Introduction: Uses for Dead Car Batteries and Sealed Lead Acid Batteries

Picture of Uses for Dead Car Batteries and Sealed Lead Acid Batteries

Many “dead” car batteries are actually perfectly good batteries. They just can no longer provide the hundreds of amps needed to start a car. Many “dead” sealed lead acid batteries are actually un-dead batteries that can no longer reliably provide a couple of hundred watts of power needed to keep a computer running in a power outage.

A couple of years ago I decided to add another small solar panel to the collection I have on my roof. I have a 5 and 10 watt. This new one is a 20 watt. It is dedicated to providing emergency power for lighting, a small fan and other misc. small low voltage devices. For this setup I needed a battery since it would need to be able to provide power 24 hours a day. I decided an un-dead car battery would be perfect since the largest load it would need to power for any extended period of time would be less than one half an amp. There is quite a difference between 200 – 600 amps and a half an amp.

The battery pictured was one I replaced when It would no longer start my car.

Step 1: Charging the Battery

Picture of Charging the Battery

I could have used a linear regulator to charge the battery with the solar panel.  The cost of a linear regulator is typically less than a dollar.  I decided to go with a charge controller instead because they more efficiently use the available power to charge the battery.  You get more run time at night when you use a charge controller. 

There are cheaper charge controllers but after reading about several of them I went with this one.  The 20 watt solar panel is currently (9-24-12) $52.99 plus shipping at

Step 2: The Test Fan

Picture of The Test Fan

I did some extensive testing to make sure I knew how well the system would work in an extended power outage.  I ran the fan for several weeks, 24 hours a day a couple of summers ago.  The system worked fine.  Since then I have been running LED lighting out on the patio 24 hours a day for about 2 years.

The fan pictured is a 10” 12 volt, 5 watt, 2 speed fan that was on clearance at Walmart.  They still sell them but it was the end of the season.  I have 3 or 4 of them.

The LED board has 16 leds.  The battery is not even hardly trying to power this tiny 1 watt load.


Step 3: Sealed Lead Acid Battery Powered Lamp

Picture of Sealed Lead Acid Battery Powered Lamp

Here is a nice little battery operated 12 volt clip on light I made from a 120 volt light.  The 12 volt led board has four 20 milliamp type LEDS in series with a 33 ohm resistor.  So this lamp draws 20 milliamps at 12.5 volts (1/4 watt).  On the back of the board is an RCA plug that plugs into an RCA jack inside the lamp.  If I want to go brighter or use different LEDS I can unplug this board and plug in a different board.

Step 4: Lamp and Charger

Picture of Lamp and Charger

I also made a desk lamp with a completely enclosed battery.

I decided to go green with these lamps and other low voltage devices I have made, so several years ago I bought a 5 watt solar panel. We do not use our chimney because we have birds (they are sensitive to smoke) so I put the solar panel up on the top of the chimney. Since the current is so low I used cat 5 cable to run from the panel to the garage. Since I only need to charge one of my other un-dead car batteries for about 4 or 5 hours about twice a month (as needed) I made a battery charging board with a linear regulator. It is a 15 volt regulator. The battery never gets up to 15 volts. I charge the battery when it gets down around 12 volts and I charge it back up to around 12.5 volts. I check both lamps every couple of weeks. They have a really long run time. A 7 amp hour battery is kind of overkill for a 20 milliamp load. It’s great. Both lights get used daily. One of them gets charged about every 6 weeks or so. Keeping the batteries above 11.5 volts makes them last longer.

The charging board also has a 12 volt regulator so I can run 12 volt devices off of the solar panel directly.

So there you have it. You can run whatever you want off of one of these un-dead car batteries. If you buy a 12 volt to 120 volt inverter you can power many 120 volt devices. Also you can run any device that has one of those plugs that pug into the car cigarette lighter jacks. You can be ready for some quick and easy camping at home in a power outage with the 5 watt set up for under $50.00 or take it up a notch with a 20 watt set up for a little over $100.00.

If you want to go really simple and cheap, may I suggest this for really simple emergency LED lighting:



Technical information on the Sunguard charge controller:


LEDS for Beginners:

It is a good idea to check your results after you make your circuit to be sure that you do not exceed 20 milliamps in the circuit. You do this by measuring the voltage across the current limiting resistor by the resistor value (ohms).


Data sheet for linear regulators:

Lots of companies make these.

Here is a link for a 12 volt linear regulator:

Cost: about 18 cents. You may need a heat sink to get the full 1.5 amps.


Cheap low power fans (added 11/3/2015)

Low wattage 12 volt fan:

0.12 watts, 50 cubic feet per minute, under $11. This would be for a regulated 12 volts since the data sheet says 17 volts max and some panels will exceed 18 volts.

Lots of other fans are available at

Cheap Duracell Batteries:

D cells for under $0.70 etc.

Step 5: See Also.... (More Energy Saving Ideas)

Picture of See Also....  (More Energy Saving Ideas)


jorgeneo560 (author)2012-09-27

i had a lot of batterys, what i use to charge it it's a normal transformer to 13.9 volt to charge them, i had aprox 5 batteries, i used to test hig power brushless motor or to cut foam with large hotwires of nicrom and use clamps to atacth or release batteries to give more or less temp, and a transformer its more cheap than any solar panel

luxstar (author)jorgeneo5602012-09-27

Cheaper Yes but:
1. Solar panels pay for themselves over time if used in an application that replaces or reduces the power you use from the grid.
2. In regard to emergency power, solar panels are green, quiet, and last decades.

shannonlove (author)luxstar2012-09-27

It takes a loooong time for Solar panels to pay off even for the terminal consumer.. The entire industry is subsidized all across the supply chain so the terminal consumer is paying only a portion of the entire cost.

Solar panels aren't particularly green. From the environments prospective, it only matters how much C02 as system produces over its operational lifetime. Solar panels rack up an enormous carbon debt in their manufacture, distribution, installation and maintenance. It takes years for them to pay off that carbon debt even if they work in isolation.

However, very few panels actually do work in isolation so you have to figure in the carbon emissions of the grid power that backs the panels up. Worse, just because you aren't drawing power from the grid, doesn't mean that grid operator doesn't have to keep generators spun up just in case you do. So, even though you aren't drawing down power, just the fact that you might cause significant C02 emissions.

People have an intuition that an electrical grid works like a water system and think, "Well, if collect rain water that means that I save water from the city supply." But electricity doesn't work that way. It's a giant circuit that has to constantly balanced between load and source. To buffer high variability in the load, the source must run at excess, usually with fast spin up natural gas generators. The solar panels are causing the generation of C02 and other pollutants constantly, not just when the panels are offline.

Neither would I plan on them lasting decades. One good thunderstorm with hail can wipe out solar panel systems across a wide area. Happened here a few years back.

By the time you factor in the cost and carbon debt of replacing destroyed installs with the initial carbon debt and the secondary/backup generator carbon debt, it is highly unlikely that solar panels ever save carbon emissions at all.

dpridge (author)shannonlove2012-09-27

The carbon footprint is a popular political theme these days. But its time will pass.

