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Lead alum battery attempt

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  • Lead alum battery attempt

    Hi all,

    After building several successful lead/alum cells from old 12V gel cell batteries and testing my alum/water mix... I decided to try to make my first alum battery using a new Napa GS 12 volt (8 Ah) motorcycle battery.

    I mixed the alum with warm distilled water in a blender to a nice constancy, "just a bit slippery between the fingers" , so I think it is good. I let the battery sit for about an hour before I applied the first charge, to ensure that the cells were evenly saturated. Looking back....I decided to charge the battery up on my SG energizer for its first charge, so I think the plates may not have been formed correctly.

    I dont seem to be getting the final open circuit voltage to hold above 10.75 VDC. The battery takes a charge to about 13.99 volts, then drops off to 10.75 volts when the charger is removed. I tested the capacity with at load at C10 (1.2 amps) and the voltage just drops off, dramatically within 30 minutes.

    Any help would be appreciated, thank you
    Last edited by rmarquette; 04-14-2013, 09:41 PM.

  • #2
    Hi rmarquette,

    I think you are right, the plates have not been formed correctly. I would charge the battery with a constant DC current source a few times to form the plates before using your SSG.

    John K.


    • #3
      Ok, John.

      So basically you are recommending a constant current charge (CC) as opposed to a constant potential charge (CP ). After the initial SSG charge and the weak capacity test, I attempted to "rescue" the battery with a traditional battery charger. I believe the charger I am using is a constant potential charger and that is why I am getting such a limited capacity.

      I actually work with both Ni Cad and Lead Acid aircraft batteries at my job.We generally perform a constant current charge on the batteries with high end Christie and Superseder chargers. In my shop at home I would probably have to use a regulated power supply with variable current and voltage.

      Thanks, Ray


      • #4
        Well, I went back to the wood shed and reviewed more of John's ( JB) videos on lead alum conversion.... based on what I have learned from JB, I believe that the plates in my alum battery experiment were not properly "differentiated". In fact, a battery which is formed exclusively with the alum solution and not the traditional sulfuric acid electrolyte will represent a different level of performance than a battery formed with sulfuric acid.

        This would explain why the used flooded lead acid batteries ( like the ones BroMikey used) which are flushed, drained and dried seem to respond so well to the conversion process. These batteries have plates which were formed with the acid electrolyte in the traditional manner. I dont think the batteries I used would respond favorably to being formed with sulfuric acid, then cleaned etc and converted to a lead alum. It would be difficult to clear the acid from the cells with the paper-like separators.


        • #5
          I would like to learn more about this, may I please ask what is the best alum water mix ratio?
          What would be the benefits of a very thick liquid of alum and water versus the thinner mix of 3 cups alum to a gallon water?
          I am sure this has been tested and I would like to to what is best mix for deep cycle batteries?
          Thank you very much!


          • #6
            ok ThankyouBedini,

            Maybe I am not the one to answer this question... since my battery turned out the way it did.

            In this video Conversion Of A Dry-Charge Lead Acid Battery To an Alum Crystal Cell Battery John Bedini - YouTube John basically demonstrates the mix ratio. He says, it needs to be slippery between your fingers. So that is what I did. I started with a cup of warm distilled water ( 8 oz) and added 1 Tbls then tested it , the 1 more Tbls then tested it, etc... until I got a mixture as John described in his video.

            In the end, I decided between 5-6 Tbls per each 8 ounces of water, which roughly translates to 1/4 cup of alum to 1 cup of water.


            • #7
              So your mix was about a 25 % solution alum and water. That is for a Lead Alum battery conversion.
              There is also talk about Crystal Batteries, so to make solid alum crystals I think you will need a stronger solution than 25 % for it to become a hard crystal.
              How will a solid crystal battery behave different than a alum battery?


              • #8
                Yes for the solid crystal batteries you need a different mix. Here JB basically gives an idea of how to make a solid crystal battery How To Build It A Lead Alum Hydrate Battery John Bedini - YouTube.

                Good question... I don't know how it would behave in terms of load capacity.


                • #9
                  you are right John, i did the same and now its working as good as a Lead-Acid Battery....
                  'Wisdom comes from living out of the knowledge.'


                  • #10
                    Hi everyone I hope your doing well

                    I was wondering how I will know if I did the conversion properly also I need to know what equipment I need for testing
                    Batteries after conversion one tool I think I need is a multimeter with pc hook up any suggestions please


                    • #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.


                      • #12
                        Starting with this old battery. Before emptying it I am charging it using a conventional charger. 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?
               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, 01:15 AM. Reason: update on process


                        • #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 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!!


                          • #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.




                            • #15
                              I don't think you can either. But I may be wrong.
                              I am wrong...have a look at this whole video here
                              Last edited by D Rhodes; 09-18-2013, 02:18 AM. Reason: found more info