RobertGary1

Why are airplane batteries terrible?

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43 minutes ago, gsxrpilot said:

I won one of these certificates on my first trip to Oshkosh with the Mooney Caravan. Four years later I needed a battery, a quick call to Concord, gave them the certificate number and they shipped me a new battery at no cost. Good company, good batteries.

I have a free Gill in the plane now. I won it in a raffle at the IA refresher. So far so good.

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7 hours ago, ArtVandelay said:


My Concorde is 2 years old and it’s already showing it’s age, no way it would last 6 years. I had better luck with Gills.


Tom

I used to be a Concorde fan since my 7 year old and 5 year old Concorde batteries were working fine.   I bought a new one in 2016 and it was useless after 2.5  years since the capacity was significantly lower than my old ones.   Not sure if this was my bad luck or they have lost the recipe by design to make more money.   I bought one more Concorde a few months ago and if it behaves that same flaky way, I will give Gill a shot.

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@M20S Driver personally I like the Gil's, but I will go to bat for Concord, as good as any product may be, there are going to be a bad apple that gets by. I've had 1 battery out of thousands that was polarized in reverse, the good or bad thing was it was special order and my battery and not a customers

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The Concorde batteries in my missile are just showing their age (which means they need to be replaced ASAP.. as they are agm.)... they are 5 years old.  That’s about as good as the AGM batteries in both my Jetta and my M3.  

The flooded gills I used previously?  2 years max. 

I’m happy with my concordes.  They are one of the few items in the plane that seem to be on par with auto technology... and not too ridiculously overpriced.

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Looks like Gill doesn’t make a AGM version for Mooney?

 

I don’t use a battery charger and rarely go very long without flying, but I did go 4 months when I did my engine overhaul. I don’t have a fancy charger, but did charge it once with a harbor freight one.

 

Maybe the Concordes requires tenders to get the long lifespan. My gills lasted 3 years FWIW. Maybe Gills would last as long if treated with care the Concordes seem to be getting?

 

Tom

 

 

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5 hours ago, M20S Driver said:

I used to be a Concorde fan since my 7 year old and 5 year old Concorde batteries were working fine.   I bought a new one in 2016 and it was useless after 2.5  years since the capacity was significantly lower than my old ones.   Not sure if this was my bad luck or they have lost the recipe by design to make more money.   I bought one more Concorde a few months ago and if it behaves that same flaky way, I will give Gill a shot.

Did you try to regen it?

-Robert

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on batteries... I dont understand why we arent using Lithium IRON batteries  ( not Lithium ION)

I use one in my experimental glider and they are amazing...  here is an example  https://shoraipower.com/lfx36a3-bs12-p126

 

12v

540 CCA

4.8 lbs....  Yes you read that right... 4.8 Lbs...  I love acting like the one in my glider is heavy and handing it to someone... they lift it up past their head in anticipation of the weight.

Imagine putting two of these in, either in series or parallel.   You could literally save 40 + lbs.  If you have a 2 battery setup like me probably 80.

These are VERY stable batteries that can be very quickly charged in the event they are drained. 

 

 

 

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On 9/7/2019 at 10:42 PM, jaylw314 said:

Yup.  Does it automatically detect AGM or is there a switch/setting for battery type?

Most of the concerns about getting voltages too high were with old constant-voltage chargers.  Most modern chargers are variations of 3-phase chargers (constant-current, constant voltage and float voltage) where this is much less of a problem.  Still, you want to make sure the float-voltage is appropriate for AGM's if you're going to leave it on for more than just overnight.

It auto detects AGM. It really has worked quite well as a long term battery conditioner. The manufacturer claims that it is safe for aircraft and that has certainly been my experience.

Edited by Shadrach

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2 hours ago, Austintatious said:

on batteries... I dont understand why we arent using Lithium IRON batteries  ( not Lithium ION)

As I understand it, lead-acid is used because it will sink over-voltage events and save your avionics. I know Li-ion can't do that. Not sure about LiFE, though I think it is limited as well.

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3 hours ago, RobertGary1 said:

Did you try to regen it?

-Robert

Yes.  Multiple times using Concorde's newest charger for a few months. 

The voltage recovers some what on the 2.5 years old battery but the capacity had minimal improvement.   I get 26.5 volts on max charge with Concorde charger and 25.8 volts after 8 hours.  After installation in the plane and master on,  the old ones (5+ years old) are at 24.7 after one minute and the 2.5 year old battery drops to 24.1 volts.  A new battery drops to 25.2 volts after one minute in my plane.

