Benefits Of Using A Single Point Watering System

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Dan Grigsby of U.S. Battery Manufacturing, demonstrates the benefits and procedures of using a single point watering system, and how a group of six flooded lead-acid batteries can be watered in less than a minute.  In addition to simplifying battery maintenance, Grigsby explains how proper watering can help extend the life and performance of flooded lead-acid batteries.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

How To Install A Battery Watering Technologies System 

U.S. Battery Recommended Single Point Watering Systems

How To Install A Battery Watering Technologies Single Point Watering System


Using a single point watering system can save lots of time and effort in maintaining flooded lead acid battery packs. Most golf car and RV owners know that after charging their battery packs they will have to open up the battery compartment in the vehicle, check each battery cell, and fill each one with a precise amount of water.

While watering is a necessary step, making the process simpler and faster can be accomplished by using a single point battery watering system. Complete systems like those from BWT, are a popular choice for many golf car and RV owners because they feature a visible indicator that shows if the battery cell is low on water, and prevents over-filling.

Installing a watering system is easy and over time, can save money by dramatically cutting down on maintenance time, especially if you’re maintaining a fleet. The basic steps include removing the battery cell covers and replacing them with the float-caps provided in the kit. Once all the caps are on each of the battery cells, the hose is trimmed and attached to each of the caps, and routed so that filling can be accomplished near the center of your battery pack.

Most kits come with a gravity feed water tank, or a siphon hose that can be inserted into a bottle of distilled water. It’s also important to remember that after installing a single point watering system, that you only add water after the batteries have been charged.

Although it’s much faster and easier to water flooded lead acid batteries after they’ve been charged, it’s also important to realize that proper watering will extend the service life and performance of the batteries. For more information on a variety of single point watering systems for flooded lead-acid batteries, visit www.usbattery.com.

 

bwt single point system

A complete single point watering system like this one from BWT comes ready to assemble.

 

BWT valve/cap

Each battery cap covers one cell and includes a flow-nozzle and float that closes off the incoming water once the cell is properly filled.

 

 

BWT valve cap level indicator

As the float comes up, an indicator window makes it easy to see if the battery cell is filled to the precise level.

 

 

removing battery vent caps

The first step in installing a single point watering system is to remove the vent caps on all of the batteries. Make sure you’re using proper safety equipment and are performing this in a well ventilated area.

 

 

BWT cell cap

The BWT caps simply press and snap into place over each battery cell opening.

 

 

Install hose to bwt cap

Measure and trim the water hose so that the caps are connected.

 

 

connect bwt caps with hose

Here you can see how each battery has its caps in place and that they are connected with a small section of hose.

 

 

connecting battery cells

Depending on how many batteries are in your pack, follow the instructions to measure and trim the hose to properly route the flow of water.

 

 

water flow

This example shows the water flow through this six battery pack for a typical golf car.

 

 

center fill hose

The fill hose is attached to a T-connector that will flow water to both sides of this battery pack.

 

 

bwt center fill hose connected

Here you can see how the filler hose is attached to the center of the pack and how the water fill flow from the center out to each battery cell.

 

 

bwt end flow nozzles plugged

The flow nozzles on the valve caps at the farthest end of the battery pack are capped to prevent water from spilling out during filling.

 

 

bwt fill hose coupler

Once the system is installed, the center fill hose can be easily connected to the water source with a quick-connect coupler.

 

U.S. Battery’s 8-Volt Deep Cycle Batteries Increase Golf Car Performance And Reliability

With higher initial capacity and longer service life, U.S. Battery Manufacturing’s 8-volt Deep Cycle batteries improve golf car performance and reliability. The company’s exclusive XC2™ formulation and Diamond Plate Technology® are combined to create the industry’s most efficient battery design, providing the highest initial capacity and highest rated capacity through the life of the battery. This plate technology also allows U.S. Battery’s products to reach peak capacity in fewer cycles, provide higher total energy delivery, extend service life, and be compatible with a wider range of battery chargers.

