Author Topic: Batteries "crackling" during/after water  (Read 5041 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Madscientist267

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1202
  • Country: us
  • Uh oh. Now what have I done?
Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« on: January 07, 2012, 08:59:13 PM »
I admit, it's my own fault.

I have a set of 4 SLIGC115's, 230Ah Golf carters, that I got from Batteries + a year and 4 months ago, and I managed to boil them dry.

It's just that they're so inaccessible. :(

I haven't touched them since I installed them, but I honestly didn't think they would need that much attention (based on what I have witnessed from my 8D). Wrong I was!

I had a drive die (well, almost) in one of the servers, and so my thinking was simple, do the maintenance on the batteries while I'm back there.

Opened the caps and there wasn't much to be found. Hard to tell exactly how "dry" they got, but they definitely weren't flooded anymore.

Upon adding water, they began to make a crackling sound (exactly like a bowl of rice crispies), which eventually subsided as I got their thirst quenched.

In the middle of it all (after the first 4 or 5 cells), I ran out of water, as I only bought a gallon thinking that they wouldn't be all THAT thirsty. I had to drop everything, and run up to the grocery store and get 2 more gallons. Collectively, they took 2.5 gallons, and as I began adding to the last cell, the fan in the UPS kicked in as if to say "ooooh, there's something THERE!"  :-\

They have only seen one significant power failure, and some other rather minor ones, and survived a single 6 hour test I ran to see if the UPS units were "trainable". They're not.

Other than that, they sit on float, waiting.

Guess I need to pay more attention in the future and be more diligent. This isn't the first battery I've boiled dry, my first was an 8D (the trade in for the one I have now). But that thing was severely abused... so it wasn't really any wonder for me.

These? Damn, man. I can't fork out 400+ bones every year or so for new batteries!

Any idea what the significance of the 3 elves moving into the cell block is? And what kind of damage I can expect from this?

 :'(

Steve

EDIT - And how long I should wait before taking a hydro reading?
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 09:04:20 PM by Madscientist267 »
The size of the project matters not.
How much magic smoke it contains does !

Revolutionary

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 64
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2012, 09:30:31 PM »
Steve;
 The crackling is from the plates being dry, oxidized, and flaking, primarily. It's not a good thing......

If I were you.....
I'd put a charge on them, and charge them to 65-70% of their charge, then let them sit for about a day.
Then, go back & charge then the rest of the way to the top, without absorb charging them.
Again, sit for a day.
Then, charge them the rest of the way, (now you will really start to see, voltage wise, how much charge they will "retake").

Only reason I know anything about this is because I did somethig similar once, about 10 years ago. Situation is not far from yours, but I had a forklift battery I did it to.

On watering, my forklift batteries take water at least once a month, many times twice a month, but I use them just about every day, too. I have a "watering system" on them, so it's easy to water, just turn on a valve & wait for this little turnstyle to stop turning. Also, I have a little LED that's installed on one of the cells, and if it's on, I don;t need water, if it's out, they need watering.

Hope it helps;
Chris

Madscientist267

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1202
  • Country: us
  • Uh oh. Now what have I done?
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2012, 09:43:59 PM »
Probably should be checking for shorted cells while I'm at it then huh?

This sucks... Sick part is, I swore I'd never let another battery (or bank) die that way after the 8D. But I guess I haven't learned. :(

They were still in service (and on the float) when I added the water. Do you think that this may have made things worse?

They're fully charged if they're worth anything at all. It's been a couple of months since they've seen a discharge at all. Even the "scheduled tests" that the UPS units perform probably don't mean much, as they eventually become desynchronized and test at different times. Point with that is that I don't know how heavy of a load they can sustain in terms of charging current, but I know it doesn't take long to replenish what gets used. So when one UPS goes into test, the other is probably absorbing much of that load, so the net effect on the batteries is close to nil.

Should I discharge them some? Then charge them again?

I'm kinda in panic mode with this, and as of right now, two of the servers are still offline so I could remove them to gain access to the bank. I don't want to put them back in place until I can leave them there for a while.

