Gell Batteries - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-23-2013, 01:40 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
OK, I went with a volt meter this time. I had to return four of the small batteries that were really low voltage. I took all the batteries on the skid that were 55 Ahr, (2), 65 Ahr, (4), or 75 Ahr, (7) and a few 35 Ahr non jel batteries. Every one that was over 12 VDC.
I will stop now. I am just finding it difficult to cope with the obvious wasted resource. I have tested the batteries with my handy dandy Princess Auto, analog battery tester:
6/12V Battery Tester | Princess Auto

It can't be hooked up backwards. It doesn’t care. 50A,... OK what ever, I'm not going to calibrate it. It smells funny when you use it too much. When the only button is pushed it loads for thirty seconds, (also not confirmed), but is still reading voltage. Of the batteries recovered, the worst one dropped from 12.5 ish to 11.5 ish. over the course of about thirty seconds. Seems acceptable to me.

So, what I want to know is how, in this reduce, renew, recycle world is this allowed to happen? I mean, this is real value being completely wasted. We recycle the mountain of paper that is as waste goes, inert, if not beneficial. But we just callously toss literally tons of lead, a less benign substance. Yeah, I know it all gets recycled, buy why recycle perfectly good batteries. This is the first that I have looked into this, I doubt that this is an isolated event.
OK, I get it from a business perspective. There will be no profit margin, and it would compete with your bread and butter business, ain’t nobody got time for that.
There should be some way to divert resources from the waste stream.
Another example, also from my brothers company. They have to pay $50 a ton to dispose of dunnage, the wood that big stuff is packed with. He now knows to separate out the oak for our Friday night fires. That stuff burns HOT! I also get it from Engineered Air, a large roof mounted air conditioner manufacture. They have bins outside their gate. All their excess dunnage goes in them. They even cut it up into 16” lengths sometimes. I get 8' lengths of 4x4 oak. I could easily heat my house all winter long on the wood that I take home in the poop fly. Most of it goes to keeping me and my brother warm while we drink beer around a really big, really hot, fire. The police helicopter usually fly’s directly over my house at least once every Friday.

These batteries probably came from some electronic operation like cell towers, server farms, etc. Because it's very very costly for some places to stop functioning the back up batteries are replaced every 2 years. It's cheaper than taking the risk of not functioning when needed.
Some of the companies near here simply gather up the used ones every 4 or 5 years and send off to be recycled. Some times they will sell them or give them away earlier. This is great for us that use batteries. I have used about 3 of the cast offs, 1 I killed by over charging too fast. 1 I used it until it wouldn't hold a charge, about 3 years. and 1 I'm still using as a back up to the house battery and to run ham radio gear.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:28 AM   #16
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Exactly as Byron says,we Hams all use these batteries and they are a great resource for our applications for sure.
They are also free usually which appeals to the "Cheap Ham" in each of us,any Hams here know what I mean!

The problem or challenge for you application David is not the quality or still usefull life span of these batteries but again it is using them in a system with other batteries in a system.

If you build a small Solar setup for the trailer and charge these batteries with it then you can have useful power when not camping with shore power.

By using a simple A/B battery switch backwards you can easily power the trailer from either your current house batteries OR the Solar setup batteries and all you will need to do is use big wire through it all and keep it as short as possible.

Another thing I have done is use 2 75ah gel cells like yours on a snall wheeled cart charged by Solar and/or shore power. I can power the trailer with it or a big radio station or an inverter and I use it all the time for all sorts of power I need,it is ust almost oo heavy to move!

Just like the wood you mention there are a lot of uses for those batteries if you just research it a little.

I can promise you a call to your local Ham Radio club would get them "Recycled" right away and they will not be disposed of either!

Ed
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:28 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
These batteries probably came from some electronic operation like cell towers, server farms, etc.
No, I am pretty sure they came from wheel chairs. As mentioned in my original post. I got them from a company that sells and services handicap scooters, wheel chairs, and chair lifts for stairs. The fact that many of the batteries say Medichair on the side is also evidence of this. They have many different sizes, from the same batteries used in break a way controllers, (5 Ahr?) to the 75 Ahr gel batteries. About half of the ones I tested the voltage on were over 12 VDC.

