Inverter Not Turning On, but supplying power


timepass

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A more specialised charger i kinda think could bring the battery back
Do we have any inputs on the availability of these kind of chargers which can be purchased and operated to charge the batteries at the standard 240V home voltage?

I mean, batteries are being used everywhere - bikes, cars, inverters/UPS. This problem of battery going dead (or being told so by the battery repairers/seller) is very frequent. All people using batteries in their automobiles and home are handicapped to these battery repairers, who often make a killing by replacing the battery with a new one at high cost, while the problem may simply be resolved by charging it properly.

If there is some standard home inverter battery charger out there which is safe to use at home and can be purchased online or from a proper company, half the problem may be solved.
 

adder

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I have a unique problem with the microtek inverter. Off-late when ever there is a voltage drop the power to the inverter gets disconnected and the inverter starts working through battery mode. I have to manually switch off the inverter switch. Once I do this the power supply to the inverter is restored. What might be the problem?
Did you check if the inverter is in UPS mode. If it fails to return to mains, then there is a problem with the inverter.



Can somebody shed some light here as in what to do to remedy the differential in levels here ?

One terminal is getting hotter and the adjacent cell as well.
I had this problem for years. I have no idea why it happens. Only thing left is to top them off.

As far as Vaseline, mine lasted 2 to 3 years before reapplying, I put 2 to 3mm thick layer. As the battery got older 7+ years, It lasts only 1 year tops.
 

blr_p

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I had this problem for years. I have no idea why it happens. Only thing left is to top them off.

As far as Vaseline, mine lasted 2 to 3 years before reapplying, I put 2 to 3mm thick layer. As the battery got older 7+ years, It lasts only 1 year tops.
Bangalore weather helps. But as the battery ages its works hotter and as we've seen the order in which cells deteriorate isn't fixed. Though there seems to be a definite pattern here. One terminal gets hotter than the other and that is where you will lose your petroleum jelly first.

If its Vaseline :)
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Do we have any inputs on the availability of these kind of chargers which can be purchased and operated to charge the batteries at the standard 240V home voltage?

I mean, batteries are being used everywhere - bikes, cars, inverters/UPS. This problem of battery going dead (or being told so by the battery repairers/seller) is very frequent. All people using batteries in their automobiles and home are handicapped to these battery repairers, who often make a killing by replacing the battery with a new one at high cost, while the problem may simply be resolved by charging it properly.

If there is some standard home inverter battery charger out there which is safe to use at home and can be purchased online or from a proper company, half the problem may be solved.
I now understand why the inverter would not touch the battery. It sensed the voltage was under and the only way to charge it would be to over charge it which will cause a lot of out gassing. It knows this because the inverter is a smart charger.

To recover or recondition a battery requires a dumb charger. Because its dumb it requires monitoring of electrolyte levels. And time. This is not like giving some one a jump start that recovers in a few seconds. He mentioned any where from 1..3 days up to a week and even longer (!) If it does not come back after a week its done for. If it comes back you move to the next stage which is cycling. Charging & discharging repeatedly until there is no more improvement in capacity.

Here is the process.


Note that his battery was not used for 4 years. Its AGM but still the voltage was 10V. Yours fell to 4 V in just 18 days. Is that recoverable at all ? not sure

He manged to get it back to 50% of its original capacity and its still working to this day. When you consider that video was made back in 2013

Follow up 1

Follow up 2

He concludes that he was unable to restore the battery. But there is a recent comment by him in the first video from 7 months back stating he got it back to 50%. So i suppose he must have stuck at it until it recovered some more. But you can see the amount of work involved for an uncertain result.

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  • 4) Lots of videos are available on YouTube showing a dead battery regaining life after adding baking soda or epsum salt (sendha namak). But it is a very dangerous practice. Additionally, even when it does increase the voltage of the dead battery, it lasts only 2-3 months and again gets dead.
The way the industry would do it empty out the acid and fill with distilled water. Then do the dumb charging. The idea is to get the sulphate on the plates to turn into sulphuric acid. Keep charging and then when it recovers and stops. Empty it out again and repeat the process until no more further improvements are possible. Then adding pure sulphuric acid of the right specific gravity. Way out of the scope for the home user.
 
