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Old 24th July 2006, 09:02 PM   #1
KBK is offline KBK  Canada
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Default how to get deep cycle batteries for free

I am looking at starting up my own windmill and solar system at home. In typical DIY fashion, I bought a whole frickin' crate of 3"x6" (about $3k worth) solar cells, of the latest technology. Now I have to make my own panels. Lots of fun there.

I'm also going to be making my own windmills, using high grade PMA's (permanent magnet alternator) and possibly put my own neo magnets in them, etc, for higher output and efficency.

Point is, after all that, you need charge controllers, wiring, poles, Xantrex or the like quality sine wave inverters..and...deep cycle batteries. Once can use Rolls-Surette batteries, if they go and hold up a bank first!

Now, how to do the deep cycle battery thing, on the DIY cheap? Be scottish-think scottish-squeeze nickels like you are scottish. Spend time thinking it through, that costs nothing! best!

This is what I came up with after about a year of stumbling my way through, looking for that shiny cheap (quality) battery, at the end of the rainbow.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Used Forklift batteries, from high line, or brand name rental depots.

I have a local XXXXX 'brand name' rental place, where the guy in the garage has decided to GIVE me the old batteries, as they die.

Here's the interesting bit.

They come in 'packs' of 4 x6 volt (three cells each battery) batteries, for a'24 volt' cell pack.

Now, when a battery dies, it dies becase one of the plates or the like had a weak point, that gave out before the rest did.

In this case, the plate that is the weakest, ends up dying FAR sooner than the rest as the pressure on it only increases, as it wears away faster!(ends up as power at the bottom of the battery).

Usually one plate (cell component) in the one battery will fail, and the rest are JUST FINE. likey 50% or more of their lifespan is left!! Problem is, you can't put a NEW battery in with the 'worn' three..so they are ALL thrown out!!!

So, I'm now pre-arranged to go and pick up batteries from this forklift rental depot, once very two weeks. I will get usually 3-8 batteries, each time.

These batteries are about $80 each, minimum. Used, but HEY..can't argue with the price!!!!

Especially that, that after about 6 months, I've got enough batteries to do a complete solar/windmill system, and have the most expensive part..the batteries!..for free! Sure, I'll have to upgrade the battery type and quality, but gettin the whole thing up and running without having to spring $$$ for the batteries is a VERY big deal. Right now, I will pay for the whole 'deal' via a bit more maintenence, but it's better than the big intital cash outlay.

Give it a shot, in your local area.

Do you know of other ways to get cheap batteries? Let me know.
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Old 26th July 2006, 06:52 AM   #2
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lift them from snowmachines?? sell your scrappers on ebay and by good ones? Maybe you should look into reconditioning the used ones if at all possible... sometimes you can renew them somewhat.
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Old 26th July 2006, 07:49 AM   #3
AndrewT is online now AndrewT  Scotland
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Hi,
are you going to remove the defective cells and rejoin the packs after repair/replacement?

There is a chemical treatment that can be added to rejuvenate older batteries and another treatment to help delay the onset of the cell exhaustion you are describing.

I do not know how to find info on these, probably due to the battery manufacturers buying out the intellectual copyright before they became established in the market place.

I hope you will use the power as a premium energy source and NOT use it for heating, which is usually a discounted supply.
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Old 26th July 2006, 08:09 AM   #4
maxro is offline maxro  Canada
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Quote:
Originally posted by AndrewT
I hope you will use the power as a premium energy source and NOT use it for heating, which is usually a discounted supply.
Do you mean the electric company charges you less for electricity that is used for heating vs. some other use? How would they know what you are doing with it?

Oh, and KBK, will you be using those louvred vertical axis windmills that you posted about a while back?

Max
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Old 26th July 2006, 09:19 AM   #5
AndrewT is online now AndrewT  Scotland
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Hi,
here in the UK, we have the option to buy in offpeak electricity about 60% cheaper than all day energy. It is generally used for heating. The obsolete tariff D was supplied to FIXED heating appliances and was even cheaper.

Similarly, when you sell surplus electricity back to the supplier they pay you at the wholesale rate which is even cheaper than the offpeak.

So, here one would try to arrange to meet day demand uses that are normally charged at the premium rate.

There is a scheme to subsidise the sale of "green" electricity back to the grid But I am unsure on whether it is available to domestic generators. It is this subsidy that id driving the British wind farms since the generators are being paid about an extra 50% for their energy.

Your storage option may allow you to use premium energy when you need it. But what is the input to output efficiency and what are the kW hrs oncost of the extra resources?
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Old 26th July 2006, 09:59 AM   #6
owen is offline owen  United Kingdom
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Andrew you can indeed sell back to the grid from a domestic residence....

Owen
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Old 26th July 2006, 12:38 PM   #7
AndrewT is online now AndrewT  Scotland
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Hi,
yes, we can sell to the grid, but do we get the subsidy that the big commercial generators get to make their investment viable?
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Old 26th July 2006, 01:56 PM   #8
KBK is offline KBK  Canada
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Well, I can do a 'current draw' check on the remaining three (which are the ones that I have been given- the 4th one, is the dead one) to ascertain their remaining lifespan. This works fairly well, in that determination. Then,as my solar battery pack, I keep the best ones. Simple.


Of course, with the batteries I don't want - I dump the acid onto my neighbour's grass to help out his groundwater and well, and then give the lead to the local kids to play with. Solves my disposal problem. Everybody's happy.
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Old 26th July 2006, 04:36 PM   #9
poobah is offline poobah  United States
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Find a bunch a rich neighbors with large diesel trucks.

Go over at night and steal their batteries from their vehicles. Hide their battery somewhere close to, but out of sight of, the vehicle in question.

Return 2 or 3 nights later, again, remove the battery from the vehicle, replace it with the old battery hidden previously. Be sure to clean the terminals well and cover with petroleum jelly when done.

This is how you get NEW batteries...

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Old 26th July 2006, 04:45 PM   #10
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The rich ones often have dogs so that's really not the best. If you just stake out the local shopping mall parking lot, within 2 minutes you're almost assured to find someone in an electric wheelchair. You're guarantee'd at least two batteries in good shape, not much of a struggle, and they never chase you.

For a total free for all, stake out the local Bingo parkin lot.
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