Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

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Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Postby grunt on 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.
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Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Postby sparksalot on 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???
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Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Postby JRHill on 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.
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Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Postby grunt on 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.
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Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Postby raysun on Sun May 26, 2019 7:29 am

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Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Postby grunt on 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.
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Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Postby jponathanstarr on 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.
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Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Postby JRHill on Sun May 26, 2019 1:56 pm

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Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Postby grunt on 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.
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Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Postby jponathanstarr on Sun May 26, 2019 8:10 pm

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Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Postby jponathanstarr on Sun May 26, 2019 8:22 pm

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Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Postby JRHill on Mon May 27, 2019 1:09 pm

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Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Postby jponathanstarr on 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
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Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Postby sparksalot on 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.
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Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Postby jponathanstarr on Thu May 30, 2019 11:07 am

That is a perfect application for a refurb bank. Hope they hang in there into their twenties!
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Re: Thoughts on Refurbished Forklift Batts

Postby SwDoctor on 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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