Author Topic: Bubble-wrap to baby my lead-acid gel bank?  (Read 2136 times)

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DamonHD

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Bubble-wrap to baby my lead-acid gel bank?
« on: October 03, 2016, 06:04:49 AM »
Hi,

My ageing gel bank (nominal ~400Ah, 12V, ~7 years old) is in my shed, standing on and surrounded by ~2cm of expanded polystyrene.

However, I'd like to keep temperatures and capacity up, and temperatures here have started dropping (down to 8C last night, bank down to ~13C, with air unlikely to get much below 0C in the shed even mid-winter).



I was toying with the idea of covering/wrapping the top and exposed sides/edges of the batteries with a layer or two of bubble wrap to keep cold air from getting to them to help them stay a bit warmer.

My batteries shouldn't be gassing, and nothing will be really air-tight, so:

 a) Is there any harm in what I propose?

 b) Will it help at all?

I do have a remote probe from the controller already on a (+ve) battery post; that would stay on, under the wrap.

Rgds

Damon


PaulJ

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Re: Bubble-wrap to baby my lead-acid gel bank?
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2016, 06:13:22 PM »
Condensation under the bubble wrap might be an issue, should be easy to keep an eye on though.

Paul.

DamonHD

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Re: Bubble-wrap to baby my lead-acid gel bank?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2016, 12:33:03 AM »
OK, thanks.

Damon

DamonHD

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Re: Bubble-wrap to baby my lead-acid gel bank?
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2016, 10:02:48 AM »
Bubble wrap applied.

If you never hear from me again, it was a bad idea!

Rgds

Damon

tanner0441

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Re: Bubble-wrap to baby my lead-acid gel bank?
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2016, 11:29:17 AM »
Hi

Look at KingSpan it is high density PU foam with foil on at least one side, it comes in various thicknesses. It would have load bearing properties if that load is distributed evenly with no point contacts. You can get it from 1.5 in  up to 15 ins thick with PVC coated steel facing on both sides. It is used in the construction of cold stores, and roofs on warehouses and super markets.

It is being used about half a mile from here the next time I walk the dogs I will grab the trade name off the delivery wrapping. You can get it with ribs or corrugated so you will have air movement round the batteries, condensation would be less of a problem.  If you had surplus power you could look at forced air frost protection.

Hope this helps..


Brian.

DamonHD

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Re: Bubble-wrap to baby my lead-acid gel bank?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2016, 12:11:31 PM »
Hi,

If I really wanted to go Full Monty, I have various pieces of aerogel lying around, and more hoarded polystyrene, and I should really also at that point aim to get things semi-airtight with (say) plastic sheeting.  But I've mistreated these batteries for several years, and I don't fancy doing my back in trying to lift them, so I'll leave it at this for the moment!

The batteries are now effectively protected against breezes, in a box, inside a shed.

Keep watching that graph though!

Rgds

Damon

george65

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Re: Bubble-wrap to baby my lead-acid gel bank?
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2016, 11:09:00 PM »

If you have a generator in the same shed or excess power from wind or solar, you could heat a drum or 2 of water in the shed to act as a thermal mass to help keep the shed and the batteries warm.

200L of water @ 80oC has something like 200KW of energy storage. Letting that slowly radiate out overnight say could be a help in keeping things warm.

DamonHD

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Re: Bubble-wrap to baby my lead-acid gel bank?
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2016, 12:16:49 AM »
No generator, and little excess power available there, but I'm hoping that the energy wasted in absorption will help keep things a little warmer even if only a couple of hundred watt hours at most.

Rgds

Damon

Bruce S

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Re: Bubble-wrap to baby my lead-acid gel bank?
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2016, 06:57:12 AM »
DamonHD

Since you already have a temp probe there and you have a "little" time. Perhaps you could begin measuring temp rise while they are wrapped now so you'll know if there's going to be enough to sustain them through the night chills.
A kind word often goes unsaid BUT never goes unheard

DamonHD

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Re: Bubble-wrap to baby my lead-acid gel bank?
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2016, 09:24:51 AM »
The graph is live(ish):



The bank temperature did seem to fall less than it might otherwise have done last night.  Will have to watch it a bit longer.

For a total cost of zero, with some scraps from the packing box, I'm liking this so far!

Rgds

Damon

Bruce S

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Re: Bubble-wrap to baby my lead-acid gel bank?
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2016, 10:26:42 AM »
It took me a little bit to grasp the graph. Way too much work !!!
I can see where you are saying the temps are better in comparison.
Being that you're using stuff that could've ended up in a recycle bin so freebie !
Pretty cool  8)
The telling tale will be sustained cool day(s) and Night(s) temps.
Will be looking forward to seeing those.

Cheers!!!
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tanner0441

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Re: Bubble-wrap to baby my lead-acid gel bank?
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2016, 12:28:57 PM »
Hi

I know you said you didn't want to go down the fancy route but I went round with the dogs this evening and that constructional insulation is "Joris IDE". The panels are about 20 ft long 3 ft wide and some 6 to 8 ins thick.

I looked on the internet and it is part of the "Kingspan" group.

They have an overlapping flange so they shed water when they are used for roofing.

Brian.


DamonHD

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Re: Bubble-wrap to baby my lead-acid gel bank?
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2016, 01:54:32 PM »
Thanks Brian!  It is a good idea for if I get more serious, eg because I replace my battery bank...

Rgds

Damon

SparWeb

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Re: Bubble-wrap to baby my lead-acid gel bank?
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2016, 02:20:50 PM »
Damon,
Re: posting #5, October 4th...

My vague recollection of what a "Full Monty" is...  ...is when you peel the wrapper *off*....
And I think I've heard of bubble wrap being used for that purpose, too...
(But you can leave your hat on)

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it.  Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.

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