Discussion:
Carbon monoxide detectors and hot batteries? [RE-wrenches]
(too old to reply)
Geoff Greenfield
2007-05-22 14:53:56 UTC
Permalink
Hello all wrenchies -

I VERY concerned customer called with what seems to be a failing battery
bank (tons of heat, bubbling way more than normal, and a recently
manifesting large difference between strings of water consumption). These
are T-105s retired from an electric vehicle, and I suspect an open or
shorted cell.

He is remote and has transferred AC loads and shut things down on the DC
side... and once he borrows a multimeter I will walk him through a
resistance check on the cells and suspect to find a bad battery. Along with
looking for anomalous individual battery voltage, at rest and during heavy
charging do any of you have any other quick tests to suggest? I already
asked if he had an infrared thermometer... and when I spoke with him "all
the batteries were too hot to touch".

So - the gist of my post is: he was alerted to this situation not by
collapsing voltage under load, but by his CO detector going off. What
chemically is happening there? These are flooded LA batts... is insulation
and plastic heating up and generating CO? Does the CO detector pick up
other stuff?

The batteries are in a roomy painted plywood box with plastic liner,
screened low vents and a 2" pvc power vented to the screened exterior (I
should have him check that for wasp nests). Will check to see if the vent
operates. it was controlled by the MX-60 aux to come on at around 53 VDC.


For a brighter energy future,

Geoff Greenfield
President
Third Sun Solar & Wind Power Ltd.
340 West State street, Unit 25
Athens, Ohio 45701
(740) 597-3111 fax: (740)597-1548
www.third-sun.com

Clean Energy - Expertly Installed


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Geoff Greenfield
2007-05-22 14:53:56 UTC
Permalink
Hope to see as many of you as possible at ASES in July -

We will have a booth there... stop by, say hi and hopefully we will all be
able to "network" over a beer...

and please buy at least 26 "Fahrfrumgridden" T-shirts as we try to recoup
our booth costs! ;-)... or bring cool T-shirts from your company to trade!

For a brighter energy future,

Geoff Greenfield
President
Third Sun Solar & Wind Power Ltd.
340 West State street, Unit 25
Athens, Ohio 45701
(740) 597-3111 fax: (740)597-1548
www.third-sun.com

Clean Energy - Expertly Installed


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James Surrette
2007-05-23 11:37:09 UTC
Permalink
Good morning,

Per the composition of the off-gassing;

Hydrogen and Oxygen are liberated but a minute amount of Sulfur was
probably present (rotten egg smell) as a result of the aggressive rate.
Not sure if Hydrogen will trip a CO detector.

Per the testing for a failed battery;

To get this heat (without a failed regulator), per cell voltage must
have risen as a result of a failed cell (or more than one), which drops
terminal voltage - therefore acts like you've raised the charge voltage.
Quick detection, put a load on the bank to eliminate surface voltage
and read the battery voltage at the terminals. You will see >6V on the
"healthy" batteries and <4V on the ones with failed cells. Also, failed
cells will not consume water but the other cells in the same battery
will.

Jamie

James Surrette

Surrette Battery Co. Ltd
1 Station Rd.
Springhill, NS, CAN
B0M 1X0
Geoff Greenfield <Geoff at Third-Sun.Com> 22/05/2007 11:53 am >>>
Hello all wrenchies -

I VERY concerned customer called with what seems to be a failing
battery
bank (tons of heat, bubbling way more than normal, and a recently
manifesting large difference between strings of water consumption).
These
are T-105s retired from an electric vehicle, and I suspect an open or
shorted cell.

He is remote and has transferred AC loads and shut things down on the
DC
side... and once he borrows a multimeter I will walk him through a
resistance check on the cells and suspect to find a bad battery. Along
with
looking for anomalous individual battery voltage, at rest and during
heavy
charging do any of you have any other quick tests to suggest? I
already
asked if he had an infrared thermometer... and when I spoke with him
"all
the batteries were too hot to touch".

So - the gist of my post is: he was alerted to this situation not by
collapsing voltage under load, but by his CO detector going off. What
chemically is happening there? These are flooded LA batts... is
insulation
and plastic heating up and generating CO? Does the CO detector pick
up
other stuff?

The batteries are in a roomy painted plywood box with plastic liner,
screened low vents and a 2" pvc power vented to the screened exterior
(I
should have him check that for wasp nests). Will check to see if the
vent
operates. it was controlled by the MX-60 aux to come on at around 53
VDC.


