US L16HC XC2 Deep Cycle Battery

A Solar Energy Battery Storage Bank Made To Last 16 Years

Low Amperage Draw And Impeccable Maintenance Kept A Battery Energy Storage Bank Operable For More Than A Decade

Grover, Wyoming resident Jody Jenson, isn’t living “off-grid,” but his home is in a rural part of the state, where water comes from a well and delivered to the home by electric pumps. After several power outages, he didn’t want to rely on the city’s power grid to have fresh water, so he built a 48-volt solar system with U.S. Battery Deep-Cycle batteries for energy storage that have provided 16-years or reliable service.  “I did not like the vulnerability of relying on the grid for our drinking water,” said Jenson. “I spent over $12,000 on this system, including digging a new 100-ft. well. It definitely wasn’t to reduce costs, but more about having freshwater availability.”

To supply power to the pump system Jenson utilizes four 120-watt solar panels mounted together and wired to provide 24-volts and is connected to a circuit breaker and charge controller.  To store energy, he uses eight US L16HC XC2 batteries. “The system powers the well-pump that draws 4-amps, depending on groundwater level, but it’s pretty consistent,” he says. “It takes about 18-hours to fill the 1200 gallon cistern. The system normally runs about 12-hours between low and full tank levels.  From the cistern, there’s another pressure pump that draws six amps for approximately three minutes after starting, providing roughly 30-gallons between cycles.”

 Even though the system doesn’t draw huge amounts of amperage, Jenson never expected that the US L16HC deep-cycle batteries would last 16-years. “When I bought them, I remember being told that with proper maintenance, they should last something like five years,” said Jensen. “I knew with care, they would last longer.”

Jenson has taken exceptionally good care of his deep-cycle batteries, demonstrating how cost-effective flooded lead-acid batteries can be with proper maintenance. His routine includes weekly and monthly procedures. “Every week I go to check the system, including the water level in the cistern, corrosion on the battery posts, charging rate,  and battery voltage,” he says. “The batteries are still showing 26.5-volts fully charged. Once a month, I also check battery water levels and the amperage draw of the two pumps. This gives me any clues as to any problems that might be occurring. Quarterly, I add distilled water to the 24 individual cells.” 

While most people would consider this an impeccable maintenance routine, Jenson also includes periodic equalizing charges. “After adding water, I equalize the bank of batteries with the charge controller for a period of two hours at a maximum of 16-amps,” says Jensen. “I have never equalized without the batteries being fully charged. I’ve totaled up all the water I have added over the years, and as of today, from February of 2003 to now, I’ve added 63-gallons of water to the 24-cells!”

In addition to Jensen’s unique system and maintenance procedures, U.S. Battery L16 HC deep-cycle batteries feature the company’s XC2 formulation that uses Diamond Plate technology, highly efficient synthetic tetrabasic lead sulfate (TTBLS) crystal structures that enhanced performance, charging, and extend battery life. U.S. Battery also manufactures a line of Renewable Energy Batteries that are specifically designed for energy storage and feature Defender Moss Shields that reduce mossing and sulfation conditions, and Outside Positive Plates that mitigate the effects of plate sulfation.

While receiving 16-years of service from a set of deep-cycle batteries is not common, Jenson’s theory of having a large battery bank with a relatively low amperage draw, does demonstrate what low depth-of discharge and proper maintenance procedures can do to extend the life of deep-cycle batteries used for energy storage.

Diagnosing A Bad Deep-Cycle Battery

Finding The Weak Deep-Cycle Battery In Your Pack

There’s a time in the lifespan of a deep-cycle, flooded lead-acid battery where it will begin to fail and not hold a full charge.  Typically there’s no indication when this happens, other than when your battery-powered golf cart, aerial platform, forklift or floor cleaning machine slows down and stops operating. While deep-cycle batteries do often go beyond their advertised lifespan, they will eventually lose performance. A single tired battery in a battery pack can bring down the overall performance, so finding which battery is the culprit is vital to restoring the full potential of your vehicle.

Fully Charge the Battery Pack

Begin your diagnosis by completely charging the battery pack and checking each battery’s specific gravity readings with a hydrometer. Healthy batteries should have similar specific gravity readings in all cells.  If a battery has one or more cells with low specific gravity readings, it may be getting weak and nearing failure.  If all the batteries have low specific gravity readings, try performing an equalization charge.  If the specific gravity readings continue to increase with equalization charging, the problem may be the charger or the charging methods and not the batteries.  Equalization charging should be performed monthly on healthy batteries and more frequently if continuous undercharging is detected.