But either way, I'm in a tough spot - they need to be back online by monday morning.

Ugh.  :-\

Steve

The size of the project matters not.
How much magic smoke it contains does !

Isaiah

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 137
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2012, 10:10:48 PM »
  I would put a desulfitator on them and put a monthly  maintenance program in place.
 The big HUPP battery's also recommend monthly  maintenance!!
 The ups 's don't bring a battery up to full charge as they would get off a battery charger.
 You may want to pick up a hydrometer and check the gravity you can get a cheap one at wal mart or most box or auto stores .
 If one of the battery's doesn't check good on either  voltage or gravity the battery need attention.
  These battery's may come back but will take some time.
 One old rule if you run a battery clear dead  and leave it for a day and then bring it back it will only last about a year.
 using desulfitators and keeping a close eye on some we have brought some back and have held up longer than the year.
 Yes its very easy to forget doing the monthly maint. on the battery bank. maybe you could put a alarm in your system to remind you to check them!!!
 maybe even shut the system down til mant is done?
 Isaiah

rossw

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 845
  • Country: au
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2012, 10:20:10 PM »
I admit, it's my own fault.

I have a set of 4 SLIGC115's, 230Ah Golf carters, that I got from Batteries + a year and 4 months ago, and I managed to boil them dry.

It's not much help after the event... but a couple of things to investigate.

1. Floating them even just a whisker above proper voltage will cause them to gas, and gassing is where your electrolyte has likely gone.

2. Recombination caps, while expensive, recombine the hydrogen and oxygen gas produced during battery operation back into pure water. Recombo caps can reduce your need for water by probably 90% or so.
Another abused ex-moderator who's made the move to http://www.otherpower.com.au where DNS works, admins do stuff apart from randomly deleting other peoples posts and sigs, and people are nice.
JW: QUIT EDITING MY SIG!

Madscientist267

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1202
  • Country: us
  • Uh oh. Now what have I done?
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2012, 10:41:39 PM »
I like the idea of an alarm of some kind... The system already sends me texts for things like authentication issues and such, it would be trivial to have it send me a reminder for the water... Good call.

I may very well end up adding an automatic watering system to it as well. These things are back behind the servers, in the only place I could really put them. Unfortunately, that means they get ignored. :(

They are sitting back behind everything in the picture in this post.

As you can see, there's not much working room. They take up a fair amount of room (see the size comparison a few posts up from that one).

I just finished leveling them up, and hopefully the balance isn't that far off. So far it doesn't look like theres any internal shorting; all of the cells are bubbling fairly constantly. I ran out of water again (that makes 3 gallons), and I added the last half gallon in such a way that for the time, they're all even, but there's about a quarter inch of space between the electrolyte and the splash guard inside the cells.

I figure that leaves me some playing room tomorrow after I go get another gallon of water, and hit them with the hydrometer to see how extensive the damage is in terms of SpG numbers and imbalances. Hopefully by then they will have stirred themselves some. The bubbling is fairly significant; I highly doubt that these things had trouble reaching a full charge.

In contrast with cyclic service (ie daily, as is typical with RE), a battery in float service will reach a full charge (if not overcharge), sitting at 13.8V for extended periods (meaning weeks). These are actually even only at 13.75 or so (last I checked) and are still gassing pretty profusely.  I gotta tend to agree Ross - This is definitely just a case where the wait is killing them... :(

I'm gonna hold off on recombo caps (although an EXCELLENT idea) until I determine if these have been significantly damaged or not. If I DO end up replacing them early, I will be investing in such a thing to protect the new set. Something has to give here!  :-[

Steve
The size of the project matters not.
How much magic smoke it contains does !

