Author Topic: DIY Plante cell  (Read 4513 times)

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Deveak

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DIY Plante cell
« on: June 24, 2016, 06:24:51 PM »
Hey folks, long time lurker, first time poster.

I recently have been reading a book called the battery builders. Very interesting book, completely shows how to rebuild or build both pasted and plante cells (more on paste than plante though). The more I read about lead acid batteries the more i realize off gridders and solar powered homes are being hosed hard by battery companies. Only a handful of manufacturers actually make cells that are made for off grid power. Golf cart batteries, L16, "deep cycle" marine batteries and even some fork truck cells are just not up to the challenge. In comparison to a plante cell, they are basically glorified starter/hybrid batteries. Some commercial manufacturers sell plante cells but its mostly stuff in Europe and to industry like nuclear power etc. Rated for 25 years in float. I think with thick plates, lower specific gravity and maybe a touch of antimony and possibly a battery additive we could hit 30 years of moderate use. Most float or long term batteries have a specific gravity of 1.200. This does lower its charge and discharge rate but it also slows down corrosion of the positive plate, that plus 1/4 inch thick plates could mean some major life. The best part is it gains capacity as its used. If you want you can half form it and patiently use it. Every day the cells will gain capacity. If you had a midnite classic you can use the current limit feature to grow as the battery does. Its a system that you can actually grow, a pasted cell cant do that. Also if you can build it, you can repair it or replace it again. I can get lead at 70 cents per lb at my local scrap yard. Pure soft lead.

Now for the downsides.
Its heavy and nowhere near as energy dense as pasted cells. Best case scenario you double the lead to make it. It also takes a long time to form. Several months, a month if you half form it.

Back to the upsides, mechanically speaking its a very simple device. You can do a jelly roll or a plate, both have advantages. You can reuse old cases and terminals. You can store lead and acid indefinitely, so keep a set of dry uncharged cells onn hand for down the road. I'm a nutty prepper, my battery bank has always worried me. I have great cells that cost a pretty penny. I have tubular fork truck cells rated at 3250 cycles at 50% dod.  Its a 12 volt 1064 AH battery bank, 6, 2 volt batteries. They cost me 1900 dollars shipped via freight. If i baby them i might hit 15, maybe even 20  but what about after that?

Anyways, thoughts? Also before i get a ton of "its dangerous!" so is driving and just about any sort of construction or even leaving the house. I know lead is toxic, batteries also give off toxic fumes, especially when forming or when casting lead. I plan on wearing a respirator, a tyvek suit, rubber gloves and face shield. Plante is a tad safer since the active material is formed wet in the acid so no lead powders to give me lung cancer.

clockmanFRA

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Re: DIY Plante cell
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2016, 02:16:13 AM »
Yes, something I have also been thinking about.

Even just a heavy plate standard FLA types, but the Plante that your outlining sounds interesting?

I have re-built cells on batteries just as a test, but my problem was the comb and packing the plates in, with out them shorting on each other.

My main concern is the fumes from the lead casting and the time consuming assembly.

However, since the modern Polypropylene now comes as a woven material it is now possible to put a sock on each plate so the physical separation comb is no longer required. But maybe in the base arrangement to stop the plates from sagging under their own weight.

Regards size and output, well that looks like DIY 6inch by 6inch plates making a 12v is about 8ah to 15ah.
So some experimenting and calculations are required to see if cost effectiveness for.........

.......... Single 2v cell getting the Ah rate up, physical size, polypropylene obtainable container that is suitable etc  and cost of raw materials.

........... or  ,  12v battery, for use as a string to get 48v, most off gridders use.

In France I can readily obtain very large sheets of Zinc at the builders Merchants. In the UK I can readily obtain from the builders merchants large rolled sheets of lead. I have a UK Acid/ chemical supplier for my Plating supplies.

Hmm, might have a look at this project in the coming Winter.

Damon, Bruce, ..... Wind turbines, PV Trackers, the Oz Inverter....... Decent big Batteries?
 
« Last Edit: June 25, 2016, 02:28:41 AM by clockmanFRA »
Everything is possible, just give me time.