For a brighter energy future,

Geoff Greenfield
President
Third Sun Solar & Wind Power Ltd.
340 West State street, Unit 25
Athens, Ohio 45701
(740) 597-3111 fax: (740)597-1548
www.third-sun.com

Clean Energy - Expertly Installed


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John Raynes
2007-05-23 15:19:07 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>

Geoff,

Don't assume that the CO detector was actually responding to CO.
Having worked in the electrochemical sensor business for a few years in
an earlier life, I became aware of the problem of designing a gas
sensor that is selective only to the target gas. With industrial
sensors, the response of the sensor to interference gases is usually
well specified, so that the potential end user can evaluate their site
for the potential presence of the interfering gases. Sensors that are
highly selective to only the target gas can often command a hefty
premium.

I'm not versed in the specifics of the residential mass produced CO
detectors, but I would almost expect that to get the cost down, those
sensors are susceptible to at least some interference gases, and that
they're still approved for home use due to the highly improbable
presence of those gases in non-industrial environments. And in any
event, the error is on the safe side, as you found out.

I have no way of knowing if CO can be present in highly reactive LA
cells, the battery experts will have to comment on that. I'm just
offering an explanation if it turns out that the batteries don't look
to be a source.


In my experiences with failing battery banks, spotting the failed cell
is usually quite obvious, when it gets to the point that things are
cooking away. The failed battery will likely read in the range of 5 to
5.5 volts while still connected to the bank, and all of the other
strings in that bank will read higher, as they are reacting to the
higher current flowing into the string to feed the shorted cell. Once
you disconnect the string with the failing cell, the bad battery
usually will immediately fall to 4 volts and some change.

John Raynes
RE Solar
Torrey, Utah




At 10:53 AM 5/22/2007 -0400, you wrote:

Hello all wrenchies -

I VERY concerned customer called with what seems to be a failing battery
bank (tons of heat, bubbling way more than normal, and a recently
manifesting large difference between strings of water consumption). These
are T-105s retired from an electric vehicle, and I suspect an open or
shorted cell.

He is remote and has transferred AC loads and shut things down on the DC
side... and once he borrows a multimeter I will walk him through a
resistance check on the cells and suspect to find a bad battery. Along with
looking for anomalous individual battery voltage, at rest and during heavy
charging do any of you have any other quick tests to suggest? I already
asked if he had an infrared thermometer... and when I spoke with him "all
the batteries were too hot to touch".

So - the gist of my post is: he was alerted to this situation not by
collapsing voltage under load, but by his CO detector going off. What
chemically is happening there? These are flooded LA batts... is insulation
and plastic heating up and generating CO? Does the CO detector pick up
other stuff?

The batteries are in a roomy painted plywood box with plastic liner,
screened low vents and a 2" pvc power vented to the screened exterior (I
should have him check that for wasp nests). Will check to see if the vent
operates. it was controlled by the MX-60 aux to come on at around 53 VDC.


For a brighter energy future,

Geoff Greenfield
President
Third Sun Solar & Wind Power Ltd.
340 West State street, Unit 25
Athens, Ohio 45701
(740) 597-3111 fax: (740)597-1548
www.third-sun.com

Clean Energy - Expertly Installed


- - - -
Hosted by Home Power magazine

To send a message: RE-wrenches at topica.com

Archive of previous messages: http://lists.topica.com/lists/RE-wrenches/read

List rules & how to change your email address: www.mrsharkey.com/wrenches/etiquette.php

Check out participant bios: www.mrsharkey.com/wrenches/

Moderator: michael.welch at homepower.com
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</x-flowed>
Phil Undercuffler
2007-05-23 15:50:37 UTC
Permalink
As both a solar geek, off-gridder and volunteer firefighter, this is an
issue that caught my attention some years ago. It seems many
residential CO monitors cannot tell the difference between CO and
Hydrogen.

I found this out the, well, interesting way, when my CO monitor started
triggering in the summer when my heating system (the only possible
source of CO) was turned off. I was told at the time that the detector
was sensing the hydrogen coming off my batteries, and triggering the
alarm.


------------------------------------------------------------
Please note new phone extension!

