Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

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grunt
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Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Post by grunt » Thu May 23, 2019 11:40 am

Is a refurbished battery that has a guaranteed capacity of 85% or better just a battery that you have to maintain 15% more capacity then you will ever get out of it? I am looking at some units from Green power forklift battery. If I could get one big enough that the 15% loss of capacity and still meet my DOD usage is it worth it? I am looking here

https://greenpowerforkliftbatteries.com ... 20Electric

new

24-85-27 48 20hr 1742ah $8,111 7yr warranty
24-85-21 48 20hr 1340ah $6,583 7yr warranty

Refurb
24-85-27 2 yr $6,325
24-85-21 2 yr $4,813


24-85-27 1 yr $5,750
24-85-21 1 yr $4,375

or I can go with a different company and get a brand new 24-125-11 at 48v at 1000 ah at 20hr for $4,460 (3 year warranty) with no freight charges and still meet my requirements for DoD usage.

I will be using a GS8480 with 3 fm80 and a bit over 11k worth of solar at stc. I have a 12k Kohler ecotech lp gen as well.
Thoughts

The system in my sig is not this system.

sparksalot
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Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Post by sparksalot » Fri May 24, 2019 8:54 am

So, The question is...Is it best/better to save cost with Used at reduced capacity...or pay more for Full New...correct???

JRHill
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My RE system: -House: FM 80, VFX 3648, FlexnetDC, FlexWare xformer, Mate 3 / Hub, WattPlot/, 2925w SunTech 195, Trojan L16RE-B Batteries. Backup 1: Honda EU7000is w/2 wire auto start via FM80 aux, backup 2: 11kw Miller Bobcat;
-Well: Grundfos 11-SQF-2 pump, controller & AC switch (CU200, IO101), Tristar 45 Controller, 780w SunTech 195, Trojan golf cart batteries.
-All running since July '11 with various upgrades and workarounds.
Location: South central WA
Contact:

Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Post by JRHill » Fri May 24, 2019 11:11 am

Batteries are a tough one - a major++ expense.

If you started your storage with something like a refurb then you are in a constant state of monitoring and adjusting.

If you started with a new battery then you know how the system should work if you maintained the battery correctly. So to ask anything is up-in-the-air. You have what you have. But you don't know what it could be.

grunt
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Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Post by grunt » Sun May 26, 2019 4:42 am

I think what is turning me off the most about going refurb is that I would have to spend a portion of my array maintaining a part of the battery I can never access.

raysun
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Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Post by raysun » Sun May 26, 2019 7:29 am

grunt wrote:I think what is turning me off the most about going refurb is that I would have to spend a portion of my array maintaining a part of the battery I can never access.
Actually, you may find the inactive part of the battery behaves as if it is not there. The general degradation process is the accumulation of insoluble sulphate on the lead plates, essentially sealing them off from the chemical reactions that provide current flow.

All other things being equal, a battery at 85% capacity charges 15% faster than the same battery at 100%. It discharges 15% faster too, of course.

The picture changes if there is other damage, like shorted plates, etc. One would hope the "refurb" process would catch that in testing and reject those cells.

grunt
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Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Post by grunt » Sun May 26, 2019 10:35 am

Makes me wonder if you were able to get a refurb with a guaranteed 85% or better capacity then would that be a better option then a new battery, of a capacity 20% smaller. That would be an increase of 5% for the refurb.

jponathanstarr
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My RE system: System 1: 15 x 290w 24v Hyundai HiS-S290RG mono panels, 5 strings of 3; 12 x 175w 24v panels, 4 strings of 3, 2; 2 x Flexmax 80s, 2 x FXR 3048s, original Mate (not very functional), Hub, Bogart Trimetric, 4 x Hup 12v x 1360 AH lead acid Batts in series.
System 2: 12 x 290w 24v Hyundai HiS-S290RG mono panels, 4 strings of 3; 20 x 75w 12v BP panels, 5 strings of 2; 2 x Flexmx 80s; 1 x Xantrix C40 on old 75w panels, 1 x FXR 2024; Cruising Equipment E-meter; GB 24v x 1576AH lead acid batt.
Location: SouthEast Maui Coast.

Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Post by jponathanstarr » Sun May 26, 2019 12:20 pm

I stay away from refurbished batteries. I am buying batteries for expectation of long life, and the last 2 banks we've had have each given great service for more than 15 years. We take good care of them, never going below 50% SOC.

When you divide the cost of new batteries by years or months of service, it becomes worthwhile to start out with new ones. I fear that many refurbs have already had hard years of their life used up, although they are cleaned up to look like new.

I just had a good experience buying a 12-125-17 from Steve at GB for our guest cottage. He cut me a great deal and it's a nice unit (I prefer it to the HUP-1's that I'm currently running at my main house) and their logistics worked well.

He also gave me suggestions about maintenance cleaning and charging rates that are working better for me than what we were using.

JRHill
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My RE system: -House: FM 80, VFX 3648, FlexnetDC, FlexWare xformer, Mate 3 / Hub, WattPlot/, 2925w SunTech 195, Trojan L16RE-B Batteries. Backup 1: Honda EU7000is w/2 wire auto start via FM80 aux, backup 2: 11kw Miller Bobcat;
-Well: Grundfos 11-SQF-2 pump, controller & AC switch (CU200, IO101), Tristar 45 Controller, 780w SunTech 195, Trojan golf cart batteries.
-All running since July '11 with various upgrades and workarounds.
Location: South central WA
Contact:

Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Post by JRHill » Sun May 26, 2019 1:56 pm

jponathanstarr wrote:He also gave me suggestions about maintenance cleaning and charging rates that are working better for me than what we were using.
What were the tips that you found valuable considering your past experience? I've had a few head slapping moments from tips in these forums so I'm curious.

Best,
Jim

BTW, I was directly responsible for servicing, maintaining and charging the forklift battery at a previous place. But when the battery couldn't make it through the day and we replaced it, I bought it for the core charge. Try as I might, I couldn't restore any service into the unit. I was early on into the technology and I know there are specialized technologies to "help" restore batteries but the battery ended up being more valuable as an anchoring point than storing power. And I wonder just how much effort is really put into a restoration effort and what good any warranty or performance promise holds when the unit is placed in service. And unless you used an equivalent battery from new/fresh, how do you know what you have except you're not happy?

grunt
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Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Post by grunt » Sun May 26, 2019 2:53 pm

All this has been good info as I have come to expect from this board. I am hoping to bide my time with the forklift battery to go lithium once the battery dies and the tech comes down in price. I am thinking a new 48 volt batt at 1000ah at 20 hr might be a better route new.

jponathanstarr
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My RE system: System 1: 15 x 290w 24v Hyundai HiS-S290RG mono panels, 5 strings of 3; 12 x 175w 24v panels, 4 strings of 3, 2; 2 x Flexmax 80s, 2 x FXR 3048s, original Mate (not very functional), Hub, Bogart Trimetric, 4 x Hup 12v x 1360 AH lead acid Batts in series.
System 2: 12 x 290w 24v Hyundai HiS-S290RG mono panels, 4 strings of 3; 20 x 75w 12v BP panels, 5 strings of 2; 2 x Flexmx 80s; 1 x Xantrix C40 on old 75w panels, 1 x FXR 2024; Cruising Equipment E-meter; GB 24v x 1576AH lead acid batt.
Location: SouthEast Maui Coast.

Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Post by jponathanstarr » Sun May 26, 2019 8:10 pm

Hi Jim,

I've always had problems with corrosion of the steel forklift battery casings, particularly in the corners from inside, and the need to replace buss bars connecting cells due to them getting eaten by blue copper sulphate from acid mist. Taping them with 3-m vinyl tape or using heat shrink tubing is a mixed help - the centers of the busbars stay clean but the sulphate creeps in under the vinyl from the ends and then they are difficult to clean. Silicon grease or electro seal and similar products helps somewhat at the contact points. Also I've had the experience of the system going down with no visible clue why, until discovery of a buss bar invisibly eaten into two pieces under the vinyl tape.

