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Old 17th April 2018, 18:07   #1216
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Default Re: Inverter Batteries

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Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
Dear R2D2 and others,

Could you please give us a set of instructions on how to properly check and maintain tall tubular batteries? I am running about 22 in series, they are pretty expensive, and i would love to get some specific advice on this.

If this has been written before, please do point me in that direction.
Let me give this a shot. May prove a refresher for others too.

First off you need a few tools and supplies:

a) Digital multimeter OR a clamp meter. Buy a Fluke if you can because you can never go wrong with that make. It is a one time investment. Other suggested makes as given in other posts in this thread. A clamp meter is a better as it can measure amperes while DMMs have limitations on the amps that can be measured generally <20A and higher current measurements may require an accessory which is really expensive. I assume you are familiar with simple volt and amp measurements. If not, look up on YT.

b) Distilled water. Several gallons of it! You have 22 batteries to take care of. (phew!). I don't know your batteries' specs but I'd assume they are the commonly found 150 AH.

My 2 x 200 AH batteries just gulped down nearly 2 litres of water after the last top up 5 months ago in Nov '17. Not too many power failures where I live hence the extended intervals between top ups.

c) Safety glasses/goggles and a pair of latex gloves. Batteries can be dangerous.

d) Size 10 mm spanner for the clamp bolts..just in case

e) A hydrometer. Can bought cheap off eBay or Amazon.

f) Vaseline or similar product to coat the terminals, clamps and prevent corrosion.

Just check the batteries every 2-3 months (more frequently if power outages are of long duration and frequent) , and fill up to the bottom of the vent hole only. There should be at least 2 cm of space between the top of the battery and the electrolyte. Please do NOT overfill. Float charge voltage is about 13.7 V for tubular batteries. Check your battery's instruction booklet for the proper charging voltages and amps.

Keep a close eye on on DW levels. If the lead plates ever get exposed to the air the battery is a goner.


I can imagine it would be a real chore maintaining scores of batteries. You can also ask your local battery dealer for an AMC.
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Old 23rd April 2018, 14:36   #1217
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Default Re: Inverter Batteries

I'm planning to buy a 150 AH tubular battery.

Which is the best among these:

Amaron
OR
Exide Inva Tubular
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Old 27th April 2018, 22:51   #1218
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Default Re: Inverter Batteries

My inverter battery is smelling awful for last ten days. Smells as if something awful is decaying/rotting, dead lizard or rat. I have checked out the vicinity there is nothing around which could smell that way. The area where the inverter is kept is reasonably ventilated.

Wanted advice if the battery could have developed some fault, battery is Luminous 150 AH tubular now about one year old and its connected to an old locally made inverter which has been doing good service for last 15 years or so.

Regards
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Old 28th April 2018, 00:55   #1219
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Default Re: Inverter Batteries

Is your battery leaking by any chance or liquid spilling out.

Also may not be the same case, but years back I had the same smell coming from the vicinity of the ups/battery but it turns out it was smell of burning insulation that was on the plug, was using a cheap conax adapter improper contact cause heat and burned the insulation.
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Old 28th April 2018, 08:53   #1220
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No, the battery is not leaking and it's not burning of insulation.
I disconnected the battery last night and there is no smell. It's got to do with charging I suppose.
Read on some website that incase inverter is overcharging tubular battery may produce H2S, I think that might be the case. Will get the inverter checked up today and then see.
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Old 28th April 2018, 10:54   #1221
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Default Re: Inverter Batteries

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Originally Posted by PGA View Post
No, the battery is not leaking and it's not burning of insulation. I disconnected the battery last night and there is no smell. It's got to do with charging I suppose. Read on some website that incase inverter is overcharging tubular battery may produce H2S, I think that might be the case. Will get the inverter checked up today and then see.
That's right. A strong smell of rotten eggs means the inverter is over charging your battery. Also check the water level in your battery because overcharging accelerates water loss. Top off with distilled water only and up to the bottom of the vent tubes. Do not overfill.

Please get the voltage checked at the earliest or the battery will get damaged and require a replacement.

It is better you leave the inverter disconnected till it is checked and repaired.

Last edited by R2D2 : 28th April 2018 at 10:55.
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Old 2nd May 2018, 19:59   #1222
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Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
Also check the water level in your battery because overcharging accelerates water loss. Top off with distilled water only and up to the bottom of the vent tubes. Do not overfill.

