Author Topic: Rotten Egg Smell with New Home Battery Bank  (Read 5641 times)

Offline Atea

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Rotten Egg Smell with New Home Battery Bank
« on: September 12, 2016, 01:02:19 PM »
After having recently purchasing Steve Harris' Battery Bank Video, and having nearly two days with no power during Hurricane Hermine, I decided to go ahead and build my battery bank!  But, I think I have a smelly problem.

I have a Schumacher SE-1555A Battery Charger (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006PAGJXQ/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1) that I plugged in for the first time yesterday.  I plugged it into a new home battery bank consisting of 6 brand new Duracell GC2 batteries.  I set the charger to 55 amps and set it to Auto.  It ran for several hours with the "Connected (Red)" light lit, as well as the "Charging (Yellow)" light lit.  It never did show the "Complete (Green)" light as being lit.  All I have hooked to the battery bank besides the charger is a "INNOVA 3721 Battery and Charging System Monitor (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EVWDU0/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1), and a "Whistler 800 Watt Power Inverter XP800i" (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HWL4N7Q/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1).  After a few hours I noticed a slight rotten egg smell.  Then a few hours later, it was MUCH stronger, so I shut off the charger.  I then saw the display on the Innova monitor change to show the charge as "FULL" (with the charger doing it's routine, the Innova monitor just showed charging), yet the SE-1555A never did show charge as "Complete", so I'm assuming that I seriously over-charged my batteries.  Anyone have any familiarity with this charger?  Does the AUTO function not work in my case?  Am i not able to use the AUTO mode to stay plugged in to my batteries and to keep them maintained at full capacity?  And the rotten egg smell...think my batteries have been damaged by what I'm assuming is overcharging?  Thanks so much guys!







Offline jerseyboy

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Re: Rotten Egg Smell with New Home Battery Bank
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2016, 03:23:07 PM »
Check your water levels. Also, what is your reported voltage on the monitor.  To over charge a battery, the system has to not see the required voltage to shut off.

Maybe the 55amp was too vigorous. You could be just boiling off the electrolyte.

Also I got a 125 AH 12V AGM battery from batteries plus for the cost of an 80AH lead acid battery because they could get rid of them because it was close to 80 lbs in weight.

Steven Harris loves those golf cart batteries but I never really knew why.

Jerseyboy

Offline Carl

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Re: Rotten Egg Smell with New Home Battery Bank
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2016, 05:09:22 PM »
The GC2 is a 6 volt battery at maybe 125 Amp hour and as a series parallel bank you should not charge above 20 to 25 amps for the entire bank as this is
beyond 10% capacity and will cause outgassing and stress the batteries. A bank this size should not be used beyond 300 watts for any length of time and
should not be charged at such a high rate for any but emergency reasons as the batteries are not designed to handle the stress. (My 450 amp hour bank only charges at 10 amps or LESS)
I personally will not charge a wet battery at even 10% of it's rated Amp Hour output and about 20 amps is more than I would charge such a bank as yours and you were more than DOUBLE that
figure, batteries are chemical storage of energy and can only work so fast in either direction. I prefer to charge and discharge at the 20 hour rate which makes your battery work less hard.
You asked,this is why you batteries stink...you are KILLING THEM.

AUTO is normally used ONE BATTERY AT A TIME as this charger is not as smart as people think.

Offline Atea

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Re: Rotten Egg Smell with New Home Battery Bank
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2016, 06:59:24 PM »
I really appreciate your input guys.  Wow, that sucks.  Yeah I'm brand new at this.  :-\   Think after a couple hours of too much current that they would be damaged?  While the batteries were charging the monitor fluctuated between 13.1 and 13.9 volts.  I'm planning on un-cabling all the batteries and checking all the cells.  I have the "E-Z Red SP101 Battery Hydrometer" (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JFHMRU/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000JFHMRU&linkCode=as2&tag=knowledgepubc-20) that Steven Harris had mentioned.  Would that be what I need to check the batteries?

The website listing for those batteries state that the 20 amp hour rate is 215 (http://www.samsclub.com/sams/duracell-golf-car-battery-group-size-gc2/prod3590228.ip). With a bank of 6 of those batteries, how many amps should I use to charge them and maintain them? 

Thanks again guys!  I really appreciate your input and insight.