I've always kept the batteries on 4x6 dunnage, off the concrete. Fortunately I have a tractor that can easily lift a one ton battery off a truck and into place when I switch the bucket out for the forks. It's hard for me to believe that it will soon be time for my 3rd new bank as 30 years in this place approaches. Does anyone around here get much more than 15 years?

I always used the stock settings in the FM80's (and previous controllers) without giving it much thought. This was clearly much too hot a setting.

His suggested charge settings work a lot better for me. I should have figured this out a long, long time ago:

Forklift Battery Settings
FLOAT 2.21v/cell x 12 = 26.5v = 53v
BULK & ABSORB 2.36v/cell = 28.3v = 56.6v
EQUALIZE 2.63v/cell x 12 = 31.6v = 63.1v
Equalize for 1 hour once per month
Connector SB350 Anderson


I've been wrongly careful in the past not to spray water on the batteries, cleaning them sparingly with a bit of soda solution. Instead, at his suggestion, now I spray down the tops each time I water (we do it monthly, with a calendar on the wall above) and also use a bit of dilute simple green or other detergent. The drain holes in the bottom seem to indeed work as they should.

The first time I did it, a lot of weird looking crud came out the drain holes on the bottom of the batteries, and foamed a bit and stained the concrete floor an orange-brown. After a couple off times, it now flows out clean, having cleared out a decade of buildup in the steel casing.

He also suggested I order with 2/0 flexible cables attached with Anderson SB350 connectors. I have the connectors attached to the wall above and behind the top of the cells, and it is very easy to unplug them to isolate them completely or work around them.



JRHill wrote:
jponathanstarr wrote:He also gave me suggestions about maintenance cleaning and charging rates that are working better for me than what we were using.
What were the tips that you found valuable considering your past experience? I've had a few head slapping moments from tips in these forums so I'm curious.

Best,
Jim

BTW, I was directly responsible for servicing, maintaining and charging the forklift battery at a previous place. But when the battery couldn't make it through the day and we replaced it, I bought it for the core charge. Try as I might, I couldn't restore any service into the unit. I was early on into the technology and I know there are specialized technologies to "help" restore batteries but the battery ended up being more valuable as an anchoring point than storing power. And I wonder just how much effort is really put into a restoration effort and what good any warranty or performance promise holds when the unit is placed in service. And unless you used an equivalent battery from new/fresh, how do you know what you have except you're not happy?

jponathanstarr
Forum Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu May 02, 2019 12:32 pm
My RE system: System 1: 15 x 290w 24v Hyundai HiS-S290RG mono panels, 5 strings of 3; 12 x 175w 24v panels, 4 strings of 3, 2; 2 x Flexmax 80s, 2 x FXR 3048s, original Mate (not very functional), Hub, Bogart Trimetric, 4 x Hup 12v x 1360 AH lead acid Batts in series.
System 2: 12 x 290w 24v Hyundai HiS-S290RG mono panels, 4 strings of 3; 20 x 75w 12v BP panels, 5 strings of 2; 2 x Flexmx 80s; 1 x Xantrix C40 on old 75w panels, 1 x FXR 2024; Cruising Equipment E-meter; GB 24v x 1576AH lead acid batt.
Location: SouthEast Maui Coast.

Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Post by jponathanstarr » Sun May 26, 2019 8:22 pm

JRHill wrote:
jponathanstarr wrote: Best,
Jim

BTW, I was directly responsible for servicing, maintaining and charging the forklift battery at a previous place. But when the battery couldn't make it through the day and we replaced it, I bought it for the core charge. Try as I might, I couldn't restore any service into the unit. I was early on into the technology and I know there are specialized technologies to "help" restore batteries but the battery ended up being more valuable as an anchoring point than storing power. And I wonder just how much effort is really put into a restoration effort and what good any warranty or performance promise holds when the unit is placed in service. And unless you used an equivalent battery from new/fresh, how do you know what you have except you're not happy?
I had a friend in the neighborhood who provided system help and would come around and treat dying batteries. It maybe helped a bit for a while, but I never thought it a great strategy or useful alchemy.

