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Sallubrious

Why do solar charged batteries die so fast?

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Why do solar charged batteries die so fast?

 

So for a totally non political commentry on what could be an important issue in the next few years, I thought I'd make a parting comment that could help anyone with a self sufficiency mindset. I've said my piece and it's been rejected by the intelligensia, so this is my final act of goodwill. I won't be back here so take this as a parting gift for anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear.

 

 Why do the batteries die so fast?

 

A lead acid battery is one of the most durable & reliable devices the world has ever seen, they once were sold with 10 year warranties and often lasted for 15-20 years and in some cases those crappy old things lasted for over 30 years and still produced a usable output  

So why do they die so fast now?

 

It all comes down to the way they are charged and what happens on a chemical level inside the battery. When we draw power from a lead acid battery a transfer of ions takes place (I'm really trying to simplify this so everyone can understand what I'm saying) and sulphate ions from the sulphuric acid solution in the battery migrate from the liquid electrolyte solution and accumulate on the lead (or lead alloy) plates inside the battery. When the electrolyte solution becomes depleted of of sulphates (they stick to the lead plates) the battery goes flat and needs to be recharged. Quite simple, I think most people already understand the process.

 

So we whack it on the charger and the reverse chemical reaction begins which releases those sulphate ions back into the liquid electrolyte solution and the battery  again holds its charge and can deliver it's rated output. Normally this process seems to work fine until the battery starts to loose its capacity to deliver its rated  output voltage and we have to buy  a new battery or batteries in a solar home power system. Why do they only last a few years before they die?

 

It's because of the way we're being told to charge them. Most battery chargers deliver anywhere from 14.3V - to 14.8V and then either go into float/trickle mode or just stop charging altogether in some cases. That seems fine but at that voltage 14.8V we haven't reversed the chemical sulphation that occurs on the lead plates inside the battery. It's only a small amount that doesn't go back into solution and it persists as the sulphation on the plates accumulates( around 1-3% on each charge) depending on the charger voltage but it has a cumulative effect and that sulphation eventually accumulates to the point where the battery can no longer supply its rated voltage. The chemical reversal never completes so more sulphates accumulate on the lead (alloy) plates on each succesive charge cycle which kills the battery.

 

Almost all modern chargers - solar charge controllers and even car alternators do this. So when we do this and it has a cumulative effect and they never reverse the chemical reaction which releases all the sulphate ions back into the electrolyte solution. So how do we release all the sulphates back into solution?

 

Most of our grandfathers knew this but now it's become esoteric knowledge, mainly because of unscrupulous battery retailers who want to keep selling you a new battery or batteries every 3-5 years. To completely reverse the chemical sulphation on the lead (alloy) plates we have to charge the battery to a point where all the sulphates are released back into the electrolyte solution and that only happens when we charge the battery to saturation point (typically 15.2 -15.4V) and after we reach that point the voltage (while still on the charger) will level out and then start to settle at around just over 15V as the chemical conversion completes and the battery returns to normal near new condition and doesn't have that small percentage of accumulated sulphates stuck to the lead after each charging cycle, and then the life of the battery can be greatly extended, sometimes we can achieve up to ten times the rated life of the battery but always at least 4 times what you'd expect from a battery (or battery bank) charged with a charger that doesn't complete the chemical reversal I've just outlined.

 

Another battery killer is when a system is poorly designed and the load across the battery (or batteries) exceeds the C rating conditions they were designed to operate under. Repeated cycles of excessive current draw will prematurely erode the lead plates (they fall apart) and kill them well before their time. So it really pays to over design your battery energy density capacity  by 20- -30% so you don't draw too much current out of them and destroy the plates.

 

I've been talking to electricians and solar installers at every chance I get and I've never met one who can comprehend the chemical conversions that occur when a lead acid battery is charged, they're all brainwashed with industry propaganda and just sell the off the shelf units believing they're doing the right thing. They're like trained monkeys swinging on a jungle gym and have no interest in anything that doesn't align with their conditioning, which works out fine for me, I get their "dead" batteries for pennies on the pound and put them to use after charging them properly over a few repeated cycles.