DamonHD

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Re: DIY Plante cell
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2016, 02:28:59 AM »
I am somewhat limited by space, and I'd like to get my storage round-trip losses lower than seems sensibly possible with lead-acid in any format.

Plus I think that messing with lead and open H2SO4 in a busy council housing estate might be rightly frowned on!   %-P

Rgds

Damon

Deveak

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Re: DIY Plante cell
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2016, 07:52:54 AM »
You can buy the polypropylene felt off of mcmaster-carr, its pretty cheap. 1.70 a sq foot i think.  Pretty sure they ship internationally. The other option is buying dry shipped batteries. Here in the states only surrette does this and those are costly. They vacuum seal them, supposed to last 10 years with minimal loss. They should last forever but I think because they wet them when formed it still has some acid on it. Buying dry would have advantages for cash strapped dumb dumbs like me. You could slowly build a battery bank instead of dumping a fat load of cash all at once.

Mary B

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Re: DIY Plante cell
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2016, 07:51:53 PM »
There are no fumes from lead casting unless you get the lead pot way to hot. If it is forming yellow dust on top turn the temperature down. I cast bullets and smelt scrap lead all the time. Biggest danger is water and molten lead and a visit from the tinsel fairy after the steam explosion empties the pot or the mold all over everything within 10 feet!



Yes, something I have also been thinking about.

Even just a heavy plate standard FLA types, but the Plante that your outlining sounds interesting?

I have re-built cells on batteries just as a test, but my problem was the comb and packing the plates in, with out them shorting on each other.

My main concern is the fumes from the lead casting and the time consuming assembly.

However, since the modern Polypropylene now comes as a woven material it is now possible to put a sock on each plate so the physical separation comb is no longer required. But maybe in the base arrangement to stop the plates from sagging under their own weight.

Regards size and output, well that looks like DIY 6inch by 6inch plates making a 12v is about 8ah to 15ah.
So some experimenting and calculations are required to see if cost effectiveness for.........

.......... Single 2v cell getting the Ah rate up, physical size, polypropylene obtainable container that is suitable etc  and cost of raw materials.

........... or  ,  12v battery, for use as a string to get 48v, most off gridders use.

In France I can readily obtain very large sheets of Zinc at the builders Merchants. In the UK I can readily obtain from the builders merchants large rolled sheets of lead. I have a UK Acid/ chemical supplier for my Plating supplies.

Hmm, might have a look at this project in the coming Winter.

Damon, Bruce, ..... Wind turbines, PV Trackers, the Oz Inverter....... Decent big Batteries?

Bruce S

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Re: DIY Plante cell
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2016, 07:19:50 AM »
Sorry late to the party again !
I think a DIY battery section would be pretty cool.
WE would have to be VERY careful NOT to step on copyrighted material.
Quoting from a book(e-book too) can be "OK" mostly , but posting a pic or link to youtube can be a slippery slope.
For years, building SLAs weren't that hard, A battery company around here used to sell kits.
Was mostly for high-compression car owners that needed a 1000CCA battery just to turn my (I mean those 10.5 and up compression V8's) .
I'm in full press getting ready for our countries Independence Day celebration :-D .
It might be up to Damon and the other higher ups to build a section.
For now a simple User Diaries might be to best route.

Cheers
Bruce S

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clockmanFRA

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Re: DIY Plante cell
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2016, 08:47:39 AM »
Hi Bruce,

Must finish the Mega web OzInverter with 'dgd' first.

However, I discussed the battery project with the other half on the telephone this morning, as she was in another country on the way to some meeting or other, and I received pleasant encouraging sounds.   :)

I like the concept of building each one slowly, as Deveak remarked  ..."You could slowly build a battery bank instead of dumping a fat load of cash all at once. "

I think I will limit each battery to its weight, say 130lbs each /60kg that I can lift on my own.
Each would be a 2v cell, and pack the plates in to get the Ah as good as possible.    24 off, hmm... about 1.5 tons.

I will start researching polypropylene tanks and weight issues.