Perform a Full Discharge

After charging the batteries and the specific gravity readings indicate that all the batteries are fully charged, perform a discharge as the car would normally be used over the course of a day.  If the runtime is significantly shorter than normal, there may still be a weak battery in the pack.  Check the battery voltages and specific gravity readings and confirm that all connections are clean and tight.  If one battery is significantly lower than the rest, mark that battery as a suspect. If no low battery is found, use a load tester to perform a timed load test.  Battery packs that give less than 50% of the rated runtime are usually considered to be no longer serviceable.

Measure Voltage

Using a multimeter, measure the voltage at the end of the discharge test to locate a potentially bad battery. The one with a significantly lower voltage than the rest of the pack at the end of discharge is usually the culprit.  If all the batteries have low voltage and low runtime and your hydrometer readings on all the batteries don’t single out a bad battery or cell, then the entire battery pack may be at the end of its service life.

Replacing One Or More Batteries

If a bad battery is identified, it may not be necessary to replace the entire pack.  Battery manufacturers suggest that it is acceptable to replace one battery in the pack with a new one if it is under six months old.  If the battery is over six months old, it’s usually best to replace it with another battery from your fleet that has a date within six months of the rest of the pack or replace the entire pack.

For more information on deep-cycle batteries, run-time ratings, and maintenance tips to keep golf car batteries running longer, visit www.usbattery.com.

U.S. Dept. Of Energy Supports Study For Lead Battery EV Charging Stations In Missouri

Funding provided through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program is supporting plans and research investigating advanced lead battery energy storage alongside EV charging points in gas stations in the state of Missouri.

According to the Battery Council International, the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI) is in charge of the feasibility study and is preparing to try the lead-acid battery charging stations in at least two locations. “This project aims to demonstrate how advanced lead battery energy storage, linked to EV charging stations, can help manage electricity demand fluctuations and store electricity when it is less costly, before supplying it at a time when electric car drivers need to charge their vehicles,” says CBI Director Dr. Alistair Davidson. “It highlights the important role lead batteries can play in assisting governments around the world to roll-out charging infrastructure and meet energy needs.”

The CBI reports that detailed plans will identify potential funding sources to fully develop each site, which can then be used as a model for future lead battery-supported EV charging stations across the state. CBI aims to establish demonstration sites in the fall of 2019.

Replacement Deep-Cycle Batteries For Vertical Lifts 

Battery-powered vertical lifts are becoming increasingly popular with construction crews, as they are more compact, easily maneuverable, and provide a higher degree of safety than traditional ladders and scaffolding. 

To ensure reliable operation, it’s important for crews and rental facilities to utilize the proper deep-cycle batteries that power them. Some companies like Skyjack, JLG, Snorkel, and others, come equipped with four of our 6V flooded lead-acid batteries that feature quick fill caps that allow for easy inspection and water replenishing.  Over several years of operation, vertical lift manufacturers recommend utilizing the same type of replacement batteries to ensure proper operation. 

Deep Cycle BatteryModels such as Skyjack’s popular SJ12 feature U.S. Battery model US2200 XC2 6V deep-cycle batteries that provide a 232 amp-hour rating at a 20-hour rate, that is also designed to provide the highest rated capacity and fastest time to cycle up to rated capacity than any other deep-cycle battery in its class. These batteries also feature U.S. Battery’s SpeedCap design, making it easy to check water levels and to conduct routine maintenance, which includes checking water levels and topping off each cell to the battery manufacturer’s recommended levels as needed. 

Proper maintenance also includes visual inspections that require looking for clean terminals and wiring, then making repairs as necessary. Performing regular equalization charges at least once per month is also an important part of a proper maintenance routine that can prevent stratification and extend the service life of your batteries.

