Battery Terminals, Making A Connection

When purchasing or replacing batteries, it’s important to remember the type of terminals used on the batteries in order to make the right wiring connections. Deep-cycle batteries often come with UTL style terminals but there are other options that can be specific to your application.

UTL terminals allow wiring to be attached flat onto the top of the terminal and are typically available in short (UTL) and longer (UT) sizes. Large “L” and small “L” terminals are often used in applications where the wiring needs to be attached to the sides of the terminal. Batteries can also be ordered with an SAE terminal, which accommodates wiring that clamps around the terminal, much like car batteries.

Make sure to carefully order any new or replacement battery with the proper terminals. Your local battery distributor will be able to show you a variety of options that are best suited for your particular application. For more information on battery terminals and finding the right battery for your application, visit www.usbattery.com.

Renewable Energy Storage Linked To Success In Statewide Plans

An article in Alternate Energy Magazine.com, an article by Megan Ray Nichols points out how renewable energy is continuing to outperform expectations. In Colorado, for example, Nichols showcases the states largest utility company Xcel Energy, planned to double its renewable energy capacity and in 2016 began a plan to shut down two coal plants and add 700 megawatts of solar energy, one gigawatt of wind, and 700 megawatts of natural gas.

To do this, the importance of energy storage was also a major factor in the distribution of energy. According to Xcel Energy, adding storage from batteries helped to mitigate the effects of generating power only in the sunshine or in windy conditions. According to Nichols the plan is still in the works and is moving to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission for approval.

U.S. Battery Manufacturing’s RE Series, Renewable Energy Storage Batteries Get An Updated Look

The Renewable Energy industry will soon appreciate the updated appearance of U.S. Battery’s RE Deep Cycle product line. The batteries will feature new labeling with stronger graphics and battery information, but the internal structure and design of the RE Series line will remain the same.

U.S. Battery RE Series deep-cycle batteries are the top energy storage solution chosen by a variety of industries and individual homeowners looking for the most cost-effective method to store energy from renewable solar and wind power systems. The unique components built into the RE Series batteries deliver the highest peak capacity, cycle life, reliability, and improved watt-hours per liter and watt-hours per kilogram.

These include the company’s exclusive Diamond Plate technology, highly efficient synthetic tetrabasic lead sulfate (TTBLS) crystal structures that enhanced performance, charging, and extend battery life. U.S. Battery’s RE-Series deep-cycle batteries also include Defender™ moss shields that effectively prevent the formation of “mossing shorts” caused when positive active material particles dislodge from the plates and collect at the top of the cell elements. Outside Positive (OSP™) battery design, mitigates the effects of positive plate deterioration and further increases battery life, overall capacity, and provides stable performance over the life of the battery.

U.S. Battery RE Series deep cycle batteries are available in 6-volt and 2-volt configurations, both featuring extra heavy-duty connector lugs for extreme power loads, a tough polypropylene exterior case, heavy-duty lifting handles, and the company’s SpeedCap® Venting positive locking system for easy maintenance. An optional factory-installed, single-point watering system is also available.

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

Advanced Energy Storage Applications Using Flooded Lead-Acid Batteries

Flooded lead-acid batteries are being used in numerous new and advanced energy storage applications

Flooded lead-acid batteries remain as one of the most cost-effective and environmentally safe ways to store energy. Because of this, many are being used in advanced energy storage applications in large scale to power businesses and residents with solar farms across the United States.

In one example, the Public Services Company in New Mexico (PNM), serves more than 500,000 residents and utilizes solar farms with flooded lead-acid battery storage systems that can deliver 500kW of power. According to PNM, the system allows for stabilized power output during high demand. Batteries are rack-mounted in eight freight containers adjacent to solar panels.

The University of New Mexico and Sandia National Laboratories helped work on the project and has successfully demonstrated peak shaving, smoothing of photovoltaic ramp rates, and minimizing of voltage fluctuations to the satisfaction of PNM.

For more information on deep-cycle flooded lead-acid batteries for solar energy storage, visit www.usbattery.com.

Simple Solar Power Upgrade For Marine Use

This boat owner and blogger pieced together a simple solar system to efficiently re-charge his deep-cycle batteries

Mark McMaster wanted to add a solar charging system to provide efficient power on his 34-foot, 1983 Tollycraft Series II boat, and reduce the need to run a noisy generator and conserve fuel. “We don’t have an onboard generator, and we hate the noise in quiet anchorages,” says McMaster.

TollyBatteryCompartmentBeing in the Equipment Business, especially related to golf courses and parks, McMaster was familiar with battery powered products and 12-volt deep-cycle batteries. “We supplied these machines with a variety of brands of batteries, but hands down, the best overall performance has been with U.S. Battery Products,” said McMaster.

It didn’t take long for McMaster to install a bank of four US2200 XC2 6-volt deep-cycle batteries in 2013 to his boat. Once he decided to go solar, he added a second set of four batteries and began the conversion. McMaster added four 100-watt flexible panels from Amray Solar and attached them to the bimini for the time being. A Victron MPPT charge controller was also used along with LinkPro battery monitor. The system allows McMaster to monitor the system via the Victron app and with the four solar panels, has so far managed to keep the batteries fully charged.

