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Can car batteries work upside-down?

Started by Dave Vanden Bout June 5, 2008
In article <jZSdnWEGPYCJn9XVnZ2dnUVZ_judnZ2d@web-ster.com>, Tim Wescott <tim@seemywebsite.com> wrote:
>Dave Vanden Bout wrote: >> I have a customer who needs a battery-powered system that will operate >> in any orientation. A car battery is the only thing that has the A-hrs >> he needs (I think). I assume a sealed car battery solves the obvious >> problem of leaking acid, but are there any other considerations that >> prevent a car battery from being used when it is upside-down? >> >> Are there other types of rechargeable batteries I should consider that >> give the same A-hrs (approx 240 A-hrs) as a car battery? >> >I know for a fact that not all car batteries without visible fill holes >are really sealed, and I wouldn't be surprised if none are. Even if >they're "sealed" that usually means "sealed until it vents" (i.e. they >have pressure relief valves), and the valve is going to be oriented down >at some point in its life. > >I'd check the usual suppliers of _real_ sealed lead-acid cells and see >if you can come up with a battery (or parallel combination thereof) that >gets you sufficient capacity. > >I assume that your application is too cost-conscious to use Li-Po or NiMH? >
Most car batteries are less than 80 amp hours. greg
Dave Vanden Bout wrote:
> > I have a customer who needs a battery-powered system that will operate > in any orientation. A car battery is the only thing that has the A-hrs > he needs (I think). I assume a sealed car battery solves the obvious > problem of leaking acid, but are there any other considerations that > prevent a car battery from being used when it is upside-down? > > Are there other types of rechargeable batteries I should consider that > give the same A-hrs (approx 240 A-hrs) as a car battery? > > ----------------------------------------------------------------- > Dave Van den Bout / XESS Corp. > (919) 363-4695 > devb@xess.com
According to the Ultimate Authority on Everything, gel cell batteries cannot be charged inverted. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gel_battery It might be worthwhile actually contacting am actual manufacturer to verify this. But don't get your hopes up if you need to charge while inverted. -- Paul Hovnanian paul@hovnanian.com ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Have gnu, will travel.
On Jun 5, 7:24=A0am, Dave Vanden Bout <d...@xess.com> wrote:
> I have a customer who needs a battery-powered system that will operate > in any orientation. =A0A car battery is the only thing that has the A-hrs > he needs (I think). =A0I assume a sealed car battery solves the obvious > problem of leaking acid, but are there any other considerations that > prevent a car battery from being used when it is upside-down? > > Are there other types of rechargeable batteries I should consider that > give the same A-hrs (approx 240 A-hrs) as a car battery? > > ----------------------------------------------------------------- > Dave Van den Bout / XESS Corp. > (919) 363-4695 > d...@xess.com
You want an absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery. I'm pretty sure they make AGM car batteries, but unless you need a couple hundred amps you're probably better off with a big AGM deep-cycle lead-acid battery.
On Thu, 05 Jun 2008 10:24:02 -0400, Dave Vanden Bout <devb@xess.com>
wrote:

>I have a customer who needs a battery-powered system that will operate >in any orientation. A car battery is the only thing that has the A-hrs >he needs (I think). I assume a sealed car battery solves the obvious >problem of leaking acid, but are there any other considerations that >prevent a car battery from being used when it is upside-down? > >Are there other types of rechargeable batteries I should consider that >give the same A-hrs (approx 240 A-hrs) as a car battery?
Use a Gelled-electrolyte or AGM battery rather than one with liquid electrolyte (even if it claims to be sealed). The Gel and AGM batteries are basically lead-acid technology, but have no fluid sloshing around. -- Peter Bennett, VE7CEI peterbb4 (at) interchange.ubc.ca GPS and NMEA info: http://vancouver-webpages.com/peter Vancouver Power Squadron: http://vancouver.powersquadron.ca
On Thu, 05 Jun 2008 10:24:02 -0400, Dave Vanden Bout wrote:

