going to do nothing, and would tend to any probalems as they arose. I also told them that unless they felt that my magnetic compass was in danger I would probably be able to find my way home. I haven't deard from them since. Those were the days.
    Larry
  • Windsun
    Windsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
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    Re: New batteries... ...five years later.

    While we raised our prices 5-10% for the Y2K panic to our non-regular customers, mainly to cut demand, other dealers were flat out ripping people off - like this http://www.cariboo-net.com/y2knorth/y2kwg303.html selling for about 250% of list price.

    The whole Y2K thing was one of the best example of mass hysteria in 50 years, yet most people seem to have forgotten how many sheep were led to believe it by the panic mongers.
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: New batteries... ...five years later.

    :D boy could i pick that ad apart.
    you know i had thought there may have been some minor problems due to y2k, but they also had time to reverse many potential problems before they happened. i thought that at best the power could go out temporarilly until they just bypassed the computer control to fix the problem in the computer. i think most just changed the date so as not to be rushed into buying a new hyped up high priced computer. yes i have seen the results of fear being used on the general public and that has been done throughout history.