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Author Topic: Forklift battery electrolyte levels  (Read 5175 times)
stephendv
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« on: October 29, 2010, 06:26:34 PM »

I'm about to buy an SG sensor and need to know how far away the electrolyte is from the top of the battery casing in a standard forklift bat?  Anyone?

I have grand plans to build an arduino based battery monitor that measures SG directly instead of pi$$ing about with amphour counters and voltmeters, the key component is this sensor: http://www.jsaphotonics.com/  $50 for OEM version from US. 
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profp
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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2010, 06:45:02 PM »

Actual measurements from a Chloride cell - 25mm from base of filler cap to top of plates. The filler cap itself is 15mm, and stands approx 5mm proud of the case. If you need any more details, let me know & I'll do my best to help.
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stephendv
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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2010, 06:47:37 PM »

THANK YOU PROFP!!!  Grin
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stephendv
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2010, 06:53:37 PM »

Mmmm, might have hit a snag.  The sensor needs to be immersed in at least 25mm of electrolyte, but it doesn't sound like there's that much space between the top of the plates and the top of the cell?  is that right?
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profp
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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2010, 07:37:56 PM »

I don't think you'll get 25mm immersion unless you fill to the brim and put the sensor in a bung in the filler cap. If the orientation is not important, horizontal mounting might buy you more leeway (looked briefly at the link, but didn't see any specific tech data on your sensor)
P.
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dodgy rog
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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2010, 05:24:13 PM »

if you fill them to the brim you risk diluting the electrolite too much be carefull
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Amy
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2010, 06:19:16 PM »

That looks like the kind of gizzmo that should be on Dragons Den

If you need one per cell, thats a lot of $50 bucks worth. Does it water the cells as well or do you need to take them out each time to top up?
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eabadger
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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2011, 09:15:38 PM »

hello all,
new to this, have off grid setup in France, just bought 12 exide xlffw13's anybody know what level exide cells should be filled to?
also i got a single phase 110 amp at 24 volt charger for the cells, i assumed that even if it was not brilliant it would run off our 1944 army diesel generator, 5.6kva constant, and i mean constant, but charger info plate says 230v 27 amp, why? watts dont add up, well they do and then some, lots of some!!

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knighty
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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2011, 09:47:16 PM »

hello all,
new to this, have off grid setup in France, just bought 12 exide xlffw13's anybody know what level exide cells should be filled to?
also i got a single phase 110 amp at 24 volt charger for the cells, i assumed that even if it was not brilliant it would run off our 1944 army diesel generator, 5.6kva constant, and i mean constant, but charger info plate says 230v 27 amp, why? watts dont add up, well they do and then some, lots of some!!

are you sure the numbers are right ? nothing worn off a bit ?

24v 110amps = 2640watts

230v 27amp = 6210watts is miles off

but

230v 12.7amps = 2920watts   is pretty close ?


or could 27amps be the start up current ?



my forklift charger is 48v 80amps (3840w) but the label says it's 230v 27amps (6210w)

unless 27amps is some sort of industry standard ? (shot in the dark)
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Outtasight
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2011, 10:11:10 PM »

Old transformer chargers for fork lifts have rubbish AC power factor ratings, due to the SCR chopper current regulators used in them.  

I have a 15V 30A lab power supply, so it was able to deliver 30A with no AC ripple.  A typical battery charger is a SCR rectified monster that puts out 110A RMS; so called because it will have a massive hidden AC ripple component to the DC charge current.  The AC ripple current won't charge the battery, but will cause the battery plates and cables to heat up, wasting power.  Of course this power comes from somewhere, and the input power will seem inexplicably higher than the actual DC rating.  

Better chargers have humongous capacitors in them to smooth the ripple.  Capacitors have extremely low internal resistance and low inductance, so can store and release the AC ripple as DC charging current, rather than wasting it as heat.  Newer fork lift chargers are are switch mode based, making them light and powerful and have good efficiency and good power factor correction.
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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2011, 10:28:34 PM »

hello again,
no nothing rubbed off, i am an electronics engineer, and had thought the figures odd, at present the charger is in my depot some miles away, i plan to colect and open soon, to see what is happening, but plate is clear, seems a waste!
battery bank is 930 amps at 24v, 930 amps per cel of course.
batteries and charger are all 5 years old, so not old tech, or so i hope.
my generator is a flat twin diesel coventry enfield, lovely genset, but i dont want to push it past 25 amps, we regulary use 25, but 27 may well end its days.
i have fitted a modern AVR, which works well, i am sure the carbon pile regulator was ok in 1944, but not for now.

any idea on levels in battery?
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2011, 10:58:11 PM »

Go easy on the genset...  There were many tales of woe down at Frotter's shed and his burned out alternators trying to run a manky old transformer charger he found on some scrap heap.

http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,1319.msg9435.html#msg9435
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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2011, 11:14:32 PM »

with removing the old carbon pile reg, i can loose the exciter dynamo, to replace this, i have got a 110a 24 alternator, i plan to up the excitation a bit, and charge off this, should be less loss than the comedy charger!
i will call crompton and see what they have to say about a 100% loss
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1600w PV main array at 24v, excide 2v 1000a forklift cells now x 2, 320w PV secondary array at 12v. Enfield 1944 ex RAF 5.6kw diesel genset (now in pieces, big ends gone), Petter AC1 28v diesel charging set at 2.8kw.
1kw wind turbine.
26kw wood stove back boiler to underfloor heating and dhw
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