> I have a customer who needs a battery-powered system that will operate in > any orientation. A car battery is the only thing that has the A-hrs he > needs (I think). I assume a sealed car battery solves the obvious problem > of leaking acid, but are there any other considerations that prevent a car > battery from being used when it is upside-down? > > Are there other types of rechargeable batteries I should consider that > give the same A-hrs (approx 240 A-hrs) as a car battery? >
How about an airplane battery? Good Luck! Rich
GregS wrote:
> In article <jZSdnWEGPYCJn9XVnZ2dnUVZ_judnZ2d@web-ster.com>, Tim Wescott <tim@seemywebsite.com> wrote: >> Dave Vanden Bout wrote: >>> I have a customer who needs a battery-powered system that will operate >>> in any orientation. A car battery is the only thing that has the A-hrs >>> he needs (I think). I assume a sealed car battery solves the obvious >>> problem of leaking acid, but are there any other considerations that >>> prevent a car battery from being used when it is upside-down? >>> >>> Are there other types of rechargeable batteries I should consider that >>> give the same A-hrs (approx 240 A-hrs) as a car battery? >>> >> I know for a fact that not all car batteries without visible fill holes >> are really sealed, and I wouldn't be surprised if none are. Even if >> they're "sealed" that usually means "sealed until it vents" (i.e. they >> have pressure relief valves), and the valve is going to be oriented down >> at some point in its life. >> >> I'd check the usual suppliers of _real_ sealed lead-acid cells and see >> if you can come up with a battery (or parallel combination thereof) that >> gets you sufficient capacity. >> >> I assume that your application is too cost-conscious to use Li-Po or NiMH? >> > > Most car batteries are less than 80 amp hours. > > greg
Really? The two or three websites I looked at all listed capacities over 200 A-hrs. I'll have to look at some of the battery recommendations I've received and get actual capacities. Thanks for the data point. -- Dave Van den Bout / XESS Corp. (919) 363-4695 devb@xess.com
Dave Vanden Bout wrote:
> I have a customer who needs a battery-powered system that will operate > in any orientation. A car battery is the only thing that has the A-hrs > he needs (I think). I assume a sealed car battery solves the obvious > problem of leaking acid, but are there any other considerations that > prevent a car battery from being used when it is upside-down? > > Are there other types of rechargeable batteries I should consider that > give the same A-hrs (approx 240 A-hrs) as a car battery? > > ----------------------------------------------------------------- > Dave Van den Bout / XESS Corp. > (919) 363-4695 > devb@xess.com
Thanks to everyone who has replied (even the centrifuge guys)! I now have some contacts for different types of batteries that might meet my needs. -- Dave Van den Bout / XESS Corp. (919) 363-4695 devb@xess.com
On Thu, 05 Jun 2008 10:24:02 -0400, Dave Vanden Bout <devb@xess.com>
wrote:

>I have a customer who needs a battery-powered system that will operate >in any orientation. A car battery is the only thing that has the A-hrs >he needs (I think). I assume a sealed car battery solves the obvious >problem of leaking acid, but are there any other considerations that >prevent a car battery from being used when it is upside-down? > >Are there other types of rechargeable batteries I should consider that >give the same A-hrs (approx 240 A-hrs) as a car battery? > >----------------------------------------------------------------- >Dave Van den Bout / XESS Corp. >(919) 363-4695 >devb@xess.com
Look at Optima batteries. They work in any position. Several other companies make batteries that are similar.
Adrian C wrote:

> Phil Allison wrote: > >> >> ** No problemo........... >> >> Just put the car battery in a spinning centrifuge - so it always has >> it own positive gravity. >> > > Nice idea, came up with similar :-) Now propose how you'd make the > necessary heavy duty connections to it :-p >
Slip/Collector Rings? http://webpages.charter.net/jamie_5"
It's not a good idea to turn an ordinary car battery upside down. Over
time, particles tend to flake off from the plates and collect in the
bottom. Turning the battery upside down could result in the crud
shorting some cells.

Leon