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Welding With Batteries

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Posted by Bob Adkins on November 2, 2003, 3:40 pm

I am interested in having light welding capability in my barn, which is run
by solar power and a battery bank.

Is it possible to weld directly from 2 heavy duty 12v (or 4 golf cart)
batteries in series? I realize there are commercial units available, but
they are extremely expensive for my limited needs.

I know welding currents would be extreme usage for batteries, but I would
keep amperage low using 3/16 or smaller maximum rod diameter. I also know
better than to discharge my batteries below ~70%. I am aware of the hazards
of sparks around batteries as well.

Thanks in advance,


Posted by daestrom on November 2, 2003, 4:35 pm

I've seen it done *unintentionally* ;-)

I think your biggest problem with that sort of setup is regulating the
current.  It could be too high and you'd need something like a resistor bank
to control it.  That would waste a lot of energy so you couldn't weld for
very long.

Guess it depends on how much welding and what 'quality' of weld you want.


Posted by Steve Thomas on November 2, 2003, 6:57 pm
 MIG or "wire" welders use a constant potential as opposed to a constant
current power source. You may be able to adapt a wire feed unit to work with
a battery.  One of the cheap 120V flux core units will likely work with an
18 volt battery, but you will only have one "heat" setting. In some units,
like a cheap one that I have, the wire feed motor runs off low voltage DC.
Find the right unit and the conversion might be simply a matter of hooking
up the battery at the output of the rectifier.

Steve Thomas

Posted by Arnold Walker on November 12, 2003, 2:21 am
 Need to look thru your Northern Equipment catalog already built to operate
off automotive electrics..
Also Zena builds Mig and Tig units for automotive eletrics.

Posted by N. Thornton on November 2, 2003, 11:56 pm

hi. Suggest using a nice big inductor to limit the current and provide
the necessary inductance to help maintain an arc. Your weld current
will be determined by the circuit's R, mainly the inductor's R. I'm
talking arc welding here.

Regards, NT

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