Traction battery use and charging

bbbuddybbbuddy Solar Expert Posts: 134 ✭✭✭
I have read that traction (ie. forklift) batteries are the longest lasting batteries (15-20 years), and give the most bang for the buck, on several websites.

However, then I read on other websites, that traction batteries like to be discharged to 80% before recharging, one site even said 1 minute of charging will = one cycle in the life of a battery.

How can one reconcile this with a solar system where the batteries WILL get charged daily? Adn even when charged daily, with the recommended normal battery bank, ie about 6 times daily use in storage, you never even get down past 70-80%, and this is bad for them.

Sooo, is the best way to go with traction batteries just to try to find used ones, since using them on solar is bad for them anyway?
Magnum4024PAE, 2 Midnite Classic 150s, 3100watts solar, 432ah lifepo4 battery.  Off grid since 2004.

Comments

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,657 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Traction battery use and charging

    I've looked into a forklift battery myself, and heard similar things, thhough largely that they need to be deep cycled from time to time and must be equalized once a month....

    Just wanted to pass along that they do make traction batteries for solar, might search for "HUP solar battery" and Truth batteries ( http://www.simplersolar.com/page/batteries/ ). I couldn't tell you what the difference is...
    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.
  • bbbuddybbbuddy Solar Expert Posts: 134 ✭✭✭
    Re: Traction battery use and charging

    Yeah, I've seen the HUP batteries, my, they ARE proud of them!
    Magnum4024PAE, 2 Midnite Classic 150s, 3100watts solar, 432ah lifepo4 battery.  Off grid since 2004.
  • arkieoscararkieoscar Solar Expert Posts: 101 ✭✭
    Re: Traction battery use and charging

    Don't believe all that stuff. Don't mistreat them (deep discharging, not fully recharging, overcharging) and they will last a long time and give good service.
  • mikeomikeo Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
    Re: Traction battery use and charging
    Sooo, is the best way to go with traction batteries just to try to find used ones, since using them on solar is bad for them anyway?
    I have used traction batteries for a couple of years now and the only drawback is that they use more energy to maintain them. My Deka 6-13-100 940 ah at 20 hr rate requires 2 to 3 amps to float them at 28 volts. They also use more water and need to be checked monthly especially during the summers. I use them as standby batteries and they are not the best choice for that service. A reputable battery shop can rebuild and load test a reconditioned traction battery for about 1/2 of new price and give you a year or twos warrantee. The key is to find a larger volume shop that gets a lot of off lease and battery service calls so they have a large choice of battery cells to choose from when they rebuild. Remember that these batteries are very heavy and plan on how you will move them and hook them up. I had mine built into 6 cell cases at about 700# each for a 24 volt system rather then one 24 volt battery at 1300# each.
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