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News announcements and other topics => News => Topic started by: hartiberlin on June 03, 2006, 08:21:22 PM

Title: best Solar battery
Post by: hartiberlin on June 03, 2006, 08:21:22 PM
I just found this Gel battery on Ebay and wanted to ask,
if anybody has some experience with this,
as I need to buy a battery like this for some experiments.
It has 12 Volts and 65 Ah and costs 75 Euros plus shipping.. (
Title: Re: Solar battery
Post by: hartiberlin on June 03, 2006, 10:59:26 PM
Is it better to get such a gel battery type like shown above  or
is it better to get a normal solar battery type with
refill-opening for the battery acid
like this item on EBay: (

This one says, you need to refill destilled water from time to time and also
pay attention on the oxyhydrogen gas during charging, that must be ventilated,
so it seems it is much more dangerous, but you can completely refill the acid if you need
to do this ...hmmm....
What are your experiences ? What are the advantages and disadvantages ?
Many thanks.
Title: Re: Solar battery
Post by: hartiberlin on June 03, 2006, 11:07:08 PM
Do these gel batteries not gas out during charging ?
What if they loose the acid due to drying out ?
So what is the better battery type for deep discharge
experiments ?
I know, that I don?t have to buy car starter batteries, but what is
the best battery that will last best for deep discharge experiments
and pulse charging  ?
Title: Re: Solar battery
Post by: tbird on June 03, 2006, 11:59:24 PM
hi stefan,

i have lived on a boat for the past 25 years.  for us boaters with solar and wind charging, the 6 volt golf cart batteries seem to be the best bang for your buck.  if you have a sam's or similar store, they will give you the best retail price.

gel battieries are very good, but have 1 weakness.  overcharging.  they usually cost too much money to be killed by too much charging.

glassmat batteries handle that better and are sealed (no gasing out), but are still a bit pricie.  haven't seen enough of them in use yet to grade them.  maybe they will take over best buy.

the gasing of a battery (comes when battery has had enough amps from charging to get too hot) is natural but messy and if contained explosive (hyd & ox).  regulation is important if they are left to their own.  in my case, with all my uses, it's hard to overcharge (no reg here), but it does happen.  the end result is i have to add some rain wter or water i've caught running off the air conditioner (on shore business or friend).

if you can spread the cost over time because you are seriously using the battery, then the glassmat might be the thing to look for.  if 4 years is enough (and with battery tech advancing now, smallest investment might be best) then regular lead acid golf carts would be my choice.

1 tip for lead acid...the heavier the better.  that's why i go for the golf cart (6 volt) batteries.  i know i'm getting deep cycle (hard to tell with 12 volt batteries except for weight).
Title: Re: Solar battery
Post by: hartiberlin on June 04, 2006, 12:08:29 AM
Hi TBird,
many thanks for your experience.
Do you draw a high current always from your batteries ?
What do you power with it ?
Do you use an inverter to push upthe voltage to 120 or 230 Volts AC ?
Normally, the lower the current is you draw, the longer do the batteries
As I need them to drive an inverter with it to get 230 Volts AC I am
thinking of getting 2 x 12 Volts batteries and better buy a 24 Volts DC to 230 AC Volts inverter,
which is of course more expensive but the current draw from the batteries will
be lower, so the charge would also last longer as batteries tend to deliver more energy
when the current in Amperes is lower over time...

Also I need to recharge them during the inverter is running with a feedback loop
and because it is all pulsed, I have fear of overcharging them and then they might
explode and I don?t want to have the acid spread and spilled all over the place then..

So which batteries are better for not gasing and building explosive gases during overcharging ?
Title: Re: best Solar battery
Post by: tbird on June 04, 2006, 01:00:43 AM
i have 16 (1760 amp hours when new) 6 volts, 2500 watt invertor that handles all my 110v use (not all at once).  also 2 12v frigs and verious  lights and acc (water maker included). i live off grid and no big gen.  my invertor showes 25 amps by itself with computer (desktop), tv, and other toys in standby on.  if i turn on the microwave, amps exceed 100.  remember, watts=amps x volts.  2 batteries are easily run down.  do you drink coffee? do you heat your water for showers?  do you like loud music?  this is only the tip of the iceberg.  remember, on a boat i have to make what you take for granted.  frig and water big demands.

for charging i have 600 watts (1000 would be better) of solar and 500 watt wind gen (lots of wind here in caribe) with a 1000 watt on the drawing board. to help when mother nature isn't helping, a 60 amp alt on main engine fills in (hate the nosie).  don't need it often, but when i do it's there.

lead acid batteries have a given life.  the chem reaction takes it's toll on the lead.  the more you pull power directly from them (cycle) the faster they die.  in your car, most of the power comes from the alt, thus a battery just big enough to start the engine will last a long time (provided the alt can handle all loads).  same with your setup.  if pulse charge will handle the load, you won't need a lot of batteries.  if load is great, more extra battery power is needed. if you can supply more power than you consume, a reg will help keep gassing to a min.  one way to get rid of extra power is to install a dump circuit that when your batteries reach a certian value, charge is directed to another load like a water heater.  seems i always find something else to run.

like all things, there is good and bad to each type of battery.  i like to have the ability to check the acid level and condition which allows for the gasses to ecape(not sealed).  having said that, the caps on these batteries are pretty good.  most come so that if gassing happens, it is first collected there.  if charging is stopped or reduced, then the gas will re-condense and run back into the battery.  no mess.  it's only when left to continue that the gasses escape.  mess and danger.

there is a lot of battery info on the internet.  i did a google search once and came up with more reading than i cared to do.
Title: Re: best Solar battery
Post by: tbird on June 04, 2006, 01:44:38 AM
noticed you just posted a topic for battery tester.  i find a hydrometer very good too. the acid has a specific gravity.  if you can access (not sealed) the acid, you can determine state of charge.  the lower the reading, the more acid has already attacked the plates, thus less power left.  when charged, all acid will return to water making s.g. higher.  if big differences in cell readings, the odd reading cell probably has a problem.  if cells come up to full charge reading, i think about 1300, but don't deliver much power, they maybe sulfated.  this is usually a result of under charging and allowing the sulfer to cystalize on the plate.  usually starts at the bottom and works its way up. the more the plate is covered, the less power available. charging at a high volage (17-18 volts for a 12 volt batt) can sometimes revive them (knocks the solids off).  if not, it's time for a new one.  load testing with that tester needs to be kept to a min.  as you said before heavy loads = hard work for battery.  also high temp which can flex the plates causing connection problems inside.