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Making lead acid, or other batteries
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adam2
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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2014 9:34 am    Post subject: High voltage batteries Reply with quote

Thought it worth re visiting this old thread to disscuss home made high voltage batteries, principly for the HT supply to a valve radio.

Except for a handful of specialist purposes, valves are now obsolete with transistorised equipment being almost universal.

Some doomers consider it prudent to keep a valve radio on hand as this should survive an EMP event, unlike transistorised equipment.

A valve radio needs an HT supply often at 90 or 120 volts, in days gone by this was obtained either from the mains or from HT dry batteries.
HT dry batteries are no longer readily available, and mains electricity wont be available post EMP.

It might therefore be worth considering a home made, rechargeable HT battery.
This may be made as follows.

1) Obtain 44 small glass containers such as test tubes, set these upright and spaced about 2cm apart. A small wooden box with the test tubes set upright in wax or bitumen would be ideal.
Arrange as 4 lines each of 11.
2) Obtain a number of small lead strips and bend these into inverted "U" shapes. Place these so as to link each cell in the strings of 11 to the next cell. The end cells of each string will have one strip connected to an external wire or terminal.
3) Fill with dilute suphuric acid of 1.25 SG.
4) Charge each string of 11 cells/22 volts from a 24 volt nominal off grid system.
5) Connect the 4 strings in series so as to provide 88 volts to a valve radio.

Of course different numbers of cells in total and different numbers for each string could be used according to the desired HT voltage and available charging voltage.
The charging current required is very small, in the example given I would charge each 22 volt string from the main 24 volt system via a 6 volt 0.04 amp bulb. The bulb limits the current and provides visuall confirmation that charging current is flowing.

TAKE CARE these are potentialy dangerous voltages.
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odaeio



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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2014 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much for all the info Adam II. I hope you don't mind, but I "nicked" it, copy 'n paste style, for another forum.

http://redpilled.net/showthread.php?tid=138

What happens when solid lead plates "sulphate", can one just remove them and give 'em a scrub?

Has anyone looked at possible home-made "flow" batteries? Am thinking along the lines of some sort of "gravity" feed system, whereby one has a large tank of electrolyte and arranges it so hopefully warm electrolyte in the cell flows up to the tank and cold flows back to the bottom of the cell. This would be an attempt to get large amp/hours out of a smaller physical cell size.
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odaeio



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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2014 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many questions Adam, what's the deal with the plastic looking bags over the plates now? I sawed open a couple of old batteries a couple of years ago and they had what appeared to be black plastic sleeves over the plates - can't remember if it was both plates, or just one in each cell.

How thick would you recommend for the plates, one mil? 2 mil? Particularly the ones one wants to "twist" together.

What can be used for the insulator between the plates? Copier paper? Cotton/nylon material? Like maybe an old sheet well washed to get out chemical/soap residues and cut to suit?

What would you anticipate the amp/hour capacity would drop to if one was to cut open an old 110 a/h battery and replace the plates with solid lead, even if it drops to 10 a/hrs, it might still be worth the trouble.

Can one remove old electrolyte and filter the sludge out of it for re-use? Or would it be badly degraded by then.

Lead is relatively easy to melt, would there be any point in trying to melt old plates out of a current battery and skimming off the slag, or are they doped in some way, so one wouldn't get pure lead back?
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adam2
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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2014 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

odaeio wrote:
Many questions Adam, what's the deal with the plastic looking bags over the plates now? I sawed open a couple of old batteries a couple of years ago and they had what appeared to be black plastic sleeves over the plates - can't remember if it was both plates, or just one in each cell.
How thick would you recommend for the plates, one mil? 2 mil? Particularly the ones one wants to "twist" together.
What can be used for the insulator between the plates? Copier paper? Cotton/nylon material? Like maybe an old sheet well washed to get out chemical/soap residues and cut to suit?
What would you anticipate the amp/hour capacity would drop to if one was to cut open an old 110 a/h battery and replace the plates with solid lead, even if it drops to 10 a/hrs, it might still be worth the trouble.
Can one remove old electrolyte and filter the sludge out of it for re-use? Or would it be badly degraded by then.
Lead is relatively easy to melt, would there be any point in trying to melt old plates out of a current battery and skimming off the slag, or are they doped in some way, so one wouldn't get pure lead back?