 

“Golf car owners and fleet managers used to have to choose between a battery that provided either higher peak power or longer service life,” says Don Wallace, U.S. Battery CMO/Executive Vice President. “We set out to build a better battery that provides our customers with both higher initial capacity and longer service life by improving the plate structure and composition. A better, longer lasting battery won’t need to be replaced as often and, when properly maintained will save our customers money in the long run.”

 

Available in three configurations, US8VGCE (121 amp-hrs. @20 hrs), US8VGC (170 amp-hrs.@20 hrs.), and U8VGCHC (183 amp-hrs.@20 hrs.), the batteries feature extra heavy-duty connector lugs, a tough polypropylene exterior case, and the company’s positive locking SpeedCap® venting system for easy maintenance.

U.S. Battery also manufactures 6 and 12volt deep-cycle batteries for a variety of applications. U.S. battery products are manufactured in the U.S.A. and distributed worldwide. For more information, contact U.S. Battery Manufacturing, 1675 Sampson Ave. Corona, CA 92879. (800) 695-0945. Visit https://www.usbattery.com.

 

Corporate Contact: Dwayne Porter, PR- Marketing Manager, 1675 Sampson Ave. Corona, CA 92879 (800) 695-0945. E-mail: DPorter@usbattery.com.

How To Measure A Flooded Lead Acid Battery’s State Of Charge

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U.S. Battery Manufacturing provides informative tips on how to measure a battery’s state-of-charge in the company’s newest Tech Tips video. The video explains  in detail on the benefits of being able to measure the state of charge in a flooded lead-acid battery, and how to perform the operation with a simple hydrometer. By using the information demonstrated in the video, U.S. Battery Manufacturing customers and dealers can determine a variety of battery conditions and overall battery health, as well as diagnose potential problems. U.S. Battery Manufacturing is dedicated to providing its customers and dealers with helpful  information and tips to properly maintain battery performance and extend service life. Other Tech-Tip videos and articles are available on the newly re-designed U.S. Battery website, at www.usbattery.com.  The new video on how to measure a battery’s state of charge is also available on the company’s YouTube and Facebook social media sites to view and share. For more information, contact U.S. Battery Manufacturing, 1675 Sampson Ave. Corona, CA 92879. (800) 695-0945. Visit https://www.usbattery.com.

How To Select The Right Golf Car Battery

By Fred Wehmeyer, Senior Vice President/Engineering U.S. Battery Manufacturing

Every golf car fleet manager knows that flooded lead acid batteries used for powering their fleet will eventually need to be replaced. Purchasing new batteries can be expensive so it’s important to do the research and select batteries with the longest cycle life and the lowest cost per cycle over their lifetime. Finding the “best” set of batteries however, requires more than just comparing the ratings on the labels and prices.

To find the best battery for your application(s), start by determining the correct size, voltage and ampere hour (AH) capacity required for your specific golf car.  For older cars, increase the AH capacity by ~20 percent to allow an added margin for efficiency.  Check the battery manufacturer’s rating charts to determine which battery provides the proper voltage, AH capacity, and/or runtime that matches your application.  If you’re comparing batteries from different manufacturers, it’s important to carefully check the information to be sure you’re comparing apples-to-apples.

Battery cycle life ratings are often based on selective data from the manufacturer.  Typically, cycle life ratings are determined by the depth of discharge (DOD), the percentage of AH capacity discharged from the battery on each discharge.  As an example, a battery with an 80 percent DOD has only 20 percent of its capacity left. Most battery manufacturers recommend a 50 percent DOD for optimum cycle life vs runtime, but cycle life can be quoted at a wide variety of DOD ratings. This can result in what appears to show a longer cycle life for one battery type over another but may not be an accurate comparison.  When comparing cycle life ratings, make sure they are rated using the same DOD. This will give you a good point to start.

Because test methods, temperatures, charging algorithms, and charging methods all affect cycle life, relying on printed ratings shouldn’t be your only point of reference. Generally speaking, less expensive batteries may have fewer or lighter internal components (lead plates and plate construction) and may have shorter cycle life in the same application due to greater DOD.  Batteries with more or heavier plates will typically have longer cycle life but will also cost more initially. So a less expensive battery might be a better choice for someone with a golf car that is used occasionally or won’t be driven for long periods between charges.  However, for fleets with golf cars that see heavy cycling, a higher capacity battery would benefit them by providing longer run times and lower DOD resulting in longer cycle life.