Clearly there are limitations to them. So, what are the advantages of gel batteries?

I will think on this some more. So far,only one response on the free battery offer. I have four trailers that I will put solar on eventually.
If I get more, then I will probably give the local HAM club a call.
I have a real problem with waste.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:31 PM   #18
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David

I am guessing that you can understand the reasoning behind a WheelChair company replacing them whether they need them to or not when they reach a certain age?

Like Byron said it is cheaper than leaving them in place and suffering the results just in the name of the cost,don't you think?

I also imagine that there are plenty of people in WheelChairs that do not have the luxury of doing this and that might well be one certain spot to try to recycle the ones you get.

In general a Gel Cell has advantages in an environment where they will need to be mounted sideways or upside down as the Gelled Electrolyte will not run out as it will with traditional flooded electrolyte batteries.

They also have an output curve that is an advantage in some applications and they are more expensive and not able to be maintained which makes more money for the manufacturer!

It is really a question of using whichever battery you choose in an optimum manner when charging and discharging and really they are all more alike than different.

I also think it will cost money to have them recycled in a lot of cases so finding alternative applications for them is a good idea from every way you look at it.

I have 4-75ah batteries that came from a huge industrial UPS power system where like the chair power would be catastrophic if they failed while in that use. So my Ham club took all 42 of them when offered and all we had to do was go get them,and carry them out!

We will happily take every one we can get ad use them until they die and then find more so they can certainly be used somewhere. Building a solar system for a trailer will be a lot cheaper if you don't have to buy the batteries so I would look into that if I were you.

Ed
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:10 PM   #19
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I notice lots of UPS systems for cheap on Craigslist that "just need a new battery". Maybe these could be matched with old UPS set ups.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:17 PM   #20
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I also acquired a large UPS for free. Same situation. My company would rather buy a new one, than replace the batteries. I paid $130 for two new batteries for it. That was a deal at the time. The UPS also happens to have an external battery plug for 24VDC. I guess two of the batteries could be used there.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:33 PM   #21
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.......The UPS also happens to have an external battery plug for 24VDC. ........
What do you plug into 24 volts?
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:05 PM   #22
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There is an external DC disconnect connection that is identical to the internal battery disconnect. When we moved, they were throwing out the UPS, and a couple of previously replaced garbage batteries. I took the disconnect connections and the attached fuses off the garbage batteries. I will just connect two of the gel cells in series, with a fuse between them and install the disconnect on a #10 umbilical to the UPS.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:13 PM   #23
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Many UPS units have an external connection so you can connect a larger battery bank tha will fit inside the unit itself.

The charging circuits will usually slow charge a much bigger bank than will fit in the case and it allows for growing into a bigger unit without having to replace the "Brain" by just enhancing the storage.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:06 PM   #24
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In general a Gel Cell has advantages in an environment where they will need to be mounted sideways or upside down as the Gelled Electrolyte will not run out as it will with traditional flooded electrolyte batteries.
Yes, and the same applies to AGM batteries. As I mentioned before, I would expect AGM in all of these applications (that don't use flooded batteries) now, although gel was common in the past. I wonder if AGM batteries are available on the same basis?
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:50 PM   #25
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Have you actually tried the microwave.. The 700W refers to cooking watts not how much to start and run the microwave.. I'd be surprised if the 1000 watt inventor can handle it.. If at all not for long... Careful sizing your wires from the battery to invertor
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:57 AM   #26
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Have you actually tried the microwave.. The 700W refers to cooking watts not how much to start and run the microwave.. I'd be surprised if the 1000 watt inventor can handle it.. If at all not for long... Careful sizing your wires from the battery to invertor
Yup. The 700W microwave starts and runs just fine on the 1000 W inverter while connected to the 65 Ahr battery. It takes longer to heat water then I am used to, but it is only a 700 W microwave. $75 is really not much for a 12 VDC microwave.
The inverter complains when the voltage gets low. The 65 Ahr gel battery did not set off this alarm after running for two minuets.
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