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Old 06-29-11, 06:04 AM   #11
Travis
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After doing the same thing, only then did I realize how much money I saved at a local battery shop that was clearing out floor space. I got 4 40AH 'matched' batteries for $1/AH. They became the backbone of my power pack, and I ended up with almost double the storage for 1/3 less cost than the single 90AH battery recommended for my panel.

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Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
How I found lower priced batteries for my mowers was to do a search for the amp hour of the battery that I was looking for, then look for one that was the same size, ended up finding some that cost almost half as much, they are about a year old and seem to be holding up fine, my room mate mowed the lawn last night and made some comment about how much she loves our electric mower.

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Old 06-29-11, 11:07 AM   #12
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I need a lawn-mowing room-mate!!

I talked to my alarm company technician friend last night and it sounds like I can have as many used 12v 7Ah batteries as I can take, probably gratis. He says they replace many each week. Some are actually worn out, but others are still good (e.g. replaced when one battery in a parallel string setup croaks before the others, but they replace the whole string).

I'm meeting him at their shop this afternoon, where he says they have a milk crate full.

Then I'll just need to set up a testing rig to figure out which ones still have life in them & measure their capacity.
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Old 06-29-11, 12:01 PM   #13
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Woo, good news.

Testing shoudl be pretty simple, charge em up, put them on an inverter and time how long it takes to discharge them at ~1C. A 75W bulb would do nicely.
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Old 06-29-11, 12:20 PM   #14
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That's the plan!

12v battery > DC-AC inverter > Kill-a-watt meter (to record time & watts used until inverter disconnected) > 110v load

= good battery condition data
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Old 06-29-11, 04:49 PM   #15
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Default Cast-off Electric Mower

Awesome...I hope to acquire an electric mower by similar means, and replacement batteries using tips from the other posters. Then I take one more step away from the prevailing petro-culture...
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Old 06-29-11, 05:01 PM   #16
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Update: batteries won't be free! Sadly, my guy found out that someone already comes and buys the used batteries from his company on a regular basis. Pays 200 bucks for about 3 milk crates full (about $2 per 7 Ah 12v brick, by my estimate).

I'd happily pay that amount, but I'm not sure if my guy has the authority to sell them to me.

Still investigating!
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Old 06-30-11, 05:41 PM   #17
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and that guy probably takes them to the local swapmeet and resells for more
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Old 06-30-11, 06:07 PM   #18
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Probably something like that. There aren't any swap meets around here that I know of, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's someone from out of town making the rounds of the alarm companies.

Anyway, I got one freebie used 12v/7Ah from my friend. Haven't tested it yet. One isn't really useful to me at all.

I asked him to ask his boss if he would sell me some (I'd take a dozen for sure) at the same price he gets from the other guy.
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Old 07-01-11, 02:31 PM   #19
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Default an embarrassment of lawnmowers

Mower #2 ....

OK, maybe I need to start another thread...

This morning, there was another electric mower at the curb - literally at the neighbouring house to the one that chucked out the battery mower last week.

This one's a small "corded" 110v AC machine, 7A rating.

The handle is pretty bent, and has been repaired (not very well) a few times. I knocked on the door to make sure they were actually throwing it out:

"Yup!"

"Does the motor work?"

"Yup -that handle is no good. Squashed it with the car."

So I rolled it over to my place, plugged it in and cut the grass with it . The handle definitely needs some patching/welding - it's work fatigued in several spots (not too far from breaking) and has been lightly patched up with tin & screws.

And 7A might be small enough that the inverter at the shack will be able to fire it up so I can cut the grass there with the solar power setup.

Gives me something to use while I'm sorting out the battery situation.
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Old 07-01-11, 03:09 PM   #20
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At 7 Amps, you'd need 1000W inverter minimum to supply the constant current, and since that supply would be continous you're going to need heavy cabling to handle it. Drawing that constant current from a smaller battery may exceed its chemistry.

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