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Author Topic: Will these do and is the price about right?  (Read 14085 times)
stephend
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« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2009, 09:00:21 AM »

The cells have a 5 year warranty and I think I would be happy if we got 10 years out of them with reasonable care.

Think you can expect much more than that if you don't discharge them deeply and often.  The DIN standard for forklift battery life expects them to be discharged to 80%.  And that paper (think the link isn't right on my orig post: http://www.zvei.org/index.php?id=163&no_cache=1&tx_ZVEIpubFachverbaende_pi1[download]=247&type=98) on battery life estimates them to last about 7 years if discharged to 80% every day for 240 days/year.  I don't remember whether you have solar or not, but if you're recharging your batteries every day and have sized them conservatively, then you could discharge to only about 10% every day and only occassionally will you need to discharge to 50%.  Some RE users of forklifts get 25+ years from theirs.

The other thing about life expectancy is that warehouse managers who must uses the forklifts X hours/day will consider the batteries to have reached their end of life when the forklift can't do it's work during a single charge.  Things are different in a RE system, if you originally bought the bats to provide 3 days of autonomy (no charging) and after 15 years they only give you 2.2 days - that's not really a problem for most people and you can keep using them for a good few more years at a lower capacity.

Regarding the FAAM bats being sealed, the brochure isn't very clear - firstly it states that they are "sealed & safe", but then further down it says that they use 66% less water, which means that they must be topped up... so a bit contradictory. 


 
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Paulh_Boats
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« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2009, 10:56:52 AM »

The cells have a 5 year warranty and I think I would be happy if we got 10 years out of them with reasonable care.

Think you can expect much more than that if you don't discharge them deeply and often.  The DIN standard for forklift battery life expects them to be discharged to 80%.  And that paper (think the link isn't right on my orig post: http://www.zvei.org/index.php?id=163&no_cache=1&tx_ZVEIpubFachverbaende_pi1[download]=247&type=98) on battery life estimates them to last about 7 years if discharged to 80% every day for 240 days/year.  I don't remember whether you have solar or not, but if you're recharging your batteries every day and have sized them conservatively, then you could discharge to only about 10% every day and only occassionally will you need to discharge to 50%.  Some RE users of forklifts get 25+ years from theirs.

The other thing about life expectancy is that warehouse managers who must uses the forklifts X hours/day will consider the batteries to have reached their end of life when the forklift can't do it's work during a single charge.  Things are different in a RE system, if you originally bought the bats to provide 3 days of autonomy (no charging) and after 15 years they only give you 2.2 days - that's not really a problem for most people and you can keep using them for a good few more years at a lower capacity.

Regarding the FAAM bats being sealed, the brochure isn't very clear - firstly it states that they are "sealed & safe", but then further down it says that they use 66% less water, which means that they must be topped up... so a bit contradictory. 


What is the best way to detect the 80% level?  Will voltage alone be sufficient? I'm interested in a project to use LED lights that stop at 80% (or whatever).

-Paul
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« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2009, 03:17:36 PM »

I think most chargers and charge controllers just use the voltage.  Battery monitor setups that measure the Ah and A going into and out of the battery, then do peukert conversions are more accurate (supposedly).  But if you're just after a visual indicator and don't need that much precision then voltage should be good enough.
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Justme
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« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2009, 03:32:18 PM »

1, I think most chargers and charge controllers just use the voltage. 
2, Battery monitor setups that measure the Ah and A going into and out of the battery, then do peukert conversions are more accurate (supposedly). 
3, But if you're just after a visual indicator and don't need that much precision then voltage should be good enough.

1, Most chargers & controller dont give a SOC do they?
The SOC meters use a large algorythum to calc the SOC.
2, Ah counters are less accurate than a proper SOC meter, they also get further out of sync the longer they are working. Conversly SOC meters get better the longer they are in use.
3, Just dont measure it under load or charge & pref not within a good few hours of either.

