Batteries - Gell Cell Question

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 09, 2008 at 14:34
ThreadID: 53274 Views:2711 Replies:3 FollowUps:2
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While camped up the Murray over the Christmas break we had a minor incident with a gell cell and I seeking some input from the guru's on this site.

We use second hand gofer gell cells for our power. We have two x 34AH wired in parallel in their own box complete with solar controller and connectors for everything. We use these for the Waeco CF50, lighting and laptop. They are kept topped up by 80W solar.

For other odd power needs we have a couple of loose cells (34AH) that we lug to where needed and just charge up on the CTEK when we get home. One of these was the problem. It had been left connected to the 12V shower via 2 alligator clips and a ciggy socket. The wiring on the socked developed a dead short before the fuse (how?) and I noticed it when the bush princess asked me to check out a funny smell near the tent. It was the cell which was sitting in full sun bubbling acid from under the top cover. I pulled the leads off and doused it with water then sat it in a bucket for a few hours to cool off as it was too hot to touch. When first looked at it would not show a voltage on the meter, but the next morning it seemed fine and ran the shower pump like normal and is still showing 12.45 volts.

Questions. Have I killed it? Is it still safe to carry around? It was not a big investment - only $5 from a gofer shop but I interested to find out what damage I may have done to it.

(We were camped in the Barmah State Forrest which was a lovely spot and we saw the Murray Marathon paddle past one afternoon. The river was up over 1.5 metres from when we were there in September 07 and running strongly)

Thanks

Pete
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Reply By: Mike Harding - Wednesday, Jan 09, 2008 at 15:51

Wednesday, Jan 09, 2008 at 15:51
For $5 I'd ditch it.

Getting it that hot will have boiled off some acid, warped the plates and (my main concern) may have weakened the battery case which, in the fullness of time, may decide to leak acid.

If the shower to which you refer is a $25 "camping" type then they consume very little current, 0.15A or so, and the fact that a 34Ah battery ran that is no indicator of it's condition.

I use a 7Ah SLA for my shower and it lasts ages without needing a charge.

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: Pajman Pete (SA) - Wednesday, Jan 09, 2008 at 21:45

Wednesday, Jan 09, 2008 at 21:45
Thanks Mike,

I had a look around at work today and found a 7AH battery from a disabled security system - I might gove that a go for small portable power.

Cheers

Pete
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Reply By: Member -Dodger - Wednesday, Jan 09, 2008 at 17:25

Wednesday, Jan 09, 2008 at 17:25
We were there at the same time and it was Blooody hot, Caught 6 nice cod and a couple of Carp. Saw all the canoes, it was great entertainment watching them pass. And to answer your question turf the battery and get another el/cheapo $5 job.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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Follow Up By: Pajman Pete (SA) - Wednesday, Jan 09, 2008 at 21:40

Wednesday, Jan 09, 2008 at 21:40
I will turf it, i was just wondering what I had done to it.

It was hot! We gave up after three days, pulled stumps and went home. I was impressed with our solar keeping on top of the power usage. The two panels at a nominated 80W total kept the fridge cold and let use watch a DVD a night on the laptop.

Cheers

Pete
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Reply By: Gerhardp1 - Wednesday, Jan 09, 2008 at 20:27

Wednesday, Jan 09, 2008 at 20:27
You're joking, right ???
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