Battery Gas

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Battery Gas

Postby Gene Newcomb » Sun May 22, 2005 7:26 pm

Howdy,
Do you ever need to worry about batteries releasing any toxic gases in the compartment? I assume not because there are so many teardrops with the battery in the galley area but since my kids will be sleeping in it I want to make sure.
Thanks,
Gene
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Postby Brad Lustig » Sun May 22, 2005 8:27 pm

You may want to try either a jump pack or get an Optima battery. I know they optima batteries are drycells and I believe all jump packs are dry cells so there shouldn't be any gases released. But, if I'm not mistaken, batteries usually release gas when they're being charged? May be wrong about that one.
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Postby denverd0n » Mon May 23, 2005 11:02 am

Batteries release hydrogen when they are being charged. Hydrogen is not toxic to humans. The dangers would be if the hydrogen displaced enough oxygen to cause asphyxiation (seems unlikely to me), and the fact that hydrogen is explosive. So, get a high enough concentration of the hydrogen in an enclosed area where a spark might occur and you run the possibility of a big BOOM!

Personally, I intend to vent my battery box outside the tear.
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CSI Teardrop

Postby Gene Newcomb » Mon May 23, 2005 12:37 pm

Thanks. I'm not planning on putting a charger on board so no worries. I am not a long term camper so I am counting on the battery to last a weekend or tailgating.
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Re: CSI Teardrop

Postby SteveH » Mon May 23, 2005 12:43 pm

Gene Newcomb wrote:Thanks. I'm not planning on putting a charger on board so no worries. I am not a long term camper so I am counting on the battery to last a weekend or tailgating.


Gene,

I've got a standard boat battery in my teardrop, and it has lasted with reserve for three nights so far.
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Postby Q » Mon May 23, 2005 9:54 pm

A charging lead acid battery actually produces hydrogen AND oxygen in just the right quantities to make a big boom if gathered in an enclosed space. Very little gas is produced until the battery reaches full charge. Anyway, there is no problem breathing either of those gasses. An overcharged battery will emit some sulphur smell from tiny droplets of sulphuric acid escaping through the vents. The smell would drive you out of the teardrop long before it beceame dangerous to breath.

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Postby Woody » Mon May 23, 2005 10:38 pm

Battery gassing is at best minimal it wouldn't hurt to vent, but not for the "explosive potential. Battery gassing happens during charging and discharging. I really doubt and I say it again an "Hindenberg Type Experience" will happen, unless you have a big bank of batteries installed. I think the real threat of explosions would be more like propane vs. battery gassing, no one even considers this everytime this topic comes up, considering all the built in stoves and now even ovens being installed in enclosed galleys, especially by non professionals. A leaking propane bottle, valve or line would release gas faster and in an explosive concetration far faster or if nothing else suffacating you by displacing oxygen if entered the cabin, than worrying about battery gassing. Let alone from carbon monoxide poisoning from propane water heaters and furnaces installed in such a small and enclosed space as a teardrop. I think that this should be a far more worth considering as an safety issue
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Battery Gas

Postby swampgas » Sun Sep 28, 2008 11:13 pm

From what I've been able to tell most of the gassing is produced during charging, but some is produced during discharging. If you want to assume the worst case and try to quantify it, you may find the following interesting.

http://giantbatteryco.com/GLOSSARY/Calc ... ssion.html
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Postby Arne » Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:06 am

Many batteries are sold as 'sealed' and gel...

does that mean they do not out gas, or just that they don't need water added like the older batteries did?
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Postby Dale M. » Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:19 am

Simple solution is to install battery in its own compartment, with two vents... Since Hydrogen is lighter than air, it tends to float upward, so with a vent at top of battery compartment to "outside" and a "fresh air" inlet at lower portion of compartment there should not be any issues with the accumulation of any gases.... Simple convection will carry out any gasses.... A simple solution to a no worry trip......

The compartment can be a simple wood "cabinet" with weather stripping on door..... Or fancy molded "marine" style battery boxes with vent hoses provisions provided.... Actually if battery is in a tongue box it removes all the issues of battery gasses getting into living area of TD.

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Postby Alphacarina » Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:43 am

Q wrote:A charging lead acid battery actually produces hydrogen AND oxygen in just the right quantities to make a big boom if gathered in an enclosed space. Very little gas is produced until the battery reaches full charge

Please post a link which verifies any of that - I'm 99% sure only hydrogen comes out of the battery (where it mixes with the oxygen in the atmosphere of course) and that the gassing begins as soon as the charging process begins boiling the electrolyte and not just near the end when the battery reaches 'full charge' as you state

If you have something scientific to prove either of your statements, lots of us can learn something new

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Postby madjack » Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:54 am

Alphacarina wrote:
Q wrote:A charging lead acid battery actually produces hydrogen AND oxygen in just the right quantities to make a big boom if gathered in an enclosed space. Very little gas is produced until the battery reaches full charge

Please post a link which verifies any of that - I'm 99% sure only hydrogen comes out of the battery (where it mixes with the oxygen in the atmosphere of course) and that the gassing begins as soon as the charging process begins boiling the electrolyte and not just near the end when the battery reaches 'full charge' as you state

If you have something scientific to prove either of your statements, lots of us can learn something new

Don


Don, I have no "scientific" links for ya but the hydrogen is produced by electrolysis, from the water(H2O) in the battery ...so if the hydrogen is released, so is the oxygen, thus a hydrogen/oxygen mix...along with some sulfur from the acid....
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Postby Arne » Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:56 am

quote:

A word of caution: ALL lead-acid batteries can produce hydrogen and oxygen gasses! Never charge lead-acid batteries in a sealed area or container. Always charge lead-acid batteries with adequate ventilation and avoid making or breaking connections at the battery to avoid an electrical discharge (sparks, arcs or shorts). Connect the charger to the battery system before powering up or plugging in the charger. Another caution for discharged lead-acid batteries: Remember that the electrolyte at this point is mostly water and will freeze at a higher temperature (15 to 20 degrees F.) than a fully charged battery.

http://projects.crustal.ucsb.edu/scec/pbic/equip/man/battery_care.html
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Postby Elumia » Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:54 pm

lead acid Batteries should not be in the cabin, and should be vented. While hydrogen and oxygen may be safe to breathe, if you smell "rotten eggs" your battery is making hydrogen sulfide (H2S) which is highly toxic to breathe.

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Last edited by Elumia on Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby mikeschn » Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:59 pm

I had a car battery blow up in my face many years ago. So apparently batteries do outgas, and when making a spark, like when you are putting jumper cables on your battery, that's all it takes to make a nice big boom!

Once is all it takes. I won't take chances with outgassing ever again. My battery will always be in a vented area. :oops:

Mike...

P.S. And if you're wondering, battery gasses rise! :roll:
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