What charge settings for my forktruck battery

solarvicsolarvic ✭✭✭✭Solar Expert Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭✭
Just got my offgrid battery backup system working a few days ago and need some sugestions at what to set the charge voltages and LBCO. Inverter is Magnum MS-AE 4024. 4 KW @ 24 volt. So far I am charging from the grid as I don,t have the solar ready yet. The inverter has a 100 amp charger. Battery is a Crown model 12-85-13 . specs they gave me is 510 amp Hour capacity, .989 KWH
per cell, 11.868 KWH, Max. Volts 31.2, Mimuim volts under load 21.6. This isn,t the 20 hr rate but our host advertises the 20 hour rate at 635 AMP. The only info for charging Crown gave me is: Battery should be charged no more than 18% start rate (91 amps) and end with a 5% finish rate of (25 amps). So far I have inverter charger settings:LBCO 21.5 , max charge 100 amp, absorb time 3 hours, absorb voltage 29.6 v, float voltage 27.8 v, and Equalize 30.2 v. I have 15 ft. long 4/0 inverter cables also. I got one of those midnight battery meters which doesn,t give you much info that you need, so am going to order another battery meter. Which would be better, the magnum one or the Bogart one? I am leaning for the bogart model. Tomorrow I plan on ordering the specific gravity checkers to as I see that is a necessity. :Dsolarvic:D

Comments

  • stephendvstephendv ✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: What charge settings for my forktruck battery

    EQ seems a bit low, and absorb a bit high. This online book by Victron describes their recommended approach to charging forklifts batts: http://www.victronenergy.com/upload/documents/Book-EN-EnergyUnlimited.pdf

    In particular, since you have grid power, check out their ideas about using a lower float voltage if the batteries are not in cyclic operation.

    The settings for my batts are:
    - 2.4V per cell daily absorb for 1 hour (hardly any loads on the system, so it's in semi-float mode)
    - 2.2V float
    - 2.45V 3 hour mini-EQ. I have this set as my EQ settings and it performs this charge automatically every 7 days.
    - 2.6V 3 hour actual EQ. Perform this manually when required.

    Once the batteries start cycling more I'll increase the float voltage to 2.23.
  • solarvicsolarvic ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What charge settings for my forktruck battery

    Stephendv. Thanks for the link. I saved it to my favorites and read it. Lots of good info. My battery is @ 25.9 charged according to my magnum remote. I am not going to use it till I receive my battery hydrometer I ordered today. Been watching posts for some time now but not too much soaked in till I got my feet wet. I have your charging voltages wrote down for my reference but am still open to what voltages others are using also. I have my battery outside in the open for now. I have an insulated battery box but can,t get the battery in it now as we had too much rain. We already beat the records for yearly rainfall and still have the rest of the year to add to the total. Do you think I should at least put a tarp over the battery to keep the snow off. We gets lots of snow and get a few days -0 F. I get the lake effect from Lake Erie, SNOW, Cloudy weather and all. Again I would like to hear from others about thier charge voltages they are using.
    :Dsolarvic:D
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 5,007 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What charge settings for my forktruck battery

    Hi Vic, I think the 20 hour rate on my near identical battery is @800 amp hours FWIW.
    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
  • mikeomikeo ✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
    Re: What charge settings for my forktruck battery
    absorb voltage 29.6 v, float voltage 27.8 v, and Equalize 30.2 v.
    Those are very close to the values that I use. Deka recommended 29.4, 28 and 30 for my FL battery. Mainly you may need to adjust your float level depending on water usage. You should need to add some water every couple of months. If not raise your float voltage, if using too much lower it. My float is all over the place being grid tied. I have my SW4024 set at 27.2 and my MX80 set at 28.8. THe average float runs around 27.8. I use about 1 gallon of distilled water every two months with my 24 volt system.
  • Fe-WoodFe-Wood ✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 96 ✭✭
    Re: What charge settings for my forktruck battery

    I'm in the same boat as solarvic. I have a 4024PAE with 8 batteries @6VDC with a combined 790Amp Hrs at the 20 hr rate. I've been using my system about 2 weeks now. I just received my BMK from Magnum. Now I will be able to tell my actual SOC. I have been running the factory setting for the charger. My usage is low right now so I only need to charge my batteries about every 4 days or so. I begin the charge cycle with around 24V and above showing on the control panel.