"Carbon dioxide accounts for only one in every 4000 molecules in the air; water vapor accounts for one in every 20. Carbon dioxide absorbs only a quarter as much energy from sunlight as water vapor, molecule for molecule; suggesting that water vapor is responsible for the majority of atmospheric heating."

Guess we have to stop using so much water. And seal off the oceans as well. A nice big oil slick should do the trick. I mean a really big one. Got to get rid of that water vapor.
And the naturally produced methane:
"Methane is 21 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2."

Here's a question for you: If the carbon in hydrocarbons came from all the dead animals which ate other animals or grass and other vegetation, then the carbon that's sequestered in the oil fields must have come from the plant world. Now, if the coal deposits around the world came from all the dead plant life over time, and knowing that only photosynthesis can capture the carbon from the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, where was all that carbon sequestered before it got into the atmosphere? And from the dinosaur evidence, there must have been huge amounts of vegetation available on a daily basis to support those huge animals. There must have been a lot more carbon in the atmosphere then than there is today to support that level of plant growth. The carbon that is now sequestered in the coal fields and the oil fields had to get there via the atmosphere. That must have overheated the planet and they all died off every year, year after year. Or it was lush and very green and everything grew at astonishing rates which is most likely the case, even faster that in the jungles of the tropics. They probably died off because they starved to death once the carbon levels dropped in the atmosphere to a point that it could no longer support the level of plant growth necessary. The oceans could absorb enormous amount of CO2 if we would seed it with iron in the right amounts, populate that area with fish, and feed the world. The atmosphere and the oceans are starved for CO2. And its presents in the atmosphere has little or nothing to do with the temperature aside from politics. Just thinking out loud. Don't mean to offend.

dallasgoldbug (author)dpridge2012-09-27

You are 100% correct my friend. I worked for Landmark Graphics (at the time a subsidiary of Halliburtion now is absorbed into the main corp) but it makes me laugh when I hear people use the term Fossel Fuels. hahahah See, I had to laugh just saying it. Any geologist (that knows their stuff, and is willing to spill the beans) will tell you that is a lie that was sold to the public in order to create the sense of scarcity. Its almost ludicrous that people think the dead plants and animals under pressure over time turn into oil. hahaha even if they did how did they get miles below the surface in large pockets. Its rather funny how those pockets keep on refilling too. But people will believe anything they see on TV. Just call it a documentary and you can tell them the titanic is at the bottom of the ocean. (oh wait that takes about 50 million to pay a hollywood director to create the scenes for you THEN you can tell everyone its really down there because you can show it on TV) right.

But yes you are correct about the Carbon BS scam.

beans4218 (author)dallasgoldbug2017-02-04

A fact I always enjoyed is this; all of the energy absorbed by a tree (by photosynthesis, & absorption of water and nutrients through its roots) as it grows will be returned when you burn it, or as it decomposes, BTU for BTU...

shannonlove (author)beans42182017-02-05

Hmmm, no, the Second Law of Thermodynamics dictates that energy (the capacity to perform work) always decreases. The energy return on burning wood is very low, somewhere in the 1%-5% range at most.

Don't confuse the closed system of chemical element with energy. They're two separate phenomena. Chemicals in plants are essentially batteries which are charged by photosynthesis and discharged by biochemical work inside the living plant or, in this context, burning. The chemical elements remain, merely combining into different forms, but the capacity for work, the energy, always decreases.

Good thing too, because if energy didn't decrease, it would build up in the biosphere, turning the entire surface of the planet into a giant bomb.

So how did the hydrocarbons get there? I am interested to hear an alternate explanation. Did God (or aliens) just leave this stuff behind for us to find over time? Or was it formed from the natural elements and compounds that formed the earth? Can you explain the chemical reaction that might take passive substances and convert them to something with stored energy value? That could be a real money maker if we can patent it Kind of like a perpetual motion machine. You have one those right? Me too!

static (author)dallasgoldbug2012-10-08

I'm probably feeding a troll,but... I'm not typing this to try to convince hopeless causes I used to work in production. Just like you can see the strata when a road cuts through rock cut away for a road, Geologists can "see" the strata as the bit makes it's way down through the layers that where laid atop what are now producing formations. Underneath my feet there are several producing formations on the way to the Arbuckle, not to mention brine, and freshwater aquifers. When a field is shut down because it's no longer profitable to produce it the formation does appear to refill. However that occurs after years of sitting idle, and the production is nowhere near what it was previously, and only profitable to produce when the price of oil is very high. The logical explanation is that the fluid migrated from other area of the formation to the fractured zones around the well bores. Only ignorance would depend on that refilling  to plan our future with.  My guess if you, carmstrong2, and northcalgreens are old enough you where in that choir chanting, " the dilution is the solution to pollution" That solution really worked out well for those who depend on the oceans for an unpoisened food source.

abvnatter (author)dallasgoldbug2012-09-28

I couldn't but think of FFVII when I first heard this. It's the lifeblood of the earth. :-)
For me, going green isn't about the environment, it's about green money. I like to live off the land as much as I can and hate paying someone for something I could do myself; I guess that's why I like instructables. Thanks all.

carmstrong2 (author)dpridge2012-09-28

You're dead-on! In fact, study of the geologic record clearly shows that CO2 in the atmosphere ONLY increases 200-400 years AFTER Earth has a global warming period!

Those who have world influence, and money to preach any LIE that will make them more $$$$ from a SOUP-headed public, can do so if they tell their LIES often enough to alter a few who then, like mindless transmission repeaters, go blabbering the LIES to the world as if they are facts!

I'm certain this world is at the point where humanity will destroy it, if allowed to!

Its the monied interests that own all the media outlets and use them to create an echo chamber of lies that once repeated enough times tends to become thought of as the truth.

MatH2 (author)shannonlove2016-08-22

Except that "co2" is green. It being plant food an all, more co2 = more green...

Those that use the term "Green" hearken back to the days before CO scrubbers were added to all the power plants. CO being the particle that will coat the surfaces of a green plant, causing it to die. So now they only emit plant food. Ask any greenhouse owner why the install expensive co2 generators...

shannonlove (author)MatH22017-02-05

CO is carbon monoxide, a gas just like CO2, carbon dioxide. CO is toxic to vertebrates because it permanently binds hemoglobin. It is harmless to plants. CO is not scrubbed. Instead it forms under low oxygen combustion, its formation is prevented by proper mix of air in the combustion chamber.

The major pollutants released from coal are actually unrelated to combustion and are instead trace elements occurring because coal is essentially a rock e.g. mercury, lead, sulfur, radon etc. These are actually valuable resources in themselves, particularly sulfur, and the attempt to trap them predates the environmental movement.

Sheetrock used in the walls of all houses today was once made of mined gypsum, but today is entirely artificial being made almost entirely from the solid and gaseous output of burning coal. Must of it imported from the coal fired industries in China.

carmstrong2 (author)shannonlove2012-09-28

What's up with the "carbon debt" nonsense? You buy the hoax about CO2 "greenhouse" gas silliness, based on altered "science" that's actually been proven many times over to come from political and commercial sources who will gain trillions of $$ for the world to BUY their LIES?

As for Solar Panel pollution, ever wonder about the pollution you cause by your own trash stream? I dare you to tell us how much trash you personally generate! When you show you do not throw things away that have reuse value - everything - then come and talk about pollution.