“The system works great so far, beyond expectations,” says McMaster. “We’ll get a better test of the entire set-up once we head out for a two or three-week trip. My only wish is that I should have taken better care of the batteries when I started. I should have performed an equalization charge on them on a regular basis and not let them get down to the 55-percent discharge range. I might replace them next spring and we’ll definitely use U.S. Battery products.”

You can see the entire solar system upgrade and other upgrades he’s made to his boat, on the Tolly Rodger blog: https://tollyroger.com. More information on U.S. Battery deep-cycle batteries for marine and RV applications can be found on the U.S. Battery Manufacturing website at https://www.usbattery.com.

Wiring system and controller for the battery bank.

Wiring system and the controller for the battery bank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solar panels temporarily attached to bimini.

Solar panels temporarily attached to bimini.

U.S. Battery Offers Solutions To Renewable Energy Storage That Are Also Environmentally Conscious

Looking For “Greener” And More Efficient Methods To Reduce Your Energy Costs And Flatten Power Curves? Visit U.S. Battery Manufacturing’s (Booth #3232) At The 2018 SPI Show in Anaheim, CA. To Find Out How.

U.S. Battery Manufacturing will be showcasing its line of RE-Series deep-cycle battery products, specifically designed for energy storage, at the 2018 Solar Power International (SPI). The show will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA, September 24-27th, where U.S. Battery Manufacturing will have the latest information for optimizing energy storage for a variety of commercial and residential industries.

The SPI show is one of the leading trade shows for the Solar Energy market and allows U.S. Battery to offer a better understanding of how energy storage with the company’s RE-Series of batteries can provide one of the best solutions for reducing energy consumption and flattening power curves for streamlined efficiency.

In addition, U.S. Battery’s RE-Series batteries can offer SPI attendees the benefits of improved battery cycle life with the company’s unique features offered on RE-Series batteries. With a recycling rate of nearly 100-percent, U.S. Battery’s deep-cycle flooded lead-acid batteries are also one of the best environmental choices for long-term energy storage. For more information, visit U.S. Battery at the SPI show in booth #3232, as well as online at www.usbattery.com.

 

Battery Powered Floor Cleaning Machines Need Clean Power Cables

Frayed or corroded battery cables and terminals may be the cause of poor performance on many battery powered cleaning machines. Here’s what to do.

One of the leading causes of poor performance from battery powered floor cleaning machines is corroded or damaged battery cables. Working under harsh conditions where exposure to moisture, heat, and wear, your cleaning machine’s battery cables, and battery terminals can become less conductive. In addition, poor connectivity can also be a result of over tightening, and constant vibrations. Therefore, it’s often best to check the condition of the cables every-time you perform routine maintenance on your vehicle’s batteries.

Topping the list for poor battery cable connectivity is over-tightening of the battery terminals. Battery posts are made from lead which can crack and break if the hardware connecting the cables to the posts are over tightened beyond the recommended torque specifications. If your cleaning vehicle’s batteries have been recently replaced or removed for any kind of maintenance, make sure the cables are attached using the specified torque recommendations from the battery manufacturer. Here’s an example of a battery data sheet indicating proper torque for one of U.S. Battery Manufacturing’s popular batteries for cleaning machines. 

Screen Shot 2018-08-17 at 9.20.15 AMCorroded cable connectors and terminals are another reason why your floor cleaning machine’s performance may be limited. The terminals and connectors can be easily cleaned by first spraying them with a solution of baking soda and water. Remove the cables from the battery terminals and use a small stainless steel brush with a wooden or plastic handle (to avoid any potential of arching). Gently clean the terminals and cable connectors before re-attaching them.

Improper connector assemblies can also be hindering your vehicle’s performance. Some cable connectors are crimped to the cable end, which can create a point of high resistance. If you notice some melting of the cable sleeve around that area, switch to a cable that has a mechanical connection (bolt attachment) or ones that are soldered together.

Undersized cables can also cause problems if they are not large enough to handle the vehicle’s amperage loads. If your cables are old and need replacing, check the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure that you’re using the correct gauge cables. The correct sized cable allows maximum flow of amperage from the battery to the motor and will also avoid meltdowns of the cables and terminals under heavy use.

The Electric Golf Car Market Expected To Expand

Market Researchers See Continued Growth On Electric, Battery Powered Golf Cars Through 2026

According to a market analysis by consulting and marketing research firm, Future Market Insights, the golf car market is expected to be positive for the long-term, with electric golf cars having the highest anticipated compound annual growth rate of 6.4 percent through 2026. (Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2016-2026 ).

According to the research, the growth is due to the electric golf car as internal transportation for developing countries, as well as private clubs, golf-centric real estate developments, the travel tourism industry which is expected to include new construction of resorts and golf courses.