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6pack

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@blr_p , I use that liqui moly jelly. I had made mistake of using vaseline on old tubular battery of exide. When the contacts heat up, the vaseline jelly turns into liquid and some of it runs down into the battery after some time even when there is a rubber seal on the contacts. I think the vaseline makes it through the rubber seal. Vaseline is not recommended by any one now. Most of the people who tell anyone to put vaseline probably lives in very cold weather where it does not melt off.


PS: one more question @6pack - for a week long vacation, is it better to completely disconnect the inverter cables connecting to the battery terminals? It will leave the battery completely isolated (i.e. connected to nothing), so there will be no chance of charge leakage. Or will the charge still diminish?
Read this link.

Do lead acid batteries discharge when not in use?
All batteries, regardless of their chemistry, will self-discharge. The rate of self-discharge for lead acid batteries depends on the storage or operating temperature. At a temperature of 80 degrees F. a lead acid battery will self-discharge at a rate of approximately 4% a week. A battery with a 125-amp hour rating would self-discharge at a rate of approximately five amps per week. Keeping this in mind if a 125 AH battery is stored for four months (16 weeks) winter without being charged, it will loose 80 amps of its 125-amp capacity. It will also have severe sulfation, which causes additional loss of capacity. Keep your batteries charged while not in use!
 

adder

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I tni
Bangalore weather helps. But as the battery ages its works hotter and as we've seen the order in which cells deteriorate isn't fixed. Though there seems to be a definite pattern here. One terminal gets hotter than the other and that is where you will lose your petroleum jelly first.
True, Also if the inverter is single battery system then the terminals will get hot. So mine was a 2 battery in series so lesser heat.
I also did use this, on car and 2 wheeler battery terminals, seems to doing a good job but expensive.
 

adder

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If it was not doing its job the terminals would have corroded away, one would immidiately notice the white or greenish powdery substance forming on the terminals or on the copper wire.
 

blr_p

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If it was not doing its job the terminals would have corroded away, one would immidiately notice the white or greenish powdery substance forming on the terminals or on the copper wire.
How long does the coat last ?
 

blr_p

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I had this problem for years. I have no idea why it happens. Only thing left is to top them off.
What i understand is if it happens then you are not being regular with watering. Once the plates become exposed they sulphate soon after. Now the problem will get worse as time goes on as the part that is exposed will result in a proportionate loss in battery capacity

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Observe..

I have been very regular in topping it up with distilled water every 3-4 weeks over the last 5 years of use.
If he was regular then this..

2 cells on the left were full, two in the middle were at 75%, while rest 2 at the right were at 50% water level.
..cannot happen. Right ?

Two cells 50% exposed means as much of the plate heavily sulphated and consequent loss of capacity.

The plates should never be exposed to air. If you find that happening then you have to be more regular with watering.

Therefore the 3-4 weeks schedule has to become every 1-2 weeks as the battery ages

The problem is how to tell ? if the inverter does not get much work battery water level will probably keep for a month. If it does see work then water levels will decrease sooner which means checking more often and this will be the case in the hot months.

The plates must never be exposed to air ever.


While a battery should only be filled after it is completely charged, you should check the water level before charging. Before charging, make sure there is just enough water to cover any exposed plates. After charging, add enough water to bring the level to the bottom of the vent, about ¾ below the top of the cell.
While a battery is charging, the density of the electrolyte solution will increase. If too much water was added before charging, the electrolyte levels will expand and cause the battery to overflow and damage the battery. Additionally, excessive watering of a battery can result in additional dilution of the electrolyte, resulting in reduced battery performance.
Too little is bad and too much leads to too little over time.