Phil Undercuffler
Technical Services Manager
Conergy, Inc.
1730 Camino Carlos Rey Suite 103
Santa Fe NM 87507 USA
Office | 505.473.3800 x4841
Fax | 505.473.3830
www.conergy.us

------------------------------------------------------------


-----Original Message-----
From: John Raynes [mailto:john at raynes.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 9:19 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: Carbon monoxide detectors and hot batteries? [RE-wrenches]


Geoff,

Don't assume that the CO detector was actually responding to CO.
Having worked in the electrochemical sensor business for a few years in
an earlier life, I became aware of the problem of designing a gas
sensor that is selective only to the target gas. With industrial
sensors, the response of the sensor to interference gases is usually
well specified, so that the potential end user can evaluate their site
for the potential presence of the interfering gases. Sensors that are
highly selective to only the target gas can often command a hefty
premium.

I'm not versed in the specifics of the residential mass produced CO
detectors, but I would almost expect that to get the cost down, those
sensors are susceptible to at least some interference gases, and that
they're still approved for home use due to the highly improbable
presence of those gases in non-industrial environments. And in any
event, the error is on the safe side, as you found out.

I have no way of knowing if CO can be present in highly reactive LA
cells, the battery experts will have to comment on that. I'm just
offering an explanation if it turns out that the batteries don't look
to be a source.


In my experiences with failing battery banks, spotting the failed cell
is usually quite obvious, when it gets to the point that things are
cooking away. The failed battery will likely read in the range of 5 to
5.5 volts while still connected to the bank, and all of the other
strings in that bank will read higher, as they are reacting to the
higher current flowing into the string to feed the shorted cell. Once
you disconnect the string with the failing cell, the bad battery
usually will immediately fall to 4 volts and some change.

John Raynes
RE Solar
Torrey, Utah




At 10:53 AM 5/22/2007 -0400, you wrote:

Hello all wrenchies -

I VERY concerned customer called with what seems to be a failing battery
bank (tons of heat, bubbling way more than normal, and a recently
manifesting large difference between strings of water consumption).
These
are T-105s retired from an electric vehicle, and I suspect an open or
shorted cell.

He is remote and has transferred AC loads and shut things down on the DC
side... and once he borrows a multimeter I will walk him through a
resistance check on the cells and suspect to find a bad battery. Along
with
looking for anomalous individual battery voltage, at rest and during
heavy
charging do any of you have any other quick tests to suggest? I already
asked if he had an infrared thermometer... and when I spoke with him
"all
the batteries were too hot to touch".

So - the gist of my post is: he was alerted to this situation not by
collapsing voltage under load, but by his CO detector going off. What
chemically is happening there? These are flooded LA batts... is
insulation
and plastic heating up and generating CO? Does the CO detector pick up
other stuff?

The batteries are in a roomy painted plywood box with plastic liner,
screened low vents and a 2" pvc power vented to the screened exterior (I
should have him check that for wasp nests). Will check to see if the
vent
operates. it was controlled by the MX-60 aux to come on at around 53
VDC.


For a brighter energy future,

Geoff Greenfield
President
Third Sun Solar & Wind Power Ltd.
340 West State street, Unit 25
Athens, Ohio 45701
(740) 597-3111 fax: (740)597-1548
www.third-sun.com

Clean Energy - Expertly Installed


- - - -
Hosted by Home Power magazine

To send a message: RE-wrenches at topica.com

Archive of previous messages: http://lists.topica.com/lists/RE-wrenches/read

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Phil Undercuffler
2007-05-23 15:50:37 UTC
Permalink
As both a solar geek, off-gridder and volunteer firefighter, this is an
issue that caught my attention some years ago. It seems many
residential CO monitors cannot tell the difference between CO and
Hydrogen.

I found this out the, well, interesting way, when my CO monitor started
triggering in the summer when my heating system (the only possible
source of CO) was turned off. I was told at the time that the detector
was sensing the hydrogen coming off my batteries, and triggering the
alarm.


------------------------------------------------------------
Please note new phone extension!

Phil Undercuffler
Technical Services Manager
Conergy, Inc.
1730 Camino Carlos Rey Suite 103
Santa Fe NM 87507 USA
Office | 505.473.3800 x4841
Fax | 505.473.3830
www.conergy.us

------------------------------------------------------------


-----Original Message-----
From: John Raynes [mailto:john at raynes.com]
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 9:19 AM
To: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Subject: Re: Carbon monoxide detectors and hot batteries? [RE-wrenches]


Geoff,

Don't assume that the CO detector was actually responding to CO.
Having worked in the electrochemical sensor business for a few years in
an earlier life, I became aware of the problem of designing a gas
sensor that is selective only to the target gas. With industrial
sensors, the response of the sensor to interference gases is usually
well specified, so that the potential end user can evaluate their site
for the potential presence of the interfering gases. Sensors that are
highly selective to only the target gas can often command a hefty
premium.