Golf Car Options Magazine also published the research, but they suspect that this expected growth of the global golf car market will be challenged with the maintenance of lead-acid batteries, claiming that they are also less efficient and require frequent charging. While battery maintenance is essential for optimum performance in electric golf cars, items such as single point watering systems, Sense Smart Valves and proper charging techniques, can dramatically reduce maintenance and extend battery life. In addition, flooded lead-acid batteries have the benefit of being recycled at a rate of 99 percent, with the recycled lead going back into new golf car batteries in a closed-loop system.

The report goes on to say that electric powered golf cars are expected to continue to dominate the market in terms of value over the forecast period.

How Excessive Heat Will Affect Your Deep-Cycle Batteries

Battery powered vehicles are becoming more popular in a variety of industries, and where temperatures fluctuate drastically, it’s important to know how to properly maintain deep-cycle batteries in these conditions.

During summer months, some parts of the country can experience extreme heatwaves where temperatures soar into the triple digits. This affects the performance of batteries to a point where precautions should be taken.

Flooded Lead-Acid batteries often need watering, so during extreme heat conditions, it’s important to check water levels more frequently.  It’s essential to fill each battery cell with water so that the electrolyte is just below the vent tube, but covers the cell plates entirely.

Because of the chemical make-up of deep-cycle flooded lead-acid batteries, they will charge and discharge at different rates, depending on the ambient temperatures. This sometimes leads to overcharging during excessive heat conditions, where specific gravity readings, (done with a hydrometer) may show that the battery is not fully charged when it actually is.

For every 10-degrees F (7-degrees C)  above an ambient temperature of 80-degrees F,(72-degrees C) you must add 0.004 (0.005 for Celsius readings) to your hydrometer reading to get the proper state of charge of the battery.  In doing so, you might notice that the deep-cycle flooded lead-acid batteries in your equipment or vehicle may charge faster in excessive heat conditions than they do in colder temperatures.

Checking water levels and preventing overcharging by checking the battery’s state of charge and applying the temperature correction factor will definitely keep your batteries in top shape during excessive heat conditions. Your batteries will also perform better and last longer, lowering your annual operating costs which can be a dramatic saving for fleets with battery-powered vehicles.

 

Camper Van Equipped With Solar And Battery Storage

Traveling Troy outfitted his Astro Van with a solar system and U.S. Battery AGM batteries for energy storage

Not many of us can pack up our van and head out onto the open road for extended periods, but Traveling Troy is a blogger who converted his Chevrolet Astro Van into a camper and is now enjoying the van life. “From the beginning of the build, I knew I wanted to be unplugged from the grid as much as possible,” says Troy. “I knew solar would be my main source of power, but we (my Dad and I) also installed the ability to use stored power and a battery isolator for those rainy days.”

Troy had no idea how many solar cells and batteries he would need, so he began listing all of the electronic components and how often he would use them. “To determine how many watts of solar and the battery size needed, I listed all the power consuming items I planned to use while traveling,” says Troy. “This included my laptop, cellphone, gadgets, fridge, and others.”  U.S. Battery has an Interactive Energy Chart that helps determine battery storage requirements on the U.S. Battery websites. “We took the estimated watt usage from each of these items and determined how many hours or minutes a day I would use them,” he says. “This gave us an idea of maximum daily consumption.”

camper van power center Realizing how much power he was going to need, Troy says he figured to utilize as much of the van’s rooftop for solar panels. “It was decided that we would go as big as we could go with the limited space,” says Troy.  “That ended up being 300 watts of solar panels on the roof of the van and two 6 volt batteries with 210 amp hours inside the van.”

Troy decided to use U.S. Battery AGM deep-cycle batteries because of their compact size and because he wanted something maintenance-free. “We knew space was going to be limited in the small Astro van and every inch mattered,” says Troy. “The battery compartment was no exception.  We chose U.S. Battery AGMs because we wanted a deep cycle battery that was reliable, maintenance free and spill proof.  The plan was to install the batteries in the back corner of the van and build around them.  The area above the batteries and around the batteries was valuable build space.  Two years later, and the U.S. Battery AGM batteries are still going strong.”

The solar system installed in his camper van is a custom build, but many of the pieces are readily available. “Our solar systems consist of Three Renogy 100 watt Monocrystalline solar panels run in parallel to a Renogy PMW solar controller which charges two 6-volt AGM 2000 batteries from U.S. Battery,” says Troy. “All the components are neatly packed into our ‘Power Center’ which uses what would normally be wasted space around the back passenger wheel well of the van.  Some of the components include a 200-watt inverter, 12-volt cigarette plug, shore power breaker and shore power battery charger.”

power center 2 (1)So far, the system has worked well and Troy has had enough power to live out of the van and explore the country. “I’m in the third week of a 3-month road trip and it has been really amazing being on the road full-time and living out of the van, off the grid,” says Troy. “My plan is to explore Arizona and visit the Grand Canyon for my birthday.  Then I’ll be exploring Southern Utah and the Mighty Five National Parks.  Finally, I’m hoping to meet up with my dad and step-mom in Colorado while they’re on a road trip.”

Troy chronicles his trips and the continuous build-up of his camper van on his social media pages, travelingtroy.com. Additional information and videos on the camper van build are on Troy’s YouTube page. www.youtube.com/c/Travelingtroy.