But still some economics /cost effectiveness stuff that needs serious analysis.
Everything is possible, just give me time.

clockmanFRA

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Re: DIY Plante cell
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2016, 10:46:11 AM »
Deveak......

"Some commercial manufacturers sell plante cells but its mostly stuff in Europe and to industry like nuclear power etc. Rated for 25 years in float. I think with thick plates, lower specific gravity and maybe a touch of antimony and possibly a battery additive we could hit 30 years of moderate use. Most float or long term batteries have a specific gravity of 1.200. This does lower its charge and discharge rate but it also slows down corrosion of the positive plate, that plus 1/4 inch thick plates could mean some major life. The best part is it gains capacity as its used. If you want you can half form it and patiently use it. Every day the cells will gain capacity."

Can you point me at them please. Discreetly of course!
Everything is possible, just give me time.

Bruce S

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Re: DIY Plante cell
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2016, 12:14:27 PM »
clockmanFRA;
Careful ! Your climate might be on the fringes of the freeze point! While stationed in Germany, we had very low charged batteries swell due to frozen electrolyte . These of course were old and sat in the old trucks discharged , but ,,,
Using these at 1.2SG you're looking at about -20C .
Cheers
Bruce S
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Mary B

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Re: DIY Plante cell
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2016, 03:06:18 PM »
For information on lead smelting and casting look to the ammunition reloading community. I smelt my own lead blends to cast bullets. In the USA you can buy lead and antimony from these guys http://www.rotometals.com/pure-lead-ingots-for-sale-s/20.htm http://www.rotometals.com/Antimony-s/1.htm be careful of some lead alloys, if it contans calcium you do NOT want to breath the fumes because they are deadly! But lead/antimony alloy is safe, in fact I use it to cast bullets with a little tin tossed in to make it mold easier(get better fill, sharper edges).

Deveak

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Re: DIY Plante cell
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2016, 10:03:37 PM »
Clockmanfra: Exide makes them. Beyond that I cannot say how to get ahold of them. Perhaps contacting the sales department. It wont come cheap. They are labor intensive.

Bruce s: What do you mean by copyright infringement? I have seen very little lead acid battery technology that new or copyrighted. Beyond the ultra new stuff like carbon negatives and certain nano stuff lead acid is 95% across the board built identical. The industry is one of the most stagnant, unimaginative and lazy I have ever seen. All of what I will be doing has been done and done over 80 years+ ago.

Also looking at dry shipped batteries but beyond surrette I have yet to find one. I might try contacting ebay sellers. Some golf cart ebay sellers might be a little looser with something like that and might be able to even get ahold of unformed cells. Never know. Pasted could be fine if its cheap and has a long shelf life.

Bruce S

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Re: DIY Plante cell
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2016, 06:55:09 AM »
Copyright infringement is when you take either a book, a PDF, or even an e-book ; copy the contents directly into a post. That is copyright infringement. IF someone on U-tube has done something that is their own, and you post information about their "stuff" without acknowledgement , that's the same thing.
In the background U-tube tries very hard to protect original stuff, it really easy to make then happy by merely acknowledging where information came from, but if someone doesn't that take a very DIM view of it.
 
IT's also some of what the MODs here do, I'd hate for someone to put a ton of hard sweat into doing something to only have it be copied and not get credit for all their hard work.

Most posts on this forum are for people to take use and make better if possible. {look at DamonHD's open stuff} even the old timers and owners put stuff up here to be used for free, even Scourgewind's <-sp? stuff is on here and free to use.

That's about it without getting into a whole bunch of lawyer based stuff.
A kind word often goes unsaid BUT never goes unheard

Mary B

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Re: DIY Plante cell
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2016, 07:41:13 PM »
If the video says standard youtube license it can be shared.

jimbo007

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Re: DIY Plante cell
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2016, 03:51:42 AM »
Hi folks,
My first post here. I am a certified technical writer and technical author.
It is my understanding that it is permissible to quote directly from copyrighted material provided it is a small extract, is for educational purposes and the original source must be provided so the reader can obtain that document through proper channels thereby enabling the author to receive appropriate renumeration and recognition.
You can also rewrite the information in your own words.