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2 hours ago, M20S Driver said:

Yes.  Multiple times using Concorde's newest charger for a few months. 

The voltage recovers some what on the 2.5 years old battery but the capacity had minimal improvement.   I get 26.5 volts on max charge with Concorde charger and 25.8 volts after 8 hours.  After installation in the plane and master on,  the old ones (5+ years old) are at 24.7 after one minute and the 2.5 year old battery drops to 24.1 volts.  A new battery drops to 25.2 volts after one minute in my plane.

Top voltage is a poor indicator of battery health.  Need to do a full capacity check to know.  That being said, I don’t doubt that the battery has issues, but top voltage, especially after charging, is not the way to tell.

Edited by Ragsf15e
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Airplane batteries are GOOD...  Airplane OPS are bad for batteries...

No special charger required... unless you want to get the most initial charge into the battery... or refresh the plates...

Anyone that likes their Gill battery is not in a tough ops environment... using the plane several times a week is great...

Anyone that wants to compare their car battery on the ground to a pair of Concordes at 18k’ in a Wisconsin winter while flying IFR... how good is that Dodge setup?

Gill makes (Made) an AGM battery for Mooneys... it had similar life characteristics as their lead acid battery... just more expensive. Cris and I bought some batteries together to save a shipping charge... the AGM battery if his had a beige colored case with a red top to distinguish it from the others...

 

So.... If winter flying is your thing... on weekends, and missing a weekend every now and then.... and replacement happens every two years...  A Gill battery will work...

If winter flying, IFR, and you have two batteries, and a spare alternator... I bet you have Concordes and a battery specific charger....

 

I am interested in new battery technology.... it has to...

  • Start a cold IO550... 9 liters... how big was that dodge?
  • Last a long time running my avionics, when the alternator has croaked... similar to the glider op.
  • repeat this performance once or twice a month...
  • Do this in the cold around NJ... and the hot August days too...
  • last a few years...

I mourn/moan the 10 Gil batteries I have buried... the last two batteries I got were Concorde....

Let’s talk LOP for a moment... :)

Best regards,

-a-

 

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3 minutes ago, carusoam said:

 

  • Start a cold IO550... 9 liters... how big was that dodge?
  • Last a long time running my avionics, when the alternator has croaked... similar to the glider op.
  • repeat this performance once or twice a month...
  • Do this in the cold around NJ...
  • last a few years...

The Concorde rg-35a is only rated 390cca. Equivalent car battery is rated at 590 cca. The battery for the 9 liter Dodge is probably more. So car batteries are rated at higher current in cold weather. People start trucks in weather you'd never thing of getting into a GA plane in.

-Robert

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3 minutes ago, carusoam said:

Airplane batteries are GOOD...  Airplane OPS are bad for batteries...

No special charger required... unless you want to get the most initial charge into the battery... or refresh the plates...

Anyone that likes their Gill battery is not in a tough ops environment... using the plane several times a week is great...

Anyone that wants to compare their car battery on the ground to a pair of Concordes at 18k’ in a Wisconsin winter while flying IFR... how good is that Dodge setup?

Gill makes (Made) an AGM battery for Mooneys... it had similar life characteristics as their lead acid battery... just more expensive.

 

So.... If winter flying is your thing... on weekends, and missing a weekend every now and then.... and replacement happens every two years...  A Gill battery will work...

If winter flying, IFR, and you have two batteries, and a spare alternator... I bet you have Concordes and a battery specific charger....

 

I am interested in new battery technology.... it has to...

  • Start a cold IO550... 9 liters... how big was that dodge?
  • Last a long time running my avionics, when the alternator has croaked... similar to the glider op.
  • repeat this performance once or twice a month...
  • Do this in the cold around NJ...
  • last a few years...

I mourn/moan the 10 Gil batteries I have buried... the last two batteries I got were Concorde....

Let’s talk LOP for a moment... :)

Best regards,

-a-

 

Lyle bought the Dodge V10 (size?) while living in upstate NY, west a little along the lakefront from Buffalo. Winter starts were no problem. Now in AL, he has a more reasonable Silverado.

My Concorde gets flown not frequently enough, is 3 years old and started just fine on Friday after being parked a month. Too durn hot! Going home today, expect no issues. Only 360cu. inches / 5.9L.

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Robert...

I’m with you...

your friend could drive his dodge truck to the airport in Wisconsin in winter and then fly a Mooney at 20k’ all the way to Florida...

After a couple of flights... your friend would probably put a Concorde in his truck...

The fun part of battery ops... Wisconsin winters.  Where the factory workers go out at lunch time to start the car... so it will start again at leave time...