I'm not versed in the specifics of the residential mass produced CO
detectors, but I would almost expect that to get the cost down, those
sensors are susceptible to at least some interference gases, and that
they're still approved for home use due to the highly improbable
presence of those gases in non-industrial environments. And in any
event, the error is on the safe side, as you found out.

I have no way of knowing if CO can be present in highly reactive LA
cells, the battery experts will have to comment on that. I'm just
offering an explanation if it turns out that the batteries don't look
to be a source.


In my experiences with failing battery banks, spotting the failed cell
is usually quite obvious, when it gets to the point that things are
cooking away. The failed battery will likely read in the range of 5 to
5.5 volts while still connected to the bank, and all of the other
strings in that bank will read higher, as they are reacting to the
higher current flowing into the string to feed the shorted cell. Once
you disconnect the string with the failing cell, the bad battery
usually will immediately fall to 4 volts and some change.

John Raynes
RE Solar
Torrey, Utah




At 10:53 AM 5/22/2007 -0400, you wrote:

Hello all wrenchies -

I VERY concerned customer called with what seems to be a failing battery
bank (tons of heat, bubbling way more than normal, and a recently
manifesting large difference between strings of water consumption).
These
are T-105s retired from an electric vehicle, and I suspect an open or
shorted cell.

He is remote and has transferred AC loads and shut things down on the DC
side... and once he borrows a multimeter I will walk him through a
resistance check on the cells and suspect to find a bad battery. Along
with
looking for anomalous individual battery voltage, at rest and during
heavy
charging do any of you have any other quick tests to suggest? I already
asked if he had an infrared thermometer... and when I spoke with him
"all
the batteries were too hot to touch".

So - the gist of my post is: he was alerted to this situation not by
collapsing voltage under load, but by his CO detector going off. What
chemically is happening there? These are flooded LA batts... is
insulation
and plastic heating up and generating CO? Does the CO detector pick up
other stuff?

The batteries are in a roomy painted plywood box with plastic liner,
screened low vents and a 2" pvc power vented to the screened exterior (I
should have him check that for wasp nests). Will check to see if the
vent
operates. it was controlled by the MX-60 aux to come on at around 53
VDC.


For a brighter energy future,

Geoff Greenfield
President
Third Sun Solar & Wind Power Ltd.
340 West State street, Unit 25
Athens, Ohio 45701
(740) 597-3111 fax: (740)597-1548
www.third-sun.com

Clean Energy - Expertly Installed


- - - -
Hosted by Home Power magazine

To send a message: RE-wrenches at topica.com

Archive of previous messages: http://lists.topica.com/lists/RE-wrenches/read

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John Raynes
2007-05-23 15:19:07 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>

Geoff,

Don't assume that the CO detector was actually responding to CO.
Having worked in the electrochemical sensor business for a few years in
an earlier life, I became aware of the problem of designing a gas
sensor that is selective only to the target gas. With industrial
sensors, the response of the sensor to interference gases is usually
well specified, so that the potential end user can evaluate their site
for the potential presence of the interfering gases. Sensors that are
highly selective to only the target gas can often command a hefty
premium.

I'm not versed in the specifics of the residential mass produced CO
detectors, but I would almost expect that to get the cost down, those
sensors are susceptible to at least some interference gases, and that
they're still approved for home use due to the highly improbable
presence of those gases in non-industrial environments. And in any
event, the error is on the safe side, as you found out.

I have no way of knowing if CO can be present in highly reactive LA
cells, the battery experts will have to comment on that. I'm just
offering an explanation if it turns out that the batteries don't look
to be a source.


In my experiences with failing battery banks, spotting the failed cell
is usually quite obvious, when it gets to the point that things are
cooking away. The failed battery will likely read in the range of 5 to
5.5 volts while still connected to the bank, and all of the other
strings in that bank will read higher, as they are reacting to the
higher current flowing into the string to feed the shorted cell. Once
you disconnect the string with the failing cell, the bad battery
usually will immediately fall to 4 volts and some change.

John Raynes
RE Solar
Torrey, Utah




At 10:53 AM 5/22/2007 -0400, you wrote:

Hello all wrenchies -

I VERY concerned customer called with what seems to be a failing battery
bank (tons of heat, bubbling way more than normal, and a recently
manifesting large difference between strings of water consumption). These
are T-105s retired from an electric vehicle, and I suspect an open or
shorted cell.