It is better you leave the inverter disconnected till it is checked and repaired.
Thanks a lot for the concern. I was not able to get the inverter checked for the last two days. But today when I was taking it to the mechanic, the car started smelling, I turned it around half way, came back home and opened the inverter, to see a partially roasted lizzy. So it was literally a case of khoda pahar or nikli lizzard.
The only mystery that remains is how did it get inside when there are no openings big enough for it to enter.
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Old 2nd May 2018, 21:12   #1223
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Default Re: Inverter Batteries

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...the car started smelling, I turned it around half way, came back home and opened the inverter, to see a partially roasted lizzy. So it was literally a case of khoda pahar or nikli lizzard. The only mystery that remains is how did it get inside when there are no openings big enough for it to enter.
anyway it is a good time to check the battery electrolyte levels as this promises to be yet another hot summer. Flat bodied lizards are also quite flexible. I've known some that went in inside an AC indoor-unit when the air swing flap was closed & laid eggs. The service guy had a surprise when he opened it up for service.

Last edited by R2D2 : 2nd May 2018 at 21:16.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 17:13   #1224
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Default Re: Inverter Batteries

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Let me give this a shot. May prove a refresher for others too.
Sir, many thanks for this detailed reply. I am sorry I could not write in earlier.

Buying the clamp meter + getting the work done ourselves seems like a chore, but I reckon anything we do ourselves will be done with a lot more patience and thoroughness which any external vendor might not be able to provide. The only thing is this will need to be done with a lot of care and patience.

Almost all the batteries are 80AH barring one 100AH Amaron. The 80AH exides are no longer manufactured.

I have a cheap hydrometer from Aliexpress. Have got the rest of the supplies. All I need to get is a clamp meter. I will give this a good thought to go ahead with DIY. After experiencing many vendors for "maintenance" jobs (not repairs), I feel doing our own maintenance is always better.

I had one such vendor come and inspect all the batteries and provide an inspection report. Let me dig that out and post the values here for feedback. Last time the batteries were checked was about 2 months back, and yes, we face quite a few power cuts.
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Could you please give me your feedback for the above? All are Exide 80AH Tall Tubular and are about 7 years old.

Last edited by Red Liner : 3rd May 2018 at 17:32.
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Old 3rd May 2018, 20:45   #1225
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Default Re: Inverter Batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
I have a cheap hydrometer from Aliexpress. Have got the rest of the supplies. All I need to get is a clamp meter. I will give this a good thought to go ahead with DIY. After experiencing many vendors for "maintenance" jobs (not repairs), I feel doing our own maintenance is always better.
Maintaining any system yourself is better provided you have the tools and skills. Otherwise please leave it to the professionals..if not for money but for safety's sake.

Also, please be careful around batteries especially a massive bank of 20. There's heck of a lot of hydrogen + oxygen which is explosive. No flames, sparks, cigarettes etc near the battery storage room. Make sure you ventilate it properly before stepping inside. Battery gasses are also corrosive to respiratory tissues.

Quote:
Last time the batteries were checked was about 2 months back, and yes, we face quite a few power cuts. Could you please give me your feedback for the above? All are Exide 80AH Tall Tubular and are about 7 years old.
Thanks for sharing. Most of your batteries are failing given the age. 7 years is a long time for batteries in tropical conditions. My 200 AH tall tubulars are 5 years old and I am budgeting for replacements in the next 12-24 months. This is with infrequent power failures.

Right, so back to your battery bank; the ones with an ED (Electrolyte Density in the report AKA Specific Gravity) less than 12.2 range are failing or have already failed (normal is 1250-1270 adjusted for electrolyte temperature common in India) and the ones with 11.xx should be replaced ASAP. Just as the vendor has suggested. Assuming the measurements are correct your vendor is giving you sensible advice.

I assume you have set of batteries in sets of series + parallel connections. Each battery represents a link in a chain. As we all know the chain is only as good as the weakest link.