I'm pretty aware of the efficiency of my battery, and daily seeing what the amp hour meter (I prefer the Bogart trimetric, though have relied on a Mate and E-meter and computer graphing system and a few others over the years) and amount of sunlight and what power we use in our daily life. For many years we were on a tight energy budget, limiting laundry and the legal limit hollow state 2kw ham radio linear amp and sat tv, big shop tools etc when low charge periods occur. Even now with loads of surplus power, it's second nature and if something is going downhill we know. I've never experienced a bad cell in a big battery, until after I had turned them over to the next user who might have had a different maintenance routine. When we used to buy old batteries in the 70's & 80's, telecom or submarine or golf cart etc, it was a regular hassle searching for good & bad cells.

JRHill
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Posts: 568
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:12 pm
My RE system: -House: FM 80, VFX 3648, FlexnetDC, FlexWare xformer, Mate 3 / Hub, WattPlot/, 2925w SunTech 195, Trojan L16RE-B Batteries. Backup 1: Honda EU7000is w/2 wire auto start via FM80 aux, backup 2: 11kw Miller Bobcat;
-Well: Grundfos 11-SQF-2 pump, controller & AC switch (CU200, IO101), Tristar 45 Controller, 780w SunTech 195, Trojan golf cart batteries.
-All running since July '11 with various upgrades and workarounds.
Location: South central WA
Contact:

Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Post by JRHill » Mon May 27, 2019 1:09 pm

jponathanstarr wrote:His suggested charge settings work a lot better for me. I should have figured this out a long, long time ago:

Forklift Battery Settings
FLOAT 2.21v/cell x 12 = 26.5v = 53v
BULK & ABSORB 2.36v/cell = 28.3v = 56.6v
EQUALIZE 2.63v/cell x 12 = 31.6v = 63.1v
Equalize for 1 hour once per month
Connector SB350 Anderson
I'm curious how long you absorb the bank?

jponathanstarr
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Posts: 20
Joined: Thu May 02, 2019 12:32 pm
My RE system: System 1: 15 x 290w 24v Hyundai HiS-S290RG mono panels, 5 strings of 3; 12 x 175w 24v panels, 4 strings of 3, 2; 2 x Flexmax 80s, 2 x FXR 3048s, original Mate (not very functional), Hub, Bogart Trimetric, 4 x Hup 12v x 1360 AH lead acid Batts in series.
System 2: 12 x 290w 24v Hyundai HiS-S290RG mono panels, 4 strings of 3; 20 x 75w 12v BP panels, 5 strings of 2; 2 x Flexmx 80s; 1 x Xantrix C40 on old 75w panels, 1 x FXR 2024; Cruising Equipment E-meter; GB 24v x 1576AH lead acid batt.
Location: SouthEast Maui Coast.

Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Post by jponathanstarr » Mon May 27, 2019 2:49 pm

I absorb for one hour.

Generally my bank only goes down 10% - 15% and is back to 100% SOC by 11am. If it's a several day extended rainy period without sun, I may go down to 75% and I guess I could use a longer absorb time, but I know we'll get to a sunny stretch soon enough to be back to normal. I've got enough panels to more than carry our loads through cloudy weather. It is extremely rare that we run a genset unless it's on the tractor for a chore out on the property.

Aloha,

Jonathan

sparksalot
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Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Post by sparksalot » Wed May 29, 2019 8:35 am

A refurbed 48v does us well for our grid tied w/ battery back-up...mostly on float but ever ready to power 'critical loads' upon grid loss.

A much easier job than ever it was built for...a Sherman Tank in sheeps clothing...should last easily into it's high teens in age...

