Got Some Interesting Batteries Last Saturday

retrodogretrodog Solar Expert Posts: 53 ✭✭
I always hear stories on the forums about people finding great deals on batteries (deep cycle, AGMs, etc.) for use as power backup, electric vehicles and the like. But I never seem to find these "deals". So last Saturday I head to the local Electronic Parts Outlet to get some power resistors for doing load testing on my first PV panel. While there, I notice some 145 AH AGM 12V batteries. They have a date stamp of 10/07, and a price of $79 each. I thought that was too cheap so I talked to the manager. They came from a telecommunications company who just had them on the shelf and rotating them out to keep new stuff in stock. Brand name of them was Alcatel-Lucent.

So I bought a couple and tested them out. The seem to charge well and are holding their rated voltage. It's nice to finally find some of these "good deals" that I'm always hearing about. The only problem so far is that they weigh quite a bit. A bit over 100 lbs (45 kg) from what I can tell. I haven't weighed them yet but yes, they are heavy.

Anyway, the panel tested out ok. My main goal with the testing is to determine if I get enough sun (hours and angle) to justify installing some panels on my back patio roof. It faces SW. I was able to do a bit of testing on Sunday (between clouds) and at around 17:00, I was getting 75% of the rated power. And that was still with some this clouds (almost transparent) present. The roof area starts getting sun exposure at about 10:30 so that would be about 7 hours are good exposure... in July.

Comments

  • n3qikn3qik Solar Expert Posts: 741 ✭✭
    Re: Got Some Interesting Batteries Last Saturday

    Post up the model # . Some of the telcomm batteries are for backup use only. What I mean is they many only be discharge 100 to 300 time before they are junk.
  • retrodogretrodog Solar Expert Posts: 53 ✭✭
    Re: Got Some Interesting Batteries Last Saturday
    n3qik wrote: »
    Post up the model # . Some of the telcomm batteries are for backup use only. What I mean is they many only be discharge 100 to 300 time before they are junk.

    That would be ok. My only intent for them right now is the occasional power outage in my area from hurricane or other problems. I'll probably never deep cycle them that many times.
  • n3qikn3qik Solar Expert Posts: 741 ✭✭
    Re: Got Some Interesting Batteries Last Saturday

    Glade you understand that there could be some limit to number of cycles.
  • TnAndyTnAndy Solar Expert Posts: 249 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Got Some Interesting Batteries Last Saturday

    I got 3 sets of these last week....this one was 4 years old, but got two more sets that were new, never installed.

    1200amp/hr ( 8hr rate ) @ 24v. 3000lbs/set

    7882_p125182.jpeg
  • DapdanDapdan Solar Expert Posts: 313 ✭✭
    Re: Got Some Interesting Batteries Last Saturday

    Hey Tnandy,

    My friend you are set for life. I reckon you will not need batteries for at least 15yrs maybe more. You have stuck the perverbial gold mine in terms of batteries. Treat them well. Consider getting Catalsyt caps from Peter Demars company so you can optimise and extend their life. Mine are 10 years old and still going strong.

    Cheers...
    Damani
  • TnAndyTnAndy Solar Expert Posts: 249 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Got Some Interesting Batteries Last Saturday

    Thanks Damani,

    Had to pay silver for the gold mine... :D

    Now I'm studying your other thread.

    I got an Ioata 40amp charger w/IQ4, and charged the first set. It read 25v when I connected the plates to all the cells, and 27v after I charged it per the manual that came with them, for 12 hrs. I'm waiting now to see if it holds that voltage or drops back. I think the two never used sets are in real good shape...
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,101 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Got Some Interesting Batteries Last Saturday
    TnAndy wrote: »
    I got an Ioata 40amp charger w/IQ4, and charged the first set. It read 25v when I connected the plates to all the cells, and 27v after I charged it per the manual that came with them, for 12 hrs. I'm waiting now to see if it holds that voltage or drops back. I think the two never used sets are in real good shape...

    Unless you have the extra, optional module for the IOTA, they don't throttle the voltage back far enough for AGM cells, when fully charged, you could easily boil them dry.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • TnAndyTnAndy Solar Expert Posts: 249 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Got Some Interesting Batteries Last Saturday

    Yes, you're right....that's the IQ4 part, so they go into a float/trickle charge after bulk.
  • KamalaKamala Solar Expert Posts: 452 ✭✭
    Re: Got Some Interesting Batteries Last Saturday
    TnAndy wrote: »
    I got 3 sets of these last week....this one was 4 years old, but got two more sets that were new, never installed.

    WOW! Those are interesting indeed. I'm trying to figure out the series parallel connections...
  • DapdanDapdan Solar Expert Posts: 313 ✭✭
    Re: Got Some Interesting Batteries Last Saturday

    I believe the connection is a series one to give one 24v bank. It would have been done that way to have the positive and negative in the same corner of the bank. I like it and I think I am going to redo mine like that. I currently have my neg and pos post on opposite corners.