He is remote and has transferred AC loads and shut things down on the DC
side... and once he borrows a multimeter I will walk him through a
resistance check on the cells and suspect to find a bad battery. Along with
looking for anomalous individual battery voltage, at rest and during heavy
charging do any of you have any other quick tests to suggest? I already
asked if he had an infrared thermometer... and when I spoke with him "all
the batteries were too hot to touch".

So - the gist of my post is: he was alerted to this situation not by
collapsing voltage under load, but by his CO detector going off. What
chemically is happening there? These are flooded LA batts... is insulation
and plastic heating up and generating CO? Does the CO detector pick up
other stuff?

The batteries are in a roomy painted plywood box with plastic liner,
screened low vents and a 2" pvc power vented to the screened exterior (I
should have him check that for wasp nests). Will check to see if the vent
operates. it was controlled by the MX-60 aux to come on at around 53 VDC.


For a brighter energy future,

Geoff Greenfield
President
Third Sun Solar & Wind Power Ltd.
340 West State street, Unit 25
Athens, Ohio 45701
(740) 597-3111 fax: (740)597-1548
www.third-sun.com

Clean Energy - Expertly Installed


- - - -
Hosted by Home Power magazine

To send a message: RE-wrenches at topica.com

Archive of previous messages: http://lists.topica.com/lists/RE-wrenches/read

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</x-flowed>
Darryl Thayer
2007-05-24 09:24:13 UTC
Permalink
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Bob Ellison
2007-05-24 11:13:42 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
A few more things to look for;
The power vent has probably died, that wold allow the gas into the
room and probably set off the detector. He should be able to smell the
gas also.
If all the batteries are too hot to touch overcharging is suspect,
probably caused by several cells failing around the same time. It is
best described as a cascading failure. A cell fails and allows the
other cells to be overloaded and so on and on it goes.
An MX-60 failure is also possible and just over charging the batteries.
115 degrees F is wam, but liveable, 125 deg. is too hot. I have seen
industrial batteries that I work on at 145 deg. for the inner cells in
the pack. To high........
In short they are probably wore out and best to start looking for a replacement.

Hope this gets to the list.

Bob Ellison
Post by Geoff Greenfield
Hello all wrenchies -
I VERY concerned customer called with what seems to be a failing battery
bank (tons of heat, bubbling way more than normal, and a recently
manifesting large difference between strings of water consumption). These
are T-105s retired from an electric vehicle, and I suspect an open or
shorted cell.
He is remote and has transferred AC loads and shut things down on the DC
side... and once he borrows a multimeter I will walk him through a
resistance check on the cells and suspect to find a bad battery. Along with
looking for anomalous individual battery voltage, at rest and during heavy
charging do any of you have any other quick tests to suggest? I already
asked if he had an infrared thermometer... and when I spoke with him "all
the batteries were too hot to touch".
So - the gist of my post is: he was alerted to this situation not by
collapsing voltage under load, but by his CO detector going off. What
chemically is happening there? These are flooded LA batts... is insulation
and plastic heating up and generating CO? Does the CO detector pick up
other stuff?
The batteries are in a roomy painted plywood box with plastic liner,
screened low vents and a 2" pvc power vented to the screened exterior (I
should have him check that for wasp nests). Will check to see if the vent
operates. it was controlled by the MX-60 aux to come on at around 53 VDC.
For a brighter energy future,
Geoff Greenfield
President
Third Sun Solar & Wind Power Ltd.
340 West State street, Unit 25
Athens, Ohio 45701
(740) 597-3111 fax: (740)597-1548
www.third-sun.com
Clean Energy - Expertly Installed
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Geoff Greenfield
2007-05-22 14:53:56 UTC
Permalink
Hello all wrenchies -

I VERY concerned customer called with what seems to be a failing battery
bank (tons of heat, bubbling way more than normal, and a recently
manifesting large difference between strings of water consumption). These
are T-105s retired from an electric vehicle, and I suspect an open or
shorted cell.

He is remote and has transferred AC loads and shut things down on the DC
side... and once he borrows a multimeter I will walk him through a
resistance check on the cells and suspect to find a bad battery. Along with
looking for anomalous individual battery voltage, at rest and during heavy
charging do any of you have any other quick tests to suggest? I already
asked if he had an infrared thermometer... and when I spoke with him "all
the batteries were too hot to touch".