As for environment damage to Solar Panels, every hear about protection systems adequate for the task? Or, how to use other Solar Energy capture methods? Get away from the Al Gore idiots' think scam, and start living in reality!

luxstar (author)shannonlove2012-09-27

Hello Shannonlove,

That was quite reply.  When I have more time I would like to respond to several of the points but for now just these:

My response to Jorgeneo560 was “In regard to emergency power, solar panels are green, quiet, and last decades”  I still stand by that because I was referring to the use of a gas or diesel generator for emergency power.  Generators rack up an enormous carbon debt in their manufacture, distribution, installation and maintenance and then you burn through gas at a fast clip in an emergency. Solar panels are quite quiet and many have multi-decade warranties.  Check out UL-solar’s:

My oldest one is 13 years and it works fine.  I recently purchased a slightly used 80 watt panel for $100.00.  I bought it from a company that manufactures portable traffic signaling device.  They could not sell it as new or use it on a new piece of equipment.  So I rescued this panel from being a loss.  It will be used to run an attic fan in the summer and a small heater in the winter.  It is a small scale version of what I hope to have in the future.  So in this regard I get to be green or potentially green twice.  Also another 80 peak watts will be helpful in an emergency.  Hail and lighting are not so much of a problem in southern California. 

So I think this micro-solar thing is a great little hobby and fun in a geekish sort of way and I have been able to rescue a solar panel and a couple of car batteries in the process (green) and with my supercapacitor flashlights I have been not buying so many batteries (green):

I suppose on the green scale these hobbies beat out jet skiing by quite a bit.

Thanks for your response.  .


dallasgoldbug (author)luxstar2012-09-27

The small one panel ones they use at natural gas sites to run the monitoring equipment on the head (at least the ones around my friends land) are 140watt. I was shocked to see that. I didnt even know they made ones that efficient and that was 6 years ago. I haven't looked recently, but I would assume those little panels must of cost a small fortune. Might try and talk to some well workers and see if they have any damaged ones from hail, that they would sell. Even a damaged one is worth the repair if it puts out that kind of wattage.

smcintyre2 (author)luxstar2012-09-27

Yay for second hand stuff. :)

smcintyre2 (author)shannonlove2012-09-27

Every solar panel ever made is still working.. lower efficiency rate, but it never stops. Electricity can be stored in batteries, and it has to be *greener* than using generators full time, coal, etc.

I've heard stories about how solar is useless, but that was from a military guy that has been brainwashed a lot by the gov't.... Improvements have been made in the last 10 years... *shrug* I like solar.

OkayaP (author)2016-01-20

It is better to sell battery to authorized dealer rather than using for other purpose.

ddavis662 (author)2015-09-16

Very interesting idea/info! Could be perfect for my solar panels and wind generator.

At this moment I'm headed to the local dumpster where earlier I saw where someone had left a "dead" battery!

Ayie jo (author)2015-05-07

Hi everyone..I have tonnes of use car battery for Singapore!pls kindly pm or direct call me at 98942197 for best deal.tks

Batterybhai (author)2015-02-02

The information you are given here is useful. When your car or inverter battery dead than we replace it or get new battery with discount or less prices. With recycle method we use old battery in many works.

luxstar (author)2015-01-05

This instructable was the main source material for this article called "Lighting Up The Off Grid Third World". On the Before It's News web site. It is possible to provide usable lighting to several houses (perhaps as many as 16) using the 20 watt solar set up and highly efficient piranha LEDS:

Kevanf1 (author)2014-02-01

I have to dispute this comment made below, "However, very few panels actually do work in isolation so you have to figure in the carbon emissions of the grid power that backs the panels up." What rubbish! That grid power is going to be used anyway. If the PV solar panels are not in place then even more grid power is used. So, the use of solar panels is indeed helping to lower the carbon footprint. I believe that the comment has been made by a solar PV naysayer. Back to the Instructable though, brilliant. Well done. More people should be looking at what can be done with discarded vehicle and back up power batteries, after all, we have the joule thief circuits for getting that last little bit of power out of small domestic power cells :)

luxstar (author)Kevanf12014-02-12

Thanks Kevinf1,

We agree. Besides, these two off grid micro solar setups have nothing to do with the grid except the fact that I will have a little useable power if the grid is not supplying me with power (and I have some LED lighting on my patio 24/7). Even if carbon emissions or any of the other fallacious arguments had merit it would apply to this the same way it would apply to any non essential. What amount of carbon emissions are caused to make or own an average flat panel TV? What is the energy return on investment (zero)? At least a solar panel has an energy return on investment. One of my solar panels was used to run small exhaust fans in my attic for 10 years (summer). In the future I plan to heat water with a 12 volt RV heating element to offset the use of gas to heat my house (winter). But the bottom line is that I want micro solar back up power and the minuscule investment has a smaller carbon footprint before the panels ever saw the light of day at my house than a trip for the family to Disneyland (local to me) and Disneyland has no energy return on investment.

dtommyd (author)2013-04-06

Agreed on the 12v car battery being better than nothing. An old 12v is still better than a bunch of AA batteries. Not sure why you would want to wire the lights directly to the panel? That's what batteries are for. Not to mention your also bypassing the ability to have the controller turn off when it gets too low.
And please add an inline fuse.

luxstar (author)dtommyd2013-09-08


If you look closely at the first picture you will see an alligator clip on the positive terminal that is connected to a small in line fuse. This connects to the Led lighting board (not connected to the panel).


