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Mini golf cart from UPS batteries


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At work the other day, we smelled something burning in our server room. The culprit -- an old uninterruptible power supply (UPS). It's more cost effective for us to just throw these things away and buy new ones than try to repair the faulty unit.

One man's trash is another man's treasure, so I decided to bring this UPS home and see what I could do with it. This thing weighs about 50 lbs and now I know why. It has a gigantic transformer and a couple of large 12 volt lead acid batteries.

I was thinking of differnent things I could do with the batteries and I thought about making my 3 year old daughter a little electric car, kind of like a golf cart. I was wondering if these batteries would provide enough power and what kind of life they would have. Any thoughts from the group? I figured I could salvage the rest of the UPS as a battery charger.

I haven't yet figured out what part of the UPS was getting overheated, but one of the battieries has a couple of bulges (about 1 inch in diameter and upraised about ¼ inch). Is there any danger in continuing to use this battery?

Thanks.

Darrin

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Ante,

The batteries are connected in series. The voltage across both batteries measured about 9V. The "bubbly" one measured 7V and the other one measured 2V. Something's definitely wrong there. I would expect them to be more balanced. I'll hook everything back up and see if one of them gets hot -- I expect maybe the one carrying more load.

Thanks

Darrin

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Darrin,

The batteries are usually connected in series and not loaded individually (no tap on 12V) and should be equally in voltage. I think they are beyond salvation, but you can give it a try if you like. These UPS batteries have a tendency to dry out if not properly maintained. They are called

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I think those batteries are toast. I'll send them someplace to be recycled. There's still a lot of other useful parts in the UPS, so it wasn't a total waste. It has a gigantic transformer in it. I don't know what I'll use that for -- maybe a boat anchor.

Cheers.

Darrin

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