1) the plastic sleeves or bags over the plates are probably some synthetic, acid resistant and porous material intended to stop the active material from falling off.

2)for a home made cell, I would use plates at least 2mm thick, thinner than that will tend to have a short life as the surface tends to very slowly dissovle.

3) the seperator between the plates must be acid resistant and porous. Neither paper nor old cotton bed sheets would be suitable. Old polyester or nylon sheets MIGHT be suitable, but I have not tried them. I used glass wool insulation, NOT ROCK WOOL which will dissolve.

4) home made plates in a former 110 AH battery would probably have a capacity of less than 1 AH initialy, rising to a few AH after many cycles. Remember that overs 100 years of research is behind todays compact batteries ! A crude home made cell will be very much larger.

5) old electroylyte is usually useless as the battery from which it has been removed has probably become sulphated, this meaning that the acid has permanently reacted with the lead to form lead sulphate. Therefore the remaining liquid is largely water.

6) The plates from old batteries are indeed fairly easily melted down, and reasonably pure lead will result, new plates are fairly easily cast thus. Remember though that any such plates of pure lead will have a very small capacity if compared to todays high tech plates, see point 4 re this.
TAKE GREAT CARE IF MELTING OLD BATTERY PLATES, LEAD COMPOUNDS ARE HIGHLY TOXIC AND MAY BE RELEASED AS SMOKE, FUMES GAS, OR VAPOUR.
Pure lead is fairly safe provided that you dont eat it !, lead compounds as might be released on melting are more dangerous.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2014 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

odaeio wrote:
Thanks so much for all the info Adam II. I hope you don't mind, but I "nicked" it, copy 'n paste style, for another forum.

http://redpilled.net/showthread.php?tid=138

What happens when solid lead plates "sulphate", can one just remove them and give 'em a scrub?

Has anyone looked at possible home-made "flow" batteries? Am thinking along the lines of some sort of "gravity" feed system, whereby one has a large tank of electrolyte and arranges it so hopefully warm electrolyte in the cell flows up to the tank and cold flows back to the bottom of the cell. This would be an attempt to get large amp/hours out of a smaller physical cell size.


If SOLID lead plates sulphate, then yes the sulphate deposits can be removed, but remember that so doing will also remove the desired active materials, leaving plain lead. The capacity will therefore be much reduced until numerous charge/discharge cycles have gradualy restored the active material.
Remember thay any significant sulphation also "uses up" the acid and that topping up with acid rather than with distilled water may be needed.

Flow batteries show some promise for large scale applications but they innvolve a lot of high technology are not all suitable for domestic use, let alone experiment or improvisation IMO.
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odaeio



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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2014 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

adam2 wrote:
odaeio wrote:
Thanks so much for all the info Adam II. I hope you don't mind, but I "nicked" it, copy 'n paste style, for another forum.

http://redpilled.net/showthread.php?tid=138

What happens when solid lead plates "sulphate", can one just remove them and give 'em a scrub?

Has anyone looked at possible home-made "flow" batteries? Am thinking along the lines of some sort of "gravity" feed system, whereby one has a large tank of electrolyte and arranges it so hopefully warm electrolyte in the cell flows up to the tank and cold flows back to the bottom of the cell. This would be an attempt to get large amp/hours out of a smaller physical cell size.


If SOLID lead plates sulphate, then yes the sulphate deposits can be removed, but remember that so doing will also remove the desired active materials, leaving plain lead. The capacity will therefore be much reduced until numerous charge/discharge cycles have gradualy restored the active material.
Remember thay any significant sulphation also "uses up" the acid and that topping up with acid rather than with distilled water may be needed.

Flow batteries show some promise for large scale applications but they innvolve a lot of high technology are not all suitable for domestic use, let alone experiment or improvisation IMO.


A million thanks Adam, much appreciated. I think I get the gist of it now,

A 4 to 5 litre container per cell.

Insulator to be porous but not affected by sulphuric acid.

2 to 3 mm solid lead plates.