bluebeast (author)2013-01-21
I found this PDF about using EDTA on a sulfated battery that you might find interesting . I haven't yet tried it out . I have some batteries but no money for the chemical . I hope you find it useful :23 Home Power #20 • December 1990 / January 1991
New Life for Sulphated Lead-Acid Cells?
Richard Perez
©1990 by Richard Perez
ver the years I have tried many chemical treatments supposed to rid a cell of sulphation. None of
them made any perceptible difference. A strange and devious set of circumstances has led us to
the successful chemical removal of sulphation from six lead acid cells. Not only are the
circumstances odd, but the chemical used, EDTA, is benign– in fact, it is used as a human food
The Patients
The sulphated Trojan L-16W lead-acid batteries numbered four and
were the victims of a messy divorce. The pack was less than two
years old when its owners had a parting of the ways. The husband
took off for parts unknown. The wife left the house vowing never to
return. And she left ALL the lights on when she departed. This
system was sourced only by an engine/generator, with no PVs to
help out. After several days the batteries were totally discharged.
The batteries then sat discharged, with the lights switched on, for
the next three months.
The ailing pack was transported to Electron Connection for disposal
as part of the whole divorce rigamarole. Upon inspecting the cells
through the filler holes, we say vast amounts of white moss covering
all the plate assemblies. Or at least we assumed there were plates
in there somewhere because all we could see was an even blanket
of moldy looking lead sulfate. Seven of the twelve cells were very
low in water. Our job was to assess what these batteries were
worth. In order to do this we attempted to recharge them and see
how they held the charge. Open circuit voltage of the cells
averaged 0.7 Volts.
We placed the batteries on a four panel Kyocera J48 PV array (»12
Amps) and the voltage immediately shot to 15 Volts where the
regulator cut in. The amount of current accepted by the four
L-16Ws was 0.4 Amps. We left the L-16Ws on the array for five
days, but they never did accept a charge. We then tried discharging
the batteries. They (all four 125 pound batteries) ran a 28 Watt car
tail light for about three minutes. This gave us an electrical capacity
of about 0.05 Ampere-hours per cell that originally had a capacity of
350 Ampere-hours. A classic case of sulphation ruining virtually
new, high quality batteries. We pronounced the cells toxic waste
and told the principals involved that the batteries were worthless. In
fact, worse than worthless because someone had to responsibly
dispose of them. The original owners promptly disappeared and left
us holding the batteries. They sat, forlorn and unloved, in the
battery area, side by side with new cells destined for caring homes.
In another reality…
My friend, George Patterson, a battery techie second to none, ran
into an article in an obscure British antique motorcar publication that
described using a chemical called EDTA to remove sulphation from
old lead-acid batteries. I related to him the story of the orphaned
L-16Ws and, to make a very long story short, we decided to give it a
try on these virtually new, but severely sulphated batteries.
EDTA, what is it?
It is an organic acid, a chemical cousin of vinegar. EDTA stands for
the entire name of the compound which is, "ETHYLENEDIAMINE
TETRAACETIC" Acid. EDTA is used for many chemical jobs, but
perhaps the most amazing is as a food preservative. I noticed it on
the list of ingredients of a can of Slice® orange pop I drank. In
chemical techie terms, EDTA is a "chelating agent". That means it
likes to bond to metallic ions (like lead sulfate). While EDTA is not
the sort of stuff you want to eat by the teaspoon (the label carries
warnings about getting it in the eyes or nose), it is a relatively
innocuous chemical with which to attack the sulphated nastiness of
those L-16Ws. I admit to being skeptical. I thought we were
wasting our time. How could something contained in orange pop
help these severely sick cells?
The Operation
George Patterson located and purchased 500 grams of EDTA from
a local chem lab that specializes in the chemical testing of wine.
The cost was low, under $15 for the EDTA and another ten bucks
for rush shipping. George then did an essential duty in this entire
process. He came up to HP Central in Hornbrook and got me off
my butt to actually perform this experiment. George could have
shipped me the EDTA, but he knew my faith in this project was so
low that I'd get it done some time next century.
We decided to operate on two of the L-16Ws and leave the other
two untreated as controls for the experiment. We had only sketchy
information from the British motorcar pub. It described a teaspoon
in every cell (hold the milk and sugar) and let sit for several hours.
It neglected to mention the size of the cell, but George and I
assumed that an antique motorcar would have a fairly small batteryabout
70 Amp-hrs. So we upscaled the amount of EDTA to 2
Tablespoons to match the larger (350 Ampere-hour) L-16W cells.
What follows is a step by step description of what we did:
PLEASE NOTE: These operations involve handling sulfuric acid
electrolyte. We used acid resistant Norex lab coats, rubber boots,
rubber gloves, and safety glasses. If you try these operations
without this safety gear, then you are risking injury. Play it safe.
1 We drained the old electrolyte from all six of the cells. Now this
reads easier than it does. An L-16W battery weighs 125 pounds
and contains 9 quarts of sulfuric acid in its three cells. Be careful
not to drop the battery or spill the acid electrolyte. Reserve the old
electrolyte in secure containers and dispose of it properly through
your local battery shop.
2 We rinsed all the cells with water and drained them.
3 We added 2 Tablespoons of EDTA to each cell and refilled each
cell with hot (»120°F.) tap water.
4 We left the cells to merrily bubble (the EDTA/lead sulfate reaction
is exothermic- it gives off heat) for about two hours.
5 We then drained the cells and repeated steps 2, 3, and 4 once
again. We could see the sulphation disappearing, but one
treatment had not got it all. Actually, two treatments didn't either
because there was still some sulphation there after the second go
24 Home Power #20 • December 1990 / January 1991
6 We rinsed each cell with distilled water and drained it.
7 We refilled each cell with new (sulphuric acid in solution with
distilled water- specific gravity 1.260) lead-acid electrolyte.
The Operation was a success?
After spending all day lifting and draining L-16Ws, George and I
were sore and ready for a few beers. This technique is not
recommended to the frail. If I were to do it again, I would build a
cradle to hold and invert these heavy batteries. Doing it by hand is
tiresome, risky, and invites injury.
Neither of us was convinced that we had accomplished much
beside some heavy sweating dressed in kinky moon suits. We left
the L-16Ws, disconnected and unused, in the basement battery
area. Every time I passed by, I would wire the pack of two
rejuvenated batteries into the PV array for some quickie recharging.
I had no time to run any sustained recharging or testing at that point
because we had another issue of Home Power going to press.
It was not until six weeks later that Scott Hening, our summer intern,
hooked up the EDTA treated L-16Ws into a working system. This
system is sourced by two ancient, anemic SolaVolt PV modules.
The system is simple: the PVs and the two L-16Ws. This system
provides power for lighting in Bob-O's spare trailer which houses
