Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Any Real-world comparison #s for converted alum LA vs LA batteries?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Any Real-world comparison #s for converted alum LA vs LA batteries?

    I'd really like to try converting my deep-cycle 12v batteries with alum, but no one offers any real-world, resting-state, amp-hour comparison info. There are plenty of people who have written about their conversions, but, why doesn't anyone ever share any real numbers, like "amp-hours", and "resting-voltage", if those terms even apply anymore with a alum-converted LA battery.

    The problem is that most alum LA batter conversions are done for cars, which have a constant charging source, the alternator.
    On a boat, wind & solar are not always available, so it's a whole nother story. You have to constantly make sure you don't drop the battery below 50% capacity, or the battery quickly loses it's ability to hold a charge.

    Here are my numbers and info. Would it be worth trying to convert to an alum lead-acid battery?
    I bought 3 large deep-cycle lead-acid batteries from Sears that probably had sat on the shelf for 5 years & were never maintained. The price was 30% off, but I can only use 10% of the battery's stated amp-hours before dropping below the 50% charged voltage of 12.2 volts at resting-state. That's with a 99% fully charged battery. Basically, I let my wind-generator charge it overnight in 25 MPH winds to the point where the wind-gen is cycling on & off doing trickle-charges, indicating to me that the batteries are fully charged. Then if I wait a few hours with no draw, the batteries initially tested 12.5 volts. Now that 3 months have passed the batteries are reading out 12.3 volts at resting voltage after a full charging, which indicates that the batteries have 60% capacity. (although some say 12.3 volts indicates 50% capacity)

    As soon as I put a 100W inverter on the 12-volt batteries, it quickly drops to 12.1 volts in 10 minutes and will hold on to 12.0 volts for another 40 minutes, but if disconnect the draw at that point and let the batteries rest for a few hours, they eventually show a resting-state voltage of 12.25 to 12.3.

    I don't know how many amps the inverter & laptop adaptor is truly drawing. For some reason, my multimeters ALWAYS quit being able to measure amps within the first week. I've never been able to figure that one out.

    But assuming it's around 100 watts, which is a relatively safe assumption, that's 8.33 amps for about 1 hour which indicates about 8 amp hours per full charge. And this is available from a 27M 105 amp-hour rated Die-Hard deepcycle Sears Lead-Acid battery. So I can use about 7.6% of the 3-month old battery's stated capacity. Normally, with a brand-new battery, one can expect around 45% of the amp-hour capacity before reaching the 50% capacity limit of a 12-volt battery. I read that the battery is not supposed to be drained past 50% w/ normal lead acid batteries.

    Does this also apply to LA batteries w/ alum added?
    Would I probably be able to use the inverter longer? The inverter is supposed to shut off once it reaches 11.5 volts, so if the alum-LA battery quickly drops it to 11.5 volts it might not be of much use for the inverter, but may be of more value for my anchor light.
    Has anyone done any real-world applications with the alum setup and seen any real improvements on the amount of time available to the ham-radio/lights/inverters... or whatever you normally use?

    I don't have bandwidth for youtube videos. I'd love to glean info from them, but I can't. I'm limited to text, so, if the good info is in the videos, can someone please roughly describe the improvements I'm likely to see if I dissolve some pickling alum into the acid in my battery & let the solar panel's 17-watt max, or the wind-charger's auto-charging circuit go at it & drain it to 0 volts & repeat for a while?

    http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...-a-121889.html
    There's some more info about Sears' great 30% off discounted deep cycle batteries.

  • #2
    you have 2 options as your batteries are already shot. capacity is a function of clean plates and no sulfation. you can rejuvenate them on an SG first, get the capacity back and run them as lead acids. or just dump the acid out and put in alum solution and see what happens. the resting voltage on alum is lower, otherwise it behaves just like a lead acid.

    you cannot just drop some alum into your battery, it requires a complete dumping out of the acid a flush with distilled water, then refilling with an alum solution..... your mileage will vary, start with junk and sometimes you end with junk your batteries are not 3 months old they are 5 year old batteries mostly sulfated. 10 percent capacity means 90 percent sulfated.

    if you need it now, get a couple of good batteries cause you will spend lot of time getting those ugly ones back up to snuff.

    Tom C
    Last edited by Tom C; 04-05-2014, 04:10 PM.


    experimental Kits, chargers and solar trackers

    Comment


    • #3
      they work just like Lead Acid? what about the 50% discharge limit?

