Author Topic: Anyone using forklift lead acid batteries  (Read 3536 times)

ClassicCrazy

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Re: Anyone using forklift lead acid batteries
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2020, 01:00:45 AM »
I brought home two recently.  Haven't crushed my toes yet.  Unloading video:   https://photos.app.goo.gl/G9JUjG4SmuEC6yGFA    I moved them by levering with a large steel prybar, and rolling on pipes.   Exide / GNB Tubular LMX model    1900#, 48v, 540Ah each.   I estimate that translates to 1294Ah total at C/20 which is more like how I might use them.

I am setting up the parts from a DC Solar trailer as a battery backup off grid system.  Work in process, need to build a box and venting.  They can _stink_ when charging.  I added midpack fuses yesterday.  https://photos.app.goo.gl/q1euFhioH266nPvW9

They seem to be ok so far.  I don't think I'd want some of the solar trailer batteries, they could have been abused, especially the light tower ones if they're older and have been used like at the racetracks, IMHO.  It's possible to get some idea though.  The SMA inverters have SOC histogram data,  mine said 98 or 99% of time between 90-100 SOC.  Being either lucky or careful in picking which trailer to buy at auction, I think this set were just on the trailer being float charged by the solar for the last two years or so.  There were different model forklift batteries used at different time periods.

I load tested them from 100% down to about 70%, and they seem to have about the right capacity for new.  Electrolyte level was a little low, below the top of the plates.  I added 16 gallons total I think, to the total of 48 cells.  Sounds like a lot, but these are 'low maintenance' with large head space in each cell, maybe not much less than 1/3 gal.   

I probably wouldn't have chosen to buy these, but they came with all the other stuff on the trailer, so I'll use them as long as they work.  Certainly plenty of load capacity, but maybe not so efficient round trip energy wise, especially if staying up in higher SOC range for longer life, just gassing away energy.

Disposing of them someday will be an adventure too.  Maybe I can find someone who can pick them up with a liftgate truck?
Maybe when it comes time to dispose them you can cut the buss bars and pull each cell out and move separately .
Glad your toes are okay - watched your video - gravity helps !

Larry
system one
Classic 150 , 5s4p  Kyocera 135watt , 12s Soneil 2v 540amp lead crystal for 24v pack , Outback 3524 inverter
system two
Classic 150 ,5s 135 watt Kyocero , 16s Calb 100AH LiFePO4 , Outback VFX 3648 inverter
system three
Midnite KID MPPT 24 DC in to  12 volt AGM batterie

qrper

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Re: Anyone using forklift lead acid batteries
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2020, 10:00:55 AM »
Thats a nice set up.

Wonder if you're doing 24 or 48V system?

I'm not sure what you mean by racetrack batteries.

When they are kaput, the cores are still worth quite a lot. I've seen companies that advertise for used forklift batteries. I'd be they'd come and pick them up for free or very little.

Mike
System one: 7kWp w/ Trina 250 W panels @90 Vdc. Classic 150 to 16-6 V U.S batteries. Trace 5548 sine wave inverter.
System two: 6kWp grid tie with solaredge inverter.
System three: Midnite Brat, two 120 W Astropower modules, 100 Ah battery. Runs the LED streetlight in the back yard.

qrper

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Re: Anyone using forklift lead acid batteries
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2020, 10:04:30 AM »
Oops....

re-read you post.

I see 48V system.

mike
System one: 7kWp w/ Trina 250 W panels @90 Vdc. Classic 150 to 16-6 V U.S batteries. Trace 5548 sine wave inverter.
System two: 6kWp grid tie with solaredge inverter.
System three: Midnite Brat, two 120 W Astropower modules, 100 Ah battery. Runs the LED streetlight in the back yard.

qrper

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Re: Anyone using forklift lead acid batteries
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2020, 10:06:22 AM »
I brought home two recently.  Haven't crushed my toes yet.  Unloading video:   https://photos.app.goo.gl/G9JUjG4SmuEC6yGFA    I moved them by levering with a large steel prybar, and rolling on pipes.   Exide / GNB Tubular LMX model    1900#, 48v, 540Ah each.   I estimate that translates to 1294Ah total at C/20 which is more like how I might use them.

I am setting up the parts from a DC Solar trailer as a battery backup off grid system.  Work in process, need to build a box and venting.  They can _stink_ when charging.  I added midpack fuses yesterday.  https://photos.app.goo.gl/q1euFhioH266nPvW9

They seem to be ok so far.  I don't think I'd want some of the solar trailer batteries, they could have been abused, especially the light tower ones if they're older and have been used like at the racetracks, IMHO.  It's possible to get some idea though.  The SMA inverters have SOC histogram data,  mine said 98 or 99% of time between 90-100 SOC.  Being either lucky or careful in picking which trailer to buy at auction, I think this set were just on the trailer being float charged by the solar for the last two years or so.  There were different model forklift batteries used at different time periods.