All that being said, when comparing battery brands to determine which one will be best, be sure to understand the differences between your application and standard test conditions.  Manufacturers test batteries in laboratory environments that are intended to simulate actual conditions encountered in a variety of applications.  These conditions may not perfectly duplicate those in your application, but by understanding the differences, the best comparison can be made.  If possible, take notes on use patterns, charging practices, and battery maintenance frequency and compare with the battery manufacturers’ recommendations.  Ultimately you may find that one brand stands out from the others and offers you the best performance-per-dollar in your application.

For more information on battery life cycle ratings and to find information on U.S. Battery products, visit the company’s website at www.usbattery.com.

Safe Handling Tips For Servicing Flooded Lead Acid Batteries

Performing maintenance on flooded lead-acid batteries in golf car fleets can get to be routine for fleet managers and workers who perform these tasks on a weekly or monthly basis. But no matter how routine, making safety a top priority must remain a key factor for those who regularly handle lead-acid batteries.

Even though lead acid batteries are handled safely on a daily basis by millions of battery users and maintenance personnel worldwide, unfortunately improper handling can result in easily preventable injuries.  According to a variety of occupational safety and hazard organizations, nearly 2,300 people in the U.S. are injured each year while working with or around lead acid batteries.  To prevent accidents or injuries when working on or around batteries, it is important to implement these 10 safety procedures and make sure fleet managers and employees always follow them:

1) Always wear protective eyewear and gloves. The electrolyte in flooded lead acid batteries contains sulfuric acid. The electrolyte can not only damage clothes, but it will burn skin if left untreated. If you come into contact with the battery’s electrolyte, wash and flush the area with water immediately.  If it comes into contact with your eyes, flush immediately with water for 15 minutes and promptly seek medical attention. Providing easily accessible eye wash stations is required in most industrial sites.  Consult OSHA standards for more information.

2) Eliminate sources of sparks or flames. Charging lead acid batteries produces hydrogen and oxygen gases from the electrolyte. When performing maintenance on lead acid batteries, a spark or flame can ignite these gases and could cause the battery to explode.

3) Keep metal tools and jewelry away from batteries. Non-insulated tools or jewelry can run the risk of arcing if accidental contact is made between a battery terminal and grounded frame or another terminal. Also, gold or silver jewelry can become extremely hot if contact is made.  Always wear gloves and use insulated tools to remove terminals and battery hold-downs.

4) Use caution when removing a lead acid battery. Lead acid batteries are heavy and many accidental injuries occur when lifting or moving batteries by hand. Use a battery carrier or make sure you have a good grip on the battery and have the strength to hold it safely.

5) Keep a neutralizing solution close by. A baking soda and water solution neutralizes the sulfuric acid in the battery’s electrolyte. Create a small solution in a jar or container and keep it close by. If some electrolyte is accidentally spilled, you can immediately use the solution to clean the area, then rinse with water.  Note: Do not use baking soda solution in eye wash bottles or stations.

6) Use the correct type of charger. Not all battery chargers are the same or work properly on a flooded lead-acid battery. Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations on how to properly charge the battery and make sure your charger provides the best algorithm that maximizes battery life and power output. Battery charging should always be done in a well-ventilated area.

7) Maintain electrolyte at proper levels. Never use a garden hose to fill batteries. Use only distilled or deionized water in a watering pitcher, water caddy or an automated watering system to properly fill batteries. Never fill battery cells above the level indicator. If the electrolyte level is below the tops of the battery plates prior to charging, add just enough water to cover them. Once the battery has been fully recharged, bring the water level up to approximately ¼ inch from the bottom of the fill well indicator.  Never fill a low cell all the way to the fill well indicator before charging.

8) Store batteries in a cool, dry and ventilated area. If you store large quantities of batteries, be sure the area is clear of any heat sources, flames, and sparks. Clearly post “No Smoking” and “Flammable” signs in the area.

9) Make sure battery vent caps are fully seated in place. Loose or improperly seated vent caps can spill electrolyte and expose the gases inside the battery to conditions that could cause an explosion.