In addition to getting the right replacement batteries, the depth of discharge and regular maintenance are also key to making your vertical lift’s batteries last longer. Starting with a higher quality battery, such as what the vertical mast originally was equipped with, is a good start. It’s best to follow-up with ensuring that the batteries are limited to being discharged at no less than 50-percent. A 50-percent Depth Of Discharge (DOD), can be determined by first applying a full charge to the batteries, and the run time increases, regularly check the state of charge with a simple hydrometer. Battery manufacturers typically have a specific gravity chart that shows what the hydrometer will read at full charge, and also identify when it reaches various percentages of discharge. Periodically checking the hydrometer readings will give you a good idea of how much run-time the batteries can operate before reaching 50-percent discharge. Charging the batteries at this level, or before 50-percent DOD, will greatly promote longer service life.

With the right set of replacement batteries and routine maintenance, many construction crews and equipment rental facilities report that they have averaged five to seven years out of their batteries.

US REGC2H XC2

Expert’s Offer Tips On Energy Storage

Alternate Energy Magazine Talks With U.S. Battery Manufacturing Regarding Deep-Cycle Batteries Used For Energy Storage

Alternate Energy Magazine, one of the leading online trade publications for solar, wind, biomass, fuel cell and other alternate energy sources, spoke with U.S. Battery’s Senior VP of Engineering Fred Wehmeyer on energy storage trends and solutions.

Some of the topics discussed concern utilizing energy storage solutions closer to the point of use, such as in individual homes, subdivisions and communities. Wehmeyer also discusses the differences and advantages of utilizing flooded deep-cycle batteries versus AGM batteries, as well as the important differences between flooded lead-acid batteries over lithium-ion for home energy storage. Read the entire Alternate Energy Magazine Article HERE.

Deep-Cycle Replacement Batteries For Golf Carts and EV’s

Running out of power is never an option when you’re driving your golf cart or Electric Vehicle around town or the neighborhood. When you’re diligent about charging and adding water, there is a time when deep-cycle batteries reach the end of their lifespan and begin to lose performance. When this happens, it’s important to make sure you select the right replacement batteries for your particular application and use.

Which Battery Is Right For You?

Battery selection is key to the longevity of its performance in your vehicle. Going for the lowest cost battery isn’t always the answer, as it may not provide the longevity you need, while the most expensive battery may be out of your budget and still not provide the best option for how you use your vehicle.

The place to start is to first refer to your golf cart or EV’s manufacturer’s specifications. These can be different depending on the manufacturer. For example, Polaris EV’s, Columbia Par Car, Moke, and other popular vehicles all use a 48-volt electric engine but have different amperage and power requirements depending on the use and accessories on the vehicle.

For example, a Columbia Journeyman is a popular golf cart that is used in gated communities and is also made to be street legal for everyday use. While the vehicle uses six deep-cycle, 8-volt batteries, the proper battery model selection will depend on if use the vehicle daily or if it says in storage at your vacation home. For each of these types of scenarios, there are different battery ratings that might better match your usage needs.  U.S. Battery’s US 8VGC XC2 (with a 20-hour rate of 170) is a great choice for those who want a longer-lasting battery for this application. The US 8VGCE XC2 (with a 20-hour rate of 155) offers less overall runtime for applications where the vehicle won’t be used daily, offering a more cost-effective solution.

Making Deep-Cycle Batteries Last Longer

To get the most performance from your new battery, you must develop a regular maintenance schedule that consists of:

  1. Checking and replenishing the electrolyte levels. Installing a BWT or Flow-Rite single-point-watering kit can make this an easy and quick process.
  2. Performing an equalization charge
  3. Checking and Cleaning battery terminals and connections
  4. Performing an opportunity charge when possible

For a full list of proper Deep Cycle Battery Care & Maintenance procedures please see our page or download our Care & Maintenance brochure.

U.S. Battery Deep Cycle batteries are handcrafted in the U.S.A. The batteries also feature our exclusive XC2 formulation that gives them the highest initial capacity, fastest cycle-up time to full-rated capacity, improved recharge-ability, and the highest total energy delivered than any battery in their class. For a complete list of Flooded Lead-Acid or AGM batteries for cleaning machines download U.S. Battery’s Golf and Utility Vehicle Battery Flyer to see all of the models, sizes, and specifications available to fit your particular vehicle.

OC Monster Carts US Battery Testimonial

OC Monster Carts Prefers U.S. Battery Products For Its Custom Golf Cars

Chan Hunt, the owner of OC Monster Carts in Southern California, is a custom golf car shop that has tried numerous golf car batteries over the years, but ultimately switched to using U.S. Battery products exclusively. “We meet out customer’s needs and always exceed them when it comes to personalization and registered street-legal vehicles,” says Hunt. “We’ve had some warranty issues with other battery companies that became significant. When we chose U.S. Battery, they exceeded our expectations and are more reliable and user-friendly.”

