So, Where to Recycle?

Discussion about the OutBack battery rack solutions
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Ferretman
Forum Guru
Posts: 309
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:22 pm
My RE system: Outback FlexPower Two system with MATE2:
- X240 Transformer
- 3 Flexmate 80 charge controllers with Outback temperature compensation sensor
- 2 Outback VFX3648 inverters
- FlexnetDC charging controller

24 Outback 2700RE batteries and racking (2288 amp hour capacity total)

36 230W Conergy solar panels (ground mount)

Generac 15kw Propane Generator for backup

Battery/power shed is 9'x11', constructed of ICFs with a glycol radiant heat system embedded in the floor to help with winter temperature control. Big block window and custom 8" thick doors to provide light and insulated ingress/egress.

Davis Vantage 2 solar-powered & wireless weather station. Features:
- Fan-aspirated temperature and humidity gauges;
- Barometric pressure gauge;
- Rainfall collector;
- Anemometer (wind gauge) together with a wind direction indicator.
Location: Colorado Springs

So, Where to Recycle?

Post by Ferretman »

Howdy:


I have a full rack (24) of the Outback 2700 RE AGMs, and I can tell they're getting near the end of their life. I am afraid they were worked pretty hard and I'm thinking it's time to get a new battery suite (better sized for my solar), but am unsure what to do with these old ones?

Does Outback have any kind of recycling program they're working with somebody? I'm in Colorado Springs, if that helps.

Just curious......


Steven in Colorado
raysun
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My RE system: Flexpower Two: (2) FXR3048A-01 - Series Stacked, (2) FM80, MATE3s, FlexNetDC
6 SimpliPhi 3.8-48 (48v @ 75AH. 450AH total)
Outback IBR3 battery enclosure
REC Alpha 440W panels - 2 arrays: each of 4 strings of 2 in series
2 Midnite Solar MNPV6 combiners w/20A DC disconnects.
Honda EU7000is gas fuel generator
Off-Grid

Re: So, Where to Recycle?

Post by raysun »

They're basically big blocks of lead, like pretty much every lead acid battery. If not worth anything on core charge trade in on your new battery, any local battery recycling program should accept them. Checking with your municipality might get an answer for that.
Ferretman
Forum Guru
Posts: 309
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:22 pm
My RE system: Outback FlexPower Two system with MATE2:
- X240 Transformer
- 3 Flexmate 80 charge controllers with Outback temperature compensation sensor
- 2 Outback VFX3648 inverters
- FlexnetDC charging controller

24 Outback 2700RE batteries and racking (2288 amp hour capacity total)

36 230W Conergy solar panels (ground mount)

Generac 15kw Propane Generator for backup

Battery/power shed is 9'x11', constructed of ICFs with a glycol radiant heat system embedded in the floor to help with winter temperature control. Big block window and custom 8" thick doors to provide light and insulated ingress/egress.

Davis Vantage 2 solar-powered & wireless weather station. Features:
- Fan-aspirated temperature and humidity gauges;
- Barometric pressure gauge;
- Rainfall collector;
- Anemometer (wind gauge) together with a wind direction indicator.
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: So, Where to Recycle?

Post by Ferretman »

raysun wrote: Fri Jan 27, 2023 4:46 pm They're basically big blocks of lead, like pretty much every lead acid battery. If not worth anything on core charge trade in on your new battery, any local battery recycling program should accept them. Checking with your municipality might get an answer for that.
I've reached out to Outback to see if they MIGHT have something in place and have done a little bit of research. Interstate Batteries looks like they typically take back solar batteries but I will need ask them. I've just started looking....

Thank you. I hadn't thought about an option with the city.


Steven in Colorado
ralphday224
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Re: So, Where to Recycle?

Post by ralphday224 »

My best recycle price was found at a local everything recycler...steel, cars, batteries, anything metal you could put in a trailer.
Ferretman
Forum Guru
Posts: 309
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:22 pm
My RE system: Outback FlexPower Two system with MATE2:
- X240 Transformer
- 3 Flexmate 80 charge controllers with Outback temperature compensation sensor
- 2 Outback VFX3648 inverters
- FlexnetDC charging controller

24 Outback 2700RE batteries and racking (2288 amp hour capacity total)

36 230W Conergy solar panels (ground mount)

Generac 15kw Propane Generator for backup

Battery/power shed is 9'x11', constructed of ICFs with a glycol radiant heat system embedded in the floor to help with winter temperature control. Big block window and custom 8" thick doors to provide light and insulated ingress/egress.