10) Dedicate an area for battery maintenance. Prevent accidents by dedicating an area for battery maintenance that has properly insulated tools, protective wear, a wash station, ventilation and plenty of workspace.

 U.S. Battery Video On Maintenance Tips:

For more information, contact U.S. Battery Manufacturing, 1675 Sampson Ave., Corona, CA 92879. (800) 695-0945. Visit www.usbattery.com.

Flooded Lead Acid Battery Maintenance: Are Battery Watering Systems Worth The Cost?

Is watering a battery manually versus using a watering system actually saving you money in the long run?

By Fred Wehmeyer, Senior Vice President/Engineering U.S. Battery Manufacturing

Golf courses always look for ways to reduce their maintenance costs. But cutting corners with battery maintenance on a golf car fleet can have a dramatic affect on the life expectancy of their deep-cycle batteries. One of those essential maintenance procedures is watering. But the decision to add water manually, versus using a more expensive automated watering system, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s saving you any money in the long run.

While it may seem easier and cost effective to use a garden hose to refill each battery cell, the fact is, you could actually be damaging the batteries and reducing their life expectancy. First of all, no battery manufacturer recommends using a garden hose to refill the water in any deep-cycle battery.  If you prefer to water manually, make sure to use only distilled water, and take carful measurements. Use a water delivery gun, watering pitcher or at the very least, some type of measuring cup to ensure you’re delivering the right amount for each cell. The electrolyte should be kept about 1/4-inch below the bottom of the fill-well in the battery’s cell cover.

Watering systems on the other hand, automatically and precisely fill each battery cell with the right amount. You can also water multiple batteries at once. While watering systems are easy to use, and can save lots of time, they are an added expense for a large fleet.

So to determine which method is most cost effective, we first have to decide how often the batteries must be watered, and the amount of time and cost it takes to water the entire fleet. On average, medium to heavy use golf courses should water their fleet’s batteries at least once per month.

Watering batteries manually takes about 15-30 seconds per cell, and typically involves removing the vent caps, using a watering pitcher or water caddy, (never use a garden hose), and replacing the vent caps.  For a 48-volt golf car, this would translate to approximately 6 to 12 minutes per car.  Multiply that times an average 100-car fleet, and watering once per month translates to 120 to 240 hours per year.  Not bad, but also add in $15 per hour for an average technician, and your maintenance costs can average $1,800 to $3,600 per year.

Compared to a watering system, the time is reduced to 1 to 2 minutes per car, for any size battery pack (no vent cap removal and replacement is required on many watering systems). For the same 100 car fleet, watered once per month, the maintenance time per year is reduced down to 20 to 40 hours, and at a cost of $300 to $600 per year.  That’s a reduction in cost of $1500 to $3000 per year or $7500 to $15,000 over a five year life expectancy of the batteries.

Many golf courses think watering systems are just too expensive, and that doing it by hand must be cheaper in the long run. But consider that the expected life of a watering system is somewhat longer than five years. Many fleet managers that do utilize a watering system claim they can get 10 years out of it, with a moderate level of maintenance and replacement parts.  If we add all the numbers up, the cost of a typical watering system is approximately $100 per car. The cost for the 100 car fleet is approximately $10,000. With this type of investment however, a golf course could expect the payback period to be three to seven years with extended battery life as a bonus.

So for larger fleets, the upfront cost of a watering system can make a significant difference in the long run. But, not every fleet is the same, so you’ll have to figure in your numbers for yourself, to see what’s best for your particular fleet.  Check the websites on various watering system manufacturers. They often have an online calculator that can help measure your return on the investment.

Saving money on maintenance costs is one benefit, but if you can also dramatically increase the life of your fleet’s batteries, then you could see some real savings that might change the way you think about battery maintenance, and the importance of carefully watering your batteries.
Find additional resources on battery maintenance and ways to increase battery efficiency and service life, visit U.S. Battery’s website at www.usbattery.com.

Battery Specialists Inc. Honored by U.S. Battery And Awarded With A New EZGO Golf Car

Larry Hall, Founder of Battery Specialists with his new EZGO golf car provided by U.S. Battery.

