Battery ??

shockmanshockman Solar Expert Posts: 113 ✭✭
Battery experts help me!! I have a 36V forklift battery that was charged and then put outside for the winter. I brought it in and topped up water level and put on charge, took about 48 hrs for amp meter to drop to 0ish. What is picking my interest is the fact that I can still hear it "boiling" after a week!!!! What does this mean?? should it still be "working" The only way I have to check it to see if it's pooched is to put it in the forklift and try it, but that is a bit of a job right now. This batt has not been used in RE, was removed from my forklift when deemed to be faulty and turned out too be electronics on lifttruck.
4x240w panels,Classic 150 CC, 4x380AHR L16's, antique Trace 12V inverter

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Battery ??

    Well you shouldn't add water until after you charge (unless plates are exposed) but ...

    It would be normal for it to bubble with current flowing. Or do you mean with the battery disconnected from everything it's still bubbling? That would likely be trapped gas and nothing much to worry about.

    Leave it rest, take SG readings. That's the best way to tell what state it's in.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,518 admin
    Re: Battery ??

    Need to know the AH of the battery and the Amp output of the Charger (rated, average, voltage setpoints, etc.).

    If you don't have time--Let it sit for a day or so then measure the resting voltage (of each cell if you can) and log the specific gravity of each cell (temperature corrected if needed).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • shockmanshockman Solar Expert Posts: 113 ✭✭
    Re: Battery ??

    "Or do you mean with the battery disconnected from everything it's still bubbling?" exactly! thats what has my curiosity up, it's been bubbling for a week since charge.

    "log the specific gravity of each cell" how do I check cells individualy??
    4x240w panels,Classic 150 CC, 4x380AHR L16's, antique Trace 12V inverter
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Battery ??

    Each cell should have its own access cap. That's how you take specific gravity readings per cell.
    Forklift batteries often have external and accessible inter-cell connectors that will allow taking individual cell Voltage readings too.
  • shockmanshockman Solar Expert Posts: 113 ✭✭
    Re: Battery ??

    Sorry that was a bit of a typo as far as checking SG :>) I meant to ask about checking V of each cell with VM. There are connecting links but not sure where to put probes for doing one cell??
    Still realy looking for an answer about the bubbling??? never noticed any battery bubbling unless on charge or very recently off charge??
    4x240w panels,Classic 150 CC, 4x380AHR L16's, antique Trace 12V inverter
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Battery ??

    Time for a "word drawing". :D

    (-)CELL(+)
    (-)CELL(+)
    (-)CELL(+)
    (-)CELL(+)
    (-)CELL(+)
    (-)CELL(+)

    Where the dashes are the connections between cells. What is (+) for the first cell becomes (-) for the second, and so on.

    With all charging Voltage removed, the bubbling should settle down after a while. These tend to be very large batteries with a lot of capacity for plates, electrolyte, chemical activity, and bubbling. Look how long it took to charge it. And then there is the amount of bubbling going on; vigorous bubbling indicates electrical activity, occasional gurgles or pops is just 'static' chemical action. There is the remote possibility of a short that would cause the electrical activity, but it is highly unlikely.
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Battery ??

    - you charged for 48 hours
    - at the end of the charge there was narly no current
    - there was no bubbling

    It looks to me that all these three facts indicate that the charging voltage was too low, which could be either bacuase of incorrect setting or a lack of temperature compensation on a cold battery.
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,970 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery ??

    It is not uncommon for larger batteries to continue gurgling for a day, or so after the last charge that was above the Gassing Voltage. The gurgles are less and less frequent as time progresses after the charge. BUT have never heard a battery "boil" very long after the Gassing charge was removed, or the charger transitions to Float, for Solar chargers.

    The words used to describe the sound of Gassing are all too ambiguous. Near the end of Absorb the larger batts here almost Fizz. And on EQ they definitely FIZZZZZZzzzzzz!!!! Fizzing sound stops just after the Absorb Stage or EQ ends, but gurgling continues for an extended period.

    This battery almost MUST have caps for each cell, as measuring SG is an important monitoring step for these batts, AND you mentioned "topping up" the battery.

    YAMV, 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.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,518 admin
    Re: Battery ??

    Old style cells and many industrial batteries have the cell to cell straps on top of the battery.

    Many newer batteries (and high volume batteries) have the cell to cell bus bars under the "top" of the battery and you cannot get a meter on the individual cells--Only on the "group" (battery) at 6 volt/8 volt/12 volt/24 volt/etc...

    Whole batteries generally don't go bad, it is one cell in a battery that fails first. So doing cell by cell measurements (SG, voltage if available) generally show up first before you see problems at the "battery" level.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • shockmanshockman Solar Expert Posts: 113 ✭✭
    Re: Battery ??

    Okay brought some tools to work this morning, checked SG of all cells, all but 2 read 1.280, the 2 low ones read 1.255. Checked with volt meter and got 2.10-2.11 and 2.09 on the 2 cells that read lower SG. It would appear that battery is in relatively good shape as far as SOC. However my small amount of experience with 6V RE batts. tells me that SOC is exactly that SOC and does not tell the whole story as too condition of battery as far as holding load??? What is really impressing me is that this forklift battery was purchased new approx. 15yrs ago or more and was in use till last summer when a forklift repairman told me it was pooched! However after purchasing a used replacement it was found too not be the problem. Now this battery was never used like some forklift's (8hrs/day steady) but rather 15min to 3hrs a day, but also was not faithfully charged every night, chargeing was very random and usually when lifttruck was noticed to be low on power! All this being interesting enough to me that I will install it in truck to see how it performs.
    This also has me thinking that if and when my new RE L16's calf, I will figure out how to wire up for a 24V forklift battery as I'm thinking they will take a lot more abuse and seem to be as cheap as any batteries when looking to get higher amounts of amp/hrs???? correct me if I'm off base!
    Marc
    4x240w panels,Classic 150 CC, 4x380AHR L16's, antique Trace 12V inverter
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,518 admin
    Re: Battery ??

    You can try "equalization" and see if those two low cells will come up or not (equalize at ~2.5% rate of charge and check the cells every hour or so)... If they do not rise over several hours, then they probably are bad.

    Now, the possibly good news. Many of these batteries have cells you can pull the bus straps from and lift the cells out of the case and rearrange them... Or look to see if you can remove the jumpers from the cells you don't want and wire up the remaining cells into a good 24 volt (or 12 volt with parallel strings) battery bank. And you might even have a spare cell or two (setup to charge them once a month to keep the spares "happy"?).

    User "Adas" out of Hawaii did that with a lot of "junked" forklift batteries and has been very happy with their performance to setup an off grid fabrication business (including arc welding from his system). Click on "Find latest started threads" to find his posts (he has not been here for a couple of years--hope it is OK).

    Your "battery guy" may be able to help you with the re-strapping procedure.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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