Davis Vantage 2 solar-powered & wireless weather station. Features:
- Fan-aspirated temperature and humidity gauges;
- Barometric pressure gauge;
- Rainfall collector;
- Anemometer (wind gauge) together with a wind direction indicator.
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: So, Where to Recycle?

Post by Ferretman »

ralphday224 wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 4:07 am My best recycle price was found at a local everything recycler...steel, cars, batteries, anything metal you could put in a trailer.
Interesting....just a scrap metal place? There are some places that tear them down to put the plastics into one pile and the lead (in the case of AGMs) in another...that what you're talking about?
fcwlp
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I install and maintain grid-tied and off-grid systems in my area and consult on solar system design/operation.
Location: 80 miles NE of Phoenix at 5500'

Re: So, Where to Recycle?

Post by fcwlp »

Recyclers will pay you the current scrap cost for lead. I have gotten between $0.20 and $0.27 per pound.
Ferretman
Forum Guru
Posts: 309
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:22 pm
My RE system: Outback FlexPower Two system with MATE2:
- X240 Transformer
- 3 Flexmate 80 charge controllers with Outback temperature compensation sensor
- 2 Outback VFX3648 inverters
- FlexnetDC charging controller

24 Outback 2700RE batteries and racking (2288 amp hour capacity total)

36 230W Conergy solar panels (ground mount)

Generac 15kw Propane Generator for backup

Battery/power shed is 9'x11', constructed of ICFs with a glycol radiant heat system embedded in the floor to help with winter temperature control. Big block window and custom 8" thick doors to provide light and insulated ingress/egress.

Davis Vantage 2 solar-powered & wireless weather station. Features:
- Fan-aspirated temperature and humidity gauges;
- Barometric pressure gauge;
- Rainfall collector;
- Anemometer (wind gauge) together with a wind direction indicator.
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: So, Where to Recycle?

Post by Ferretman »

fcwlp wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 5:08 am Recyclers will pay you the current scrap cost for lead. I have gotten between $0.20 and $0.27 per pound.
That might be what I'm going to have to do.

These batteries are hella heavy (lesson learned there!) so even once we get good weather again it's gonna be work to get them out (up a hill), loaded into a truck, and hauled down to the scrapyard. I bought a small sled to help me get the batteries out (a winch does wonders).

Steven in Colorado
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EA6LE-ONE
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System 2:
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Location: Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Isl.

Re: So, Where to Recycle?

Post by EA6LE-ONE »

Ferretman wrote: Fri Jan 27, 2023 4:37 pm
I have a full rack (24) of the Outback 2700 RE AGMs, and I can tell they're getting near the end of their life. I am afraid they were worked pretty hard and I'm thinking it's time to get a new battery suite (better sized for my solar), but am unsure what to do with these old ones?
How long they lasted for you?
For me after about 2 years of 15-20% daily cycling, kept in temperature controlled room and using outback charging parameter, they started to lose capacity. I had a first a hydrogen sensor and balancers installed and tried to adjust the charging parameter to reduce the gassing, later I installed a battery monitor and found that some cells were going from 2V to under 1V at only 25% DOD.
Researching with the manufacturer (Enersys) I found that this batteries were designed for float applications like UPSs and such. Contacted Outback about it and said that I undercharged them. I did changed the voltages down to 55.2V from 55.6 for absorb and float from 54V to 53.6V after they lost capacity and got the hydrogen sensor. I had before some sunextenders 2v that lasted 5 years without problems in worst conditions and still using some of them 9 years later, almost dead but still keeping going an old system with grid for the night.
Now I changed one rack with lithium batteries and swapped the underperforming cells from the remaining 2 racks (moving 350 pounds batteries is not easy). I still used the underperforming batteries with one of my old inverter, charging them with excess PV from my main system and cycle them down 18% with some of my data crunching computers. seem to perform ok being charged and discharged at constant rate. Hope to get couple years more from all the 3 sets of 2700 RE I have.
provo
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Grid connection, no selling back
Location: Sierra foothills

Re: So, Where to Recycle?

Post by provo »

ralphday224 wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 4:07 am My best recycle price was found at a local everything recycler...steel, cars, batteries, anything metal you could put in a trailer.
That's where I went to recycle my 1000 lbs. of Rolls after 7 years of great service. (I was impatient for the SimpliPhis).

I played on their sympathies (elderly, weak, skinny :grin: ) and they sent two burly guys in a pickup 5 miles to my house. They shlepped out the batteries from the basement up some stairs, loaded up, and took them away. Paid me $50 in return, as agreed.

I considered it a bargain then, and still do!
Ferretman
Forum Guru
Posts: 309
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:22 pm
My RE system: Outback FlexPower Two system with MATE2:
- X240 Transformer
- 3 Flexmate 80 charge controllers with Outback temperature compensation sensor
- 2 Outback VFX3648 inverters
- FlexnetDC charging controller

24 Outback 2700RE batteries and racking (2288 amp hour capacity total)

36 230W Conergy solar panels (ground mount)

Generac 15kw Propane Generator for backup

Battery/power shed is 9'x11', constructed of ICFs with a glycol radiant heat system embedded in the floor to help with winter temperature control. Big block window and custom 8" thick doors to provide light and insulated ingress/egress.

Davis Vantage 2 solar-powered & wireless weather station. Features:
- Fan-aspirated temperature and humidity gauges;
- Barometric pressure gauge;
- Rainfall collector;
- Anemometer (wind gauge) together with a wind direction indicator.
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: So, Where to Recycle?

Post by Ferretman »

EA6LE-ONE wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 5:51 am
Ferretman wrote: Fri Jan 27, 2023 4:37 pm
I have a full rack (24) of the Outback 2700 RE AGMs, and I can tell they're getting near the end of their life. I am afraid they were worked pretty hard and I'm thinking it's time to get a new battery suite (better sized for my solar), but am unsure what to do with these old ones?
How long they lasted for you?
For me after about 2 years of 15-20% daily cycling, kept in temperature controlled room and using outback charging parameter, they started to lose capacity. I had a first a hydrogen sensor and balancers installed and tried to adjust the charging parameter to reduce the gassing, later I installed a battery monitor and found that some cells were going from 2V to under 1V at only 25% DOD.
Researching with the manufacturer (Enersys) I found that this batteries were designed for float applications like UPSs and such. Contacted Outback about it and said that I undercharged them. I did changed the voltages down to 55.2V from 55.6 for absorb and float from 54V to 53.6V after they lost capacity and got the hydrogen sensor. I had before some sunextenders 2v that lasted 5 years without problems in worst conditions and still using some of them 9 years later, almost dead but still keeping going an old system with grid for the night.
Now I changed one rack with lithium batteries and swapped the underperforming cells from the remaining 2 racks (moving 350 pounds batteries is not easy). I still used the underperforming batteries with one of my old inverter, charging them with excess PV from my main system and cycle them down 18% with some of my data crunching computers. seem to perform ok being charged and discharged at constant rate. Hope to get couple years more from all the 3 sets of 2700 RE I have.
Wow I am envious, no question about that! You've gotten some good life out of them.

These puppies are on their sixth year, which is about half of the lifespan I'd expected. I realized about a year after installation that my solar system was underpowered and basically wouldn't "fill" the batteries enough in the winter but we were okay taking from "the top" as it were for several years. I'd estimate we did a DoD of about 20% each day.

THEN we had a huge, very dark week...virtually no sunlight at all, heavy thunderstorms, the works. The batteries kept things running for five days before giving up the ghost (system shutdown) and they've never recovered since then. I've been wondering if it would help if I tweaked the parameters so they always absorb and then ran power for, say, 24 hours if that might help....what do you think?

The shed I built for the batteries was constructed out of ICFs (4") which I did myself, thick foundation, lots of rebar. The attic of the shed IS insulated but probably not as good as it could be and the whole shed is plumbed for a radiant heat system (repurposed solar hot water panel). I suspect if I got that system working, plus upgraded the insulation, it would help with the cold weather...we've had several cold snaps this season (unusual) and of course that kind of cold doesn't help at all. I also want to build an insulated "box" around the batteries that should help going forward.

