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Hello everyone,
I've been researching and planning an EV for sometime now. I have a 26 mile one way commute to work, with some pretty big hills and a 60mph speed limit. I'm looking at something that will do 50mph and get about 30-40 mile range.

As for batteries, I have access to a bunch of old 32v locomotive batteries. They are very heavy, about 325lbs each. But I plan on a 96v system, so I only need 3. 1000lbs is a lot to add to a vehicle, so I'm looking at a small/medium size truck. With the engine pulled, it might not be so bad. I've found an old postal jeep for $200, everything is there and it is pretty bare bones to start with. Not sure it will handle the weight.

First, does anyone know if these batteries would be worth the weight? I'm sure I would probably get good mileage because of the reserve amps in these things. Also, they would help with the amps needed to pull these hills. They are designed to provide 400 amps when starting the locomotive.

Any thoughts? I'll take some pictures of them today.

Thanks
 

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whats the Ah rating over what time period?
 

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JMHO: how cheap? are they new(ish)? if they are really cheap (Free) then really cool. If you can get them rebuilt for $100 each, then just cool.

I'm gonna put about 1000 lbs into my ranger, all said and done.
 

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hard to say how worthwhile the batteries are without more information. Some very large batteries are very worthless, while some are a goldmine. The 1000lbs by itself is not that unusual; with my ten 12v 75 ah batteries I'm looking at adding about 600 lbs. 150 Ah, which is what I would really like (but these were free) would be ~ 850 lbs. So don't worry about that too much; but you should check the GVWR and make sure that you're not too far over. You can anticipate taking something like 300-400 lbs out, depending on the size of the engine. If curb weight - engine weight + battery weight is < GVWR, you're good to go.
 

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During the mid 20th century, Canadian locomotives commonly used NiFe batteries. Are these NiFe batteries, by chance, and if so, where are you obtaining them and for how much?
 
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The problem is not the weight but the physical size of the batteries. Those are mighty big batteries and I am sure you don't have a handy place to put even one of such size in your vehicle. Smaller batteries are low and you can split the pack into sections for ease of placement. That would be my very first concern.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
They are free to me, as I'm the mechanic at a railroad museum. The downside is they have been sitting awhile. They still have say 10-20 volts on most of them. I'm going to pull one out and put it on a desulfinator, and charge it slow to see if I can get it to come up. They aren't dried out either, a little low, but still above the plates.

There are 24 total, so I figure the odds of finding 3 good ones are good. I don't know if they even have a data tag on them. They are under electric self propelled Canadian coaches, like big trolley cars powered from an overhead line. In this application they were used to stablize the 64 volts (2 batteries in series for a 64v set, then 4 sets in parallel for 64volts, times 2 per car. 8 batteries per car.) for the cars interior lighting, control circuits, pantograph motors, and air compressor. (huge DC motor with a 150cfm compressor on it.) The cars were built in the 1950s but I don't think the batteries are nearly that old.

I was up at the museum yesterday, but forgot my camera. I may go back up today or tomorrow to look and pull one out.

I was looking up the postal jeeps info, says it has a curb weight of 2,200lbs (998kg) can't find a GVWR though... I also found a couple of pictures of a jeep just like it converted in Canada... (is it a sign? Canadian batteries...)
 
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Get them all and set up yourself a nice bank of solar batteries. Get some PV panels and go off grid. With those type of batteries I am quite sure you can have a nice little system. However from a 32 volt battery and they are showing maybe 20 volts you may have a bunch of duds but for sure charge them up and see how long a charge will last. Just because they may no longer be good for a train or EV you may get some real good use of these for a real nice solar off grid setup. I'd love to have a bunch of those for our solar panels. I'd love to go fully off grid.

Pete :)
 

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Solar- That's a really good idea for them if I can't use them for an EV. I just can't afford the solar panels, and build the EV. Also, I don't own a house at the moment.
 
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Well get them for someone who can use them. They would be a friend forever. If it can be reused do so.

Pete :)

I'd come get them if it was local to me.
 

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Just had to pop in with the Canadian comments and Solar. Don't fall prey to the "Canadian Tire" and similar. They STILL want $700 for an 80W panel and I know I can get a 210W panel for under $600, less than $550ea for an order of 20. Almost 3 times the Watts for cheaper than what they're asking. So keep your eyes open, I know I do.

Looking to get solar here, but that'll probably be another winter of research first make sure I have the money for the rain-water harvesting system first and all the parts that I need for that.
 

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Just had to pop in with the Canadian comments and Solar. Don't fall prey to the "Canadian Tire" and similar. They STILL want $700 for an 80W panel and I know I can get a 210W panel for under $600
??? Holy crap batman, I just bought a 60 watt panel for $120 SINGLY including shipping, its 48v and thin film but still.
 

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Solar- That's a really good idea for them if I can't use them for an EV. I just can't afford the solar panels, and build the EV. Also, I don't own a house at the moment.
Well if you cannot afford to pay for the panels, you cannot afford to replace batteries every 3 to 5 years either. Off grid solar will cost you 10 times more than buying the power. And if in Canada, even higher.
 

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I found non ( no ul cert)grid tie pannels thin film , for $.99/watt 1400 watts will get 10,000 miles/year with out losses. used forklift batteries , big ups batteries used , used ups sine wave inverter 3to 5kw $200 , new charge controller $500 (Outback). 1400 watts/hr.X5.9 hours / day avarge (north cal ) X 280 days per year = 2,312,800 watt hrs. / year ( 2.3 mega watts/year)
 

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I bet the tops come off and they can be rebuilt. Pretty much the same as a forklift traction battery which we used to run all day on a pair. If you weren't so far away I'd be jealous too.
 

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To get to 62kW with ThunderSky 200Ah cells you're looking at 1300 lbs so 975 lbs for those batteries is not too bad. And you'd only need to wire 3 connections to your BMS :D Depending on your vehicle pick, you could get over 100 miles of range. Not bad for a freebie.

JR
 

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They are 650AH batteries. I've got pictures I just need to download them off my camera.
I have serious doubts about that. FLA batteries energy density are around 30 to 50 wh/kg. So how much does each battery weigh? 32 volt @ 650 AH they would have to weigh at least 420 Kg or 920 pounds each @ at the extreme high end of energy density of 50 wh/kg.

I believe you said they weigh 325 pounds each or 147 Kg. If they are 32 volt @ 650 AH would be a density of 140 wh/kg. So you are telling us a FLA has a higher energy density than LFP of 100 wh/kg? I seriously doubt that.

I am familiar with RR 32 volt batteries and Rolls Surrette makes a 32 volt 660 AH battery but it weighs in at 1240 pounds or 37 wh/kg. You must be seriously mistaken with either the weight or AH capacity
 
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