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Is it ok to use a car battery maintainer on a lead acid Gill?


rickseeman
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13 minutes ago, rickseeman said:

I don't think my tug has an alternator so I need to either charge after use or use a maintainer. Is it ok to use an automotive maintainer on these lead acid Gills? Thanks

What you use on your tug battery probably isn’t a big deal, but if you’re considering a charger for your Ovation, get the proper charger for that SPECIFIC battery make and model.  If you fly the aircraft more than about 100 hours per year, the battery likely wont need any charging in-between non-flying intervals.

Steve

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29 minutes ago, rickseeman said:

I don't think my tug has an alternator so I need to either charge after use or use a maintainer. Is it ok to use an automotive maintainer on these lead acid Gills? Thanks

Why are you using an expensive aviation battery instead of a cheaper automotive battery?

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@rickseeman, Years ago, before I knew about Battery Minder, I used a Black and Decker Trickle charger that was made for automotive batteries on my Gill lead acid battery (I now use a sealed Concorde).  In one week It boiled out the acid and I had to replace the battery box and fortunately it had not eaten through the firewall although it was close.  This was about 16 years ago so things may have changed but if I was going to Trickle Charge a Gill aviation battery I think I would stick to a Battery Minder.  And, just if your interested, I may still have my old Battery Minder that I used on the Gill Batteries way back when I actually had a Gill battery.  If you are interested PM me and I will go to my hangar this week and take a look for it.  The Battery Minder for the sealed Concorde is different than the Gill Lead/Acid one.

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Concordes have been THE battery for a couple of decades now at least.

Until recently Gill only made flooded batteries and now they make the AGM one too, it seems most that have tried the AGM (sealed) Gill’s have been pleased.

‘As the acid is stronger in an aviation battery it’s likely it has a slightly higher float voltage, in my opinion your Tug will be fine with any decent automotive battery float charger, batteries will charge at float voltage, but do so VERY slowly

Personally I use battery tenders on all my AGM batteries to include my Concorde aircraft batteries, a battery tender’s float voltage is 13.3 plus or minus .1V

A Concorde’s float voltage is I believe 13.3 so the tender is right there, ideally any charger should vary voltage based on temperature and only a very few have battery temperature sensors, so long as your real close you should be fine

Its my opinion that any decent float charger and you’ll be fine, all you need is a half amp or so, but if you think you may need a charger too, Battery tender does have a 12 amp charger that automatically drops to float voltage of 13.3 when fully charged.

Its just a flooded Gill, which means it’s not going to last any longer than a Walmart battery no matter how well you maintain it.

From Concorde’s FAQ section

Maintenance chargers should include a 3-stage charging profile that includes a bulk stage (current limited), absorb stage, and float stage. The recommended voltage settings at room temperature are 14.125 ± 0.125 (28.25 ± 0.25V for 24-volt batteries) in bulk and absorb stages and 13.2-13.4V (26.4-26.8V for 24-volt batteries) in float stage. These voltage settings should be compensated for using a temperature coefficient of -0.024V/°C (-0.048V/°C for 24-volt batteries). Concorde has tested various models of maintenance chargers and recommends the use of BatteryMinder S5 models (i.e., 128CEC1-AA-S5 for 12-volt batteries and 244CEC1-AA-S5 for 24-volt batteries). If other makes/models are contemplated, contact Concorde for our recommendation.

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1 hour ago, rickseeman said:

By the way the only Gill sealed battery that I ever bought didn't last very long. Was that a freak thing or are they not as good? It seems like everybody is liking Concordes now.

There was a great deal on the sealed Gill at OSH one year, when I was due for a battery.  It did not last nearly as long as the Concordes I had before and since.  Memory says about 2 years and it was visibly down on capability, when I expect at least 4 years from a Concorde in that environment.

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Just a data point here.  I installed a Gill 7035-28 sealed battery (12V) in my 201 back in July 2018.  So almost 4-1/2 years now without any issues.  I fly about ten hours per month.  I'm planning to replace it at five years (unless I just finxed it here).

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I used a 1A float charger on my old Gill battery when I first bought the plane.  Laster 2-3 years until it croaked.  I think it was 5 years old at that time.  I've used Concordes since then, and they have lasted 5-6 years using the same charger.  Just make sure it's a float charger and not a trickle charger.  

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5 hours ago, rickseeman said:

I don't think my tug has an alternator so I need to either charge after use or use a maintainer. Is it ok to use an automotive maintainer on these lead acid Gills? Thanks


What are you using for a tug?

Even lawn tractors have a method of recharging their batteries from their magnetos… using a simple diode.

Find the electrical drawing for your tug…

Using the wrong battery, my tug burned up its diode….  :)

 fifty cent kind of fix…

 

Gill batteries have a terrible track record… for airplanes…

Using a sub-optimal battery charger for the tug… no big deal…. Unless you are towing in IMC…  :)

 

Batteries typically get removed from planes before they are completely done… they lose capacity and become un-able for flight in IMC…

 

Soooo…

If this is a free battery used for the tug only… feel free to experiment…

If spending real money… get a real battery for the tug, and fix its charging system…

:)

PP thoughts only, not a mechanic…

Best regards,

-a-

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