Flooded Battery Bank Placement

nbakernbaker Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
My bank is 5 (12V) batteries in parallel.  I am setting up the system now and was planning to put these in the garage floor (attached garage) due to off gassing, however all my equipment is on the basement wall (next to the service panel) and I'd like your opinion of placing the batteries in the basement as well.  Wire length is not an issue either way because charge controller and inverter (on basement wall) are only 2-3ft from where the batteries are in the garage (floor).  My concern with basement was the gassing during charges.  This basement room is about 15' x 27' not really ventilated, but it does have the nat gas furnace and water heater.  My solar equipment and furnance are about 20 ft apart.  Garage is less secure and is subject to temperature fluctuations between 35 - 95 degrees depending on the season.  Basement or garage folks?!?!

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,684 admin
    My first suggestion is to read this website on how to parallel batteries and better balance charging and discharging:

    http://www.smartgauge.co.uk/batt_con.html

    Second, any battery system in the house--Have you looked at fusing/breakers for your battery system to reduce the chance of fire from overheated cables (short circuits, etc.)?

    Temperature wise, a basement is usually a good place for batteries because of the stable temperatures... Below ~50F, Lead Acid batteries do lose (only when cold) some capacity. And for every 10C or 18F over ~25C/75F, batteries tend to age 2x faster (i.e., at ~93F, a battery will only last 1/2 as long).

    Have you looked at battery box with some venting? Lead Acid batteries do output some Hydrogen gas and electrolyte mist. Some folks are very sensitive to the "rotten egg" smell of sulfuric acid. And the mist can settle on other stuff you may have in the basement around the batteries.

    Lead Acid and even AGM/Sealed batteries, as they age, more gassing happens (as well as during EQ charging of FLA batteries and AGM batteries near end of life). So boxing/venting is a good idea anyway for long term installations.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,504 ✭✭✭✭
    Heat kills batteries pretty fast. I suspect that many of our stories about short battery bank lives are related to batteries suffering from temperatures over 90F for prolonged periods. One poster even built a water tight battery box with a chiller to keep the water cool. He never reported back to my knowledge. in theory - it seemed sound. 

    I've never suffered many of the reported problems from battery off gassing. People sometimes talk of strong odors etc. I wonder if they are reading what others have read what other have wrote instead of actually seeing it. In fact I will double down and note the presence of a lead acid battery under the hood of almost every automobile on the road. A battery that often receives a high rate of charge while in the proximity of the engine. Yet most of us have oddly survived this certain disaster - to date. 

    Though a neighbor did somehow manage to blow up a lead acid battery. I have no idea what procedure he was engaged in. An experiment of some type I might guess. 


    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
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,274 ✭✭✭✭✭
    A gassing battery in a basement with ignition sources is a hazard.  The batteries need to be in a vented box

    Hydrogen is explosive at 4% .  In your basement, that would be catastrophic.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_safety
      excerpt "Hydrogen collects under roofs and overhangs, where it forms an explosion hazard; any building that contains a potential source of hydrogen should have good ventilation, strong ignition suppression systems for all electric devices, and preferably be designed to have a roof that can be safely blown away from the rest of the structure in an explosion. It also enters pipes and can follow them to their destinations. Hydrogen pipes should be located above other pipes to prevent this occurrence"


    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,576 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2020 #5
    I live in Missouri, and just accept that the batteries will get warm over summer. I much prefer having my battery bank and power center outside. The large thermal mass of the forklift battery helps reduce the fluctuation. Still I try not to equalize the battery over summer. We actually had a couple night at 60 or below and I was suppose to equalize today but forgot. It's 9 years old and it's been a particularly bad summer with several hot overcast days, so the battery has been run down lower than past summers, but it's hung in there pretty well.

    That said, I've been looking the cleverly designed array for taking out a couple panels so a tow truck or large tractor can lower a new one into place with only having to remove 2-3 panels. Glad I thought ahead. Hope to make it to 12 years, but time will tell. 
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,504 ✭✭✭✭
    Well there is an ancient and proven technology called - digging a hole. This invariably provides cooler temps but modern man can hardly be bothered with such a cumbersome chore. Says the guy who keeps putting off the need to get his backhoe running. I'll get a round tuit - someday. 

    I'd say ideal battery temps lay between 40F and 70F.  Ideal is rarely practical of course. 
    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
  • nbakernbaker Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
    I decided to keep these in the garage, with only a 4 ft run into the inverter on the basement wall. Safety > battery efficiency.
  • PhazorPhazor Registered Users Posts: 2
    nbaker said:
    I decided to keep these in the garage, with only a 4 ft run into the inverter on the basement wall. Safety > battery efficiency.
    How has this worked out for you? I am considering the same thing but with 16 6volt batteries. 

  • 706jim706jim Solar Expert Posts: 423 ✭✭✭✭
    To the OP if he is still around, Trace specifically recommended not having the inverter in the same compartment or general area as batteries due to the corrosive effect of off gasses during charging.

    I keep my batteries outside in a vented enclosure.
    Island cottage solar system with 2400 watts of panels, 1kw facing southeast 1kw facing southwest 400watt ancient Arco's facing south.Trace DR1524 MSW inverter, Outback Flexmax 80 MPPT charge controller 8 Trojan L16's. Insignia 11.5 cubic foot electric fridge. My 28th year.
  • wellbuiltwellbuilt Solar Expert Posts: 636 ✭✭✭✭
    I would not keep battery’s in the same room with my equipment .
     my battery’s are in a box next to the utility  room  in the garage with my floor sloped to the out side 
      The box is sized for l 16s so I can have more AHs if I need more power . 
    I live the lid open 2” if it gets warm in the box but generally my battery’s stay around 75 77o in July and August .
     There is a power vent running out the wall .
      At 0o the battery’s stay around 45 50o 
    Out back  flex power one  with out back 3648 inverter fm80 charge controler  flex net  mate 16 gc215 battery’s 4425 Watts solar .
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