Outdoor battery connections...don't do this at home

softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,008 ✭✭✭✭
Unless you have to. I have a 1640 pound forklift battery that I can't readily get indoors. So it sits outdoors.

The first year was smooth sailing. Then it rained everyday and.....corrosion. Ever since, struggle maintaining connectivity.

Going to try some of this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016E5E59G/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Wish me luck.
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

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,315 admin
    Is the battery bank sheltered from direct rain? I would worry that rain falling on battery caps could "over fill" the battery bank (or if you have less than perfect top seals for battery cells). The overflowing acid would cause corrosion issues.

    Also, sun on plastic/hard rubber--UV from sun will damage.

    If your (stranded) battery cables got wet internally... I almost would be tempted to pull them off and put them in a low heat oven for 24 hours to drive out the moisture and then seal with electrical grade silicon seal (not tub and sink caulk) and heat shrink tubing over the ends (if environmental moisture can get into the cables/terminal ends).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,008 ✭✭✭✭
    BB. said:
    Is the battery bank sheltered from direct rain? I would worry that rain falling on battery caps could "over fill" the battery bank (or if you have less than perfect top seals for battery cells). The overflowing acid would cause corrosion issues.

    Also, sun on plastic/hard rubber--UV from sun will damage.

    If your (stranded) battery cables got wet internally... I almost would be tempted to pull them off and put them in a low heat oven for 24 hours to drive out the moisture and then seal with electrical grade silicon seal (not tub and sink caulk) and heat shrink tubing over the ends (if environmental moisture can get into the cables/terminal ends).

    -Bill
    Rain doesn't fill the water miser caps...think they are called that. Pretty tight seal. 

    Battery sits on the north side of a shed so no UV. 

    Forklift batteries have built in cables that would seem to be pretty well sealed I think. They can not be removed. 

    But the connections from the battery to the charge controller? That takes a weather beating.
    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: 2,008 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2018 #4
    BB. said:
    Is the battery bank sheltered from direct rain? I would worry that rain falling on battery caps could "over fill" the battery bank (or if you have less than perfect top seals for battery cells). The overflowing acid would cause corrosion issues.

    Also, sun on plastic/hard rubber--UV from sun will damage.

    If your (stranded) battery cables got wet internally... I almost would be tempted to pull them off and put them in a low heat oven for 24 hours to drive out the moisture and then seal with electrical grade silicon seal (not tub and sink caulk) and heat shrink tubing over the ends (if environmental moisture can get into the cables/terminal ends).

    -Bill
    Thanks....not a great deal of electrical grade silicone seal. Funny that tub and tile seal popped up with Amazon search. I settled on this stuff: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0195UWAHG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1   Pretty rare to find a 4.9 star rating. 

    Edit: $19 at Amazon, $12 at Ebay. Pays to check. Ordered three tubes after a chap said his first tube lasted for almost 50 years. 

    I probably inherited some from my late father but finding it? Forget about it. 
    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
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,127 ✭✭✭✭✭
    IIRC you're somewhere relatively coastal? I'm wondering if you get salty fog/spray stuff I've seen in such areas (thinking galvanic corrosion FWIW).
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,008 ✭✭✭✭
    Estragon said:
    IIRC you're somewhere relatively coastal? I'm wondering if you get salty fog/spray stuff I've seen in such areas (thinking galvanic corrosion FWIW).
    Couldn't be further off really. Alpine desert in Colorado. Dry but when it does rain? Flying debris and "monsoons" are possible. Great spot for solar 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
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,782 ✭✭✭✭
    No reason not to build a roof over the battery. Mine was placed n a wooden platform then a box built around it. I ordered mine with 'flags' instead of the standard wires with Anderson connectors.

    The charge controller should be inside of something. All my components are in a smallish 4'x5'x16 inch 'power center' that is weather tight. It has a vent in the bottom and a exhaust fan in the upper left. it doesn't have electrical problems. The positive cable at the battery has had to be cleaned and I coated it with Dielectric Grease the second time around. I suspect good old Vaseline would have worked fine.

    Photo battery, covered to the right.


    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
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,127 ✭✭✭✭✭
    No salt fog there! Hopefully a good coat of goo will do the job.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,008 ✭✭✭✭
    Photowhit said:
    No reason not to build a roof over the battery. Mine was placed n a wooden platform then a box built around it. I ordered mine with 'flags' instead of the standard wires with Anderson connectors.

    The charge controller should be inside of something. All my components are in a smallish 4'x5'x16 inch 'power center' that is weather tight. It has a vent in the bottom and a exhaust fan in the upper left. it doesn't have electrical problems. The positive cable at the battery has had to be cleaned and I coated it with Dielectric Grease the second time around. I suspect good old Vaseline would have worked fine.

    Photo battery, covered to the right.


    Samlex inverter then? I think they merged with Cotek a bit back. 
    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
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