A rather large shed to house lot's of cells

And I should be good for 20 years or so Smile

Now to find the 'leccy to charge 'em....some solar, (already got), some wind, (1 x already got), some hydro, (maybe waterwheel in a river), and maybe some TEG's on the back of the woodburner - and I might just get away with it......
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adam2
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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, home made lead acid cells will be very bulky indeed compared to modern ones, and therefore very expensive in terms of time, trouble and space taken up.
I doubt that they would be viable for bulk energy storage, but could be very valuable indeed for low energy lighting and for communications equipment.

6 crude cells each in a gallon glass pickle jar might, after numerous cycles, have a capacity of several AH at 12 volts.
That would power a couple of LED lamps for several hours each night which could be very valuable in a long term disaster.

For larger cells, it would be worth especialy casting lead plates with a special pattern so as to maximise surface area.

Cells in say gallon glass pickle jars are fairly easy to make and may be placed on any acid resistant shelf or workbench in a well ventilated area.

Larger cells require careful design and construction, mainly due to the great weight which can easily be several tons !
Remember that the battery for a typical country house lighting plant of 100 years ago weighed several tons and occupied a large outbuilding.

In a lower energy future it is possible that lead acid batteries will be made in local factories or works, as was the case before the oil age. With mass production will come improvements beyond what might reasonably be achieved in the average home workshop.
100 years ago, before the oil age*, lead acid batteries were in widespread use in sizes ranging from easily carried to hundreds of tons, they were factory made not home made. Although crude by todays standards these were more sophisticated than a couple of lead plates in a pickle jar.

*and yes I know that crude oil had been discovered and put to use 100 years ago, but only on a small scale and with little impact on many peoples lives, not used in battery manufacture AFAIK.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rethink the Grid: Personal Power Stations
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vtsnowedin



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back in the 1930s much of rural America was without any grid power and there was a thriving business of providing wind power to the farms and ranches of the Great Plains. I know this because in 1975 I worked a job tearing down and shipping east a bunch of the towers and generators.
The most successful company was Jacobs whose standard mill was a direct drive 1800 watt generator usually on a 100 foot tall angle iron tower that put out 32 volts DC. The power was stored in a bank of batteries in a battery hut. These were similar to ones then in use by the phone company and were glass cased two volt batteries that weighed about 100 pounds each and were about two feet tall and eight inches by a foot in cross section. They used 16 of them hooked in series.
They lasted well but eventually sediment built up in the bottom of the glass case to the point that it shorted out the bottom of the lead plates. Over the years most farmers had replaced them with three 12 volt tractor batteries (often used ones) for 36 volts which worked well enough. I saw and moved just one set of them that was in original condition.
I can find two volt batteries like the one I've linked here but there are only the one pound size..
http://www.batterymart.com/p-sla-2v6-f1-sealed-lead-acid-battery.html
And for real preppers you can get these that will supply 6 KW continuous up to 46KWH.
https://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=A0LEVi1rZhZV1V4AWdUnnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTB0dmRibmhwBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkA1lIUzAwMV8x?p=off+grid+solar+storage+batteries&back=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.yahoo.com%2Fyhs%2Fsearch%3Fp%3Doff%2Bgrid%2Bsolar%2Bstorage%2Bbatteries%26ei%3DUTF-8%26hsimp%3Dyhs-003%26hspart%3Dmozilla&w=800&h=598&imgurl=www.superiorsolar.com.au%2Fwp-content%2Fgallery%2Foff-grid-solar-power-systems%2Foff-grid-solar-battery-bank2-800.jpg&size=92KB&name=off-grid-solar-battery-bank2-800.jpg&rcurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.superiorsolar.com.au%2Fgalleries%2Foff-grid-solar-power-systems&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.superiorsolar.com.au%2Fgalleries%2Foff-grid-solar-power-systems&type=&no=3&tt=120&oid=2d44ec68689eadc44ec04507c4d97e1a&tit=Off+Grid+Solar+Power+System+Somersby%2C+Central+Coast&sigr=126kmh3ao&sigi=13dqkdi2m&sign=1145uqnu2&sigt=103vg5ole&sigb=13c78fdja&fr=yhs-mozilla-003&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-003
These last look very much the same in size and shape as the old phone batteries.
I don't think I'd mess with acid unless I couldn't find any of these or hook together some auto batteries.
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