OCEAN COUNTY ARES BATTERY PROGRAM
Bob Murdock, WX2NJ, displays lead-acid batteries donated by GPU Nuclear to Ocean County ARES
The Ocean County ARES Battery Program was started by an idea from the ARRL. Many companies and facilities dispose of lead-acid and gel-cell batteries when a lot of capacity still remain for future use. Ocean County ARES has received various batteries from Community Medical Center in Toms River and the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Forked River. The batteries shown above have a predicted lifetime of 15 to 20 years, but are disposed of after several years because of minor deficiencies such as low water level. A nuclear facility cannot add water to batteries because of Quality Assurance concerns, but ham radio operators can add distilled water and save a battery from a short life. This saves companies like GPU money for disposal and saves ham radio operators the expense of purchasing batteries for emergency use. This is a win-win situation.
How does an operator obtain batteries? Simple. Just be a member of Ocean County ARES and attend a bi-monthly meeting. You will be put on a waiting list and will be notified when batteries are available. The units pictured above are 6 volt, 36 amp/hour cells. Two batteries are normally given to an operator for 12 volt service. Occasionally, gel-cell batteries of various voltages and capacities are obtained. If you have a special need, let Bob, WX2NJ, know.
February 2001 Update
The Ocean County Municipal Authority has become the primary donator of batteries, such as the sealed unit shown below. Several different sizes periodically become available and Ocean County ARES members are notified. Over 60 sealed gel-cell batteries were transferred to Monmouth County ARES/RACES in 2004 from Ocean County ARES.
Typical Gel-Cell Sealed Battery donated by Ocean County Municipal Authority, Compliments of K2RET
3.5"W x 2.75"L x 4"H - Cells to be released to ARES members October 2003
Click Here for a simple design of a Gel-Cell Charger, Compliments of KB2OTY