So - the gist of my post is: he was alerted to this situation not by
collapsing voltage under load, but by his CO detector going off. What
chemically is happening there? These are flooded LA batts... is insulation
and plastic heating up and generating CO? Does the CO detector pick up
other stuff?

The batteries are in a roomy painted plywood box with plastic liner,
screened low vents and a 2" pvc power vented to the screened exterior (I
should have him check that for wasp nests). Will check to see if the vent
operates. it was controlled by the MX-60 aux to come on at around 53 VDC.


For a brighter energy future,

Geoff Greenfield
President
Third Sun Solar & Wind Power Ltd.
340 West State street, Unit 25
Athens, Ohio 45701
(740) 597-3111 fax: (740)597-1548
www.third-sun.com

Clean Energy - Expertly Installed


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Hosted by Home Power magazine

To send a message: RE-wrenches at topica.com

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Geoff Greenfield
2007-05-22 14:53:56 UTC
Permalink
Hope to see as many of you as possible at ASES in July -

We will have a booth there... stop by, say hi and hopefully we will all be
able to "network" over a beer...

and please buy at least 26 "Fahrfrumgridden" T-shirts as we try to recoup
our booth costs! ;-)... or bring cool T-shirts from your company to trade!

For a brighter energy future,

Geoff Greenfield
President
Third Sun Solar & Wind Power Ltd.
340 West State street, Unit 25
Athens, Ohio 45701
(740) 597-3111 fax: (740)597-1548
www.third-sun.com

Clean Energy - Expertly Installed


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James Surrette
2007-05-23 11:37:09 UTC
Permalink
Good morning,

Per the composition of the off-gassing;

Hydrogen and Oxygen are liberated but a minute amount of Sulfur was
probably present (rotten egg smell) as a result of the aggressive rate.
Not sure if Hydrogen will trip a CO detector.

Per the testing for a failed battery;

To get this heat (without a failed regulator), per cell voltage must
have risen as a result of a failed cell (or more than one), which drops
terminal voltage - therefore acts like you've raised the charge voltage.
Quick detection, put a load on the bank to eliminate surface voltage
and read the battery voltage at the terminals. You will see >6V on the
"healthy" batteries and <4V on the ones with failed cells. Also, failed
cells will not consume water but the other cells in the same battery
will.

Jamie

James Surrette

Surrette Battery Co. Ltd
1 Station Rd.
Springhill, NS, CAN
B0M 1X0
Geoff Greenfield <Geoff at Third-Sun.Com> 22/05/2007 11:53 am >>>
Hello all wrenchies -

I VERY concerned customer called with what seems to be a failing
battery
bank (tons of heat, bubbling way more than normal, and a recently
manifesting large difference between strings of water consumption).
These
are T-105s retired from an electric vehicle, and I suspect an open or
shorted cell.

He is remote and has transferred AC loads and shut things down on the
DC
side... and once he borrows a multimeter I will walk him through a
resistance check on the cells and suspect to find a bad battery. Along
with
looking for anomalous individual battery voltage, at rest and during
heavy
charging do any of you have any other quick tests to suggest? I
already
asked if he had an infrared thermometer... and when I spoke with him
"all
the batteries were too hot to touch".

So - the gist of my post is: he was alerted to this situation not by
collapsing voltage under load, but by his CO detector going off. What
chemically is happening there? These are flooded LA batts... is
insulation
and plastic heating up and generating CO? Does the CO detector pick
up
other stuff?

The batteries are in a roomy painted plywood box with plastic liner,
screened low vents and a 2" pvc power vented to the screened exterior
(I
should have him check that for wasp nests). Will check to see if the
vent
operates. it was controlled by the MX-60 aux to come on at around 53
VDC.


For a brighter energy future,

Geoff Greenfield
President
Third Sun Solar & Wind Power Ltd.
340 West State street, Unit 25
Athens, Ohio 45701
(740) 597-3111 fax: (740)597-1548
www.third-sun.com

Clean Energy - Expertly Installed


- - - -
Hosted by Home Power magazine

To send a message: RE-wrenches at topica.com

Archive of previous messages:
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www.mrsharkey.com/wrenches/etiquette.php

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Moderator: michael.welch at homepower.com





--
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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John Raynes
2007-05-23 15:19:07 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>

Geoff,

Don't assume that the CO detector was actually responding to CO.
Having worked in the electrochemical sensor business for a few years in
an earlier life, I became aware of the problem of designing a gas
sensor that is selective only to the target gas. With industrial
sensors, the response of the sensor to interference gases is usually
well specified, so that the potential end user can evaluate their site
for the potential presence of the interfering gases. Sensors that are
highly selective to only the target gas can often command a hefty
premium.