bj

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 604
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2012, 04:48:30 AM »
   I'm no expert Steve, other than wrecking batteries in every way known, but, the even bubbling is somewhat promising.
   No matter what you do, what you have now is what you have, but I've had the best luck just cycling them some.
   Down to 80% charge, then back up. Maybe on a weekly thing for a while. 
   Revived 4 Rolls/surrettes for a friend last summer this way, and they came back to about 75% of what they should be, and
are still functioning alright.
   Best of luck regardless.
"Even a blind squirrel will find an acorn once in a while"
bj
Lamont AB Can.

kenl

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 107
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2012, 06:16:57 AM »
Steve,

 Have you checked the float voltage the batteries are being held at? If you using the UPS to float them the voltage maybe higher the what is normal for these batteries. Most UPS systems are set for VRLA or sealed batteries which require higher float voltage.

Just a thought.

kenny
seemed like a good idea at the time

Madscientist267

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1202
  • Country: us
  • Uh oh. Now what have I done?
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2012, 09:53:46 AM »
Yep, it's a little too high, but there's little I can do about it. :(

And at this point, I've had a chance to go through the cells and read the SG. They're all fairly balanced from what I can tell, but I think there's some serious striation due to the whole insane amount of water thing.

They're all reading ~ 1.150 SG, but bubbling their brains out. The voltages are balanced too, within 0.05V of each other on each battery; the average being 6.85V (on float of course). My guess is that the acid is concentrated at the bottom, and has no initiative to go anywhere else.

I can't disconnect them to let them settle to see how they read because they are backing the box that is working on the little "archive" project. Not going to risk losing the progress I've made on that just to test the batteries. I can't change what's happened inside of them anyway, so I'm not going to do something to make matters worse. ???

I think at this point there's nothing else to do but let them charge until later tonight, then do a quick drain test, and then give the shallow cycling thing a try every few days, and then check them again in a couple of weeks.

Once the archive thing is done, I will look into them with more detail and see what the best course of action is. Maybe at that point a good equalization just to stir the crap out of the electrolyte will be in order.

Time will tell. Either way, priority now is putting the servers back on line; they will be missed as of monday morning if I dont!  :-\

Thanks for all the tips... I hope this works out.

Steve

The size of the project matters not.
How much magic smoke it contains does !

bj

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 604
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2012, 10:16:58 AM »
    Between a rock and a hard place.  I think there is evidence that you are correct about striation.  If so, it may be a slight advantage.
The weaker solution on top may dissolve some sulphate material.  At any rate, probably nothing is going to change quickly, and you
probably aren't doing any more damage anyway.
    Keeping my fingers crossed for no power failures for you.  (eternal optimist)
"Even a blind squirrel will find an acorn once in a while"
bj
Lamont AB Can.

thirteen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 864
  • Country: us
  • Single going totally off grid 1,1, 2013
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2012, 10:41:14 AM »
Put a reminder in your computer about checking the water in your batteries. By chance are the batteries getting too warm by maybe being on a floor vent or just getting over charged.(regulator) I don not know your system. Just thought I would ask. Just ideas to play with or go to file 13.
MntMnROY 13

Madscientist267

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1202
  • Country: us
  • Uh oh. Now what have I done?
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2012, 11:00:16 AM »
Quote from: bj
Keeping my fingers crossed for no power failures for you.  (eternal optimist)

I think they'll be able to handle some load if the power does fail; they held a few weeks ago during a minor failure that lasted a few minutes. So I'm not facing a panic situation when it comes to glitches in the grid.

My main concern is that if there's a major one, and I'm not around, can they hold until I can get in remotely to shut down the non critical boxes to save the juice for the ones that really need it 24/7.


Quote from: thirteen
Put a reminder in your computer about checking the water in your batteries. By chance are the batteries getting too warm by maybe being on a floor vent or just getting over charged.(regulator) I don not know your system. Just thought I would ask. Just ideas to play with or go to file 13.