dignitaries and heads of state visiting HP Central. Here the EDTA
treated batteries received about 3 to 4 amps as long as the sun was
shining. Since this system is seldom used, the batteries received a
constant daily overcharge for about eight weeks. Bob-O kept on top
of the cells' water levels and refilled them as needed with distilled
Since the trailer was seldom used, and no one staying there
complained of dead batteries, we just left the L-16Ws alone. Since
the system had no instrumentation, it was hard to tell how much
improvement the EDTA treatment did.
Enter a pressing need
Then all of a sudden (in the space of six days) one of the L-16Ws in
the main Home Power system (4@ L-16W) at Agate Flat develop
a shorted cell. As distressing as it was to lose an eleven year o
L-16W battery, it was fascinating to watch and record the death
one of its cells. The shorted cell dramatically unbalanced t
remaining three L-16Ws in the pack. I had to do something quick.
disconnected the series string of two L-16Ws with the bad ce
Putting a new L-16W in this eleven year old pack was out of t
question. I started thinking used battery and imagined the EDT
treated L-16Ws. Next day, I removed one of the EDTA treate
L-16Ws from Bob-O's trailer and inserted it the main Home Pow
battery. I had trouble choosing the best of the two EDTA treate
batteries. I went for the one that had the least voltage variatio
between cells.
EDTA treated L-16W performance
I had no idea what to expect. The last time I tested the sulphate
L-16W it wasn't able to power up a car tail light. I inserted it into t
main pack as follows in the illustration below. I gave each cell
number and recorded data on the performance of the battery on
cell by cell basis. The L-16W battery containing cells 1, 2, and 3
the EDTA treated battery. The remaining L-16Ws (cells 4 throug
12) are the original, untreated, eleven year old batteries.
What happened?
I'll cut to the chase here. The L-16W treated with EDTA h
regained enough of its electrical capacity to function as an equ
element with the battery. It works! What follows below is data fro
all cells making up this battery under a variety of condition
Detailed in the tables on page 25 are a variety of data, here's
score card to help tell the players:
Battery Data
1. the date. 2. the battery Ampere-hour Meter reading whi
indicates the pack's State of Charge (minus indicates dischar
amp-hrs.). 3. the discharge or charge rate in Amperes (min
indicates discharge).
Individual Cell Data
4. the voltage of each cell. 5. the absolute cell voltage deviatio
from the average cell voltage. 6. the average battery (that's thr
Cell 12 Cell 11 Cell 10
Cell 6 Cell 5 Cell 4
Cell 9 Cell 8 Cell 7
Cell 3 Cell 2 Cell 1
12 VDC
700 Amp-hrs.
Cells 1 through 3
are the EDTA
treated cells.
Cells 4 through 12
are 11 year old
untreated cells.
25 Home Power #20 • December 1990 / January 1991
Date: 10/21/90 Date: 11/2/90
Amp-hrs. -61 Amp-hrs. -53
Amperes -6.4 Amperes -8.4
Absolute Average Absolute Average
Cell Cell Cell V. Battery V. Cell Cell Cell V. Battery V.
# Voltage Deviation Deviation # Voltage Deviation Deviation
1 2.051 0.00058 0.00586 1 2.056 0.00083 0.00594
2 2.048 0.00358 2 2.054 0.00117
3 2.065 0.01342 3 2.071 0.01583
4 2.051 0.00058 0.00325 4 2.052 0.00317 0.00583
5 2.051 0.00058 5 2.053 0.00217
6 2.043 0.00858 6 2.043 0.01217
7 2.051 0.00058 0.00125 7 2.054 0.00117 0.00117
8 2.050 0.00158 8 2.054 0.00117
9 2.050 0.00158 9 2.054 0.00117
10 2.058 0.00642 0.00714 10 2.062 0.00683 0.00728
11 2.058 0.00642 11 2.062 0.00683
12 2.043 0.00858 12 2.047 0.00817
Average Cell Voltage 2.052 Average Cell Voltage 2.055
Cell Voltage Standard Deviation 0.006244 Cell Voltage Standard Deviation 0.007259
Max. Cell Voltage Difference 0.022 Max. Cell Voltage Difference 0.028
Date: 11/7/90 Date: 11/19/90
Amp-hrs. -29 Amp-hrs. -214
Amperes -2.5 Amperes -2.1
Absolute Average Absolute Average
Cell Cell Cell V. Battery V. Cell Cell Cell V. Battery V.
# Voltage Deviation Deviation # Voltage Deviation Deviation
1 2.114 0.00508 0.00903 1 2.083 0.00075 0.00758
2 2.110 0.00908 2 2.078 0.00425
3 2.132 0.01292 3 2.100 0.01775
4 2.120 0.00092 0.00164 4 2.082 0.00025 0.00258
5 2.121 0.00192 5 2.082 0.00025
6 2.117 0.00208 6 2.075 0.00725
7 2.117 0.00208 0.00142 7 2.092 0.00975 0.00575
8 2.118 0.00108 8 2.077 0.00525
9 2.118 0.00108 9 2.080 0.00225
10 2.125 0.00592 0.00697 10 2.087 0.00475 0.00658
11 2.126 0.00692 11 2.083 0.00075
12 2.111 0.00808 12 2.068 0.01425
Average Cell Voltage 2.119 Average Cell Voltage 2.082
Cell Voltage Standard Deviation 0.006317 Cell Voltage Standard Deviation 0.008203
Max. Cell Voltage Difference 0.022 Max. Cell Voltage Difference 0.032
cells in a case) voltage
deviation. Note EDTA
treated cells' data (Cells #1,
#2, & #3) are printed in bold
Derived Cell Data
7. average cell voltage. 8.
cell voltage standard
deviation (computed via
standard statistical
method). 9. maximum cell
voltage difference.
What the data means
What we are looking for are
differences in voltage
between cells. Which is
why the average cell
voltage and deviations from
average cell voltage are
computed. A maximum cell
voltage difference greater
than 0.05 VDC, under light
discharge (the cells are unbalanced.
This measured by
subtracting the voltage of
the highest cell from the
voltage of the lowest cell.
Note that on all four test
discharge runs (10/21/90,
11/2/90, 11/7/90, and
11/19/90) all the cells
making up the pack show
about the same voltage. In
fact, some of the EDTA
treated cells are showing
higher voltages than some
of the non-treated cells.
Bottom line is that the
EDTA treated cells are
functioning in as a series
parallel element in a battery
pack. Before treatment
these very same cells
couldn't store enough
power to operate a small
light blub for five minutes.
To date I have discharged
the test battery to the depth
of 214 Ampere-hours
(indicated by the Cruising
Equip. Amp-hr. meter) from the test battery. The EDTA treated cells
are continuing to function within the pack with less than 0.02 VDC
difference from untreated cells.
An alternative to the dump and refill method
The British motorcar publication recommended just adding the
EDTA to the cells and that's all. We went into the dump and rinse
madness on our own. Now, EDTA is supposed to work by just
adding the compound to the cell. No draining, no rising and no
electrolyte replacement. We are trying this technique with the
remaining two sulphated L-16Ws and will publish the data when we
get it.
How you can help…
This experiment seems to have worked. We would appreciate
verification from anyone else who tries it. After all, if you are sitting
on top of a heavily sulphated lead-acid pack, what do you have to
lose? EDTA is cheap and it may restore lost electrical capacity to
sulphated lead-acid cells. We would appreciate any feedback from
those trying our dump and flush technique or those simply adding
EDTA to the cells and just leaving it there. As a very general rule of
26 Home Power #20 • December 1990 / January 1991
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 1
10/21/90 11/2/90 11/7/90 11/19/90
Cell Number - EDTA treated cells are #1,#2, & #3.
thumb, use 1 to 2 teaspoons of Lead-Acid Cell Voltage Comparison on EDTA Treated Cells
EDTA per 100 Ampere-hours of
lead-acid cell rated capacity.
EDTA can be ordered from any
chemical supplier or from any
aggressive drug store.
EDTA seems to work. I say again
SEEMS to work. This experiment
was far from scientific because it
lacks enough cells to get a large
statistical sample. Use of EDTA
may extend the useful life of
sulphated lead-acid cells by
chemically stripping the sulphation
from the plates' surfaces.
Really, the bottom line here is that
I am sitting in front of this Mac,
