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

  1. #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.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Tom C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Pacific Northwest
    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

  3. #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.

  4. #14

    capacity and load testing of alum battery

    Quote 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?
    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

  5. #15
    do you know how to make a capacitive battery charger? if not then here is the way it's done. 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 at 11:02 AM.


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