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Why nobody reconditions a UPS battery

Discussion in 'Renewable Energy' started by smilem, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. smilem

    smilem Member

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    Hello, I tried to find some information why nobody tried to recondition not dead (no sulfation) but used CSB UPS battery for example the common type 12Ah.

    You could measure the electrolyte with a reflectoemter, you need only 1 drop.
    Then you could add water or acid to it.
    The actual acid gravity is not specified, but you can check new battery and find it that way.

    Given the fact that common death of UPS batteries is dried out batteries why nobody reconditions them? No discussions on forums etc. Are people too stupid to measure the the acid with a reflectoemter? Or there are other problems?
     
  2. jpanhalt

    jpanhalt Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Are you suggesting that the acid simply evaporates and leaves a dried battery? How do you know there is no sulfation?

    BTW, the instrument you are probably thinking of is called a refractometer, not reflectoemter, assuming that you mean reflectometer for the latter.

    Can you explain how you can get a low acid concentration in a "dried out" battery that is not sulfated. What would you do to cure that situation? Where did all the acid go?

    John
     
  3. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I think it has more to do with the fact that a new UPS battery is rather cheap and given its application of keeping computers running and information on them undamaged during power outages people would rather spend the money and have a new trustworthy battery doing what its supposed to do when its supposed to do it and for as long as it supposed to opposed to leaving it all up to a hopefully fixed but likely questionable old battery that has once failed.

    That's my thoughts on why.

    Plus I don't know a single person who owns a reflectometer either including myself and I have a lot of tech toys!:eek:
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. smilem

    smilem Member

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    The mixture of acid/water evaporates yes. Remember a single bad cell can make battery bad.

    You measure battery resistance with special meter (very expensive), or use simple multimeter and a load, then use formula to calculate internal resistance.

    Or you use a smart charger, I have CTEK that measures and the sulfation. IF the charger goes to step 2 and skips step 1 the battery is not sulfated. Given the fact that most UPS batteries are overcharged I see no reason that they can get sulfated.


    Yes perhaps refractometer, sorry my native language is not english.

    Well I did not say you can always get low acid or low water concentration. If battery plates are OK, then you need to measure and see what to add I guess.
     
  6. smilem

    smilem Member

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    Go on ebay and buy one. LOL
     
  7. jpanhalt

    jpanhalt Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Your fundamental premise that sulfuric acid evaporates from a battery is flawed. The water evaporates. The sulfuric acid either remains as an increasingly concentrated solution, or it more likely forms sulfates.

    Here is a chart showing the vapor pressure of sulfuric acid in aqueous mixtures:

    http://www.electro-tech-online.com/custompdfs/2013/02/Sulfuric_Acid_Partial_Vapor_Pressure_20.pdf

    Even at 60 °C, the vapor pressure of concentrated sulfuric acid is <0.0001 mm Hg. That is the reason that sulfuric acid can be used in desiccators as a powerful dehydrating agent without contaminating the materials being dried.

    If you ever see a dry lead-acid battery, it is either sulfated, the sulfuric leaked out, or it was never filled.

    As for why back-up batteries are not rejuvenated, I suspect you are confusing their routine and/or scheduled replacement with replacing the batteries because they are bad. Since they are a critical element in many systems, it is simply prudent to replace them before they go bad.

    There is a small market for such batteries, and of course, they can also be recycled. One of the people I fly model airplanes with has access to batteries that have been removed from back-up supplies in the course of normal preventative maintenance. They are still quite usable for non-critical applications. We use them to start our model engines. There are lots of other uses for them.

    Oh by the way, tcmtech, I have both a refractometer and polarimeter on my mantel.

    John
     
  8. MikeMl

    MikeMl Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    How do you add liquid to a gelled electrolyte? Even if you do, how do you get it to diffuse uniformly throughout the matrix. These things are called "Sealed Lead Acid Batteries for a reason....
     
  9. 4pyros

    4pyros Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Ummmm. I will bite my tongue.
     
  10. KeepItSimpleStupid

    KeepItSimpleStupid Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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  11. killivolt

    killivolt Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. At the University we simply change them, then they go to the recycle bin.


    When you do you will have saved a ton of money and made a couple yourself:rolleyes:
     
  12. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    So I should buy a $25 tool to find out if I can fix my $20 battery? :confused:

    The problem with most batteries when they get baked dry is that they also tend to crack the plates and loose a lot of their plate surface area to permanent physical degradation and damage due to sulfation build up.

    All the water in the world wont fix that.


    Am I too stupid to try and fix a UPS battery? NO!

    I know better because I know that 8 out of 10 are not worth fixing or wont last after the fix and the two that may work will still never be 100% reliable or up to full working capacity. :(
     
  13. Nigel Goodwin

    Nigel Goodwin Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

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    Yes, it's a pretty silly thread - hopefully the OP has learned why his idea is a non-starter.

    The old batteries are of course recycled anyway, and the lead reclaimed to make new batteries.
     
  14. smilem

    smilem Member

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    Silly thread or not but since US air force hasn't got the money to buy new batteries and fixes them why shouldn't average joe ?
    Seems like Catalysts on VRLA Batteries Save Air Force Millions of Dollars
    http://webcache.googleusercontent.c...ries+by+adding+water&cd=2&hl=lt&ct=clnk&gl=lt

    So the question is where can I get these caps of catalyst?
     
  15. tcmtech

    tcmtech Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Telecommunications standby battery banks are not normal UPS batteries.

    They are usually a very large single cell type lead acid battery that can easily be anywhere from 150 to 2000+ Ah per cell at 2 volts with a service life in excess of 20 years.
    (Just like the article in your link states.) :p

    Design wise they are not anything close to a common sealed gel cell UPS battery. :(
     

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