A Bright Future For Solar In California

Home Developers Gear Up For A Surge In Solar Panels And Battery Storage

In May of 2018, California passed a law requiring new homes to have solar power. While the law won’t take effect until 2020, builders are gearing up for what may be a surge in solar panel and equipment sales. While consumers fear the added solar systems will cause housing costs to skyrocket, advocates say that the extra costs will more than make up the cost in lower energy builds.

In a New York Times article, (California Will Require Solar Power for New Homes, May 29, 2018), sources say that the state is looking for alternative ways of energy production, which raises many questions as to how much of the solar energy collected will be put back into the local power grid, and how will rates change for solar and non-solar homes.

According to the Times, the increasing use of “smart” meters will help calculate costs and control consumption rages, but many homeowners are also looking into utilizing battery storage to offset peaks and valleys during high use periods. Battery storage is a popular way to efficiently utilize energy from solar and wind systems in rural off-grid areas, where solar systems output more than enough power during the day and charge batteries for use at night. Businesses often use battery storage to level out times of high energy demand and have seen dramatic cuts in their electric bills.

Most developers such as KB Homes, say that new home buyers will have a choice between buying the system outright (average cost is about $14,000) or lease the system with a monthly payment (on average $70 to $80 a month).  According to the California Energy Commission, the added cost of the solar system will add about$40 to an average monthly payment for a 30-year mortgage. While customers are offered an option, the overall hope is that the state can generate enough power for the millions of homes that are currently not on solar.

U.S. Battery’s 12VRX XC2

US Battery’s 12VRX XC2 is a popular choice for 12-volt deep cycle batteries used in a variety of applications. Originally designed for the 48-volt EZGO RXV vehicles without watering systems, the 12VRX has become popular in many other 48-volt and 72-volt golf cars in addition to equipment in applications such as aerial work platforms, recreational vehicles, and floor cleaning machines.

US Battery developed the 12VRX as a substitute to the popular 12VXC battery in order to address the difficulty of manually watering the rear battery on RXV golf cars. The cell vents on the 12VRX are configured horizontally on the battery as opposed to the chevron or “V” shaped spacing of the 12VXC. This allows the battery to be manually watered in equipment where space is limited or where batteries are partially covered. In addition to being easier to water, the 12VRX also differs from the 12VXC in how it is lifted. The 12VRX contains lifting tabs on top of the battery that eliminates the need for the handles located on the ends of the 12VXC. This saves almost a full inch in length, allowing the 12VRX to be installed in tight compartments where the 12VXC does not fit.

While the 12VRX is only compatible with Battery Watering Technologies (BWT) watering systems, the 12VXC is compatible with both Flowrite and BWT watering systems. For RXV golf cars with existing watering systems, US Battery offers a third 12-volt deep cycle battery called the 12VXZ. This battery is designed to fit in the RXV vehicles and still be compatible with the OEM Flowrite watering kits. Of all three batteries, the 12VRX is the most universal in regards to fitment.

U.S. Battery’s 12VRX offers unique advantages for a variety of applications. Advantages include providing high capacity (155 Amp Hours at the 20-hour rate), the ability to reach peak capacity in fewer cycles than other batteries in its class, and the ability to provide the most total energy throughout the life of the battery. This premium battery is part of the company’s Endurance Plus™ line of batteries, designed to provide high value and optimum performance. U.S. Battery products are manufactured and assembled by hand in the U.S.A. See U.S. Battery’s full line of 12-volt deep cycle batteries here https://usbattery.com/products/12-volt-batteries/

 

 

 

Battery Powered Elevating Platforms May Soon Be Replacing Ladders

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The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that there were 268,731

Ladder/Stool fall injuries, in the U.S., requiring medical treatment in 2017

Ensuring employee safety is an ongoing concern, causing many employers to look at the use of traditional ladders and scaffolding in the workplace. These growing concerns have in turn led to an increase in demand for compact vertical lifts and smaller scissor lifts. An article in the May-June 2018 issue of Access, Lift & Handlers Magazine reported that vehicle manufacturers such as JLG, Skyjack and, Snorkel are making smaller, more compact vertical mast lifts and scissor lifts in response to the industry’s call for greater safety for workers who would normally use ladders and scaffolding on jobs of 18 to 25 feet.

