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Thread: Lead alum battery attempt

  1. #11
    Not sure if this is the right thread. I am going to do a lead acid battery conversion to lead alum. I found some aluminium sulphate at a fertilizer supplier, and 3 old 12v car starter batteries. Shall post what I do as I do it. Am hoping these batteries become okay deep cycle batteries when I am finished.

  2. #12
    Starting with this old battery. Before emptying it I am charging it using a conventional charger.Attachment 2446Attachment 2447 Just realized that these batteries are lead/calcium and silver/calcium. Don't know if that matters?
    Update: I completed one of the batteries.(12vx50aH silver calcium)
    It had a resting voltage of 12:17 before conversion. It took charge. Then I emptied it and put in 1.5cups of Aluminium Sulphate per 1 litre of warmed distilled water.
    Initial voltage now 11.20. Then I trickle charged it over night using a Battery fighter 1.25A conventional charger.
    It is 1 celcius in my shed now..battery is fully charged after 6 hours or less still connected to charger maintaining it at 14:4volts. Had to top up some cells with distilled water.
    Update: After 2hrs resting from it's first(conventional) charge the alum conversion is 12:12volts..still about 1 celcius in shed. Hooked battery to a 12v 4 watt globe to discharge it. Will take it down to 10 volts. See how long that takes?
    Okay...so I took the battery down to 8 volts after realising that the c20 rate required 2.5amp draw for the 50 ah battery.
    It took about 5 hours to get down to 8v from 12.12v resting. Now it has rested 1 hour and is resting again at 11.2volts ready to recharge.
    When do we start charging these alum batteries with Radiant???? Anyone?
    Last edited by D Rhodes; 07-07-2013 at 01:15 AM. Reason: update on process

  3. #13
    That battery above has cca of 405, so I was discharging too rapidly! I have since been cycling it at 1 amp discharge and same for charging. That is, I am drawing 1Amp from primary on a 5filar SSG, 4 MJL21194's, 330ohm on each base. 1 spike. About 350rpm's guestimate, 16.5" wheel with 18 2"x1"x0.5" C8magnets. The last few times I have been using SSG in SS mode, drawing same 1 amp. The input of conventional energy into the charge battery is 500mA. It takes about 24 hours to charge from 0 to 14.70 volts.
    I have discharged the battery down to <1 volt, with 0.83A of computer fans. It takes about 50 hours from fully charged (14.70volts so far) to 1 volt.
    The surprising thing for me has been that this was a car Starter Battery...as such it should not be discharged below 10.50volts....but this can be repeatedly drawn down to almost 0 volts, whilst still providing 1 amp of current! Then be fully charged back up to 14.70.
    The battery has a resting voltage of 12.20 after charging on the radiant. It blows me out!!

  4. #14
    How do you convert a gell cell to Alum? I thought that you couldn't because the sulphuric acid is absorbed in the paper separators therefore you can't get rid of the acid? I must be missing something.

    Cheers!

    JM

  5. #15
    I don't think you can either. But I may be wrong.
    I am wrong...have a look at this whole video here
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXT1YjXijAI
    Last edited by D Rhodes; 09-18-2013 at 02:18 AM. Reason: found more info

  6. #16
    Senior Member Tom C's Avatar
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    you are right D gel cells have the electrolyte suspended in fibreglass mat.... when they dry its goodbye!!

    Tom C


    experimental Kits, chargers and solar trackers

  7. #17
    Are you talking about the OP who said gel cells?

    He may have meant AGM which are much more common than real gel cell. You can probably never get all of the acid out of them but in an AGM it is not locked up in a gel. I have a bunch of AGM's and for the longest time I would simply add a few drops to the mat to replenish the electrolyte. After awhile I got sick of doing that so I flooded them and added just a little acid to make up the difference. They work exactly like a normal flooded battery now.

    I will try converting one to alum. Theoretically if you charge it fully before emptying the electrolyte you will be dumping the majority of the acid out. If you try to do it in a discharged state it will be locked up in the plates.

    Over all I agree that AGM's are a terrible choice for this technology and I would not buy them, but I get them for free. All computer data centers regularly replace their UPS batteries about every 6 months to a year which means their are a ton of them for the taking. These batteries can handle massive loads for their size because they are meant to supply computer systems in an outage.

  8. #18
    Bobzilla
    I too had a cost free supply of Agm batteries. A lot of wheelchair batteries are agm or gell. I have some that are prob 15 yrs plus. My experience with some has been positive, some you just can not fix.
    I took one agm that had a standing voltage of 6.45V, when JB gave one of the electrolyte formulas for making our own batteries, I filled the Battery up with that solution let it sit overnight the voltage came up to 8.23V
    I then put it on the energizer for 3 days and then a regular charger till it came up to 14.8. I then let it sit and would check the voltage once a week for about 5 months. After 5 months it sat at 12.05V. Now I Just charge it and use it as
    I do any of my Batteries. I have since done this to 3 more AGM batteries and they work almost like a new battery. The gel cells are sort of hit and miss (mostly miss) All of these batteries are 75 AH batt. So if any body has access to
    used AGM batteries its worth a shot, who knows. I do agree with you bob that I would not purchase AGM for this technology, however, if you can get them for free why not try.


    Quote Originally Posted by BobZilla View Post
    Are you talking about the OP who said gel cells?

    He may have meant AGM which are much more common than real gel cell. You can probably never get all of the acid out of them but in an AGM it is not locked up in a gel. I have a bunch of AGM's and for the longest time I would simply add a few drops to the mat to replenish the electrolyte. After awhile I got sick of doing that so I flooded them and added just a little acid to make up the difference. They work exactly like a normal flooded battery now.

    I will try converting one to alum. Theoretically if you charge it fully before emptying the electrolyte you will be dumping the majority of the acid out. If you try to do it in a discharged state it will be locked up in the plates.

    Over all I agree that AGM's are a terrible choice for this technology and I would not buy them, but I get them for free. All computer data centers regularly replace their UPS batteries about every 6 months to a year which means their are a ton of them for the taking. These batteries can handle massive loads for their size because they are meant to supply computer systems in an outage.

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