Hunt realizes that not all golf car customers take care of their golf-car batteries as well as they should, but after seeing OE golf cars come in equipped with U.S. Battery products, Chan says that it helped convince him that it was the right choice for his customers. “One of the greatest things for us and our customers is to have the peace of mind that we can present them a product that they can drive off and us not have to worry about it.”

 

 

 

U.S. Battery Manufacturing Continues Support For Physics Factory’s Efforts To Educate Students Using Renewable Energy

Deep-Cycle Battery Tune-Up Tips

Aside from routinely adding water and charging your deep-cycle batteries, battery manufacturers recommend giving your batteries a tune-up. Simply put, this consists of a few methods to check the condition of the deep-cycle batteries and the associated components so that everything can continue to run perfectly.

Battery Terminals and Wires

1) Safety first. Always perform battery maintenance in a well ventilated area and wear eye protection and gloves.

2) Open the battery compartment of your deep-cycle battery-powered vehicle and check the wires and terminals connected to the battery. If corroded, clean them with a mixture of baking soda and water to neutralize acid corrosion (easily done with a spray bottle). Remove the cables from the battery terminals and, using a wire brush with a plastic or wooden handle to prevent shorting, clean the terminals and wire connections down to the bright metal. Replace any wires that are frayed or broken.

3) Reconnect the cables to the battery terminals. The recommended terminal torque is 100-inch pounds or 15-18 pounds on the end of a six-inch wrench. Avoid using larger wrenches or power tools.  Lead terminals can easily be damaged by over-tightening.  The goal is to fully compress the split-ring lock washer but no more. Use insulated tools to prevent arching.

4) Once the terminals and cables are clean and connections are secure, use silicone spray or a corrosion inhibitor to prevent additional corrosion from forming.

Condition of the Batteries

1) Remove the vent caps on each of the deep-cycle batteries and check the electrolyte level in each cell. If some are low, refill with distilled water so that the plates are covered with at least ¼ inch of electrolyte before charging.  After charging top up to within a ¼ inch of split-ring level indicator.

2) Use a hydrometer to determine the state of charge for each battery. During winter storage, all of the batteries should have been stored in a fully charged state. Check the battery manufacturer’s recommendation for the fully charged specific gravity for each type of battery.

3) If the batteries are fully charged, the vehicle is ready to start service. If the batteries are not fully charged, connect the charger and let it run through a full charge cycle. After charging recheck the electrolyte level and use a hydrometer to verify the batteries are at full charge.

4) After the first 30-days of use, perform an equalization charge to balance the cells and to mix the electrolyte to  prevent stratification.

Once you’ve completed these steps, your deep-cycle batteries in your golf cart, aerial work platform, forklift or even your RV and boat, should be ready to go back to work. With regular maintenance, they will continue to run at optimum performance and last longer with lower annual operating costs. For more information on deep-cycle batteries for your particular application and maintenance tips, visit www.usbattery.com.

 

 

Best Uses For AGM Deep-Cycle Batteries

When it comes to powering electric vehicles like golf carts, cleaning machines, and marine/RV accessories, deep-cycle batteries are the industry standard. The reason is that they are designed to provide greater long-term energy delivery that is capable of powering vehicles and equipment for longer periods of time, compared to a battery used to start a vehicle.

Deep-cycle absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries were designed with the electrolyte soaked into absorbed glass mats that surround the battery’s cell plates, rather than being submerged in the liquid electrolyte like the Flooded Lead-Acid battery types. The absorbed glass mat design eliminates the need to add water and prevents any leakage of the electrolyte in cold or hot weather conditions.

Without the need to add water, these maintenance-free, batteries offer an advantage when used in compact, battery-powered vehicles and equipment. Many of these have very small battery storage spaces, where access to the batteries is difficult. If you live or use battery-powered equipment in extremely cold environments, AGM batteries are well suited for it, as there’s no free liquid to freeze and expand, which cause battery case damage.

AGM deep-cycle batteries are available in a wide range of sizes and voltages that can be used in just about any application from RVs, to Solar and Renewable energy storage, golf cars, aerial work platforms, floor cleaning machines and more.