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Car Battery Charger for long term storage

Discussion in 'Misc Electronics' started by Mike Davids, Dec 4, 2003.

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  1. Mike Davids

    Mike Davids Guest

    Hi,

    I have a car that stays is storage for the most part of the year, and would
    like advice on preservation of the battery.

    I use a 50 AH Sealed Lead Acid battery.

    What I was after was advice on the best type of commercially available
    charger, and where to purchase it.

    Thanks,
    Mike.
     
  2. Mike Davids

    Mike Davids Guest

    | Hi,
    |
    | I have a car that stays is storage for the most part of the year, and
    would
    | like advice on preservation of the battery.
    |
    | I use a 50 AH Sealed Lead Acid battery.
    |
    | What I was after was advice on the best type of commercially available
    | charger, and where to purchase it.
    |
    | Thanks,
    | Mike.
    |
    |

    While I'm about it - what's the best for me to do when I get back home to a
    flat battery from standing since middle of March this year.
    In March I disconnected the battery and left it in the car - it's temperate
    climate (20 ~ 25 C).

    Should I just jump start the car so that I can use it straight away, and
    then leave the charger on when I stop, and obviously when I store the car
    again - or should I be patient and let it slow charge for a day or two?
     
  3. CWatters

    CWatters Guest

    Get a charger with a "Full/Float" switch. Charge on Full then switch to
    Float and leave it on that setting all the time it's in store. On float the
    voltage is reduced slightly which stops the electrolyte "boiling off" -
    which it would do if left on Full all the time.

    It's worth checking after a few days (a week?) that the battery isn't
    fizzing away as sometimes the float voltage is set a shade too high. On my
    charger there is an internal adjustment for the float voltage but you need
    to take care because there are hazardous voltages inside. The proceedure for
    adjusting is to reduce it slightly then wait a day ot two to see if the
    battery has calmed down.

    I have a 5 year old battery that has been on float charge most of those 5
    years (and it still is now).

    If your charger only has a "Trickle" setting check the manual. That might
    not be the same as "Float".

    My charger was about £28 ($37) in the UK - five years ago.

    The battery you let go flat may well be dead or have much reduced capacity
    The fastest way to kill a lead acid cell is to leave it flat for any length
    of time. In which case it probably doesn't matter how you treat it now. I
    would put in on a normal charge but perhaps someone else will tell us how to
    recover a dead battery correctly.

    Colin
     
  4. SLA batteries are float charged. They lose their capacity to the
    point where they have to be replaced after 5 years.


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  5. Well, he said it's a SLA, and they're sealed, so I don't think you can
    check the electrolyte.

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    ###Got a Question about ELECTRONICS? Check HERE First:###
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    goes directly to the trash unless you add NOSPAM in the
    Subject: line with other stuff. alondra101 <at> hotmail.com
    Don't be ripped off by the big book dealers. Go to the URL
    that will give you a choice and save you money(up to half).
    http://www.everybookstore.com You'll be glad you did!
    Just when you thought you had all this figured out, the gov't
    changed it: http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/binary.html
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  6. Michael

    Michael Guest


    I have several dozen 2v, 5 AH cells made by Gates in the early 1970's
    that are still in use. Dunno, quantitatively, how much time has
    decreased their capacity but they do have spunk. For a while during the
    NE blackout earlier this year I illuminated my livingroom with them and
    an auto headlight pointed at the ceiling. I have three Gates 2v 25 AH
    "Cyclon" cells that I got 2nd-hand back in the early 80's and they
    continue to serve. Used to have 6 of them but three died after I let
    them sit too long.
     
  7. Neil Preston

    Neil Preston Guest

    As I described in another recent message, I've had very good luck using a
    24 hour appliance timer to control a standard battery charger. Set the
    timer to turn the charger on for its minimum time (usually 15 minutes) every
    day. It tops off the battery without overcharging it. Seems like it should
    work for a SLA battery too.

    I use this method to keep my garden tractor battery alive over the winter.
    I think I'm on the 3rd winter for my current battery. Just have to check the
    electrolyte level from time to time.

    Neil Preston.
     
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