writing this article with electricity
stored in lead-acid cells that
before EDTA treatment were toxic
junk. Color me amazed. And as a
sidelight, the long and involved set
of circumstances that led us to try this experiment is as amazing as
the fact that it worked. Serendipity is an ingredient in this process.
Richard Perez, C/O Home Power, POB 130, Hornbrook, CA 96044 •
Pacific West Supply Co.
16643 SW Roosevelt
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
(503) 835-1212 • FAX (503) 835-8901
Supply Co.
+ _
A Resource Holdings Ltd. Co.
3 100% Cycling Acceptable
3 No Sulfation or Memory
3 Low Maintenance
3 High Quality, Long Life
3 30+ Ampere-hour sizes
3 New or Reconditioned
3 Call for availability & sizes
3 Electric Vehicle Batteries
"Batteries from the Past for Your Future!"
Things that Work!
tested by Home Power
George Patterson, 3674 Greenhill Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404.
Makers of the EDTA we used: Sigma Chemical Co., POB 14508, S
Louis, MO 63178 • 314-771-5750. Their stock number for EDT
is 48F-0104.
Suppliers of the EDTA we used: Vinquiry, 16003 Healdsburg Ave
Healdsburg, CA 95488 • 707-433-8869.
36 Home Power #21 February / March 1991
Some Non-Numeric Observations
I'll get to numbers in a moment, but first want to share a fe
qualitative observations.
First: The battery pack feels perkier. Its voltage rises faster in t
mornings. It doesn't go so low at night, as I sit draining it with m
big evening load: computer, printer, large computer screen, co
television, and fluorescent light (20 amps all told).
Second: the cells in two of my batteries had an especia
noticeable reaction when the EDTA solution was added on Janua
7th. There was immediate bubbling, and within an hour a larg
amount of white material coated the tops of the plates. It looked li
a small snowstorm had occurred in those cells. Two weeks late
the material is still there, although there is less of it. This wh
material, which I assume is a product of the EDTA reaction, al
formed in the other battery cells, but to a much lesser degree. I a
keeping a careful eye on these two batteries; so far there is
major voltage degradation.
Third: there are white deposits on the tops of each cell around t
HydroCaps. I assume this is also the EDTA chelate. It is greate
on the two cells noted in the previous paragraph.
Why Cell Voltage Data
In a healthy battery pack, the voltages of the individual cells a
equal. In a sick pack, the cell voltages vary. Since I currently la
the instrumentation required to take direct battery pa
performance data -- the ratio of watts in to watts out -- I rely on c
voltage data as a health indicator.
I've taken cell voltage data on four occasions: just before EDT
treatment 1, just before EDTA treatment 2, two days after EDT
treatment 2, and twelve days after EDTA treatment 2. We'
printed the first, second, and fourth data samples.
About the Data
I have eight batteries. Each data sample shows the measure
voltage of each of the three cells in each battery.
Beneath each battery's voltage I derive seven statistical measure
These help analyze the raw cell voltage data.
First is the difference between a cell's voltage and the avera
voltage of all cells in the pack. This is given as a positive numb
for each cell in the battery. We want this to be as small as possibl
Second is the average of these cell::pack deviations for the thre
cells in the battery. We add up the three cell deviations and divid
by three. We want this to be as small as possible.
Third is the difference between a cell's voltage and the avera
voltage of all cells in the battery. This is given as a positive numb
for each cell in the battery. We want this to be as small as possibl
Fourth is the average of these cell::battery deviations for the thre
cells in the battery. We add up the three cell deviations and divid
by three. We want this to be as small as possible.
Fifth is the average voltage of all cells in the battery.
Sixth is the standard deviation of cell voltages. This is figured
applying the standard deviation formula you'll find in any statistic
Preliminary Notes From the EDTA Trenches by Stan Krute
I was quite excited by the articles in HP #20 on using EDTA to
rejuvenate lead-acid batteries. I've done some experimenting of my
own the past few weeks, and want to share the early results.
About My Battery Pack
I have eight Trojan L-16 batteries in my pack. Each battery
consists of three cells. Each cell has a voltage a bit over 2 volts.
The cells are connected in series, so each battery has a voltage a
bit over 6 volts. A pair of batteries is then connected in series, to
produce a voltage a bit over 12 volts. The four battery pairs are
then connected in parallel, which keeps the voltage at 12 volts
while upping the amperage.
My battery pack has been in use for 6.5 years. Much of that time
has been rough. During the first 5 years, I was working away from
home for extended periods. I didn't have solar panels. I didn't have
Hydro-Caps. Though I'd leave the batteries well-charged, they'd
slowly discharge and get low on electrolyte while I was gone.
For the past 1.5 years, things have been better. I've been home,
have a roof full of solar panels, and have Hydro-Caps installed. I'm
able to make sure the voltage and electrolyte levels stay healthy.
Lead-acid batteries are unforgiving, however. Those first 5 years
did some damage. Though I don't have fancy instrumentation, I
could tell that the pack had lost its snap. It discharged too quickly,
and woke up too slowly in the morning as the sun and panels
started pouring energy in. The voltage variance between cells was
A Modified Plan of Action
Then came the EDTA article. I was excited. I decided to act.
Richard Perez mentioned that the technique he and George
Patterson used was not only radical, but difficult. They had flushed
and drained their experimental batteries several times. These L-
16s are big, heavy batteries. So he suggested a treatment
modification: just add the EDTA to the batteries. No repeated flush
and drain. I asked what would happen to the crap the EDTA would
form when it combined with the trouble-making lead sulfate it was
removing. Richard said that this chelate should settle to the
bottom of the battery cases, and there was plenty of room for it
there, since the battery plates only come within an inch or two of
the case bottoms.
Rounds One and Two
I purchased 1 kilogram of EDTA, which by the way stands for
ethylenediamine-tetraacetic acid. The kind I purchased is a
Tetrasodium Salt: Hydrate manufactured by the Sigma Chemical
Company of St. Louis, Missouri. Its chemical formula is
C10H12N2O8Na4. On December 20th I added 24 tablespoons of the
chemical to 36 ounces of warm distilled water. I shook it up, then
set it next to the wood stove. After 10 minutes the solution was
clear and fully dissolved. I added 1.5 ounces of the solution to each
of my batteries' cells. Thus, each cell received 1 tablespoon of the
chemical in solution.
Two and a half weeks later, on January 7th, I repeated the
procedure, adding another 1 tablespoon of the chemical in solution
to each cell.
37 Home Power #21 February / March 1991
Data Sample #1
date: 12/20/90 system voltage: 12.58 volts
time: 11 am system amperage: 9 amps
system temperature: 25° Fahrenheit
notes: Data taken before adding 1 Tablespoon EDTA per cell. Each Tablespoon of EDTA
was dissolved in 2 ounces of distilled water.
battery 1 battery 2 battery 3 battery 4
back row cell 1 cell 2 cell 3 cell 1 cell 2 cell 3 cell 1 cell 2 cell 3 cell 1 cell 2 cell 3
of pack 2.04 2.05 2.04 2.07 2.05 2.07 2.07 2.06 2.07 2.06 2.07 2.07
Absolute Cell Deviation From Pack 0.028 0.018 0.028 0.002 0.018 0.002 0.002 0.007 0.002 0.007 0.002 0.002