Heat isn't too much of a problem, they're in a fairly stable place temperature wise. That was one of the first things I checked when I saw how dry they were. There was a very slightly noticeable warmth detectable on the side of one of them (the only one I could really reach the side of), but nothing I would consider emergent or anything. Any heat there is would be coming from within (due to charging); there are no heat vents or anything like that anywhere near the closet they are in. There is also plenty of air flow in the area; the fans in the servers keep things moving. There's enough going through them that there is no heat buildup in the immediate vicinity from them either. Definitely a valid point, but in this particular implement, I think it has little effect.

I think the biggest thing here is neglect from some serious misconception on my part as to the amount of water I was expecting them to use up. I definitely need to find a way to keep them full in the future. If they are in fact damaged significantly, I may go ahead and get my hands on a system that I can experiment with to see what ultimately needs to be done.

At least that way future generations won't suffer the same fate...  :-\

Either way, I will definitely be putting something in cron to have it send me texts once a month to remind me. That's the easiest solution of all to implement. :)

Steve
« Last Edit: January 08, 2012, 11:03:54 AM by Madscientist267 »
The size of the project matters not.
How much magic smoke it contains does !

kenl

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 107
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2012, 11:13:18 AM »

If they are boiling then the electrolyte should mix well top to bottom of the cells. They need this to equalize them anyway. UPS's don't make very good chargers unless they are the large commercial types. Bulk charging is always an issue because they aren't made for cyclic use.

 What voltage is your bank?

kenny
seemed like a good idea at the time

Madscientist267

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1202
  • Country: us
  • Uh oh. Now what have I done?
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2012, 02:54:23 PM »
24V, connected to two APC SmartUPS 1400 (the true sine version).

I realized looking back that I had probably caused a little confusion with the voltages - the 13.8/13.75 is an arbitrary reference I use when thinking about cell voltages, not in reference to the actual bank. When I measured earlier, I had a bank voltage of 27.4V (charging).

The UPS fans still haven't let up, and it's been almost 24 hours, so who knows. They might be actually charging, or it may be just one big hydrolysis experiment at this point.  ???

Either way, the servers are all back in place and running again, and now I play the waiting game. The soonest I will be able to go back behind there again to check anything out is next weekend.

I will give the bank a quick check later on tonight by pulling the mains for a few seconds, and see what happens, although without reading anything, it's not going to tell me much other than that "they are there".

Steve
 
The size of the project matters not.
How much magic smoke it contains does !

rossw

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 845
  • Country: au
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2012, 03:30:26 PM »

I will give the bank a quick check later on tonight by pulling the mains for a few seconds, and see what happens, although without reading anything, it's not going to tell me much other than that "they are there".

You should connect the serial port on the UPSs to one of your servers and run one of the various APC-UPS daemons, like apcupsd. With that you can continuously monitor things like battery voltage, load current, UPSs idea of remaining run time, etc.

Just watch out, the cable you need is not a standard pin-for-pin serial cable, but the pinout is described in plenty of places.
Another abused ex-moderator who's made the move to http://www.otherpower.com.au where DNS works, admins do stuff apart from randomly deleting other peoples posts and sigs, and people are nice.
JW: QUIT EDITING MY SIG!

Madscientist267

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1202
  • Country: us
  • Uh oh. Now what have I done?
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2012, 04:17:37 PM »
That I can do, ironically I was in the attic not long ago and ran across one of the cables, and put it out in the open where I can readily get my hands on it.

The only thing I wonder about that is, with 2 units, the load/charge current will be unevenly divided. The 2 main servers are on one unit (critical load), the others are on the other, along with the office computer and some peripherals.

But I guess it will give me an idea of what the UPS sees in terms of voltage. When I go back in there next weekend, I have a meter that I used to use for monitoring the old 8D, I'll stick that in the mix and get a readout any time I need it for comparing against said daemon.

Steve
The size of the project matters not.
How much magic smoke it contains does !

Wolvenar

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 49
  • Country: 00
    • Anotherpower
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2012, 05:19:50 PM »
Years back I had very similar to those UPS systems and have done close the what you have setup .

They most DEFINITELY ALWAYS floated at too high of voltage!!!