4. Allowing Electrolyte to Fall Below Tops of Plates. If the electrolyte is allowed to fall below the tops of the plates, so that the active materials are exposed to the air, the parts thus exposed will gradually become sulphated. The spongy lead of the negative plate, being in a very finely divided state, offers a very large surface to the oxygen of the air, and is rapidly oxidized, the chemical action causing the active material to become hot. The charging current, in passing through the parts of the plates not covered by the electrolyte also heats the active materials. The electrolyte which occasionally splashes over the exposed parts of the plates and which rises in the pores of the separators, is heated also, and since hot acid attacks the active materials readily, sulphation takes place quickly. The parts above the electrolyte, of course, cannot be charged and sulphate continues to form. Soon the whole exposed parts are sulphated

As the level of the electrolyte drops, the electrolyte becomes stronger, because it is only the water which evaporates, the acid remaining and becoming more and more concentrated. The remaining electrolyte and the parts of the plates covered by it become heated by the current, because there is a smaller plate area to carry the current, and because the resistance of the electrolyte increases as it grows more concentrated. Since hot acid attacks the active materials, sulphation also takes place in the parts of the plates still covered by the electrolyte.
As water levels drop, the plate becomes sulphated and there is less plate available to carry the current, leading to more water loss if not refilled in time which then leads to more water loss and sulphation and loss of the battery. A cascading failure in slow motion.


electrolyte height.JPG

Handy way to figure out the correct electrolyte height

In hot countries or states, the atmosphere may have such a high temperature that evaporation will be more rapid than in temperate climates, and this may necessitate more frequent addition of water.

If one cell requires a more frequent addition of water than the others, it is probable that the jar of that cell is cracked. Such a cell will also show a low specific gravity, since electrolyte leaks out and is replaced by water. A battery which has a leaky jar will also have a case which is rotted at the bottom and sides. A battery with a leaky jar must, of course, be removed from the car for repairs.

If one cell of a battery shows a specific gravity which is decidedly lower than that of the other cells in series with it, and if this difference gradually increases, the cell showing the lower gravity has internal trouble. This probably consists of a short circuit, and the battery should be opened for inspection. If the electrolyte in this cell falls faster than that of the other cells, a leaky jar is indicated. The various cells should have specific gravities within fifteen points of each other, such as 1.260 and 1.275.
Fat chance getting a warranty replacement in this case. Seller will say user was negligent.
 
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adder

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Actually even when it was new the battery cells had different levels of electrolyte left, typically the ones near the terminals dropped faster, I think it was the negative side.
The problem with frequent topping offs is those vent caps or fill hole caps don't last long. Exide is known to keep changing the thread pitch or diameter and its hard to find replacements.
 

blr_p

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Actually even when it was new the battery cells had different levels of electrolyte left, typically the ones near the terminals dropped faster, I think it was the negative side.
This is fine so you would equalise water levels after the first charge. And pay attention to the cells near the negative. Those would require more frequent topping.

The point is the amount used for topping should be less. I've seen videos were people are emptying loads of water into batteries. Those batteries are on their last legs and will fail soon if they have to use so much water.

The frequency of top ups cannot be fixed. It has to vary depending on the use case. Saying to do it every month or some fixed period won't work. The frequency will be different for every one depending on use case.

There is some baby sitting required here.

The problem with frequent topping offs is those vent caps or fill hole caps don't last long. Exide is known to keep changing the thread pitch or diameter and its hard to find replacements.
The problem with changing threads is its difficult to get 3rd party caps. And with the latest batteries these exide people removed the philips head screw caps at the back :(

More i think of it maintenance free batteries are just easier to deal with. No venting headaches or any of this babying around.

Replace every 4 years so the battery companies get their money either way :|
 
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adder

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The problem with changing threads is its difficult to get 3rd party caps. And with the latest batteries these exide people removed the philips head screw caps at the back :(

More i think of it maintenance free batteries are just easier to deal with. No venting headaches or any of this babying around.

Replace every 4 years so the battery companies get their money either way :|
Yes now its just one hole for level checking and filling, bummer.

I wish the maintenance free batteries will last that long. Even single digit deep cycles is enough to have a impact on battery life and their life more so depends on ambient temperature, works best for climate controlled rooms.