Battery Specialists Inc. was one of several distributors who were awarded a new EZGO golf car by U.S. Battery Manufacturing, for meeting or exceeding sales goals set by the battery manufacturer in 2013. Founded in 1973, Battery Specialists Inc. offers an extensive battery inventory with both an on-line and retail show-room presence, making it one of the largest independently owned battery distributors in Greenville, South Carolina. The company offers thousands of replacement batteries ranging from automotive, industrial, marine, golf car, and more. “Our valued relationship and the full line of U.S. Battery products, in conjunction with other premier manufacturers, enables us to provide the most comprehensive product line with next-day delivery and unrivaled service and expertise throughout the Carolinas,” says Larry Hall, founder of Battery Specialists Inc.

“We’re proud to be partnered with a premiere distributor like Battery Specialists and glad they were able to step up to our challenge,” says Don Wallace, CMO, Executive VP U.S. Battery Manufacturing. “It is a huge challenge to manage the extensive types and technology of batteries in today’s market. Despite the challenge, Battery Specialists is continually training and providing advanced education to both its staff and customers, creating a very extensive knowledgebase on the U.S. Battery product range, thus providing their customers the highest quality service.” For more information on U.S. Battery products, visit www.usbattery.com.

U.S. Battery Launches Its Re-Designed Website

U.S. Battery Manufacturing , the leading battery manufacturer in the U.S., launched its newly redesigned interactive website today. The new www.usbattery.com corporate site provides easier navigation with links to the company’s complete line of flooded lead-acid and AGM battery products, as well as battery watering systems and battery maintenance accessories. “This website will make it easier for our national and global dealers and customers to find and download product information on every U.S. Battery product we manufacture,” says Dwayne Porter, U.S. Battery Marketing Manager. “Our website has now become a more powerful tool for our customers and provides greater capability to keep up with our company’s expansion and leadership in the industry.”

The new U.S. Battery website is scalable for easy viewing on tablets, laptops and mobile phones, and includes detailed technical information on all of U.S. battery’s products. The site also features new tech tip videos and power calculators to help visitors select the right battery and optimize power for their particular application, and extend battery performance. The company’s products are well-known in the industry to provide the highest rated-capacity and longest service life for industries such as golf-car, aerial & platform, RV, marine, military, renewable energy, floor maintenance and more.

Battery Sales And Service Is Awarded A New EZGO Golf Car By U.S. Battery

Don Wallace CMO, Executive VP U.S. Battery awarded Scooter Anderson of Battery Sales and Service (seated) with an EZGO Golf Car for meeting U.S. Battery’s distributor incentive program.

U.S. Battery Manufacturing awarded Battery Sales and Service with a new EZGO golf car, for meeting the challenges of U.S. Battery’s 2013 distributor incentive program.  “Battery Sales and Service is proud to have met the requirements set forth by US Battery in winning the EZ Go golf car,” says Scooter Anderson owner of Battery Sales and Service. “The task was achieved as a result of representing the great products produced by U.S. Battery.”

Battery Sales and Service was founded in 1977 and has been providing the Mid-South and Gulf Coast with wholesale and retail batteries, battery tools and accessories, as well as repair and recycling services. ” We chose the U.S. Battery line of deep cycle batteries because of their unsurpassed commitment  to quality, and their partnering with their distributors,” says Anderson. “We admire U.S. Battery’s constant quest to improve what already  is considered the best deep cycle batteries on the market.”

Battery Sales and Service is based out of Memphis, Tennessee and has other locations in major cities in the south including, Atlanta, Jackson, Nashville, New Orleans, Birmingham and Mobile. “Our relationship with Battery Sales and Services goes way back, and remains as one of our most valued distributors,” says Don Wallace, CMO, Executive VP U.S. Battery Manufacturing. “We’re happy that they have been able to exceed the goals we’ve set and have continued to partner with us to extend U.S. Battery’s products to new and existing customers.”

For more information, contact U.S. Battery Manufacturing, 1675 Sampson Ave. Corona, CA 92879. (800) 695-0945. Visit www.usbattery.com.