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Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion Antique Generators and Old Electric Motors: Questions and answers about restoring and showing old power generation systems.

Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion

Delco Storage batteries


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  #1  
Old 08-23-2004, 08:55:57 AM
Tom Winland
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Default Delco Storage batteries

Just found some of the large storage batteries for Delco's. They are 4 to a box and are hooked in series. On the flip caps it says Edison Storage batteries. My question is it worth my time to take them to Portland this week to sell and how much should I put on them. I just got em to save them from the junk man figuring that someone would like to have them. I have a 4 crates with 4 batteries in a series and one crate with 5 hooked in series.

Thanks Tom Winland Ohio
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  #2  
Old 08-23-2004, 10:35:15 AM
Don C. Wiley
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Default Re: Delco Storage batteries

Tom;

I'd like to see a picture of them and I'm sure glad you saved them. They are getting harder and harder to find. When the old generator was shut off after REA hooked the farm to the grid they would let the batteries go dead. If they lived in colder areas they would freeze and break the glass jars.

The Delco-Light jars are selling on e-Bay for around $35.00 each, empty, without a lid.

Do the one's you have still have the "plates" in them, as well as the lids?

I don't think you will have any trouble selling them, however not many will pay $35.00 each. I have paid as high as $250.00 for 16 of them.

"DELCO DON" Southern Illinois
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  #3  
Old 08-23-2004, 11:18:18 AM
Tom Winland
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Default Re: Delco Storage batteries

Here's a pic, not a very good pic though. I still need to blow all the barn dirt off of them.

Tom




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  #4  
Old 08-23-2004, 01:20:40 PM
Patrick Traubert
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Default Re: Delco Storage batteries

Don't junk them. These do not stay bad like lead-acid types do. A good flushing with distilled water and replacing the electrolyte should be all it takes to make them usable.
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  #5  
Old 08-24-2004, 07:51:11 AM
dparkernz
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Default Re: Delco Storage batteries

The company I work for had a whole bank of these that ended up forgotten under a stairway. They were rediscovered and put back into use as the building backup lighting system. After all those years they still work well and provide the full rating required by the fire regs!!!
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2004, 04:06:51 PM
John McPherson
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Default Re: Delco Storage batteries

Kind of interesting to hear that some have held up well, because the "Edison cells" typicaly were not rechargable, other than to replace the plates and electrolyte themselves. (I wonder if there is some company still manufacturing those components?)

If they are working, they are working. It is just that historicall they were a "one shot" item so they lost out to lead acid cells.

Maybe Delco did something different?
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2004, 10:03:44 PM
Franz
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Default Re: Delco Storage batteries

Edison batterys appear to be rechargable according to this and other articles I've read.

http://www.uni-regensburg.de/Fakultaeten/nat_Fak_IV/Organische_Chemie/Didaktik/Keusch/chembox_edison-e.htm
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2004, 11:07:16 PM
Andrew Mackey
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Default Re: Delco Storage batteries

Edison batteries are indeed rechargable. They have been used by miners for over 100 years for mine lighting. Edison batteries behave similar to NiCads in performance. If properly cared for, they have lasted 25 years in service or better! The edison battery uses a caustic electrolyte, and used a mineral oil to keep the electrolyte from evaporating. Edison Oil can still be found at flea markets - the bottles are quite collectable. Nice find! Andrew
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  #9  
Old 08-26-2004, 10:11:18 AM
edurand
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Default Re: Delco Storage batteries

I got three sets of Edison batteries from a guy in the late '60's. He'd gotten them from his Dad who'd gotten them from the local electric utility in the 1920's after they junked the electric service truck they were used in.

The guy's Dad used them for several years as "A" batteries in his radio. When AC power came to his area, he stored the Edisons and there they sat until I got 'em.

They'd been discharged for about 40 years and I figured that they were goners but gave them a chance. They took a charge just fine.

The Edison booklet says that, occasionally, the electrolyte should be discharged, shaken then dumped out, and then refilled with a solution of sodium hydroxide with the addition of a little potassium hydroxide. After an initial overcharge, they are as good as new.

A couple of years ago, before giving them to a friend, I did the dump, refresh and recharge routine. I didn't notice much difference so I probably should have just left 'em alone.

Here and in the next post are the applicable excerpts from the Edison booklet.

Take care - Elden




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  #10  
Old 08-26-2004, 10:22:03 AM
edurand
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Default Re: Delco Storage batteries

Here's another excerpt:

If some of you want to see the whole booklet, I'll post the images to my web page. Let me know.

Take care - Elden




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