Battery power..

fernur246fernur246 Registered Users Posts: 8
Are forklift batteries a good power source ?

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,485 admin
    They can have very long life (10-20+ years). Use a larger amount of distilled water (flooded cell). May have a higher self discharge rate. And you should probably plan on 10%+ charging current/sized array (vs 5% minimum for weekend/seasonal cabin and "typical" flooded cell batteries).

    Also, some Fork Lift Batteries have replaceable cells.

    From our host, NAWS, their writeup on Crown Fork Lift Batteries they sell:

    http://www.solar-electric.com/batter...nba24vo53.html
    The Crown 12-85-11 is a heavy duty industrial (fork lift) type battery. These batteries are designed for extremely heavy usage. In a typical solar electric system they will normally last for about 20 years or more. We have been selling these for over 25 years and have the utmost confidence in their reliability. Fork lift batteries have a slightly different plate composition from smaller deep cycle batteries in order to withstand industrial usage. The self-discharge is slightly higher and they should be equalized about once a month. Some solar systems are not capable of putting out enough current to fully equalize these batteries - it will require about 40 to 80 amps, depending on which battery you're using. Most inverter chargers can supply that much amperage.

    I am not sure--But some industrial type batteries may also require a higher equalization voltage--Something like 15.5 to 16+ volts ( 12 volt battery bank). Those high voltages can cause many AC inverters to shut down until the battery bus voltage is reduced.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,994 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm 4+ years in on mine, they are interesting, I've been happy. I run equalizing at about 31.4 volts on a 24 volt and haven't had a problem with my Prosine 1800 watt unit. In general it's less expensive units that have a narrow range of voltage. They in general, will use a bit more water, I added Water Miser battery caps and that has helped, may only add water every 2-3 months now other than summer when I work it pretty hard.

    Unlike some batteries, they need at least a maintenance equalizing every month, so combined with using a bit more water, in general they need more maintenance.

    If your looking at a used battery understand that they normally have a marked capacity for a 6 hour rate, normally we use a 20 hour rate in calculating capacities for solar powered systems. To give you an idea of the difference, my 804 amp hour 24 volt battery is rated at 510 amp hours at a 6 hour rate, so if you figure on half again (a+1/2a=20 hr rate) the size it is rated on the battery you should be in the ball park. I like Bill's recommended 10% of capacity minimum charge rate...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • fernur246fernur246 Registered Users Posts: 8
    [USER="3299"]Photowhit[/USER] What brand model forklift batteries are you using Photowhit ?
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,358 ✭✭✭✭
    It can be hard to replace a defective cell though still possible. Eliminating battery cables is attractive to me. Our code calls for 2/0 battery cables. Greater longevity would seem to be the big selling point.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,358 ✭✭✭✭
    For a newbies first batteries, I may be inclined to recommend golf cart batteries. There are a hundred ways to ruin batteries....and an excellent chance of doing so. I'd rather lose $2000 than $4000 even if I only got 4-5 years instead of 6-10 years.....very roughly speaking.

    Shoot....I might be buying golf cart batteries before long. I keep killing $200 batteries. Rather kill $100 batteries.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,994 ✭✭✭✭
    The costs are a somewhat closer than that for me, but I agree, to start out golf cart batteries allow you to make less expensive mistakes.

    If you get to the point of 3 or more parallel strings, The 804 ah lift battery was $2525 delivered and 4 strings of golf cart batteries 4 - 840 ah about $1600 with core fees and must pick up, if I moved up to L-6 size batteries the cost would be very close. I haven't heard of less than 10 years from a lift battery, but perhaps I'll be the first...lol. I used a perhaps hopeful 15 years when doing my calculations. I think that is realistic from the information I could glean., if well maintained. I'll report back in 10 years or so...

    FWIW - I'm home from work, allergies, and started an equalizing about an hour ago, it's taking @ 2% current to maintain voltage at the beginning and have dropped to @1% in an hour.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
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