I'm not versed in the specifics of the residential mass produced CO
detectors, but I would almost expect that to get the cost down, those
sensors are susceptible to at least some interference gases, and that
they're still approved for home use due to the highly improbable
presence of those gases in non-industrial environments. And in any
event, the error is on the safe side, as you found out.

I have no way of knowing if CO can be present in highly reactive LA
cells, the battery experts will have to comment on that. I'm just
offering an explanation if it turns out that the batteries don't look
to be a source.


In my experiences with failing battery banks, spotting the failed cell
is usually quite obvious, when it gets to the point that things are
cooking away. The failed battery will likely read in the range of 5 to
5.5 volts while still connected to the bank, and all of the other
strings in that bank will read higher, as they are reacting to the
higher current flowing into the string to feed the shorted cell. Once
you disconnect the string with the failing cell, the bad battery
usually will immediately fall to 4 volts and some change.

John Raynes
RE Solar
Torrey, Utah




At 10:53 AM 5/22/2007 -0400, you wrote:

Hello all wrenchies -

I VERY concerned customer called with what seems to be a failing battery
bank (tons of heat, bubbling way more than normal, and a recently
manifesting large difference between strings of water consumption). These
are T-105s retired from an electric vehicle, and I suspect an open or
shorted cell.

He is remote and has transferred AC loads and shut things down on the DC
side... and once he borrows a multimeter I will walk him through a
resistance check on the cells and suspect to find a bad battery. Along with
looking for anomalous individual battery voltage, at rest and during heavy
charging do any of you have any other quick tests to suggest? I already
asked if he had an infrared thermometer... and when I spoke with him "all
the batteries were too hot to touch".

So - the gist of my post is: he was alerted to this situation not by
collapsing voltage under load, but by his CO detector going off. What
chemically is happening there? These are flooded LA batts... is insulation
and plastic heating up and generating CO? Does the CO detector pick up
other stuff?

The batteries are in a roomy painted plywood box with plastic liner,
screened low vents and a 2" pvc power vented to the screened exterior (I
should have him check that for wasp nests). Will check to see if the vent
operates. it was controlled by the MX-60 aux to come on at around 53 VDC.


For a brighter energy future,

Geoff Greenfield
President
Third Sun Solar & Wind Power Ltd.
340 West State street, Unit 25
Athens, Ohio 45701
(740) 597-3111 fax: (740)597-1548
www.third-sun.com

Clean Energy - Expertly Installed


- - - -
Hosted by Home Power magazine

To send a message: RE-wrenches at topica.com

Archive of previous messages: http://lists.topica.com/lists/RE-wrenches/read

List rules & how to change your email address: www.mrsharkey.com/wrenches/etiquette.php

Check out participant bios: www.mrsharkey.com/wrenches/

Moderator: michael.welch at homepower.com
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</x-flowed>
John Raynes
2007-05-23 15:19:07 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>

Geoff,

Don't assume that the CO detector was actually responding to CO.
Having worked in the electrochemical sensor business for a few years in
an earlier life, I became aware of the problem of designing a gas
sensor that is selective only to the target gas. With industrial
sensors, the response of the sensor to interference gases is usually
well specified, so that the potential end user can evaluate their site
for the potential presence of the interfering gases. Sensors that are
highly selective to only the target gas can often command a hefty
premium.

I'm not versed in the specifics of the residential mass produced CO
detectors, but I would almost expect that to get the cost down, those
sensors are susceptible to at least some interference gases, and that
they're still approved for home use due to the highly improbable
presence of those gases in non-industrial environments. And in any
event, the error is on the safe side, as you found out.

I have no way of knowing if CO can be present in highly reactive LA
cells, the battery experts will have to comment on that. I'm just
offering an explanation if it turns out that the batteries don't look
to be a source.


In my experiences with failing battery banks, spotting the failed cell
is usually quite obvious, when it gets to the point that things are
cooking away. The failed battery will likely read in the range of 5 to
5.5 volts while still connected to the bank, and all of the other
strings in that bank will read higher, as they are reacting to the
higher current flowing into the string to feed the shorted cell. Once
you disconnect the string with the failing cell, the bad battery
usually will immediately fall to 4 volts and some change.

