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Submarine Batteries - easy to use?
 Started by  Raz
 5 Aug 2009, 6:52 PM


I'm helping someone setup their own 12volt system and they have some (what look to me like) submarine batteries - x6 cells (each 2volts) with a total of 980amps of power. Wow! A lot of juice.
Talking of which - they have never been used (ie never been filled with acid). Someone told me that it is VERY dangerous job to fill this amount of batteries with required sulphuric acid.
Anyone have any experience or novel ideas on a)is this a job for an expert b)if its not worth us doing it, what might 2nd hand value of these batteries be? (some have minor cracking in the top of the battery - don't know if this is important or not!).
 
thanks.
GBP-Keith
Hi Raz. I have lot of experience of these batteries as I have 24 of of them running a 24 volt off-grid system. Do you have any spare as two of mine are a bit duff. Where are you based Raz? (giving about 1960 ah at 24 volts)
 
Getting the acid to fill them with is the hard bit as you will need to find a supplier who will also advise on the filling procedure and safety measures to be taken. It will be eye and skin protection and lots of ventilation but do take advice. I'l take a look at the drum I have here and let you know the ref.
 
the cracking is because the mastic sealant that was originally used as aged and dried out. It will be a route through which gasses are lost when the batteries are overcharging so a little extra topping up than normal will be needed. As for value, because they are circa 40 years old they have no guarantee that they will work or hold a charge but they do have some value. Perhaps 1/3rd of what a similar size secondhand forklift truck battery of the save voltage and amperage would cost. They are also much more bulky than new models so take up a lot more space.
 
You really should be considering making it a 240 volt system though. 12 volt appliances are going to be pricey.
 
it would be great if you could let me know where you got them so I can get my two duff ones replaced.
 

 
scott
you got a good deal there
free is always the best
2v flooded batteries cost new several hundred pounds each
newer systems use maintenance free sealed
GEL or AGM dry batteries but these still cost a lot
 
windbag
Where did you get the submarine batteries from? What capacity are they, and how heavy are they?
 
I have a bank of deep cycle batteries that need to be replaced - they are discharging rather quickly now and need some serious maintenance. I have no grid connection for backup.
 
Raz
Hi,
Apologies for delay in replying - I lost the thread (literally!).
 
I don't know where the sub batteries came from. They were donated by someone else to my friend.
 
I may well recommend that she sells the batteries to pay for buying some smaller deep cycle ones, since I do not really want to deal with a) dangerous acid and b) such high current (we only need enough power for a few lights, radio etc for an off-the-grid small holding).
 
So if anyone can give me a rough idea of value (there are x7 cells) that would be really helpful.
 
Thanks
 
GBP-Keith
I'll buy them all off you Raz. I could also try to find you some newer fork lift truck batteries (ready filled). I'll send you an e-mail.

 
scott
can supply new batteries to 3000ah
gel agm & flooded
scott
 

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