      Hi Tom. Thanks for your informed reply. Does the alum-battery have the same 50% discharge limitation as the lead-acid battery? Cause w/ the deep-cycle lead acid battery I have to constantly monitor it and make sure it doesn't drop below 50% of the battery's capacity, or 12.25 resting volts.
      Doesn't the alum LA batter lack this limitation?
      The alum LA battery seems to get STRONGER the more it's used. Is the sulphation perhaps being removed more & more with each recharge cycle?
      I've read that sulphation on an LA battery helps with the alum conversion, that if there's no sulphation, the conversion might not work well.
      I don't know what an SG is, but I have a radioshack nearby. I can convert 1 battery at a time & perhaps use the other 2 to help recharge it, or just use the solar panel or the wind-generator's charger. Another option is to pay $70 a night & use the A/C charger with the marina's A/C hookup, but that's pricey.
      What's SG stand for? Sorry I'm new. I don't expect to see results, but it would be great to have some hope. I thought sulfation was just a layer around the lead, perhaps something that can be removed, but maybe I misunderstood. The Sears manager said he would "warranty out the batterys" if his test don't pass, but I have a feeling that the battery's would pass his test, esp. after he charges it. Hauling those batteries back to Sears would be a lot of work & cost a lot of money... I sure hope there's hope w/ the alum conversion. I'd rather not have to worry about the 50% limit anyways!
      Please tell me it doesn't matter if an alum-converted LA battery goes below 50%. Tell me it that, unlike regular LA batterys, it won't effect the capacity.
      Originally posted by Tom C View Post
      you have 2 options as your batteries are already shot. capacity is a function of clean plates and no sulfation. you can rejuvenate them on an SG first, get the capacity back and run them as lead acids. or just dump the acid out and put in alum solution and see what happens. the resting voltage on alum is lower, otherwise it behaves just like a lead acid.

      you cannot just drop some alum into your battery, it requires a complete dumping out of the acid a flush with distilled water, then refilling with an alum solution..... your mileage will vary, start with junk and sometimes you end with junk your batteries are not 3 months old they are 5 year old batteries mostly sulfated. 10 percent capacity means 90 percent sulfated.

      if you need it now, get a couple of good batteries cause you will spend lot of time getting those ugly ones back up to snuff.

      Tom C

      Comment


      • #4
        The SG is a monopole energiser, look around on this forum you will see lots of examples, it is a pulse charger that restores old batteries and gives them more capacity. I cannot tell you what an alum battery will do with deep discharge. I am used to using lead acid deep cycle batteries, the trojan T series to be precise, these can go way lower than a regular lead acid battery, a pair of 6 volts in series can go down to 11 volts no problem at 225 amp hours for the T145 .

        you will have other problems going lower in voltage with a battery. like you said inverters have a low voltage cutoff, and your DC stuff (radio, radar, gps, depth sounder, etc) will not like to run low voltage. an anchor light needs to be converted to led anyway, as do your running lights and interior cabin lights, and your compass binnacle light. all those will save you watts over a period of time. if I was counting on my batteries I would get good ones now.

        if you convert your warranty is void anyway.

        Tom C


        experimental Kits, chargers and solar trackers

        Comment


        • #5
          Very precise explanation by Tom C ..I Liked it!!!!!!
          Rgds,
          Faraday88.
          'Wisdom comes from living out of the knowledge.'

          Comment


          • #6
            An alum conversion on a LA sulfated battery will give you a sulfated alum battery. IF the sulfate has been on the plates years, you need high voltage (low current) to penetrate the hardend layer. Your regular current charger will not move put the sulfate back into the solution very well and may short it by breaking larger pieces of sulfate off the plates. In my experience alum batteries can be discharged much deeper than LA. They also hold a charge longer when lower amperage is being than would a LA batt. Great for lights. I have run mine dead, reverse charged them, and then charged them back up the right way to see how robust they are. Still using them. I have not taken a good battery and checked the actual amp hours vs. a converted one yet. If you have no electronic background or interests do not mess with these, buy new batteries, and puch their voltage up to 15.3v when charging and they will last longer. Also, alum is weak in the cold weather. They become indoor batteries, perfect for solar applictions. Aln

            Comment


            • #7
              I can't afford to keep buying new batteries. These were "new" batteries. I need to learn how to fix the myself.

              First, I have a mischevious friend who sometimes messes with my batteries & other things, just to tease me.
              My batteries were working OK for my uses. I rarely let it go below 12.25 volts resting-state. Then I left the boat for a long trip & when I came back, the batteries were shot for no apparent reason that I can think of other than my friend.

              I found the batteries at 12 volts and there was no abnormal drain. Since then, I have been unable to get them to recharge my laptop batteries without draining the 12-volt batteries to below 11 volts. The bank consists of 2 29M deep cycle diehard batteries. I'm not sure what happened, but my inverter starts beeping now, due to low voltage, and the solar-cells cannot even charge it up like they used to.

              So, I looked in the compartments and the lead is covered in acid. I found a speck of white paint chip in one of the compartments which indicates to me that someone else has been in there, cause I'd never allow that.

