US AGM12V27

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.

Jumping Mahi Mahi

U.S. Battery Manufacturing Sponsors Homeowners Of Punta Chivato, Baja Mexico In Their Annual Bulls Only Dorado Fishing Tournament

The community of Punta Chivato in Baja California, Mexico is an area where most of the homes utilize solar power, many using U.S. Battery RE deep-cycle batteries for energy storage. Over the years, the homeowners have organized into a non-profit association that raises money for the local schools, as well as many other charitable organizations, with an annual fishing tournament that is now in its 23rd year. “Our first Dorado Fishing Tournament was in 1996,” said Bill Knerr, one of the event organizers. “We take donations and contributions from sponsors like U.S. Battery Manufacturing and at the end of our fiscal year (April), we either write checks or set up lines of credit at merchant’s stores, whichever is appropriate for a particular charity. U.S. Battery has been in our community for many years and their products continue to be a reliable source for energy storage.”

The 23rd Dorado Fishing Tournament takes place June 21st through the 23rd and offers cash prizes up to $1000 for the largest Dorado caught. “U.S. Battery is happy to continue supporting the homeowners in Punta Chivato not only because of their use of our products but also for their work supporting area schools and other local charities,” says Michael Coad, VP Sales & Marketing at U.S. Battery Manufacturing.

More information on the 23rd Dorado Fishing Tournament can be found here. Additional information on U.S. Battery’s RE-Series deep-cycle batteries designed for energy storage is available on the U.S. Battery website at www.usbattery.com.

Battery Safety Summit To Focus On Education And Safety Of Lithium-Ion Batteries

The agenda for the 10th Annual Battery Safety Summit is reported to be focused on lithium-ion batteries and their expanding application and use by consumers. The summit is scheduled for October 22-25, 2019 in Alexandria Virginia where, according to the Battery Safety Summit will discuss finding accurate test and models that are critical for predicting and controlling the complex electrochemical, thermal, and mechanical behavior of lithium-ion batteries. 

The summit also plans to promote effective safety strategies from battery manufacturers, scientists and regulatory authorities as the use of these batteries increases. The summit intends to continue safety dialogs for the integrating and implementation of lithium-ion batteries to meet growing energy demands. For more information on the Battery Safety Summit, visit https://www.cambridgeenertech.com/battery-safety

Your Boating Spring Checklist Should Include Deep-Cycle Battery Maintenance

As summer approaches, boats often get a spring cleaning where the vessel gets washed, engines get tuned, and seals get inspected. Most often, the vessel’s batteries were removed for storage, but that doesn’t mean they should simply be plugged back in without checking them as well.

Most boats have two types of batteries on board, one for starting the engine(s) and a deep-cycle marine battery for powering accessories such as troll motors, lights, radio, navigation, etc. All of the vessel’s batteries should have been fully-charged before long-term storage, but deep-cycle batteries use for powering accessories need some additional maintenance to keep them working reliably.

Most boats will have a single 12-volt or a series of six-volt flooded lead-acid (FLA) deep-cycle batteries. These are the most cost-effective type of battery versus an AGM or maintenance free batteries. To get your FLA batteries in shape for summer boating, put on some rubber gloves and protective eyewear and remove the vent caps on the batteries to check the level of the electrolyte. The lead cell plates of the battery should be completely submerged in the electrolyte. If not, add distilled water to the point when the plates are fully submerged, usually, 1/4-inch below the bottom of the fill well in the cell cover. Do not overfill.

Once you are sure the battery cell plates are properly submerged in electrolyte the batteries should go through a full charge cycle. Once completed, check the electrolyte levels again and add distilled water to any of the battery cells that may need it.

Check for corrosion on the battery terminals and wiring. Corrosion can be cleaned by spraying a solution of baking soda and water to neutralize the electrolyte, then using a wire brush with a plastic or wood handle, the terminals and battery connectors can be cleaned. Use a silicone spray to keep the terminals and connectors clean and to prevent additional corrosion from building up.

Once your deep-cycle batteries are clean and fully charged, it’s a good idea to make sure you do not discharge the batteries past 50-percent. This dramatically reduces battery life. Battery manufacturers also recommend giving your deep-cycle batteries an equalization charge. This is an extended, low current charge performed after the normal charge cycle. It helps keep all the cells in balance. Actively used batteries should be equalized once per month and most battery chargers will have this function built into it. If you have an automatically controlled charger that doesn’t have an equalization function, you can unplug it and reconnect it after completing a charge to give an extra equalization charge.

Once you’ve provided the proper maintenance to your deep-cycle marine battery(s), they should give you optimum performance throughout your boating season. Occasionally, check the condition of each battery charge by using a hydrometer to test the cells and determine the state of charge indicated on the hydrometer and the battery manufacturer specifications. Keeping your marine batteries in shape will make them last much longer and allow you to enjoy your time on the water.

