Flip top battery vent caps?

ligwydligwyd Registered Users Posts: 155 ✭✭
Anyone had any experience with flip top battery vents caps?
Seems a little pricey but if they do reduce watering and misting and make it easier to inspect and add water, over time, might be worth it?

The company that makes these caps say that the tallest version of this type of cap can reduce watering even further, due to the larger/longer condensation chamber? Has anyone out there tried both? It seems that people are going for the standard height cap since that is all I can find for sale from different vendors.

Also, reading up on these caps, it is mentioned that they can stay closed even during equalization? It would seem wise to open the caps during EQ but if these caps are designed to re-combine the gas into water even during EQ that sure would be cool?
Any thoughts?




Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,052 admin
    Water Miser caps are just little plastic balls that help collect the mist and drip it back into the battery electrolyte. There are (or at least were, 3 different heights of caps--Taller cap, more "scrubbing of the mist").

    https://www.solar-electric.com/batwatmiscap.html
    https://www.flowsystemsusa.com/compare.html

    As far as I know, there is no reaction inside the caps, so you should not have to open them when EQ charging (unless you have too high of electrolyte level and/or too much EQ current and "boiling water" into the cap itself).

    Then there are Hydro Caps... These have a catalyst inside them (some noble metal) that "burns" or recombines the hydrogen and oxygen gasses back into water. During EQ, it is possible to overheat the caps.

    Also, even though the catalyst is supposed to not be consumed, in real life, the catalysts do wear out and will only last 5 to possibly 10 years. And the more EQ you do (hydrogen generation), the faster they will wear out:

    http://hydrocapcorp.com/contact-us/faq/

    Note that many AGM batteries have catalysts internally mounted too... Over charging can make the top of the cell/battery warm/hot. And too much gassing/high voltage charging can wear out the catalysts faster in AGM batteries too.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • geosierranevadageosierranevada Registered Users Posts: 32 ✭✭✭
    These caps came with my GB forklift battery. Each cap has a orange float indicator that shows water level, they work great and can be left closed while EQ ing. the batteries were shipped with water level low so the orange float in picture is down.

    George     have a nice day
    Off grid for 18 years. 5KW panels, Trace sw4024, Bergy XL1 wind generator, GB forklift battery.  3 SQF 2 well pump, 12kw back up gen.  Not easy living in the wilderness but it keeps you busy
  • ligwydligwyd Registered Users Posts: 155 ✭✭
    Thanks for the info George.
    Bill, would you say the hydro caps return a lot more water to the battery or do the water miser come pretty close without catalyst?
    I'll contact hydro cap Mon for prices. Sure can buy a lot of distilled water for the prices of some of these caps?

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,052 admin
    I don't know the comparisons between them.. Hydro caps can be expensive and variable availability (price of pladium?).

    Bill


    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,108 ✭✭✭✭
    I used hydrocaps  back in the 90's,  You do have to remove them while equalizing, saw an advantage right away, but didn't last more than a year or so, but I was new and the batteries do tend to use more electrolyte as they age, I haven't  bought them again. 

    I do use watermisers,  I  find them very handy!  makes quick work of checking levels. I have the medium tall ones. My GB  forklift battery didn't come with fancy caps 8 years ago...  So say they have a hard time seeing with tall caps.   Mine have never been a problem, but I might have gotten use to them.
    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
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,108 ✭✭✭✭
    As to a comparison, I added the hydrocaps after about a year, don't think I had to add water for most of the first year after,  but was back in routine sometime the 2nd year.

    Forklift batteries tend to use more electrolyte.  I added watermiser caps when I got the battery and I have routinely leveled off month. I only keep electrolyte about 1/4" above the 'splash guards'. I do bring it up when I will be gone for vacation...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
  • ligwydligwyd Registered Users Posts: 155 ✭✭
    Do the water miser caps considerably lessen the amount of watering that batteries require (even thought they do not have catalyst?
    Also, when the batteries are being equalized, if the high hydrogen concentration is not allowed to dissipate isn't that a ticking bomb waiting for a short from an aging battery?
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,274 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hoppecke claims 99% reduction of water loss with their AquGen caps, at a price  €42.4 apiece, perhaps viable using large > 1000Ah 2V cells. The catalyst is probably responsible for much of that, without a catalyst the efficiency would probably be greatly reduced, just a speculation.

    Hydrogen is a potentially hazardous as it can ignite without a spark even in the absence of oxygen, this is why it is important to ventilate confined spaces holding lead acid batteries, particularly flooded but not limited to, AGM can also vent if overcharged but the potential is greatly reduced. The gas combination of hydrogen oxygen mix trapped inside flooded cells above the electrolyte  is a bomb waiting for a source of ignition and should be treated with respect, even the smallest spark could ruin your day if conditions are met. See attached pdf 
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • ligwydligwyd Registered Users Posts: 155 ✭✭
    Sounds like it may be wise to let the battery breath during EQ, despite others that claim it is safe not to? Err on the side of caution....?
    I do have Two power vents that exchange the air in the battery box also. I'll check out the Hoppecke vents. Thanks for the info.

  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 902 ✭✭✭✭
    My original setup had Hydro Caps.  They have a life expectancy too short in my opinion.  Mine lasted only 2 years or so.  First one would quit (not be warm on charging), then another...soon all were cold.  They gave a nice hand grip for removing though.  I'm not using them on my L16's, there's not enough room on the top of the battery to comfortably get your hand in for working with them.  Just the caps the batteries came with seems to work fine.  I have my own distiller for making top up water.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,108 ✭✭✭✭
    ligwyd said:
    Sounds like it may be wise to let the battery breath during EQ, despite others that claim it is safe not to? Err on the side of caution....?
    No problem erroring on the side of caution. My forklift battery lives outside. Leaving the caps in place IS erroring on the side of caution! No telling what might wander into an open fill!
    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
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