Average Absolute Cell Deviation From Pack 0.024 0.008 0.004 0.004
Absolute Cell Deviation From Battery 0.003 0.007 0.003 0.007 0.013 0.007 0.003 0.007 0.003 0.007 0.003 0.003
Average Absolute Cell Deviation From Battery 0.004 0.009 0.004 0.004
Battery Average Cell Voltage 2.043 2.063 2.067 2.067
Battery Cell Voltage Standard Deviation 0.005 0.009 0.005 0.005
Battery Maximum Cell Voltage Difference 0.010 0.020 0.010 0.010
battery 5 battery 6 battery 7 battery 8
front row cell 1 cell 2 cell 3 cell 1 cell 2 cell 3 cell 1 cell 2 cell 3 cell 1 cell 2 cell 3
of pack 2.07 2.08 2.07 2.08 2.06 2.08 2.07 2.09 2.08 2.07 2.08 2.07
Absolute Cell Deviation From Pack 0.002 0.013 0.002 0.013 0.007 0.013 0.002 0.023 0.013 0.002 0.013 0.002
Average Absolute Cell Deviation From Pack 0.006 0.011 0.013 0.006
Absolute Cell Deviation From Battery 0.003 0.007 0.003 0.007 0.013 0.007 0.010 0.010 0.000 0.003 0.007 0.003
Average Absolute Cell Deviation From Battery 0.004 0.009 0.007 0.004
Battery Average Cell Voltage 2.073 2.073 2.080 2.073
Battery Cell Voltage Standard Deviation 0.005 0.009 0.008 0.005
Battery Maximum Cell Voltage Difference 0.010 0.020 0.020 0.010
Pack Average Cell Voltage 2.068
Pack Cell Voltage Standard Deviation 0.012
Pack Maximum Cell Voltage Difference 0.050
Maximum Pack Average::Battery Cell Voltage Difference 0.014
Maximum Pack Average::Battery Average Voltage Difference 0.024
Average Battery:Pack Voltage Difference 0.006
Data Sample #2
date: 1/7/91 system voltage: 12.25 volts
time: 9:30 am system amperage: 0 amps
system temperature: 45° Fahrenheit
notes: Data taken before adding a second 1 Tablespoon of EDTA per cell. When EDTA was added to
cells in batteries 6 and 7, immediate bubbling action and precipitation was observed.
battery 1 battery 2 battery 3 battery 4
back row cell 1 cell 2 cell 3 cell 1 cell 2 cell 3 cell 1 cell 2 cell 3 cell 1 cell 2 cell 3
of pack 2.02 2.02 2.02 2.04 2.01 2.03 2.03 2.03 2.03 2.03 2.03 2.03
Absolute Cell Deviation From Pack 0.010 0.010 0.010 0.010 0.020 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Average Absolute Cell Deviation From Pack 0.010 0.010 0.000 0.000
Absolute Cell Deviation From Battery 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.013 0.017 0.003 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Average Absolute Cell Deviation From Battery 0.000 0.011 0.000 0.000
Battery Average Cell Voltage 2.020 2.027 2.030 2.030
Battery Cell Voltage Standard Deviation 0.000 0.012 0.000 0.000
Battery Maximum Cell Voltage Difference 0.000 0.030 0.000 0.000
battery 5 battery 6 battery 7 battery 8
front row cell 1 cell 2 cell 3 cell 1 cell 2 cell 3 cell 1 cell 2 cell 3 cell 1 cell 2 cell 3
of pack 2.04 2.03 2.05 2.03 2.03 2.03 2.03 2.03 2.04 2.02 2.04 2.03
Absolute Cell Deviation From Pack 0.010 0.000 0.020 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.010 0.010 0.010 0.000
Average Absolute Cell Deviation From Pack 0.010 0.000 0.003 0.007
Absolute Cell Deviation From Battery 0.000 0.010 0.010 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.003 0.003 0.007 0.010 0.010 0.000
Average Absolute Cell Deviation From Battery 0.007 0.000 0.004 0.007
Battery Average Cell Voltage 2.040 2.030 2.033 2.030
Battery Cell Voltage Standard Deviation 0.008 0.000 0.005 0.008
Battery Maximum Cell Voltage Difference 0.020 0.000 0.010 0.020
% change from
Pack Average Cell Voltage 2.030 first sample
Pack Cell Voltage Standard Deviation 0.008 -33%
Pack Maximum Cell Voltage Difference 0.040 -20%
Maximum Pack Average::Battery Cell Voltage Difference 0.010 -29%
Maximum Pack Average::Battery Average Voltage Difference 0.010 -59%
Average Battery:Pack Voltage Difference 0.005 -17%
38 Home Power #21 February / March 1991
Data Sample #4
date: 1/19/91 system voltage: 12.89 volts
time: 2;25 pm system amperage: 14 amps
system temperature: 50° Fahrenheit
notes: 12 days after last EDTA treatment. still white precipitate on battery tops & inside cells. especially in
cells of batteries 6 and 7. like a light snowfall.
battery 1 battery 2 battery 3 battery 4
back row cell 1 cell 2 cell 3 cell 1 cell 2 cell 3 cell 1 cell 2 cell 3 cell 1 cell 2 cell 3
of pack 2.13 2.14 2.13 2.14 2.14 2.13 2.13 2.14 2.13 2.13 2.14 2.13
Absolute Cell Deviation From Pack 0.003 0.007 0.003 0.007 0.007 0.003 0.003 0.007 0.003 0.003 0.007 0.003
Average Absolute Cell Deviation From Pack 0.004 0.006 0.004 0.004
Absolute Cell Deviation From Battery 0.003 0.007 0.003 0.003 0.003 0.007 0.003 0.007 0.003 0.003 0.007 0.003
Average Absolute Cell Deviation From Battery 0.004 0.004 0.004 0.004
Battery Average Cell Voltage 2.133 2.137 2.133 2.133
Battery Cell Voltage Standard Deviation 0.005 0.005 0.005 0.005
Battery Maximum Cell Voltage Difference 0.010 0.010 0.010 0.010
battery 5 battery 6 battery 7 battery 8
front row cell 1 cell 2 cell 3 cell 1 cell 2 cell 3 cell 1 cell 2 cell 3 cell 1 cell 2 cell 3
of pack 2.13 2.15 2.13 2.12 2.13 2.13 2.13 2.13 2.13 2.13 2.14 2.13
Absolute Cell Deviation From Pack 0.003 0.017 0.003 0.013 0.003 0.003 0.003 0.003 0.003 0.003 0.007 0.003
Average Absolute Cell Deviation From Pack 0.008 0.006 0.003 0.004
Absolute Cell Deviation From Battery 0.007 0.013 0.007 0.007 0.003 0.003 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.003 0.007 0.003
Average Absolute Cell Deviation From Battery 0.009 0.004 0.000 0.004
Battery Average Cell Voltage 2.137 2.127 2.130 2.133
Battery Cell Voltage Standard Deviation 0.009 0.005 0.000 0.005
Battery Maximum Cell Voltage Difference 0.020 0.010 0.000 0.010
% change from
Pack Average Cell Voltage 2.133 first sample
Pack Cell Voltage Standard Deviation 0.006 -50%
Pack Maximum Cell Voltage Difference 0.03 -40%
Maximum Pack Average::Battery Cell Voltage Difference 0.010 -29%
Maximum Pack Average::Battery Average Voltage Difference 0.006 -74%
Average Battery:Pack Voltage Difference 0.002 -67%
text to the battery's cell voltages. We want this to be as small as
Seventh is the maximum voltage difference between any two cells
in the battery. We want this to be as small as possible.
After giving the data and these statistics for each cell and battery, I
derive six more statistical measures for the pack as a whole.
The first of these is the average voltage of all cells in the pack. I
add up all the cell voltages and divide by 24.
Second is the standard deviation of cell voltages. This is figured by
applying the standard deviation formula you'll find in any statistics
text to the pack's cell voltages. We want this to be as small as
Third is the maximum voltage difference between any two cells in
the pack. We want this to be as small as possible.
Fourth is the maximum voltage difference between the average
voltage of all cells in the pack and any individual cell. We want this
to be as small as possible.
Fifth is the maximum voltage difference between the average
voltage of all cells in the pack and the average cell voltage of any
battery. We want this to be as small as possible.
Sixth is the average voltage difference between batteries and the
entire pack. We want this to be as small as possible.
On the second and fourth samples, I show the percent of change
each of the last five pack statistical measures since the fi
Some Interpretation
What we want to see is the cell voltages coming closer togethe
We want most of the statistical measures to approach zero.
This is what has been happening. By the fourth sample, the da
seems significant. The changes in the last five pack statistic
measures range from 29 to 74 percent. They are going in the rig
direction -- down.
I am a very happy puppy so far. I shall give further reports as t
experiment continues.
Stan Krute is a pinhead. He may be reached at 18617 Camp Cre
Road, Hornbrook, California 96044. • 916-475-3428.
luxstar (author)bluebeast2013-02-02