I ran two of these for at least two years on a bank of 16 golf cart batts, and found out that yep they will even boil all of that out in a short time.
I once let the levels get right down to the plates, although it does not seem that it did any damage to speak of.
With all 16 batts I went through about 1 gallon every 2 months. Even losing water at that rate, the batteries are still in good shape today and in use on my Xantrex   inverter. These batts are nearing 7 years old now, I am feeling pretty lucky that they are still in as good of shape as they are even getting abused
 The thing I liked the most about this setup was the ease I was able to pull data about battery voltages and load from the ups and use it to build a graph to display on a web page.

Pic here had 8 batts connected, but only can see 4 the rest are below.


Excuse the mess in the background, just kind of catch all junk area.

Check out  http://www.anotherpower.com/
for a gallery of RE related pics and more

Madscientist267

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1202
  • Country: us
  • Uh oh. Now what have I done?
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2012, 05:27:02 PM »
Yeah, that's about right, only mine is just the 4.

The only thing I ever really worried about was possibly the oxidation issue with the positive plates, but I guess if you've pulled it off that long, it's no big deal.

Water is the key I suppose. Whew. Wish I would have realized just how much these were going to use when I got them - This would have NEVER happened.

Steve

PS - The ceramic heater atop the UPS is a nice touch ;)
The size of the project matters not.
How much magic smoke it contains does !

Wolvenar

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 49
  • Country: 00
    • Anotherpower
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2012, 05:36:20 PM »
I had later disabled the charge circuit in these, and then used a wind genny with it. I also used the data pulled from the UPS to control dump loads, which was nothing more than an x10 command to turn on lights, or connect that heater if I couldn't draw it off fast enough through the UPS running things.
I wasnt doing that in this pic yet, but that was the plan, so put it there so I could find it when I wanted it.
Check out  http://www.anotherpower.com/
for a gallery of RE related pics and more

Isaiah

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 137
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2012, 07:25:04 PM »
It wont hurt  that while you are charging these  to turn them off and let them just rest over night.
 one other thing  I have done in reclaiming some battery's is  to lift them a foot or so off the cement floor and drop them several times.
  this will agitate the build up in the bottom.
 any thing you do with battery's be careful!! and have safety equipment on at the time! gloves safety glasses and a source of water encase one should blow up.
 I had one blow up in a crawler one day inside a shed a experience not forgotten!!!!!

Madscientist267

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1202
  • Country: us
  • Uh oh. Now what have I done?
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2012, 07:48:00 PM »
Quote from: Isaiah
while you are charging these  to turn them off and let them just rest over night

That's not really possible.

First, I can't take the UPS units offline because there is currently a "critical" process running on one of the machines they are backing.

Second, they charge even if the UPS units are off.

The only way I would be able to allow them to rest is to disconnect them from the UPS units, which, for the same reason, I can't do. I'm not going to risk having to start over a [presently] 4 day old operation (due to a grid hiccup or something) that needs to go all the way to completion to make even what I have so far useful.

As it is, the hair on the back of my neck stood up as I reached for the master plug that feeds them for the little glitch test I just put them through. Right now, knowing that they can hold a load, and that they need to in the event of a failure, is the most important thing. The system also needs to stay up during the week, so even if the archive process finishes sooner than expected, I can't do anything at all that will take them down until at least next friday night.

The good news is that as long as I don't interrupt power to the main office machine until it's done, I can take the servers down and at least get back behind there again to check on things and get SG readings, put meters/UPS data cables in place, etc etc.

Kinda stuck with what I can and can't do at the moment, unfortunately... :(

Steve
The size of the project matters not.
How much magic smoke it contains does !

rossw

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 845
  • Country: au
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2012, 08:13:07 PM »
That's not really possible.

First, I can't take the UPS units offline because there is currently a "critical" process running on one of the machines they are backing.

Second, they charge even if the UPS units are off.

The only way I would be able to allow them to rest is to disconnect them from the UPS units, which, for the same reason, I can't do. I'm not going to risk having to start over a [presently] 4 day old operation (due to a grid hiccup or something) that needs to go all the way to completion to make even what I have so far useful.

