Battery Life

This forum is dedicated to Riding Scale Railroading with propulsion using other than steam (Hydraulics, diesel engines, gas engines, electric motors, hybrid etc.)

Moderators: Harold_V, WJH

Post Reply
User avatar
JohnHudak
Posts: 1055
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 2:18 pm
Location: Ohio

Battery Life

Post by JohnHudak » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:20 am

Hi All, I'm just wondering if there is a specific life on the 12V batteries we use in our electric locomotives?
In my case, I have two 12V batteries (#12180) powering a 24V 4QD system on my 3/4" F units..
I haven't put them on the charger in over 6-7 years, and when I did last night, they seemed to charge up just fine.. I'm using a Battery Tender 24V charging system if that matters..
Everything seems good in a short bench test run, and I'll put the charger back on tonight, but I'm concerned about any possible problem with them because of the length of non use?
Am I over thinking this, or should I be worried?
Thanks...
John

User avatar
Benjamin Maggi
Posts: 1214
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:38 pm
Location: Albany, NY

Re: Battery Life

Post by Benjamin Maggi » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:02 am

I think getting 6-7 years already is pretty good. I guess it depends on how much you use them. A battery tender is an excellent battery charger that is highly recommended on other threads here. I know some people who have gotten 10+ years out of their batteries, and others who might not get 5. I don't know if it matters, but I believe storing them inside over the winter in a warm place probably helps too.
"One cannot learn to swim without getting his feet wet." - Benjamin Maggi
- Building: 7.25" gauge "Sweet Pea" named "Catherine"

User avatar
JohnHudak
Posts: 1055
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 2:18 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Battery Life

Post by JohnHudak » Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:10 am

Thanks Ben, Thanks, I should have added that these have always been stored in a heated basement...

Mr Ron
Posts: 1813
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:36 pm
Location: Vancleave, Mississippi

Re: Battery Life

Post by Mr Ron » Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:49 pm

I have heard that you must not place batteries directly on a concrete floor, but to place them on wood supports.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

User avatar
JohnHudak
Posts: 1055
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 2:18 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Battery Life

Post by JohnHudak » Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:52 pm

Mr Ron wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:49 pm
I have heard that you must not place batteries directly on a concrete floor, but to place them on wood supports.
Ron, I’ve never heard that, but these were stored in the locomotive on a wood bench about 3 feet off the floor...
John

John Hasler
Posts: 1266
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:05 pm
Location: Elmwood, Wisconsin

Re: Battery Life

Post by John Hasler » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:47 pm

Mr Ron wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:49 pm
I have heard that you must not place batteries directly on a concrete floor, but to place them on wood supports.
Long ago lead-acid car batteries were built using three-hole hard rubber extrusions which were sealed at the bottom with pitch. This stuff could be slightly porous so that a bit of acid would ooze out through it. This acid would react with concrete, damaging it and providing an electrical path that could discharge the cells.

Earlier yet batteries were built in asphalt-coated wooden cases: you can bet that problem described above was worse with them.

User avatar
tornitore45
Posts: 1706
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 12:24 am
Location: USA Texas, Austin

Re: Battery Life

Post by tornitore45 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:41 am

Lead acid battery life is not just a matter of time is related to the warping of the plates that come with cycling, heating, cooling, surge drain, jolts and vibrations. All of the factor shake off bits of the plate or the PbOxide paste that accumulates on the bottom. Eventually the detritus mound up to short the plate or the plate warp short or break.
Sitting still kept charged by a battery tender is a easy life for a battery.
Mauro Gaetano
in Austin TX

Post Reply