I was only aware of medical uses for EDTA

rc jedi (author)2012-11-09

Get Cheap Batteries some battery stores,like Interstate Battery, sell removed good batteries for cheap. They are still good but the car owners wanted new as part of a maintenance for vehicles such as ambulance and service vehicles. Great source for good and cheap-o!

techno guy (author)2012-09-28

you have the hp-pavilion dm4?! that's the computer i'm using right now, that's so cool

luxstar (author)techno guy2012-10-08

Pavilion dv6

shenrie1 (author)2012-09-27

Batteries die because of calcification, and some tested on a Midtronics or Snap-on battery tester, the $3000 one not the cheap handheld one, will show that some have low CCA. Test it as a marine battery and the amperage might be 0 or more. Still, car batteries are not meant to be used as long-drain use batteries.

xaenon (author)shenrie12012-10-04

although not intended for low-current, long drain applications, they CAN operate in this manner - just not as efficiently as, say, a marine trolling battery. That said, the cost of reusing a 'failed' car battery in this manner is negligible. I used an old car battery in lieu of the 'correct' lead-acid batteries in a computer UPS once - the runtime on that car battery was considerable - well over an hour, versus the 18-20 minutes the UPS was originally rated for. This was plenty of capacity to handle most short-term power outages, and the setup lasted for several years.
Cost of new UPS batteries: $130+ Cost of a crusty old used group-24 auto battery: $10. Winner: used auto battery.

shenrie1 (author)shenrie12012-09-27

Also, you could get more amperage out of lawn-and-garden sized marine battery...$35

xaenon (author)2012-10-04

I think he means more current out of a NEW lawn-and-garden battery than out of a USED car battery.... I suppose this would depend on how far 'gone' the used car battery is.

snoopindaweb (author)2012-10-03

It's a small town, and I have a scanner to know when "They" are out on a county call, and I work nights on these things - and they are pretty close to the garbage, etc,etc, etc, =////=======> HAR.! G-G

snoopindaweb (author)2012-10-03

Thank You, I just found this message. A good one for the Ol' Wordpad. Incidentilly, in the mid 70's I had a failing 12 Volt in My pickup. I was going with a Gal whos Father passed away leaving about 3 cases of V-X 6 battery additive. that He hadn't sold. I put a "Double Dose" in My battery and when I got home I heard a hissing. I thought Oh Great, now the radiator, but when I lifted the hood the battery was puffed out over an inch, and trying to turn round. I set the hood down but didn't latch It in case the battery let loose hard enough to try and turn the hood round too. Next day all seemed normal, it was My only vehicle so I drove It to work, all still seemed normal but I was sure waiting for payday to get rid of It..! I hope no one took It off a pallet behind the store. I just had a thought, taking batterys from behind stores is stealing core charges, I bet. "Well they werent that far from the garbage anyway".. Later. G-G

luxstar (author)snoopindaweb2012-10-03

There is a scrap metal company near where I live that pays you cash for scrap metal but pays nothing for old car batteries. In other words they will do you a favor by taking them off your hands an disposing of them properly. I have a couple of really dead ones. I am planning on stopping in and seeing if they are willing to trade my 2 of my dead batteries for two of theirs. If they want to know why, I will show them with my volt meter that mine are dead and the two I want are not. Plus I will have a print out of the PDF of this instructable without the comments and give them a copy and say “There’s this guy who says some dead car batteries are not really dead”

snoopindaweb (author)luxstar2012-10-03

Come to think of it, they collect them in back by the used oil tank, at the dump. The possibilities are endless. Thanks again. G-G

luxstar (author)2012-09-29


Updates at the end of the last step. Links to where to buy LEDS etc.


artbyjoe (author)2012-09-27

statistically, 75% of the time when a battery will not start a car, it is because the terminals need to be cleaned. 50% of the time, that battery will be replaced. so, there are many batteries at the parts house, that are great for solar applications. my friendly parts will sell me, batteries for the core charge. i test them out, and return the ones that are really dead.

i have also done the same thing on a larger scale hooked up to one dozen undead batteries to a larger solar panel. just need to use a smart charger the first time to make sure the battery will take and hold a charge.

-A-N-D-Y- (author)artbyjoe2012-09-27

Did you make up that statistic? 35% of all statistics are made up (I made that one up). 90% of the time when a battery will not start a car, it is because said car owner left their lights on overnight :p (I made that one up too) :)

luxstar (author)-A-N-D-Y-2012-09-27

Thanks for the stats Andy,

It reminds me of the way I make coffee: half coffee, half milk and half sugar.

Wait. That can't be right.


shannonlove (author)luxstar2012-09-27

Sure it's right. You just have to do it in the correct sequence.

1) Pour a volume of coffee designated C.
2) Add milk until the total volume is 2*C.
3) Add sugar until the total volume is 2*(2*C)=4C.

Depending on when you measure, you can truthfully say that the cup of coffee is 1/2 coffee, 1/2 milk and 1/2 sugar.

The social sciences pull crap like this all the time.

luxstar (author)shannonlove2012-09-28

I will have to think about that over a cup of coffee.

justajo (author)-A-N-D-Y-2012-09-27

There are at least 11 reasons a battery will go dead or seem to be dead/defective. Most of these are system shorts of one kind or another, or poor grounds/dirty terminals and corroded connections, not to mention broken wires. Alternators are often to blame as are loose/worn belts and worn out/dragging starters. Since most people are not aware of these and blame the battery first. Not being educated on their car's electrical system costs people more than just about any other aspect of the car's maintenance.

Eddie_T (author)2012-09-28

I wouldn't worry too much about carbon debt. No one has proven that CO2 is our enemy. After all greenhouses inject it to make plants grow faster and the plants give off O2.

snoopindaweb (author)2012-09-27

Checking the pallet behind a lot of car parts store will provide some "pretty hot" batterys that were swapped out at first signs of poopin' out. Some will even serve for another year or so after a good post cleaning, even on a cold Mt. morning..YUP.!

About This Instructable




Bio: Hello
More by luxstar:Washing Your Hands With One Ounce of WaterFood Dehydrating with a Pilot Light FlameThermos Cooking.  Drastically Reduce Your Fuel Use.
Add instructable to: