I had a sunny day so I got to really test out my old forklift batteries on my tiny house solar power. I also had a special delivery today which I will tell cover in detail later.
Since it was a bright, sunny winter day I was able to put the old forklift battery bank into manual equalize mode. My Tristar MPPT solar charge controller allows me to manually start an equalization. This means that the solar charge controller hits the battery bank with over 15 volts for a certain amount of time. This boils the acid in the battery cells and mixes the electrolyte up better. With time the heavier acid settles down and the lighter water rises. This creates an unbalanced chemistry in the battery and causes uneven distribution of power in the battery cell.
Boiling the fluid in the battery with a higher voltage mixes the fluids better and also breaks up the lead sulfate on the battery plates. This brings the battery up closer to its full power capacity.
While at Tractor Supply the other day I found a manual/automatic battery charger on sale. It was on clearance because it was stocked as a Christmas gift item. After the holidays they need to clear out old stock to prepare for new spring items. So I got an awesome deal on this charger.
The battery charger has a 10 amp setting and can be set to manual mode which allows me to put 10 amps at 14.8 volts into my forklift batteries as long as I want. This allows me to run devices inside my tiny house on wheels when the sun is down even though the batteries are not running at full capacity.
These old forklift batteries are badly sulfated. They were abused and I expect it will take a long time before they are performing well in my off grid solar application. But they are only temporary anyway until the reconditioned forklift battery arrives.
Which, by the way, happened on this day. In the afternoon hours a van pulled in carrying my new/reconditioned forklift battery. This is a 3 year old 12 volt battery bank rated at 750 AH. And it comes with a one year warranty.
This forklift battery will become the main power source for my tiny house when the sun is not generating power through the solar panels.
I expect the new forklift battery to last me at least 20 years in my solar powered home.
I used my harbor freight engine hoist to get the battery raised off the bed of the van while they drove it out from under the battery. Then I lowered it onto the ground for now.
I have to fix my truck brakes before I can get the battery over to the tiny house.
I plan to put the battery into the bed of the truck and then drive the truck over to the back side of the tiny house. Then lift the battery out with the HF engine hoist and lower it to the ground. Then I have to manipulate it into place on the pallet next to the other batteries.
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