Oh & there will be a 48v SmartGuage.
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« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2009, 03:56:43 PM »

Paul, I expect SmartGauge will be mentioned soon! Too slow - Justme has already done it while I was typing! tumble

Billi, I'm fairly sure these cells can't be sealed but will have to ask the supplier for the definitive answer. I have found this document which describes maintenance of the TT/TTM range and the BSM version we have been quoted looks the same ie caps for topping up/fixing air pipes. Maybe Stephen can explain the difference between them, the BSM seems to be manufactured to some sort of British standard. I did translate it with Google Translate but it didn't format very well. I think it's easy enough to get the idea from the graphs and drawings that they are measuring SG and adding water. I feel the confusing "sealed and safe" phrase means they won't leak acid when in use. I will check to be sure though  police

2005.faam.com/files/pdf-download/trazione/trazione/catalogo.pdf

Stephen, it would be good to get more than 10 years out of them. Anything after that will be a bonus  Grin
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billi
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« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2009, 05:26:27 PM »

Yeah seems to be wet cells allright     i just read that the B instead of the S   = PzB   instead of PzS   means British Standard   


Hope you are fine  horror weather here ....  trying to think about my hydro ideas more ... so that i can enjoy hefty rain much more  Grin Cool

Billi


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« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2009, 09:41:30 PM »

Billi, we've just had a ditch dug out and there are torrents of water flowing through it (it was flooding the road before) which is making us think of hydro. However, one thing at a time and now, hopefully  Roll Eyes, having made a decision on batteries we now have to think about charge controllers and dump loads. As you suggest I can't live life running around as a human diversion load controller so I think we will have to buy something that is actually good at it  police
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Billy
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« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2009, 06:13:48 PM »

I hate it when people say things that make sense.  fume

Having gone to all the trouble of investing time, money and effort to get what I thought was the best batteries for a long time - someone goes and suggests that the technology may be out of date before my guarantee runs out.  facepalm

Thanks Eleanor, but you have a point and you may well be right, lets hope they are cheap and light eh.   Grin

I hate dump loads as well, making the stuff fer nowt the last thing I want to do is chuck it away, goes against the grain somehow.

Can't you heat some water or something, the idea of heating the poly-tunnel seemed good.  My dump heats the engine room, couldn't fit a 24v immersion heater into the tank, no room left really without taking it all apart.  Took a black belt in origami to get it in there anyway.

Glad to hear you've got everything sorted, at least on paper, until the truck arrives.

Hydro as well, you will be exporting soon. Grin Grin
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Outtasight
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« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2009, 12:42:21 AM »

I'd have thought that RE rated batts might be somewhat different from fork lift ones.  Fork lift batts are designed for fast and deep discharge with equally fast and complete recharge overnight.  RE batteries are going to spend days or weeks sitting at various states of partial charge.

Although not in the capacity league you require, the Deka 6V 180Ah C5 batts I picked up are supposed to be good for 2,100 cycles at 25% DoD and 1,000 cycles at 50% DoD but as I'm finding out, gel cells are much more fussy than my old flooded ones (tight voltage and current charge limits to avoid any gassing).  But at least if I use proper temperature controlled chargers I'll never have to put water in them or get gassed in my living room.

Flooded cells will self-discharge at a rate of about 25% per month.  For a 1,000Ah bank, you'll have to find 250Ah a month just to "swim against the current". That could be 6 hrs @ 50A (with 80% charge efficiency) a month just on battery maintenance! Gel and AGMs loose only about 2% per month.

Manufacturers who specify capacity at 30'C really are cheating.  Battery shelf life drops off dramatically above 25'C.
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« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2009, 09:16:43 AM »

"flooded cells will self-discharge at a rate of about 25% per month" is just plain wrong, by several country miles, 3-4% is a more accurate figure - suggest you may have had faulty batteries - flooded lead acids have one of the best low self-discharge rates going! I've found this to be true from several years of using the things, and it's borne out here - http://www.batteryuniversity.com/partone-6.htm whistlie
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Justme
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« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2009, 03:24:16 PM »

I was finding 8-40% for lead / antimony ones (research not real world). Pure lead ones are less (2-10%)
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« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2009, 07:15:14 PM »

I stand partially corrected...

It does indeed depend on the exact type of flooded chemistry... High or low antimony blends or calcium or pure lead.