These low-level lifts feature smaller footprints, tighter turning radiuses, and are lighter than typical Aerial Work Platforms. They are available in manually operated or self-propelled models, allowing them to access areas that would be difficult or impossible for other lifts. The Skyjack SJ12 & SJ16, for instance, have a zero inside turn radius and only weigh 1,720lbs. and 2,130lbs, respectively. And, they only need four 6v deep cycle batteries, like the US2200 XC2, to supply the necessary 24V for operation. Due to their versatility and stability, construction crews, facility managers, and consumers are quickly adopting vertical mast lifts; as a way to reduce the risk of injury on the job.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

U.S. Battery Helps The Boy Scouts of America Pony Express Council’s Spring Blast

The Pony Express Council of the Boy Scouts of America hosted its 8th Annual Spring Blast charity event. U.S. Battery was one of several sponsors who joined in the event and helped with its support that allows youth to participate in the quality character-education of the Boy Scouts of America.

The Spring Bash is a clay shooting event was held at the Geiger Shooting Range in St. Joseph, MO, where teams of four are challenged to shoot as many clays as possible to earn the highest total score. Individual teams and those made up of the Bash’s sponsors participated in several shooting events such as the 100 target team event, 5-stand, and others. For more information on the Spring Bash and the Pony Express Council, visit. www.ponyexpressbsa.org.

For additional information on U.S. Battery Manufacturing products that are made in the U.S.A., visit www.usbattery.com.

U.S. Battery Manufacturing A Sponsor For The 2018 Bulls Only Dorado Fishing Tournament In Baja Mexico

U.S. Battery Manufacturing continues to be one of several annual sponsors of the Bulls Only Dorado Fishing Tournament held in Punta Chivato, Baja California, Mexico. “Residents of this small fishing town of Punta Chivato are mostly U.S. citizens who have vacation homes that successfully use solar and wind power, and store energy using U.S. Battery RE-Series products,” says Don Wallace, U.S. Battery CMO/ Executive VP, Sales and Marketing. “The proceeds from the annual tournament support local schools, retirement homes, and charities, so we’re happy to continue to help the tournament with our support.”

usb_re_all3_med_xc2logo-webThis tournament hosted its 21st annual gathering of sports fishermen who go out and try to hook the largest Dorado (Mahi-mahi). This year, the winning fish was 38-pounds, caught by Mike Bower, according to BD Outdoors.com’s fishing report. The annual tournament took place June 23rd to the 25th and offered up to $1,000 for the largest fish, along with $500 and $250 in prize money for second and third place anglers. The event also offers participants numerous raffle prizes, including certificates for U.S Battery’s RE L16 XC2 deep-cycle batteries that many of the townspeople use to store energy from their solar and wind systems.

 For additional information on U.S. Battery RE-Series Deep-Cycle Batteries, contact U.S. Battery Manufacturing, 1675 Sampson Ave. Corona, CA 92879. (800) 695-0945. Visit https://www.usbattery.com.

Reports Show Solar Market And Energy Storage Will Increase

According to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight Report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association, the U.S. solar market added 2.5GW of PV during the first quarter of 2018. According to the report, that is a 13 percent year-over-year growth that is expected to continue to increase.

The SEIA reported that Solar PV accounted for 55 percent of all U.S. electricity capacity during the first quarter of 2018, accounting for more than two gigawatts of energy. “The solar industry had a strong showing in the first quarter,” said SEIA President and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. “This data shows that solar has become a common-sense option for much of the U.S. and is too strong to be set back for long, even in light of the tariffs. States from California to Florida have stepped up with smart policies that will drive investment for years to come.” 

usb_re_all3_med_xc2logo-webThe increase in Solar PV systems has also lead to questions regarding energy storage. In a recent article in Alternate Energy Magazine, the use of Solar is a big challenge for businesses where Lithium Ion battery systems are extremely expensive and “loose storage capacity over time equating to roughly 20 percent after 1000 charge cycles. According to Fred Wehmeyer, Senior Vice President of Engineering at U.S. Battery Manufacturing, “Flooded Lead-Acid batteries remain as the best overall solution for storing energy and have the longest track record for safety and reliability. In addition, FLA batteries are completely recyclable so it also adds to a company’s efforts on reducing their carbon footprint. So when you combine this with the highest recycling rates on the planet, it stands to reason that this 150-year-old technology has definitely evolved into an energy source that’s hard to beat.”  For more information on energy storage solutions, visit www.usbattery.com

U.S. Battery A Sponsor Of The 18th Annual W.R. & Floy A. Sauey Family Foundation Golf Event Benefitting Local Youth

U.S. Battery Manufacturing was a proud sponsor of the 18th annual W.R. & Floy A. Sauey Family Foundation, charity golf event held in Baraboo, Wisconsin. This annual golf event benefits the Boys’ & Girls Club of Baraboo, where funds go to help young adults in the community.