 

If anyone is thinking of setting up a home battery based solar system do yourself a favour and download this free PDF (I have no affiliation) but you won't find better information anywhere. After reading this you'll know more than the guy selling you your system.

http://free-energy.ws/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Solar-Secrets-2019.pdf

Edited by Sallubrious
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Thanks for that explanation and pdf.  Will definitely read.  Im pondering a grid connected solar battery system for the new place.  Most pundits suggest the financial return isnt there for batteries, nor is the ability to recycle spent units up to scratch yet.    Atm in Tas it seems Tesla is my only real option at $15000.  My neighbours run one and have never had to switch to grid power. 

Might do panels 1st then a battery in a few years time as prices come down.  Seems crazy that batteries aren't heavily subsidized as it appears to be a good energy solution.  

 

Dont throw the baby out with the bathwater Sal!  Whilst im dubious about your line of thinking regards the pandemic I can see how frustrating it must be for you to have what you feel is such an important and dire message to convey then fall on deaf ears.  Its a polarizing topic and the thread reflects that.  

Would be great to have your continued input but if things are too broken then i wish you well.

Peace H

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Yeah, the "virus" is certainly a polarising issue and I had serious trepidations before I raised the issue knowing full well that it would incur a push back, but it's out there now. So it is what it is, I'll let the issue go and people  can draw their own conclusions.

 

Seeing you're thinking of setting up a solar system and you seem open to "alternative" ideas, there's another secret that battery retailers won't discuss. There's a way to draw a load from your batteries and recycle the power and charge a battery (or batteries) at the same time from the load you are pulling to greatly extend the discharge rate of your battery system.

 

The method doesn't break any of the laws of thermodynamics or create "free" energy, it just "recycles" the energy that conventional wiring theory sends to waste, but if intelligently deployed (with a microprocessor such as an arduino or raspberry pi to monitor and switch the batteries) it can reduce your initial outlay of costs by around 30%. Your batteries will still run down but at a much slower rate than any conventional wiring format and still produce the same output.

 

https://emediapress.com/rsstafford/battery/?hop=cleartech1

 

I've been sitting on this information for years but with the impending collapse that's coming it's time for it come out.

 

I also have a simple circuit that anyone can build for under $30 that can restore a dead battery and even make it perform better than a new battery in some instances (depending on how dead the battery is when you get it), but I won't post details unless there's any interest.

 

All the best mate I hope you read that PDF and learned how to set up a solar system that will make your batteries last long enough to pay for themselves and then some.


 

Edited by Sallubrious

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On 16/08/2020 at 3:12 AM, Sallubrious said:

Yeah, the "virus" is certainly a polarising issue and I had serious trepidations before I raised the issue knowing full well that it would incur a push back, but it's out there now. So it is what it is, I'll let the issue go and people  can draw their own conclusions.

 

Seeing you're thinking of setting up a solar system and you seem open to "alternative" ideas, there's another secret that battery retailers won't discuss. There's a way to draw a load from your batteries and recycle the power and charge a battery (or batteries) at the same time from the load you are pulling to greatly extend the discharge rate of your battery system.

 

The method doesn't break any of the laws of thermodynamics or create "free" energy, it just "recycles" the energy that conventional wiring theory sends to waste, but if intelligently deployed (with a microprocessor such as an arduino or raspberry pi to monitor and switch the batteries) it can reduce your initial outlay of costs by around 30%. Your batteries will still run down but at a much slower rate than any conventional wiring format and still produce the same output.

 

https://emediapress.com/rsstafford/battery/?hop=cleartech1

 

I've been sitting on this information for years but with the impending collapse that's coming it's time for it come out.

 

I also have a simple circuit that anyone can build for under $30 that can restore a dead battery and even make it perform better than a new battery in some instances (depending on how dead the battery is when you get it), but I won't post details unless there's any interest.

 

All the best mate I hope you read that PDF and learned how to set up a solar system that will make your batteries last long enough to pay for themselves and then some.


 

love you Sal....you gotta be one of the smartest critters that has eva crossed my path

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Not so much on the smart side Bro, I just listen to everyone (no matter how unhinged they seem or how unreasonable their perspective is) and try to verify their presentations 6 ways from Sunday before I accept them as factual). You teaching yourself to read a foreign language from pamphlets is magnitudes of order beyond anything I'll ever achieve in this lifetime.

 

I'm really feeling for you guys in Vic, wishing you & the Victorian crew well mate. I love you guys, anything that affects you  guys and gals affects me  too.  I've abstained from posting here for way too long because of personal issues I've encountered here but that's trivial compared to what they are forcing on you guys.

 

Cheers Marko I miss the contact with you mate.

 

 

Edited by Sallubrious

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