              So, if I just flush out the battery & gunk that's at the bottom w/ DI water and fill it up w/ DI water & hook it back to the wind-generator & solar panels, would the charging process not gradually turn the di-water into the proper acid-solution required? Might this be a way to restore the old girl?

              I've already tried shaking the battery up real good & beating it w/ a hammer.


              Before I try the alum method

              Comment


              • #8
                1 more thing: On rejeuvinating the batteries first: MOTs, little neon-lightning-balls, or even a tazer might be an affordable way to get some high voltage into my batteries. Of course I'd have to pulse it at a rate reasonable to keep anything from overheating, but, this seems pretty simple enough, right? Put some pulses of high voltage into the 12 v LAB and eventually, hopefully, maybe it will be rejeuvinated. How many pulses? How long? I'm going to hunt down your documents, but I dislike pdf documents, cause they are always huge & I'm on a bandwidth limited budget.

                Comment


                • #9
                  One more thing, is this technology disliked by the powers that be? Don't corporations prefer that people spend more money on their stuff than be able to fix their own at home? Isn't that why planned obscolecence even exists?
                  I'm having trouble even finding alum. I saw them at the grocery stores before, but last time I went w/ a specific purpose of finding some, they were all vanished. I asked the cop standing next to me, when I was in the isle where it normally was... wait, she looked like one, she was EMS... anyways, no one knew where it went, but everyone swore they saw it before.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    liveaboard,

                    at the start of this thread you said the salesman would replace them if they were bad..... take them back to sears and use the diehard warranty and get them replaced. you either build a monopole and desulphate them, then convert, or you can run them as lead acids. you can get alum from www.mysppicesage.com or find pickling alum. you will spend a lot of money buying it in a grocery store it comes in little tiny spice bottles at 4 bucks each. take the 40 bucks and spend it getting your batteries swapped out.

                    Tom C


                    experimental Kits, chargers and solar trackers

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It's worth a shot, but damn I don't have such throwaway money & this automotive Sears manager in Charleston, SC did not sound very willing to "honor the warranty" unless his machine tests the batteries to be bad, and part of their test is to charge the batteries before testing and from what I hear, Sears' policy doesn't follow the instructions for the test perfectly. Well, we got it charged to 12.6 volts, so... it's good. Yeah? Well how about we wait 30 minutes. You can wait as long as you want. The impression I got on the phone is that part of the test is recharging it. There are many complaints about Sears and batteries. THey just cannot keep them moving from the shelves anymore for some reason.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        find a local tire shop or a napa that does batteries, they have battery testers that can print out the state of the battery... either the batteries are bad, or your solar is not charging them enough. a charger should take a battery ABOVE 14.5 ideally to 15.0 to 15.3 and capacity is not the same as charged. if you only have 10 percent of your plate material available it will charge but wont last very long. it needs to be load tested to show its true state.

                        Tom C


                        experimental Kits, chargers and solar trackers

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          stil no real-world #s

                          I've looked up & down on the web for real-world figures, but of all the years of people experimenting w/ alum batteries, nobody gives any real data, except "It's strong enough to start my car."

                          OK, there's one exception with a guy who was showing 3 amps at 10.3 volts after 1 hour, or somewhere thereabouts, which is pathetic.

                          If I can find some alum at a reasonable price, heck, I'll get the data to the world myself. So far, all I can find locally is that dang $3 for an ounze of McKormick spice alum, which is outrageous, and I personally hate McKormick for other reasons, cause I've emailed them before about what's in their "spices"... & their reply was frightening.

                          Anyways, if anyone has any real world data for using deep cycle alum batteries, please do share.
                          My inverter cuts off at around 10.5 volts, so, how many amp ours could I get out of a converted 100 amp-hour battery before it drops below 10.5 volts with a 100 watt draw?

                          What about with a 30 watt (2.5 amp) draw?

                          How does this figure compare with before it was converted? or, better put, how does the amp-hour capacity of the alum converted battery compare to a battery that has fresh sulfuric acid added to it instead of alum?

                          Beyond all this:
                          Does using alum instead of sulfuric acid really cause the plates to DEsulfate?
                          That would be awesome.
                          And, does using alum really give the battery an unlimited battery life?
                          What about Hydrogen gas? Do alum-batteries give off hydrogen gas, or any other gas?
                          That's important info, cause hydrogen gas from LABs cause headaches and stinks, and can even cause explosions, so all things being equal, that alone may be reason enough to convert, but I'm still not convinced that an alum-converted battery has the same power as a LAB.

                          For one, LAB's stay around 12 volts longer. 12.2 volts = 50% discharged LAB.

                          I read that alum converted batteries discharge linearly, so would that mean that a 50% discharged alum battery would read 6 volts? That's a real disadvantage.