As it is, the hair on the back of my neck stood up as I reached for the master plug that feeds them for the little glitch test I just put them through. Right now, knowing that they can hold a load, and that they need to in the event of a failure, is the most important thing.

Couple of observations.

1. Instead of using "home pc" devices for servers, which are notoriously unreliable, you might consider getting some real server-class hardware.
2. Even if you can't do (1), replace the power supplies with some of the more modern DUAL HOTSWAP supply subsystems. With these, you replace your old power supply with a "cage" the same size as a standard supply, but it takes two stand-alone plugin supplies. Either is capable of running your computer by itself. Together, they just idle along sharing half the load each. It lets you unplug one from the UPS and plug it into a second UPS, or into the mains, so you can actually take a UPS out of circuit without dropping your critical boxes.
3. Most of the APC UPSs I've worked with over the years have a "test" mode. In this mode, they transfer load from mains to the batteries, but will transfer back to the mains instantly if the batteries give up. Lets you test the batteries with a reasonable level of confidence.

4. If you don't FULLY UNDERSTAND this one, and all the implications of it, DON'T DO IT. You can cause a LOT OF DAMAGE if done wrong. You could KILL someone or yourself if mishandled or you're careless. You've been warned.

This really only works if you have a power-rail or power-board plugged into your UPS, and the critical loads in that power-rail. If your UPS is a real on-line type, check the voltage difference between input and output. (Ie, a voltmeter from the mains active in to the UPS active out). If it's zero, or very close to zero great. If not, does the UPS have a BYPASS mode? (Most do). Select "BYPASS". Recheck the voltage difference in to out as above. If it's not zero or very close to, don't procede. Make a "suicide" lead. Mains plug on either end of a cable. Plug it into the same outlet the UPS is plugged in. Re-check active-to-active voltage through your cable to make sure no crossovers etc. Check neutral-to-neutral, and earth-to-earth also. When you're absolutely sure everything is ok, , plug the other end into one of the UPS-side sockets.
Assuming it didn't just go BANG, unplug the power rail from the UPS. BEWARE! THE PLUG IS NOW LIVE AND HAS EXPOSED, LETHAL WIRING. (I like to plug it straight into an unused extension-cord socket (with no cables) just to keep the ends safe).
You are now running the computer on the mains only and you can safely shutdown and disconnect the UPS.

I've had to do this several times over the years with APC, Solar and Best-Power UPSs. All in the 3 to 5KVA range. I've never dropped a critical load or blown up a UPS, but it's still nerve-wracking as you do it. The potential for things to go very very wrong is high. But done with care, check and doublecheck, it can be done relatively safely.
Another abused ex-moderator who's made the move to http://www.otherpower.com.au where DNS works, admins do stuff apart from randomly deleting other peoples posts and sigs, and people are nice.
JW: QUIT EDITING MY SIG!

Wolvenar

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 49
  • Country: 00
    • Anotherpower
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2012, 08:37:44 PM »
I would NOT recommend what ross mentioned, these UPS have an active monitor and conditioning system.
There is NO bypass
It is very likely to damage the UPS attempting this hotwiring.
As well I will give ya another tip, ground of the batteries is a floating ground and CANNOT be connected to earth ground
 I learned this the hard way and lost all the fets in one system, was not a fun repair
Check out  http://www.anotherpower.com/
for a gallery of RE related pics and more

Madscientist267

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1202
  • Country: us
  • Uh oh. Now what have I done?
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2012, 05:49:56 PM »
I can't really put the money into them at this time, unfortunately.

They've actually been very reliable, the hard drive issue was the first that I've had in a few years of operation.