Offline jerseyboy

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Re: Rotten Egg Smell with New Home Battery Bank
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2016, 09:12:59 PM »
The electrolyte in a wet cell is sulfuric acid and water. When you discharge a battery the lead metal is converted into an ion and loses two electrons. This is your electricity. When you charge a battery you deposit the now lead metal back onto the plates. If you discharge a battery too much, you destroy the surface to plate back onto and can even short out neighboring plates. Deep cycle batteries have thicker plates so you can discharge them more deeply than regular car batteries with thin plates. The more plates the more cold cranking amps so good for starting a car but bad for long life in a battery bank.

No sulfuric acid, no reaction. That smell is some of the sulfuric acid escaping so you have less than you did to begin with. Usually you only have to add water, but I don't know how much you changed the concentration inside.

See what the test kit says. It can burn so be careful and where rubber gloves.

Also, when things are in series the amperage is the same across all components. So if you want to carve at 20 amps, you change at 20 amps. If you have things in parallel, the current is divided between the components (equally if all parts are the same).  So if your have two is series to produce 12 volts and then two more in parallel, you can charge a little faster. I charge mine at 3 amps.

Check this out

http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/charging_the_lead_acid_battery

Jerseyboy
Jerseyboy

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Rotten Egg Smell with New Home Battery Bank
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2016, 12:57:56 AM »
I learned a lot by cooking a pair of GC2's with that very same Schumacher. 

Offline Carl

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Re: Rotten Egg Smell with New Home Battery Bank
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2016, 03:19:20 AM »
I would add only water to the cells with low fluid as they probably had lost little actual acid and while the charger is working properly ,I would recheck the settings
and adjust the current to a lower level as a single battery (or in your case two ,as they are in series) should charge at 5 amps or so,Im would not set the charger to operate beyond 15 amps for the 3 sets of two each batteries.If you have the ability,I would trade back in the overly large charger for a somewhat smaller unit ..but the charger you have will work well . Your system suffers currently from your lack of skill with batteries, I ruined a few as I learned also..But ,don't give up as you are off to a good start and likely did little or no actual damage to your batteries.

  I would make sure they are wired as 12 volts and reset the charger for lower current , but maybe someione with a similar large charger can give advise on that as my setup is solar or a small schumacher charger that is lower amperage. Link to charger I use ,though yours is probably fine:

 https://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-SC-1200A-CA-SpeedCharge-Automatic-Battery/dp/B000BQSIWK/ref=sr_1_sc_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1473758351&sr=8-4-spell&keywords=schmacher+charger

It is normal for many chargers to reach as high as 15.3 or so volts and a standard trickle charge should maintain a battery at about 13.2 to 13.4 volts so take it easy on your batteries,re check that tey are wired correctly( I suspect they are) and read a bit about batteries from the link JERSEYBOY provided as that site is as good as any to learn a bit about batteries.

The 'rotten egg smell' was mostly from the sulphuric acid as it boiled from over current or over charging,, a smaller charger ,Schumacher) might serve you better ,if the place you bought from allows trade in for your "defective" unit...
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 03:38:26 AM by Carl »

Offline Atea

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Re: Rotten Egg Smell with New Home Battery Bank
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2016, 02:16:28 PM »
Thanks so much for the explanation and information guys, definitely makes more sense now!  Carl, I think that charger you recommended would be great!  I will keep the big one on standby (I may have the need to jump my car one day), and will purchase the one that you use.   And Freelancer, for how long did you have your batteries charging?  Were they damaged? 

Thanks again!  You guys are great!

Offline Atea

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Re: Rotten Egg Smell with New Home Battery Bank
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2016, 02:47:04 PM »
Oh, and I will definitely be checking out each of the batteries individually before even hooking up the new charger...just to be sure.  Thanks again!

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Rotten Egg Smell with New Home Battery Bank
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2016, 07:05:39 PM »
And Freelancer, for how long did you have your batteries charging?  Were they damaged? 

Not very long, a couple hours to burn off an inch of water and instantly destroyed about 25% of the prior capacity.  Most of my saga is documented on these threads:

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=40661.0

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=42401.0

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=41614.msg481212#msg481212

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=54527.msg659256#msg659256


One of the benefits I get from this forum is documenting all the dumb things I do.  Keeps me honest and humble.  For example, look at my ass-backwards assumptions on my GC2 battery bank's capacity and appropriate rate of charge.  Like I said, I learned a lot, albeit expensively.  At least I didn't burn anything down. 


Offline Atea

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Re: Rotten Egg Smell with New Home Battery Bank
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2016, 06:10:27 PM »
Great info there FreeLancer!  Much appreciated!  Hoping to get to uncabling the batteries and checking them out this weekend.  Thank you much!