Weighs over a ton and lacks being as mobile as smaller modular cells...worked a treat here with overhead steel I beam, hand hoist and a pallet jack.

jponathanstarr
Forum Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu May 02, 2019 12:32 pm
My RE system: System 1: 15 x 290w 24v Hyundai HiS-S290RG mono panels, 5 strings of 3; 12 x 175w 24v panels, 4 strings of 3, 2; 2 x Flexmax 80s, 2 x FXR 3048s, original Mate (not very functional), Hub, Bogart Trimetric, 4 x Hup 12v x 1360 AH lead acid Batts in series.
System 2: 12 x 290w 24v Hyundai HiS-S290RG mono panels, 4 strings of 3; 20 x 75w 12v BP panels, 5 strings of 2; 2 x Flexmx 80s; 1 x Xantrix C40 on old 75w panels, 1 x FXR 2024; Cruising Equipment E-meter; GB 24v x 1576AH lead acid batt.
Location: SouthEast Maui Coast.

Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Post by jponathanstarr » Thu May 30, 2019 11:07 am

That is a perfect application for a refurb bank. Hope they hang in there into their twenties!

SwDoctor
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Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Post by SwDoctor » Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:12 pm

Been off grid using forklift batteries for 6 years.
Purchased them "seperated" meaning they are individual "cells" instead of the big metal tray with lead straps. This means I was able to handle them with hand truck- weighing at about 120lbs each.
I used 18 plate 680ah cells. 24 of them at first purchase...

Now you can have the supplier add "POSTS" to these batteries, using the "NEGATIVE" post mold from a car battery for all terminals positive and negative, this results in four terminals on each battery. (2 pos, 2 neg)
Or you can do it yourself by getting a POST MOLD and some spare lead. (I did it, kinda fun actually)
To do it, you can use a welding stinger and use 4-6volts (2-3 cells) of the battery you are welding in circuit. (CAPS off, not gassing, cover hole with leather to prevent lead dripping- won't explode this way!)
Once the stinger is attached providing 4-6v to welding rod tip, use a CARBON ROD to melt the lead, adding is easy to fill the mold. Took a day to do them all (taking breaks for eyes to recover and stinger to cool down).
The cool part: I welded the posts using the power from the batteries, being off grid this was pretty nice.

Anyway- made solid copper jumpers for between cell connections with automotive clamps, and welded the clamps (same method described above) with lead and removed bolts- making no corrosion bolt point.
(got a bulk of NEGATIVE battery terminal clamps online for $2 each)
-neg batt terminal post is physically larger <-- why negative is preferred.

The cells cost $125-150 each depending on dealer, and local dealer takes cash with no tax!
So I have expanded to three sets of 24 cells now.

They were rated at 80% or better when purchased 6 years ago, and since then have only had 3 cells fail, and it is easy to change (and having more than one set of batteries means I can change them without bringing down my power system)

I have a total of over 2000Ah (if new) but at 80% gives 1600Ah rating- yet my calculations based on voltage and amp hour output shows they are around 1800Ah today.
After 6 years.

They are watered by automation PC, and as a note- one of the failed cells had a bad watering valve and dried up... All three faulted cells were within first year.

Remember: these batteries are made to be bounced and abused in a forktruck and discharged to "dead as hell" <50% every time they are charged on a primitive charging station, my system targets a discharge cycle of only 20-25% making it easier on the battery and calculating the factors such as watering, vibration, cycle depth, etc. I should get 10 or more years out of these.

I paid little over 3000 for each set of 24 cells. (cash, no records, no tax)
For what I have gotten out of them, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

>My automation PC trends voltages at particular amp-hour in/out, as well as centerpoint voltage comparison between each bank, this predicts battery failure and calculates amp hour ability with math based on actual measurements. I wrote a script to parse the mate3 data into "homeseer" automation system and compiled a sort of learning trend. So I can honestly say these lead acid batteries do not degrade very much very fast if not abused.

Now also factor in:
I can obtain these type of cells locally without dealing with China, or hazmat shipping, and handle them solo without a lift (even hauled single cells in my work van).

That's my input.

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