Testing Old Forklift Batteries For Tiny House Solar Power

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Another snowy day but work at the off grid homestead must go on. While waiting for the new solar forklift battery to be delivered I decided to connect up the old forklift battery to the tiny house on wheels for now.

The old forklift battery, for those who are new here, is one I bought for less than scrap value to use as a backup for my tiny house solar power. I have a newer reconditioned forklift battery on the way which will be my main solar power bank.

But for now I wanted to try out the old batteries and see how well they will perform.

In the mean time the snow makes things a bit messy to work with so I did not get to take my camera with me.

I am getting more eggs from my chickens again. One of my tiny little bantam hens laid her first egg ever. It is so small next to the others.

I brought all the batteries over to the tiny house on wheels and put them on a pallet behind the back bumper of the trailer. Then I wired them all up to my tiny house solar power system. I fully disconnected the golf cart batteries from the tiny house.

The forklift batteries are the only batteries I have connected to the tiny house at this time.

The sun was shining a bit so I was pushing some power into the old forklift battery bank but it was not enough to charge them up fully.

I took my new hydrometer outside in the cold to test out the specific gravity of the forklift battery cells. I had to leave the gauge outside for a while to get adapted to the outside temperature first.

It was quite a reach to get to the acid level in each battery because these are very tall batteries. The hydrometer barely reached the acid level in the batteries but I was able to test them all. These old forklift batteries are all reading a low level of charge. The specific gravity on them was all quite low and reading in the middle of the red range on the gauge.

I am not surprised though because these are old and badly sulfated battery cells. They will take some work to get back up and working well for my off grid solar powered home.

In the afternoon, after the sun went down, I connected my little 800 watt harbor freight generator to a shop battery charger and put about 20 amps continuous power into the forklift battery bank. I ran the generator all evening while I worked in the tiny house on wheels. This gives the batteries some charge while I was using power inside at the same time. And this will prevent damage to the batteries by not draining them too badly.

Follow my daily progress on the path to self sufficiency on my off grid solar homestead.
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