Funds permitted replace all 20 batteries. They've served you well. If you don't or can't get 80AH batteries or as close as possible to that AH. Think of batteries as tanks. A 100 AH tank takes longer to fill up than an 80 AH one. The inverter charging circuit does not know which battery has what capacity. Once the 80 AH hits 100% state of charge the 100 AH will be left undercharged which over time will be detrimental to its health. This is very common in battery banks.
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Old 7th May 2018, 13:13   #1226
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Default Re: Inverter Batteries

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Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post

Funds permitted replace all 20 batteries. They've served you well. If you don't or can't get 80AH batteries or as close as possible to that AH. Think of batteries as tanks. A 100 AH tank takes longer to fill up than an 80 AH one. The inverter charging circuit does not know which battery has what capacity. Once the 80 AH hits 100% state of charge the 100 AH will be left undercharged which over time will be detrimental to its health. This is very common in battery banks.
Yes, I will wait for 90% of the batteries to go under 12.0 ED before I issue a replacement. 20 batteries @ 10k approx each is about 2 Lakhs, so I have to justify to internal finance/corporate that a replacement en-masse is fully due. I will also go for all 100AH tall tubular batteries, as there is nothing below 100AH available these days.

I will also have a battery guy come on a "need-basis" to inspect and top up the distilled water. Would a monthly check-up suffice?

Last edited by Red Liner : 7th May 2018 at 13:15.
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Old 7th May 2018, 13:30   #1227
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Default Re: Inverter Batteries

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Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
Yes, I will wait for 90% of the batteries to go under 12.0 ED before I issue a replacement. 20 batteries @ 10k approx each is about 2 Lakhs, so I have to justify to internal finance/corporate that a replacement en-masse is fully due. I will also go for all 100AH tall tubular batteries, as there is nothing below 100AH available these days.

I will also have a battery guy come on a "need-basis" to inspect and top up the distilled water. Would a monthly check-up suffice?
Hi-power batteries from southern batteries has Tall tubular starting with 80ah.
They are comparable to exide batteries in terms of weight.
Some of their models also have 5 years warranty (full replacement type) just like some exide models.
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Old 7th May 2018, 16:55   #1228
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Default Re: Inverter Batteries

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I will also have a battery guy come on a "need-basis" to inspect and top up the distilled water. Would a monthly check-up suffice?
If your locality experiences frequent and long power failures then get the batteries checked every 4-6 weeks. Otherwise once every 3 months is fine.

What you should do is measure the frequency and duration of power failures AND the average load i.e. the Amp-hours (AH) supplied by the inverter system to gauge the drain on the batteries. This is a scientific way to fix the maintenance schedule and will also determine if your inverter charging circuitry has enough time AND output (Amps) to satisfactorily charge the battery bank to at least 80-85% state of charge, determined by measuring Sp. Gr and/or current flow, before the next power outage kicks in.

Under charge (<80%) is detrimental to overall battery life and performance in the mid to long term. Your supplier may be able to help you with this exercise.

Since your current battery bank has lasted a very good 7 year term I assume that your inverter's charging system is in good order. But it never hurts to recheck.
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Old 8th May 2018, 17:05   #1229
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Default Re: Inverter Batteries

After getting tired of too many powercuts in the recent past, I'm contemplating getting an inverter-UPS for home. I checked the requirement through Luminous site and it showed that I'd need a huge 3.5 KVA one, that too without adding any AEH appliance to the calculator's list.

At the most, at any time,
4x fluorescent tubes
2x LED bulbs/CFLs
1x incandescent bulb
1x sub 200l refrigerator
1x 32" LED backlit LCD TV
1x DTH STB
1x gaming desktop connected to 1KVA UPS (550W PSU, 1x 21.5" LED backlit monitor, 1x 200W sound system running at low volume)
1x work laptop

would be running simultaneously (excluding AEH stuff). Would the above really need a 3.5KVA inverter?

Last edited by theredliner : 8th May 2018 at 17:34.
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Old 8th May 2018, 20:35   #1230
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Well I wouldn't be surprised by the ups calculator, they always take the max power consumption of these devices.
But Incandescent bulb in this day and age. In my house the last incandescent bulb and tubelight was removed some 15 years ago and all CFL bulbs was removed some 4 years ago.

Without the wattage of these devices it's difficult to tell what capacity UPS you really need and again power factor of the UPS also plays a role here. I could have a 1kva ups with a power factor of .99 giving close to 1000watt or I could get the same job done with a 1.6kva to 2kva ups with a really poor power factor.

Last edited by aim120 : 8th May 2018 at 20:40.
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