John Raynes
RE Solar
Torrey, Utah




At 10:53 AM 5/22/2007 -0400, you wrote:

Hello all wrenchies -

I VERY concerned customer called with what seems to be a failing battery
bank (tons of heat, bubbling way more than normal, and a recently
manifesting large difference between strings of water consumption). These
are T-105s retired from an electric vehicle, and I suspect an open or
shorted cell.

He is remote and has transferred AC loads and shut things down on the DC
side... and once he borrows a multimeter I will walk him through a
resistance check on the cells and suspect to find a bad battery. Along with
looking for anomalous individual battery voltage, at rest and during heavy
charging do any of you have any other quick tests to suggest? I already
asked if he had an infrared thermometer... and when I spoke with him "all
the batteries were too hot to touch".

So - the gist of my post is: he was alerted to this situation not by
collapsing voltage under load, but by his CO detector going off. What
chemically is happening there? These are flooded LA batts... is insulation
and plastic heating up and generating CO? Does the CO detector pick up
other stuff?

The batteries are in a roomy painted plywood box with plastic liner,
screened low vents and a 2" pvc power vented to the screened exterior (I
should have him check that for wasp nests). Will check to see if the vent
operates. it was controlled by the MX-60 aux to come on at around 53 VDC.


For a brighter energy future,

Geoff Greenfield
President
Third Sun Solar & Wind Power Ltd.
340 West State street, Unit 25
Athens, Ohio 45701
(740) 597-3111 fax: (740)597-1548
www.third-sun.com

Clean Energy - Expertly Installed


- - - -
Hosted by Home Power magazine

To send a message: RE-wrenches at topica.com

Archive of previous messages: http://lists.topica.com/lists/RE-wrenches/read

List rules & how to change your email address: www.mrsharkey.com/wrenches/etiquette.php

Check out participant bios: www.mrsharkey.com/wrenches/

Moderator: michael.welch at homepower.com
--^----------------------------------------------------------------
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</x-flowed>
Darryl Thayer
2007-05-24 09:24:13 UTC
Permalink
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Bob Ellison
2007-05-24 11:13:42 UTC
Permalink
<x-flowed>
A few more things to look for;
The power vent has probably died, that wold allow the gas into the
room and probably set off the detector. He should be able to smell the
gas also.
If all the batteries are too hot to touch overcharging is suspect,
probably caused by several cells failing around the same time. It is
best described as a cascading failure. A cell fails and allows the
other cells to be overloaded and so on and on it goes.
An MX-60 failure is also possible and just over charging the batteries.
115 degrees F is wam, but liveable, 125 deg. is too hot. I have seen
industrial batteries that I work on at 145 deg. for the inner cells in
the pack. To high........
In short they are probably wore out and best to start looking for a replacement.

Hope this gets to the list.

Bob Ellison
Post by Geoff Greenfield
Hello all wrenchies -
I VERY concerned customer called with what seems to be a failing battery
bank (tons of heat, bubbling way more than normal, and a recently
manifesting large difference between strings of water consumption). These
are T-105s retired from an electric vehicle, and I suspect an open or
shorted cell.
He is remote and has transferred AC loads and shut things down on the DC
side... and once he borrows a multimeter I will walk him through a
resistance check on the cells and suspect to find a bad battery. Along with
looking for anomalous individual battery voltage, at rest and during heavy
charging do any of you have any other quick tests to suggest? I already
asked if he had an infrared thermometer... and when I spoke with him "all
the batteries were too hot to touch".
So - the gist of my post is: he was alerted to this situation not by
collapsing voltage under load, but by his CO detector going off. What
chemically is happening there? These are flooded LA batts... is insulation
and plastic heating up and generating CO? Does the CO detector pick up
other stuff?
The batteries are in a roomy painted plywood box with plastic liner,
screened low vents and a 2" pvc power vented to the screened exterior (I
should have him check that for wasp nests). Will check to see if the vent
operates. it was controlled by the MX-60 aux to come on at around 53 VDC.
For a brighter energy future,
Geoff Greenfield
President
Third Sun Solar & Wind Power Ltd.
340 West State street, Unit 25
Athens, Ohio 45701
(740) 597-3111 fax: (740)597-1548
www.third-sun.com
Clean Energy - Expertly Installed
- - - -
Hosted by Home Power magazine
To send a message: RE-wrenches at topica.com
Archive of previous messages: http://lists.topica.com/lists/RE-wrenches/read
List rules & how to change your email address: www.mrsharkey.com/wrenches/etiquette.php
Check out participant bios: www.mrsharkey.com/wrenches/
Moderator: michael.welch at homepower.com
</x-flowed>

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