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Old Oct 01, 2009, 10:17 AM
Just Limin'
laser110's Avatar
United States, NJ, East Brunswick
Joined Nov 2008
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Discussion
Winter Battery Storage

As the days get shorter here and the wind kicks up some, sailing my boat will not be possible again after a few weeks. I was wondering what others do for winter battery storage?

Normally now, I use my boat and run the batteries down some. When I get home I take them out of boat and when I am sailing again, top them off which only takes a few hours. Should I continue to do this every few weeks, even if I am not using the boat? Or should I drain them completely? Last thing I want to have to do is buy new ones in the spring.

What about your transmitter battery?

Scott
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Old Oct 01, 2009, 12:03 PM
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United States, OR, Eugene
Joined Jan 2003
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Most of my batteries are SLAs, with a few ni-cads and ni-myd.
The SLAs get charged up and then set aside. I have found that the thing that will kill a SLA in no time is placing them on concrete. I lost three in one year from setting them on the floor in the garage. Now, they are all stored on a shelf.
My Nickle batteries are all charged up and then also set aside. I have lost very few of them.
But for the most part, my batteries are used all year round. If not sailing a boat, I am building a boat and will have to use the batteries when putting in the electronics.
Where the winter use of the SLAs really comes in handy is when the snow falls and the power goes out. I can use my power converter and my large SLAs to run the microwave and stereo. Brings the neighbors over looking for heat and water.
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Old Oct 01, 2009, 12:48 PM
Big Boats Rule!
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I think just the opposite is true. Nicad and Nimh are stored discharged to about 1 volt per cell. Nicads suffer from memory, in that if they are not charged up fully and discharged fully they loose some capacity to hold a charge. This is why cycling a nicad pack before use is important. Nimh have much less memory effect, but neither are good at long term storage as they both self discharge. Over long periods of time both will loose a charge.
SLA's should be stored charged and topped off once in a while. A float type charger is ideal, but occasional trickle charging is OK. And as long as SLA's have used molded plastic cases (20 years?) the drain to earth has been eliminated. The older battery cases made from bakelite or rubber have a slight conductivity and will drain through a wet concrete floor. Polypropolene is an excellent insulator.
I would think that if you have an SLA battery that self discharges significantly it has one or more plates damaged. A common problem if too many amps are pulled from a small SLA battery.
See this for some more info.
Any battery should be unplugged and all cells removed for long term storage. Corrosion in the wires (black wire disease) is common if you don't.


Dave
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Old Oct 01, 2009, 12:54 PM
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Columbus, OH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tachikaze
............I have found that the thing that will kill a SLA in no time is placing them on concrete. I lost three in one year from setting them on the floor in the garage. Now, they are all stored on a shelf............
Do you know what it is about the concrete that kills them?

Tom
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Old Oct 01, 2009, 01:17 PM
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Brisbane- Australia
Joined Jul 2007
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Have a read through this. It should clear a few things up for all different cell types.

http://www.powerstream.com/Storage.htm

The only thing I would add is to to recharge at 1/10 C when bringing them out of storage. That's for NiMh & NiCd. It's a good idea to check the voltages once every couple of months too, just to see if one is losing voltage too fast.
Luckily, here in sunny Brisbane we don't have a real winter, so it's boating all year round for us.
All the best.
Paul.
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Old Oct 01, 2009, 01:37 PM
Registered User
North Central TN USA
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You can also check buchmann.ca/
Very handy site.
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Old Oct 01, 2009, 03:47 PM
Big Boats Rule!
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Wisconsin
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Most of the references say that in the 'old' days, a battery was built in a container which had a very mild conductivity. When placed on a concrete slab, especially when damp, the battery would discharge through the case to ground. Placing the battery on wood, a very good isolator, minimized the discharge. Perhaps it is the calcium, or the salt, that makes enough of a circuit to drain the battery down over time.
Today, batteries are made from injection molded plastic housings with excellent insulation properties. The discharge through the case is minimal.
However, if you are storing them in a garage with no heat and live where the winters get cold, freezing is a problem. Storing a battery with the terminals touching a concrete slab is probably a bad idea for the same reason.

Dave
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Old Oct 02, 2009, 05:49 AM
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Columbus, OH
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Thanks Dave.
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Old Oct 02, 2009, 03:49 PM
Just Limin'
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United States, NJ, East Brunswick
Joined Nov 2008
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Maybe I should have explained more. My batteries are stored in a climate controlled room ( my office/computer room) and are actually sitting on a wooden shelf. I am not worried about them discharging from concrete storage.

I have 2 Werker 6v/10Ah AGM Sealed Non Spillable batteries. The battery in the remote is hard wired in. NICD 9.6 V


If I understand right, I don't need to do anything with them till the Spring again, when I'll charge them up fully for the first run of the year?

Scott
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Old Oct 02, 2009, 05:04 PM
Big Boats Rule!
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Wisconsin
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For long term storage...
The AGM should be charged up, and topped off after a few months.
The nicad pack in your tx should be discharged to about 1 volt per cell, so around 8 to 9 volts and then unplugged from the circuit board. Even built in packs have plugs on the wires.
Come spring, cycle the nicad pack a few times to make sure it will deliver the capacity you expect. Top off you AGM's and you are ready to go.
The discussion about concrete was really responding to the other posts. Sorry for the hijack.

Dave
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Old Oct 02, 2009, 11:50 PM
Just Limin'
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United States, NJ, East Brunswick
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Dave thanks for the advice. I had sort of figured thats' what I would do with the AGM's and what I was planning to do.

I can't unplug the battery from the circuit board in my tx. I have an older tx made by Futaba for Robbe. When I went to the local hobby shop to get the replacement battery, the connectors used back then are not available now. The guy there said "no problem" snipped my connectors on the tx and the connectors on the battery and soldered them together with some heat shrink tubing to protect the joint. I can turn on the tx and let it run down, but disconnecting is not an option.


Scott
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Old Oct 03, 2009, 08:51 AM
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more coffee's Avatar
Canada, NS, Sydney Mines
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trisquire
Do you know what it is about the concrete that kills them?

Tom

This myth does have some historical basis. Many years ago, wooden battery cases encased a glass jar with the battery in it. Any moisture on the floor could cause the wood to swell and possibly fracture the glass, causing it to leak. Later came the introduction of the "hard rubber" cases, which were somewhat porous. A current could be conducted through this container, which had a high carbon content, if the moist concrete floor permitted the current to find an electrical ground. The wise advise of the old days to "not store batteries on concrete" has apparently been passed down to us today, but it no longer applies.
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Old Oct 04, 2009, 06:08 AM
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S.E. Mass.
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The most important point is to always keep the batts with a full charge.
The AGM's don't care about running down and then left in a discharged state. When charged, they will pop right back.
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