I load tested them from 100% down to about 70%, and they seem to have about the right capacity for new.  Electrolyte level was a little low, below the top of the plates.  I added 16 gallons total I think, to the total of 48 cells.  Sounds like a lot, but these are 'low maintenance' with large head space in each cell, maybe not much less than 1/3 gal.   

I probably wouldn't have chosen to buy these, but they came with all the other stuff on the trailer, so I'll use them as long as they work.  Certainly plenty of load capacity, but maybe not so efficient round trip energy wise, especially if staying up in higher SOC range for longer life, just gassing away energy.

Disposing of them someday will be an adventure too.  Maybe I can find someone who can pick them up with a liftgate truck?
Maybe when it comes time to dispose them you can cut the buss bars and pull each cell out and move separately .
Glad your toes are okay - watched your video - gravity helps !

Larry

I wonder if one of those Harbor Freight 'engine pullers' has enough grunt to lift one of those up. Wouldn't need to be too high, just off of the floor

mike
System one: 7kWp w/ Trina 250 W panels @90 Vdc. Classic 150 to 16-6 V U.S batteries. Trace 5548 sine wave inverter.
System two: 6kWp grid tie with solaredge inverter.
System three: Midnite Brat, two 120 W Astropower modules, 100 Ah battery. Runs the LED streetlight in the back yard.

daklein

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Re: Anyone using forklift lead acid batteries
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2020, 06:08:48 PM »
I thought for a short time about cutting _all_ the bus bars in order to carry them down to the basement and set it all up down there.  The cells are about 90 pounds, so they could be carried.   An engine hoist sort of crane would help.  I decided on keeping in the garage for now.

racetracks:  The trailers were sold or used at a number of Nascar tracks.  The LED tower models had a load of maybe 1000W of LEDs, and I guess that could be enough load to abuse the batteries vs. the power available from 2650W of solar, depending on how they were used, maybe the lights have timers or were only used sometimes.  Just speculating.

jedon

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Re: Anyone using forklift lead acid batteries
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2020, 12:41:41 PM »
I'm running a 48V 56kWh forklift battery with a watering system. It's great! I was running 24 GC2's previously, they never really lasted more than a couple years so the forklift battery, although expensive at $7K will be worth it in the long run since they last around 20 years if treated right.

qrper

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Re: Anyone using forklift lead acid batteries
« Reply #21 on: October 06, 2020, 02:14:09 PM »
I'm running a 48V 56kWh forklift battery with a watering system. It's great! I was running 24 GC2's previously, they never really lasted more than a couple years so the forklift battery, although expensive at $7K will be worth it in the long run since they last around 20 years if treated right.

Wonder did you purchase this battery new or used, or refurbished?

mike
System one: 7kWp w/ Trina 250 W panels @90 Vdc. Classic 150 to 16-6 V U.S batteries. Trace 5548 sine wave inverter.
System two: 6kWp grid tie with solaredge inverter.
System three: Midnite Brat, two 120 W Astropower modules, 100 Ah battery. Runs the LED streetlight in the back yard.

binkino

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Re: Anyone using forklift lead acid batteries
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2020, 12:06:21 PM »
have 575Ah / 48 Volt system
http://a68k.de/pv/umbau2.htm
works great
cheap and reliable
not so efficient like modern battery like Li-Ion or similar, but I do not care ;)
PV-OUTPUT: http://pvoutput.org/list.jsp?id=38617
Classic Lite 200 + Classic 200 + Westech Combi 3000 + 3x4x240Wp + 1x4x255Wp + 575 AH EPzS
http://a68k.de:81/Solar/Monitor_LC.php

Trukinbear

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Re: Anyone using forklift lead acid batteries
« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2020, 01:33:17 PM »
I rented a trailer and a pallet jack and brought my 2000# battery home myself. Also, the individual cells are removable (usually) and weigh between 80 and 150# and can usually be moved by one person - much easier to move it all as a unit though. I LOVE my battery!
SMA Solar Sunny Island SI6048
JA Solar 330W 72 cell panels (18)
Classic 250 (2)
MODBUS/Canbus comm adaptor for Sunny Island
SMA-OG E-panel
WhizBang Jr
MNSPD300V (3)
Atkinson GSCM mini-i
Onan Quiet Diesel QD-8000
Monterey 986Ah 'Big Sur' 24-125-11 48V battery
Off the grid on the PNW coast