I've considered doing something like a single poweredge to take over the operation, but I don't like RAID (personal preference), I like the idea of distributed computing, and I'm against virtualization (again, have my reasons). Add to this the need for failover, and well, things get pricey, quick.  :-[

I've considered the multi-supply approach, but haven't bothered with it. I'd consider much of what I do as "critical", but the only reason I would go this way is super-paranoia or "uber-critical".  ;)

As for the hot wiring, there's not much point. Not that I could do it with these anyway. I think Leeloo put it best - "Bigah baddah BOOM!" LOL

I can basically accomplish the same thing by just unplugging the batteries, with the system live. They will continue to supply juice in this configuration until something upsets them, at which point they simply act like a dropout relay. The only thing that this won't allow me to do is completely bypass the UPS units, but there's not much need for that really. I wouldn't do either anyway, as this defeats the purpose of the UPS to begin with.

I may eventually look into a changeover switch, and if it happens to have bypass, thats fine, but won't be a prerequisite to getting one. Even at that, all it would be useful for is to switch a misbehaving UPS out of the equation; a rarity but I have seen a couple in my time I suppose. Usually, as anyone knows, the batteries are the cause of the "malfunction".  ::)

Steve


The size of the project matters not.
How much magic smoke it contains does !

rossw

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 845
  • Country: au
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2012, 06:02:58 PM »
Fair enough.

For what it's worth, you can pick up off-lease (3 years old) DL-360 HP Rackservers (1RU, bloody excellent boxes, redundant hotswap supplies, dual gigether, integrated IP KVM and IP powerswitch, hotswap 15,000 RPM drives, quad-core, 4-16Gb RAM) for a few hundred dollars each. Probably less if you ask around.

May be that your UPSs are subtly different to mine. I'm sure my APC 3000RM UPSs had a bypass mode. I think I had to hold the ON button down for 5 seconds or something. But even so, I can absolutely, definately say I've done it with several of them, multiple times, without any problems. I think the voltage difference from active in to active out was around 2.1 volts (on a 240V nominal supply), and not so much as a blip when I bypassed them. I did however make sure I isolated the loads ASAP incase there was a blip on the mains and the UPS started peddling itself, that made me kinda nervous :)
Another abused ex-moderator who's made the move to http://www.otherpower.com.au where DNS works, admins do stuff apart from randomly deleting other peoples posts and sigs, and people are nice.
JW: QUIT EDITING MY SIG!

Madscientist267

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1202
  • Country: us
  • Uh oh. Now what have I done?
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2012, 09:01:29 PM »
Quote
I'm sure my APC 3000RM UPSs had a bypass mode. I think I had to hold the ON button down for 5 seconds or something.

Must be a difference in the firmware... Mine go into test mode when you hold the on button down.

Quote
I did however make sure I isolated the loads ASAP incase there was a blip on the mains and the UPS started peddling itself, that made me kinda nervous

LOL I hear ya... Nothing makes mince meat of a power supply (or beyond!) quicker than really flaky power. A lot of people don't realize it, but power supplies in computers will actually take a "true" surge much better than they can handle a brown out. We had a saying for that in the PC shop I used to work in:

"A brown out is $#!++y power"  ::)

Can't tell you the number of people that would bring their computers in, dead, after trying to run them (via a UPS) on a generator after the hurricanes every year... LOL We used to stock up on supplies the minute we knew one was coming.  ;D

"But we had it going through a UPS!"...  ::)

Steve
The size of the project matters not.
How much magic smoke it contains does !

SteveCH

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
Re: Batteries "crackling" during/after water
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2012, 04:08:40 PM »
My batteries are in our house, so I am around them every day, all day. Not a problem to remember to check electrolyte levels.

I recently sold off my old bank, 1875 amp hr. forklift batteries we had been using full time for twenty yr. [Still working when we sold them.] I put HydroCaps on them way back about year two or so, I don't recall exactly, but when they were still fairly new. The recombination caps with the catalytic compound. They kept my water consumption in those huge cells down to less than a gallon a year with constant use. That is a gallon a year for 1875 amp hr batteries. Not bad. I got to where I only checked the levels about twice a year.

The caps cost, today's prices, $9 each. A bargain.