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  • Caring for rarely used battery.

    We have a number of batteries in museum vehicles that are rarely used but we do like them to start when called on.

    It is not practical to connect to trickle or float chargers unless we want cables hanging from hangar rafters but I think we have found a solution.

    You may know that connecting a charged battery to a slightly discharged battery does nothing however a cheap DC-DC boost converter which costs less than $20 will do the trick.

    So we have a semi-munted battery on a trolley which we wheel around and connect to the battery in the idle vehicles and leave them be for a week or so.

    The DC-DC converter is set to 14.8V out and most times the current is about 0.8 amps.


    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/High...626449807.html

    So, old battery on trolley showing voltage of about 12V trickle charges another battery at 14.8V.

  • #2
    Is there a measure in place to cope with Battery/Acid Sulphate Stratification, a common occurance in under-utilized lead acid batteries?

    Interesting approach using a DC-DC converter powered by a portable battery to float batteries mounted in display vehicles. What about solar panels? These can produce current from indoor illumination. What was the museum's experience/opinion with solar that prompted selection of something else?

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    • #3
      You would probably be better off with a few good batteries in each size class and just install them into the vehicle you want to use for that particular demo.

      The downside is that this is rotten if you need to start a bunch and move them around to let the one in back get out to the sunshine.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by The Artful Bodger View Post
        We have a number of batteries in museum vehicles that are rarely used but we do like them to start when called on.

        It is not practical to connect to trickle or float chargers unless we want cables hanging from hangar rafters but I think we have found a solution.
        I like your solution.

        I have used solar chargers for the last 20 years to maintain batteries on cars and pickups that are seldom driven. They manage to make up for all the parasitic drains as well as the self discharge. I've gotten as much as 10 years out of a battery that was much maligned for a 2 year service life.

        Dan
        At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BCRider View Post
          You would probably be better off with a few good batteries in each size class and just install them into the vehicle you want to use for that particular demo.
          Exactly what we do not want. We do not need folks hefting batteries in and out of these vehicles every time we want to clear the hangars for a function or whatever.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by EddyCurr View Post
            Is there a measure in place to cope with Battery/Acid Sulphate Stratification, a common occurance in under-utilized lead acid batteries?

            Interesting approach using a DC-DC converter powered by a portable battery to float batteries mounted in display vehicles. What about solar panels? These can produce current from indoor illumination. What was the museum's experience/opinion with solar that prompted selection of something else?
            The museum is only open for two or three hours a day and when it is open we keep the lighting down. With the lights off the hangars are dark. Besides, solar chargers on the roof would require wires across the floor or dangling from the roof trusses 7(?) metres above floor level.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by danlb View Post
              I like your solution.

              I have used solar chargers for the last 20 years to maintain batteries on cars and pickups that are seldom driven. They manage to make up for all the parasitic drains as well as the self discharge. I've gotten as much as 10 years out of a battery that was much maligned for a 2 year service life.

              Dan
              +1 solar maintainers are great where you can use them.I have them on everything at work,forklifts,the crane,even our Isuzu box truck.On that one the truck was bought new in 01 and we installed a solar manitainer in the dashboard the same week.We got nearly 14 years out of the factory batteries,no issues ever,the terminals never even needed cleaning.
              I just need one more tool,just one!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by The Artful Bodger View Post
                The museum is only open for two or three hours a day and when it is open we keep the lighting down. With the lights off the hangars are dark. Besides, solar chargers on the roof would require wires across the floor or dangling from the roof trusses 7(?) metres above floor level.
                That three hours per day of low light might be enough.That is about all our big forklift at work sees and a 5 watt maintainer keeps it fresh as a daisy.It only takes a few milliamps per day to make up for normal losses.This is the model I bought for that lift,it's hard wired to the system and just sits in the seat when the machine is parked.
                https://www.amazon.com/Sunforce-5002...ery+maintainer
                I just need one more tool,just one!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by The Artful Bodger View Post
                  Exactly what we do not want. We do not need folks hefting batteries in and out of these vehicles every time we want to clear the hangars for a function or whatever.
                  Which was why I added the other line....

                  The downside is that this is rotten if you need to start a bunch and move them around to let the one in back get out to the sunshine.
                  I sort of like Eddie's idea of solar panels charging them off the roof lights if you have enough light for long enough. But if they sit in the dark much of the time that won't work either.

                  In the end it's a bit of a bother to move them around but your booster cart(s) sound like a pretty decent option.

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