The Deka flooded solar blocks are rated at 1% per week whereas the the AGM and Gel ones are 2% per month.

But web sources I Googled quoted 2-10% per week self discharge for antimony cells and 1-5% per week for calcium maintenance free types.

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« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2009, 10:04:42 PM »

My numbers were per month so thats about right.

However I am sure thats for "standing" or "shelf life" bats not ones in use (IE charge & discharged regularly)
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Navitron solar thermal system
30 x 58mm panel 259L TS
1200watts solar 120vdc
FX80 Solar controller
Victron 12v 3000w 120a
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24 x 2v cells 700amp/h 5C
Total bank 4350 amp/h 5C
Eleanor
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« Reply #28 on: November 06, 2009, 12:17:17 AM »

Oh well, too late as we've ordered the FAAM batteries. It's possible that traction batteries may have a slightly higher rate of discharge but as most of the electricity will be free it just means that we have to generate a bit more. In our brief experience, only a year, of living solely off batteries I can't see this being a problem very often. There are occasional times where there is no sun or wind for a few days and these losses may matter but we are used to cutting our cloth accordingly  police

Having done quite a bit of research and reading what everyone has said I haven't seen any scientific evidence to suggest that these batteries won't do a good job for a few years even when doing a task they weren't necessarily designed for. That isn't to say that the batteries designed for renewable energy applications won't last twice as long, but they do cost at least twice as much. Perhaps when we have failed the next stage of our battery apprenticeship we will graduate to Rolls or whatever is perceived to be the best at the time. It would be interesting to know how long the traction batteries would last in the forklifts of two different companies, one discharging by 80% and recharging overnight and the other discharging by 20% and recharging. I feel I sort of know the answer .. It seems to be virtually impossible to really predict battery life in a renewable energy system when every application is different. These people had a bit of a go in 2005
http://www.benchmarking.eu.org/Publications/Deliverables/Benchmarking_D4-3_Recommendations.pdf

I hate it when people say things that make sense.  fume

Having gone to all the trouble of investing time, money and effort to get what I thought was the best batteries for a long time - someone goes and suggests that the technology may be out of date before my guarantee runs out.  facepalm

Thanks Eleanor, but you have a point and you may well be right, lets hope they are cheap and light eh.   Grin

I hate dump loads as well, making the stuff fer nowt the last thing I want to do is chuck it away, goes against the grain somehow.

Can't you heat some water or something, the idea of heating the poly-tunnel seemed good.  My dump heats the engine room, couldn't fit a 24v immersion heater into the tank, no room left really without taking it all apart.  Took a black belt in origami to get it in there anyway.

Glad to hear you've got everything sorted, at least on paper, until the truck arrives.

Hydro as well, you will be exporting soon. Grin Grin

Billy, me a sensible idea!  flyingpig We've been thinking about the dump load hierarchy and it seems to be 1) immersion heater 2) panel heaters. We've already got a 450W one from the previous life and need a bit more capacity. As we've only got the 2kVa Victron inverter we'll have to get another one, or possibly a 3kVa one. Also looks like Morningstar will be doing quite well out of us.

As for exporting, it's ours, all ours  stir

With regard to deliveries, I have a black belt in making steps out of pallets in order to receive deliveries that would normally be taken away again due to the lack of presence of a large person. Doesn't sound like this would work for these batteries though  fight
 
I expect your Rolls batteries will be producing long after we've managed to murder our el cheapo lightweight (only 57kg which is a bit pathetic I admit) traction batteries  garden
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stephend
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« Reply #29 on: November 06, 2009, 08:15:31 AM »

Look forward to hearing about your experiences with the FAAMs!  Did you get the aerator pump thingy in the end?

I expect your Rolls batteries will be producing long after we've managed to murder our el cheapo lightweight (only 57kg which is a bit pathetic I admit) traction batteries  garden

I think if you compare your FAAMs with the same version from Rolls, they'll be very close in terms of dry weight.  Have to compare the same C rating though and whether it's wet weight or dry weight and bear in mind that the rolls come in 6, 12 or 8V not 2V.
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