Trukinbear

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Re: Anyone using forklift lead acid batteries
« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2020, 02:24:03 PM »
PS If you go to lift it with your Harbor Freight engine lift you must also use a distributed lifting bar - the 'ears' will just fold over if you hook a chain to either one and pull from the middle, you MUST use a lifting bar.
SMA Solar Sunny Island SI6048
JA Solar 330W 72 cell panels (18)
Classic 250 (2)
MODBUS/Canbus comm adaptor for Sunny Island
SMA-OG E-panel
WhizBang Jr
MNSPD300V (3)
Atkinson GSCM mini-i
Onan Quiet Diesel QD-8000
Monterey 986Ah 'Big Sur' 24-125-11 48V battery
Off the grid on the PNW coast

Bob D

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Re: Anyone using forklift lead acid batteries
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2021, 03:31:05 PM »
Maybe a bit late for input on this thread.
In 2014 I installed a Crown forktruck battery, 12LM85-15, rated at about 790 AH ( 20 hr rate).
After some discussion with Crown, it was specified as their "H2GO" design, which has large water capacity above the plates, recombiner vent caps, and a level alarm.
The target specific gravity is 1.285, as someone mentioned in an earlier post this is typical for industrial batteries.
Under our normal use, which depletes the battery 15-20% overnight, it has performed great.
After some discussion with Crown's tech department, the absorb and equalize voltages were tweaked, and as a result the SG stays in pretty good shape.
The absorb voltage is higher than what is perhaps usual, at 30 volts, but that gets the absorb SG to about 1.265-1.27 daily, and I EQ every 10 days for 3 hours at 31V.
As mentioned above, these settings were determined after a few months of monitoring the system and chatting with Crown.
I water every month or so, adding about 3/4 liter per cell.
The absorb terminates at 11 amps, typically taking 5-6 hours.
As far as I can tell, the battery capacity has dropped somewhat in the 7 years of operation, but I haven'[t bother with a load test to quantify the drop because the battery still does what we need.
In the discussions with Crown, they encouraged me to not treat it as a precious object, but instead discharge it quite a bit once in a while and then charge it as fast as I can ( about 90 amps).  Their main concern with life is making sure that it is fully charged - hence the somewhat aggressive absorb and EQ voltages.
A couple of nice things about a battery like this:
-the cell to cell connections are welded lead, so there is no cable corrosion or maintenance
-The wiring connections are a type that will handle forklift currents - so typical inverter currents are well under the limits.

On the other hand, it is a brute - 1200 pounds.

Prior to this battery, I bought a reconditioned forktruck battery of a similar size, for about 1/3 the cost of the Crown.  It lasted 3 years.  From the beginning it was evident that it was not in real good shape, taking a very long time to finish absorb, making the system pretty inefficient. Once I understood better what good looks like, I abandoned it and bought the new Crown.  Got $300 scrap value from the old battery.

The system is unused 4 months or so during the winter.  I leave the charge controller on, with a 1000 watt bank of panels adjusted vertically to shed snow. The inverter is on a low power standby, drawing 5 watts or so, with a timer to turn on the modem, local computer, and network so that once every few days I can take a look at how things are doing.  Mainly this is just to make sure the battery voltage is high enough that the freezing point is well below the ambient temperature.

The charge controller is set for a short absorb and no equalization, to limit water consumption, to ensure that low water is not an issue during the winter sleep.
In the spring, it takes a few sunny days to get the specific gravity back up to 1.28 or so, but so far that has been OK each spring.

Unrelated to the forktruck battery subject, for years I used a AC generator as backup, powering the AC system and using the inverter as a charger. It was always a balancing act between the charge rate and having enough AC to run pumps, etc. A bigger generator would help, but there is a limited selection of high amperage 120 volt generators.  Currently I have a 70 amp, 24 volt generator connected to the battery, and run it whenever the battery needs it. The generator runs flat out for either a set time or until the battery reaches about 80% SOC, monitored by the WB Jr and the Magnum inverter.  Works great.

Classic 150, Magnum 4024, 12-215W panels, 12-85-13 forktruck battery

Vic

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Re: Anyone using forklift lead acid batteries
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2021, 04:12:17 PM »
Hi Bob,   Thanks for the very informative details of your Crown battery.

When the existing FLA main banks here start to give up,   may "try" a Forklift battery.   The Surrette 4KS25s are now in their 16th year of off-grid service,   and seem to be holding up well  (knock on wood).

Thanks again, Vic
Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548s, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 3X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  Thanks MN for Great Products/Service/Support!