    I don't have a good hydrometer. Beginning to think I should get one just so I can keep the system ballanced.
  • solarvicsolarvic ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What charge settings for my forktruck battery

    FE-Wood, After reading all the postings for some time I am convinced that you really do need a hydrometer and a good battery monitor. It seems that experience is the best teacher and the help from the other forum members that already know what we are learning. At first I bought a midnight battery monitor that doesn.t really give you much of the info you really need so decided to get something better. Didn,t know whether to get Magnums monitor or The tri-metric battery monitor. I ordered a tri-metric monitor and the good htdrometer yesterday from our forum host. I connected my inverter components thru a Trace PC-500 panel which already has a cutout that the trimetric should fit and it already has the battery shunt installed. The only thing different I would do is get the next size bigger forktruck battery. Too late now but the one I got will still work for me. Photowitt, What does FWIW mean? Got to remember some of us old farts like me are not up much with texting and all this new stuff the young people are into. I didn,t even get a cell phone yet. Got onstar in my HHR and used it to call the police when I caught 3 thieves red handed stealing an old car I was junking out. Couldn,t believe they could get it on a back of a ford pickup truck. I made them unload it. Policeman asked if I would testify against them if he arrest them. Y^es I will. Now I am afraid to go anywhere as they might steel more. :Dsolarvic:D
  • BB.BB. admin Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,634 admin
    Re: What charge settings for my forktruck battery

    For What It's Worth

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • VicVic ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 2,970 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What charge settings for my forktruck battery

    And, vic,

    I, too, am an OF ... err Older Fellow.

    BUT, you can just google the term, and the Wiki will usually give the definition. There are many that I still do not know.

    Great that your new battery and inverter are on line. Agree, a Hydrometer is a must for flooded batteries. Being ABLE to take SG readings is a major advantage of FLA batts, so why not take advantage of it? the simple math is very compelling. Thousands for a new battery bank, and a couple tens of dollars for a Hydro.

    One other observation: Some with hydrometers still do not use them. A well-used hydrometer is your friend.
    Always rinse a hydro, after use, with distilled water, and perhaps also rinse before use.

    Good Luck, Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 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.
  • solarvicsolarvic ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What charge settings for my forktruck battery

    I was also wondering if I should use the water that dehumidifys from my Geo spring water heater (heat pimp water heater). This time of year I don,t get any water because the unvented spaceheater and unvented fireplace takes all the humidity out of the air. :Dsolarvic:D
  • VicVic ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 2,970 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What charge settings for my forktruck battery

    vic,

    I would avoid using the condenser water. It has been quite exposed to your atmosphere, and exposed to dust, pollutants etc. Not to derate the air in your area. BUT, personally, I would (and do) use bottled Steam-Distilled water, which sells for about $1.00/gal around here.

    You have a large investment in your battery bank, and would avoid putting anyhing into an expensive bank what is not as pure as pure as you can get. Look carefully on the water jug for the term: Steam Distilled", or prepared by Steam Distillation or similar. DI, or RO water in my opinion is not good enough (for me).

    Just MHO -- My Humble Opinion. Have Fun, Another Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 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.
  • nielniel ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What charge settings for my forktruck battery

    distilled is great, but don't count on the supplier as supplying a pure water to you. i found that my local bottled distilled water had a tds reading of 2 parts per million and distilled should read 0 ppm. i don't know how to account for the small reading other than they possibly added a very small amount of chlorine to help prevent any possible biological growths. it's either that or the water isn't kept isolated from contaminants as well as it should be. 2ppm is still very very small, but i thought you should be aware of it.
  • solarvicsolarvic ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What charge settings for my forktruck battery

    Vic and niel , I kind of think you are right. For the small quanity of water I will need I will just buy it. The last distilled water I bought came from Cambridge Springs PA. which is only a little over 25 miles from me. :Dsolarvic:D
  • squarebobsquarebob ✭✭✭ Registered Users Posts: 25 ✭✭✭
    Re: What charge settings for my forktruck battery

    Here is some interesting reading on fork lift batteries

    http://gbindustrialbattery.com/Forklift_Battery_Sizes_and_Specifications_Zone15.html

    http://gbindustrialbattery.com/Battery_Options/AH_Ratings.html
  • Fe-WoodFe-Wood ✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 96 ✭✭
    Re: What charge settings for my forktruck battery

    So- I'm looking at the Hydrometers on the host site and am wondering if I should get the temp compensating version. My annual temp swing go from around freezing to about 110 Deg. F. Is it worth the extra 10 bucks?
  • stephendvstephendv ✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: What charge settings for my forktruck battery
    Fe-Wood wrote: »
    So- I'm looking at the Hydrometers on the host site and am wondering if I should get the temp compensating version. My annual temp swing go from around freezing to about 110 Deg. F. Is it worth the extra 10 bucks?