    Cheers...
    Damani
  • KamalaKamala Solar Expert Posts: 452 ✭✭
    Re: Got Some Interesting Batteries Last Saturday
    Dapdan wrote: »
    I believe the connection is a series one
    Damani

    IYWBSKATTM what is a series one connection. I' not an EE but a 40 yr hobbyist unfamiliar with the esoteric terms. Which, I realize, may not be so. :blush:

    If you would be so kind as to tell me
  • TnAndyTnAndy Solar Expert Posts: 249 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Got Some Interesting Batteries Last Saturday
    Kamala wrote: »
    WOW! Those are interesting indeed. I'm trying to figure out the series parallel connections...


    One thing a bit confusing about the Absolyte battery in the photo is that each 2v cell has FOUR terminals.....but you only get 2 volts no matter how you measure from positive ( red ) to negative ( black ) on any individual cell.....measure "ll" or "X".....

    I assume the extra two terminals on each cell have something to do with the battery design, and maybe increasing the surface area of the plates inside the cell, because "normally", you will never see but one positive and one negative terminal on a battery cell.....when you buy a 6v or 12v battery, for example, they are made up of 3 or 6 cells of 2v each, with the positive/negative connected in series internally, and only the end positve/negative terminal goes to the outside for cable connections.

    SO, in the photo, simply ignore that there are two connections per cell, and follow the positive to negative to positive to negative, and so on, starting from the positive cable terminal on the upper, left cell ( the large plate with two bolt holes sticking out to the left ) and thru all the cells until you end up at the negative terminal connection on the second cell down on the left ( right under the positive terminal connection )......that's a 24v setup.

    To use 1/2 the set as a 12v, you would remove the connector plates from cells 4 & 5 ( start the cell numbers from upper left corner, read right 1,2,3, next layer, 4,5,6 ) that drop down, and simply connect them horizontally neg to pos......that would give you 12v on the output terminals, and leave the lower 6 cells disconnected from that set.

    The individual cells can also be removed to flip the pos/neg positions around by simply removing connector plates, then remove 3 small bolts on the retainer strip ( where the label is ), and slide any cell(s) out of the case.

    By the way, those connector plates look like steel, but they are actually solid copper with some kind of "tin" coating on them, for corrosion prevention I guess. The connection bolts are all stainless steel.
  • DapdanDapdan Solar Expert Posts: 313 ✭✭
    Re: Got Some Interesting Batteries Last Saturday

    Kamala

    Basically all the cell are stringed together one after that other to give you a total of 24v across the entire battery when complete. Everything Tnandy has said is correct.

    Tnandy you are correct about the post and the connection strips. It is tined copper to reduce corrosion and improve the contact very similar to tinned copper wire used on boats mainly so it functions with minimum maintanence in an otherwise aggresive and caustic environment. Also I have seen cells bigger than the one you have that have 6 post(3 pos and 3 neg) per cell so that the large current can be safely discharged from the cell.

    Cheers...
    Damani
  • TnAndyTnAndy Solar Expert Posts: 249 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Got Some Interesting Batteries Last Saturday

    I'm a heck of a guesser, huh......multiple choice question tests were always a breeze for me.......ahahahahaaa.....

    My first glance at them when I picked them up, I kept trying to grasp that 4 terminal per cell thing, and thinking "How is this a 24v battery....".....but it became clear as mud when I put a volt meter on the terminals and measured 2v no matter how I connected between positve and negative on the same cell....
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Got Some Interesting Batteries Last Saturday

    Interesting configuratioin... Mine are a bit different , 12 v batt...
    they are 3 cells to a row with the POS and Neg lead attachment points on the same end, which is achieved more simply than having those very 'interesting ' fancy shaped plates.
    It is done by alternating the + and _ post of the adjoining cell, ie + on top, + on bottom, + on top again, with the next layer in the same orientation so that the - on one end of the top row is adjacent to the +

    like this : with flat connecting straps, starting at the right side (-) posts, the Upper Right + post and the lower right - posts are the terminals

    + + - - + + [ + post]
    - - + + - -
    | |
    + + - - + +
    - - + + - - [ - post ]

    much easier to maintain8)

    cheers
    Eric
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Got Some Interesting Batteries Last Saturday
    Kamala wrote: »
    IYWBSKATTM what is a series one connection. I' not an EE but a 40 yr hobbyist unfamiliar with the esoteric terms. Which, I realize, may not be so. :blush:

    If you would be so kind as to tell me


    Heh. I think he didn't mean a "series one" connection. No such thing.

    He just used the word "one" in an offhand fashion - like saying "the other one" or "that windmill sure is a noisy one".
  • n3qikn3qik Solar Expert Posts: 741 ✭✭
    Re: Got Some Interesting Batteries Last Saturday

    That is twelve 2 volt batteries in series for a 24 volt bank. They are dual terminal to help pass the high current.
  • KamalaKamala Solar Expert Posts: 452 ✭✭
    Re: Got Some Interesting Batteries Last Saturday

    Makes sense now. Thanks Ken.
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