Best regards,

-a-

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3 hours ago, Ragsf15e said:

Top voltage is a poor indicator of battery health.  Need to do a full capacity check to know.  That being said, I don’t doubt that the battery has issues, but top voltage, especially after charging, is not the way to tell.

while max voltage is not a good indicator, the voltage drop after a couple of minutes of load is a good indicator.   It is not exactly the test specified by Concorde but a good quick test.

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Ok here is a datapoint. My Concorde is 2.5 years old and measures only 190cca. Spec is 390cca. 

Yet my agm motorcycle battery is 10 years old and sits far more but still shows original cca on the tester. Maybe they need to start making aircraft batteries out of motorcycle batteries?

-Robert 

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2 hours ago, carusoam said:

Robert...

I’m with you...

your friend could drive his dodge truck to the airport in Wisconsin in winter and then fly a Mooney at 20k’ all the way to Florida...

After a couple of flights... your friend would probably put a Concorde in his truck...

The fun part of battery ops... Wisconsin winters.  Where the factory workers go out at lunch time to start the car... so it will start again at leave time...

Best regards,

-a-

Sigh. That is true. People REALLY need to do that in Wisconsin. 

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9 hours ago, Shadrach said:

It auto detects AGM. It really has worked quite well as a long term battery conditioner. The manufacturer claims that it is safe for aircraft an that has certainly been my experience.

Nice.  I figured most newer ones do.  My cheapo Schumacher charger has an AGM setting switch, but of course I just leave it there since I don't use it for anything else.

Still, I've found that I fly frequently enough that I don't bother leaving it on unless I know I'll be down for more than a couple weeks.

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22 minutes ago, RogueOne said:

Sigh. That is true. People REALLY need to do that in Wisconsin. 

Yet one more reason I live in SoCal:D

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4 hours ago, M20S Driver said:

while max voltage is not a good indicator, the voltage drop after a couple of minutes of load is a good indicator.   It is not exactly the test specified by Concorde but a good quick test.

I’m still not sold... Concorde says you can tell the “state of charge” from the voltage after letting it set for 4 hours after changing and reading voltage, however they are clear that the only way to check the overall health is from a capacity test.

 

9F9FB2D8-886F-4E6B-BAE7-28B96275399A.jpeg

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54 minutes ago, Ragsf15e said:

I’m still not sold... Concorde says you can tell the “state of charge” from the voltage after letting it set for 4 hours after changing and reading voltage, however they are clear that the only way to check the overall health is from a capacity test.

OCV only measures “percent charged.”

The capacity test measures the time it takes to reach a terminal voltage with a rated load and thus measures the capacity of the battery. During this test, the terminal voltage will decrease with time following an unspecified curve. 

If you were to take a known good battery and put a known load on it for a given time and measure the voltage at the end of the test, you would have a benchmark to do a quick and dirty test against another battery of the same model that is of unknown condition because you could reasonably assume both batteries would follow the same discharge curve. It’s not as definitive as a capacity test, but it’s not an unreasonable quick check. I’d run it for more than a minute though - maybe 10-15, depending on the load, to get enough drop to be representative since the voltage versus charge curve for a lead-acid battery is not linear and tends to be “flat” near the fully charged end. 

Skip

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Now you need a few things...

1) know how long it takes to equilibrate after charging...

2) have a really accurate volt meter...

3) have a well developed curve for your battery...

4) Determine the effects of temperature...

Sounds pretty easy.   :)

Best regards,

-a-

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4 hours ago, PT20J said:

OCV only measures “percent charged.”

The capacity test measures the time it takes to reach a terminal voltage with a rated load and thus measures the capacity of the battery. During this test, the terminal voltage will decrease with time following an unspecified curve. 

If you were to take a known good battery and put a known load on it for a given time and measure the voltage at the end of the test, you would have a benchmark to do a quick and dirty test against another battery of the same model that is of unknown condition because you could reasonably assume both batteries would follow the same discharge curve. It’s not as definitive as a capacity test, but it’s not an unreasonable quick check. I’d run it for more than a minute though - maybe 10-15, depending on the load, to get enough drop to be representative since the voltage versus charge curve for a lead-acid battery is not linear and tends to be “flat” near the fully charged end. 

Skip

I could not agree more.  "you could reasonably assume both batteries would follow the same discharge curve".   This is a simple and general rule supported by mathematical equations.  And of course, there could be rare exceptions but we are talking about the data from my 4 identical Concorde batteries with the same charger and load.

The test is not perfect but close enough for me.  With added load, the voltage drop difference is significantly more between my batteries.

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