If something like that doesn't work I have toyed with the idea of repurposing the whole rack and the old solar panels (replacing those this spring too) for an EV system. I might eventually get an electric car but don't go out a lot, so taking a couple of days to recharge everything wouldn't be a burden. Of course whatever I end up doing I've got to move them first, and we BARELY got them down the hill and installed in the first place. I went and bought a cheap sled, which I can use to haul them up the hill with a winch and onto the truck. I presume that the scaffolding for those batteries might be reusable for whatever I put in instead, but we'll have to see about that.

I had reached out about two years ago to replace individual batteries but couldn't find anybody who would even touch them....it was the whole rack or nothing, which of course wasn't very palatable.

I've looked a lot at the lithium batteries but my understanding is that they don't handle cold very well? Which is why I went with these AGMs instead. IF I could keep the shed properly warm regular lead-acids would also work, of course.

Sounds like you've done very well, that's for sure, better than me that's for sure. Mad respect sir! :)


Steven in Colorado
Ferretman
Forum Guru
Posts: 309
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:22 pm
My RE system: Outback FlexPower Two system with MATE2:
- X240 Transformer
- 3 Flexmate 80 charge controllers with Outback temperature compensation sensor
- 2 Outback VFX3648 inverters
- FlexnetDC charging controller

24 Outback 2700RE batteries and racking (2288 amp hour capacity total)

36 230W Conergy solar panels (ground mount)

Generac 15kw Propane Generator for backup

Battery/power shed is 9'x11', constructed of ICFs with a glycol radiant heat system embedded in the floor to help with winter temperature control. Big block window and custom 8" thick doors to provide light and insulated ingress/egress.

Davis Vantage 2 solar-powered & wireless weather station. Features:
- Fan-aspirated temperature and humidity gauges;
- Barometric pressure gauge;
- Rainfall collector;
- Anemometer (wind gauge) together with a wind direction indicator.
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: So, Where to Recycle?

Post by Ferretman »

provo wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 6:27 am
ralphday224 wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 4:07 am My best recycle price was found at a local everything recycler...steel, cars, batteries, anything metal you could put in a trailer.
That's where I went to recycle my 1000 lbs. of Rolls after 7 years of great service. (I was impatient for the SimpliPhis).

I played on their sympathies (elderly, weak, skinny :grin: ) and they sent two burly guys in a pickup 5 miles to my house. They shlepped out the batteries from the basement up some stairs, loaded up, and took them away. Paid me $50 in return, as agreed.

I considered it a bargain then, and still do!
HAH! Well played sir, well played!


Steven in Colorado
pss
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Re: So, Where to Recycle?

Post by pss »

Lots of cities have large battery suppliers with stocking warehouses that service the trucking sector. They have those giant batteries to start big diesels and off road equipment. They will probably take your batteries for recycle since they are already taking all the trucking and off road batteries too.
Ferretman
Forum Guru
Posts: 309
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:22 pm
My RE system: Outback FlexPower Two system with MATE2:
- X240 Transformer
- 3 Flexmate 80 charge controllers with Outback temperature compensation sensor
- 2 Outback VFX3648 inverters
- FlexnetDC charging controller

24 Outback 2700RE batteries and racking (2288 amp hour capacity total)

36 230W Conergy solar panels (ground mount)

Generac 15kw Propane Generator for backup

Battery/power shed is 9'x11', constructed of ICFs with a glycol radiant heat system embedded in the floor to help with winter temperature control. Big block window and custom 8" thick doors to provide light and insulated ingress/egress.

Davis Vantage 2 solar-powered & wireless weather station. Features:
- Fan-aspirated temperature and humidity gauges;
- Barometric pressure gauge;
- Rainfall collector;
- Anemometer (wind gauge) together with a wind direction indicator.
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: So, Where to Recycle?

Post by Ferretman »

pss wrote: Sun Jan 29, 2023 11:25 am Lots of cities have large battery suppliers with stocking warehouses that service the trucking sector. They have those giant batteries to start big diesels and off road equipment. They will probably take your batteries for recycle since they are already taking all the trucking and off road batteries too.
Well that's interesting...thank you!

I pinged Outback directly and they have confirmed they've got a work order in process. I should hear something tomorrow. I also pinged Interstate Batteries as I think that's where my solar guy took my old Deka 8G8D Gel batts.

As heavy as they are whatever I do will take a couple of trips....I won't do that again....


Steven in Colorado
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