U.S. Battery sponsored two golf cars that were outfitted to provide beverages for those who participated by playing golf throughout the day. “We’ve supported the event in the past and commend the effort in providing education and additional programs for the youth in this community,” said Mike Coad, U.S. Battery Director of Sales. “We participated this year with Steve Collins and Kyle Donskey from Northern Battery, and Dave Heip from Flambeau Products.”

The W.R. & Floy A. Sauey Family Foundation is a private foundation, which receives annual charitable contributions from the Nordic Group of Companies Ltd., which include Columbia ParCar, Duncan Toys Co., Flambeau Inc. and several others. The Nordic Group provides charitable contributions to the Foundation, which in turn, make constructive contributions to local communities in which the Nordic Group of Companies Ltd. has operations.

For more information on the W.R. & Floy A. Sauey Family Foundation, visit their website at http://www.saueyfamily.org. Additional information on U.S. Battery’s products for golf car, electric vehicle, maintenance machines, solar power, access lift, and many other industries worldwide, visit www.usbattery.com.

(Pictured above from left to right: Steve Collins and Kyle Donskey from Northern Battery, Mike Coad Director of Sales U.S. Battery, and Dave Heip from Flambeau Products.)

U.S. Battery Manufacturing Earns ISO 14001:2015 Certification

U.S. Battery Manufacturing’s Corona, California facility has earned the ISO 14001:2015 certification requiring companies to establish high environmental management standards. The certification showcases U.S. Battery Manufacturing’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact, by reducing harmful effects on the environment and providing evidence of continual improvement where optimal Environmental Management is concerned.

“Our team at U.S. Battery’s California plant has worked diligently towards focusing efforts on improving the company’s awareness regarding our environmental responsibility both today and into the future,” said U.S. Battery CMO/Executive VP Don Wallace. “Having an Environmental Management System in place will help us stay ahead of changing state requirements and maintain our long-term commitment towards being an environmentally conscious company. Our thanks to Jerry Bailey, Zack Cox, Frank Patton, David Mason, Terry Campbell and the rest of the Corona team involved in obtaining this certification.”

ISO 14001 is a series of standards that provide a guideline for organizations that want to systematize and improve their environmental management efforts. In addition, ISO 14001 certification helps companies like U.S. Battery Manufacturing improve efficiencies, reduce waste, and earn greater trust with customers and industries looking for companies that share a similar concern for the environment. For more information on U.S. Battery’s products, visit www.usbattery.com.

 

Battery Manufacturers Warn About Tossing Lithium-Ion Batteries In The Trash

According to an article in USA Today, lithium-ion battery manufacturers are pleading consumers to not throw used batteries in the trash or recycling bin. According to USA Today, 65-percent of waste facility fires were a direct result of lithium-ion batteries that were thrown away in the garbage.

Call2Recycle, a national recycling program funded by battery manufacturers, reported that there’s also a possibility of explosions in waste facilities when lithium-ion batteries from electronic devices are included in the garbage. As an example, USA Today reported that lithium-ion batteries were the cause of a five-alarm fire in a recycling facility in Queens, NY that burned for two days.  it was also reported that a recycling plant in Indianapolis was shut down after a fire from batteries, and a garbage truck in New York City exploded when workers compacted waste that ignited a lithium battery.

The problem in California alone has reached a point where the state is launching an awareness campaign to get consumers to keep these batteries out of the garbage and out of lead-acid battery recycling centers too. In an effort to curb improper disposal of used lithium batteries, some areas are encouraging consumers to put the batteries in a plastic bag and set them on top of the trash cans for pickup. In addition, some retailers such as Home Depot, Lowes, and Best Buy, according to USA Today, have recycling centers for used lithium batteries.

Battery Maintenance Safety Tips

Performing maintenance on flooded lead-acid batteries is simple, but one should always think about safety first. 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:

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.

2) Eliminate sources of sparks or flames. Charging lead-acid batteries produce 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.

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.

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