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Locomotive Batteries?

4426 Views 27 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Sunking
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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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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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I could very well be wrong on weight and Ah. I was looking at the label through a vent hole in the battery box (haven't pulled any out yet) and I saw 650, next to a Ah.I suppose they may weigh 650, and have some different Ah. I will pull one tonight and get some really good pictures and such.
 
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