                          Is that true?

                          Also, you're not supposed to discharge LABs lower than 12.2 volts, because that shortens their battery life.
                          Will it shorten the battery life of the converted alum battery to discharge it more than 50%?

                          Important questions worth considering.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            capacity and load testing of alum battery

                            Originally posted by liveaboardl View Post
                            I'd really like to try converting my deep-cycle 12v batteries with alum, but no one offers any real-world, resting-state, amp-hour comparison info. There are plenty of people who have written about their conversions, but, why doesn't anyone ever share any real numbers, like "amp-hours", and "resting-voltage", if those terms even apply anymore with a alum-converted LA battery.

                            The problem is that most alum LA batter conversions are done for cars, which have a constant charging source, the alternator.
                            On a boat, wind & solar are not always available, so it's a whole nother story. You have to constantly make sure you don't drop the battery below 50% capacity, or the battery quickly loses it's ability to hold a charge.

                            Here are my numbers and info. Would it be worth trying to convert to an alum lead-acid battery?
                            I bought 3 large deep-cycle lead-acid batteries from Sears that probably had sat on the shelf for 5 years & were never maintained. The price was 30% off, but I can only use 10% of the battery's stated amp-hours before dropping below the 50% charged voltage of 12.2 volts at resting-state. That's with a 99% fully charged battery. Basically, I let my wind-generator charge it overnight in 25 MPH winds to the point where the wind-gen is cycling on & off doing trickle-charges, indicating to me that the batteries are fully charged. Then if I wait a few hours with no draw, the batteries initially tested 12.5 volts. Now that 3 months have passed the batteries are reading out 12.3 volts at resting voltage after a full charging, which indicates that the batteries have 60% capacity. (although some say 12.3 volts indicates 50% capacity)

                            As soon as I put a 100W inverter on the 12-volt batteries, it quickly drops to 12.1 volts in 10 minutes and will hold on to 12.0 volts for another 40 minutes, but if disconnect the draw at that point and let the batteries rest for a few hours, they eventually show a resting-state voltage of 12.25 to 12.3.

                            I don't know how many amps the inverter & laptop adaptor is truly drawing. For some reason, my multimeters ALWAYS quit being able to measure amps within the first week. I've never been able to figure that one out.

                            But assuming it's around 100 watts, which is a relatively safe assumption, that's 8.33 amps for about 1 hour which indicates about 8 amp hours per full charge. And this is available from a 27M 105 amp-hour rated Die-Hard deepcycle Sears Lead-Acid battery. So I can use about 7.6% of the 3-month old battery's stated capacity. Normally, with a brand-new battery, one can expect around 45% of the amp-hour capacity before reaching the 50% capacity limit of a 12-volt battery. I read that the battery is not supposed to be drained past 50% w/ normal lead acid batteries.

                            Does this also apply to LA batteries w/ alum added?
                            Would I probably be able to use the inverter longer? The inverter is supposed to shut off once it reaches 11.5 volts, so if the alum-LA battery quickly drops it to 11.5 volts it might not be of much use for the inverter, but may be of more value for my anchor light.
                            Has anyone done any real-world applications with the alum setup and seen any real improvements on the amount of time available to the ham-radio/lights/inverters... or whatever you normally use?

                            I don't have bandwidth for youtube videos. I'd love to glean info from them, but I can't. I'm limited to text, so, if the good info is in the videos, can someone please roughly describe the improvements I'm likely to see if I dissolve some pickling alum into the acid in my battery & let the solar panel's 17-watt max, or the wind-charger's auto-charging circuit go at it & drain it to 0 volts & repeat for a while?

                            http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...-a-121889.html
                            There's some more info about Sears' great 30% off discounted deep cycle batteries.
                            So I looked all over the internet but couldnt find any conclusive or data based results on the capacity of an alum battery before and after conversion so I thought ill take up the task myself. Despite the fact that the testing wasnt carried out "perfectly" but was close enough (some data points were interpolated, however it was done in such a manner that if anything the result of capacity for the alum battery would be understated) - the results are quite encouraging. I am sharing the excel file with all the data and the manipulation that I have done with it... feel free to play around with it and make up your own mind... and please share with others who are trying to get the data before going through an actual conversion.lead acid.JPGalum battery 2nd charge.JPG

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              do you know how to make a capacitive battery charger? if not then here is the way it's done. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POiPpTZ1nA0. be safe when charging batteries with it. then you'll need use epson salt in the acid water mix, as a mix itself. if there is room to add any epson water then do so. and this will aid in reversing the sulphation process. so if you don't have an sg now, this is cheaper than building an sg.
                              Last edited by kf4dcy; 01-20-2016, 11:02 AM.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X