    With more than $1000 worth of battery, I'd say get the fanciest most bestest hydrometer available ;)
  • BB.BB. admin Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,634 admin
    Re: What charge settings for my forktruck battery

    The thermometer option was not liked by one person here. It was not sealed very well and let electrolyte into the float assembly after some use. As I recall.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • VicVic ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 2,970 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What charge settings for my forktruck battery

    BB, Bill,

    You have a good memory. I, for one, had that problem with the Brady Hydrometer. It appeared to be a clever design, but after a couple of uses, there was leakage into the thermometer chamber of the hydro. AND, after a bit more use, all of the red (silicone, i think) rubber parts began to blacken. So, stopped using it. Was concerned about contanimation of the electrolyte in the bank ... altho, the bank has alarge volume of electrolyte, so any contanimation would probably be small.

    I do agree with stephendv about the relative value/cost of a good battery bank, vs the cost of instruments to track the bank's condition. The best you can find as a hydrometer, the better. And, perhaps a refractometer, at least as a check, on a float-type hydrometer sounds good to me.

    Too bad that Freas has had such problems making units with bulbs with enough volume, etc. They have been the best glass-float type Hydrometers that I've seen in the past six, or so years.

    the above just my experience, Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 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.
  • Fe-WoodFe-Wood ✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 96 ✭✭
    Re: What charge settings for my forktruck battery
    stephendv wrote: »
    With more than $1000 worth of battery, I'd say get the fanciest most bestest hydrometer available ;)

    My thoughts exactly! Sounds like the thermo type is out. If money was no object, what would be the best way to check battery condition?

    Thanks for all your help!!!
  • solarvicsolarvic ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What charge settings for my forktruck battery

    Well I received my Brady hydrometer with the thermometer in it. It arrived in a box with all the pieces separate with no directions. Since I never used one before I don,t know exactly how they work. So Put it together and I couldn,t get the float to work. So Got on arizona site and looked at a picture of one and saw that I put the float upside down. I think for as much as they charge for this that they should at least put a picture of it in the package of how the thing goes together. And some directions on how to use it wouldn,t hurt either. So now that I see what I did wrong I got to take it apart and turn the float end for end. And isn,t it suposed to have battery fluid around the thermomether so it can read the temperature. Mine does. I am one that doesn,t like change but think the forum might be better when everyone gets used to it. Also I hope they get colors back to something easier to see.:DDsolarvic:D
  • vtmapsvtmaps ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What charge settings for my forktruck battery
    Fe-Wood wrote: »
    If money was no object, what would be the best way to check battery condition?
    The best way is with a refractometer, even if money is an object. You can get a new one for $30 (includes shipping) from ebay. It will cost a few dollars more to buy one from your local auto parts store or sears. They are all designed to work in different ranges... you need the one that is designed to test antifreeze and battery acid.
    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • Ralph DayRalph Day ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 887 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What charge settings for my forktruck battery

    I have a refractometer. It reads higher than my good bulb type hydrometer (when the refract unit is "zeroed" using distilled water). It reads the same when you zero it with a drop of known sg acid. I keep a baby food bottle of 1.265 sg acid as measured by the hydrometer as my zero-ing media.

    I checked both the meters with 1.265 acid being sold at the local battery shop. The refractometer read 1.285, bulb type 1.265. Now I just use the bulb unit, it's faster with less mucking about. The optical refracto has better/more refined reading numbers, but I just look at the closest line on the bulb one and mark as + or - from that. eg 1.250+ if between 1/250 and 1.255.

    Ralph
  • solarvicsolarvic ✭✭✭✭ Solar Expert Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What charge settings for my forktruck battery

    Got the new battery hydrometer assembled correctly this time and tryed it out. My cells have are oneven readings. I set all the charge settings that stephendy has his set at and started a charging regime then will equalize. Thanks everyone for the help. solarvic
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