RV Batteries, Getting The Most Power Storage

Most RVs have an electrical system that simply plugs into a power source. When you’re at a more primitive site that has no power or water, your RV’s deep-cycle batteries had better be in top shape to power everything from your fridge, lights, stove and more. Many RV owners don’t always think about their batteries until they stop working, so it’s always important to make sure you have enough energy storage to power all your RV’s accessories. 

The way to ensure your RV has plenty of standby power is to ensure the batteries have enough capacity to handle the power load of all of your RV’s accessories. First, It’s important to know that RVs require a deep-cycle battery for this purpose. These batteries provide longer lasting power compared to regular car starter batteries that are designed to provide maximum power for short periods (to start the engine). Each deep-cycle battery is rated in amp-hours (AH), a measurement of the battery’s capacity. Most are indicated in the amount of current in amps that the battery can provide for 20-hours. 

For example, a deep-cycle battery with a 100 AH rating can deliver 5 amps for 20 hours, or 20 amps for 5 hours, before being discharged. Discharging deep-cycle batteries more than 50-percent will dramatically shorten their life. This is one reason why many experienced RV owners use batteries with the most AH rating they can get. When comparing batteries, make sure you compare them by the same 20-hour standard.

RV owners also switch to using multiple batteries to provide extra capacity. In many instances, this is done by using two smaller 12-volt deep-cycle batteries wired in parallel that will increase the AH capacity rating and leave the voltage at 12-volts. If you really want to dramatically increase your power storage, you can also switch to using two 6-volt batteries that need to be wired in series to produce 12-volts. This can more than double your AH capacity if you have the battery storage space to do so. 

Keeping your batteries from being discharged below 50-percent is key to making them last longer, as can checking the water levels in the batteries. In some RVs, it’s difficult to access the batteries for monthly maintenance so some RV owners also install a single-point watering system that makes it easy to add water to each battery from one access point. 

For more information on selecting the right RV batteries and maintenance tips on making them last longer, visit www.usbattery.com

U.S. Battery Recycling logo

On Earth-Day, Industries Get “Green” With Batteries

The increasing use of deep-cycle batteries is helping various industries become leaner and reduce their impact on the environment

A variety of industries have been using battery powered equipment and vehicles for decades. The attraction to incorporate them was initially to improve safety. In the cleaning industry, for example, motorized cleaning machines were much safer with battery power, reducing the risk of trips and falls. In the access lift industry, battery-powered vehicles are more compact and maneuverable, answering the industry’s call for greater safety for works on jobs that extended 18-25-feet above ground.

As these and other industries enjoyed improved safety standards, they began realizing that there was a greater demand for battery powered vehicles because of the hidden benefits that weren’t initially apparent. Companies and industries using battery powered floor cleaning machines, access lifts, golf carts, fork lifts, and other equipment, realized that those equipped with deep-cycle lead-acid batteries ended up being more cost effective than those powered by combustion engines. In addition, with proper battery maintenance, many companies realized lower annual operating costs, and the benefit of reduced environmental impact.

The latter was realized when the Battery Council International announced that lead-acid batteries are one of the most recycled product on the planet, nearing 100 percent. As long as recycling efforts are adhered to, and avoiding recycling lithium-ion batteries in lead-acid battery recycling centers, industries that adopted battery powered equipment are also “greener” than they once thought.

Deep-cycle batteries are also being seriously considered for a growing need for energy storage from alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power. During a recent Advanced Energy Storage Caucus in Washington DC, representatives discussed how energy storage is the future of renewable energy and that environmental concerns are also an issue. The discussions also could not ignore the environmental life cycle of deep-cycle lead-acid batteries and their 150-year proven track record within a variety of industries.

With a variety of benefits, there’s clearly a shift towards using battery power that can help many industries change how these batteries are viewed, their safety record, and as an environmental leader.

USITC logo

U.S. Battery’s Manufacturing Facilities In Georgia Receive 2018 Award For Excellence In Client Solutions

The U.S. Institute of Trade & Commerce recognized U.S. Battery Manufacturing’s Augusta and Evans, Georgia plants with the 2018 Excellence Award for Client Solutions. The award focused on U.S. Battery’s commitment to providing its customers with a high level of service that exceeds industry benchmarks, and its ability to manage shipments of product to local and global distributors quickly and efficiently.

“Since 1926, U.S. Battery has made customer service and product quality its top priorities,” says Terry Agrelius, U.S. Battery President and CEO. “Our employees and management staff continuously strive to provide our customers with outstanding service, in order to consistently meet the needs of our global distributors.”

U.S. Battery’s Augusta and Evans, Georgia plants are the largest of the company’s three manufacturing facilities and distribute its deep-cycle battery products to the company’s global customer base. Over the years, the company has received numerous awards and accolades for its product quality, customer service, and on-time delivery.

“It’s always gratifying to be recognized for our efforts, but it’s our high standards that have kept U.S. Battery at the top of the deep-cycle battery industry for decades,” says Agrelius. “Our customers know U.S Battery products perform beyond their expectations, and that our service is top-notch. This is why they continue to do business with us and the reason why more companies in a variety of industries are switching to our products.” U.S. Battery continues to push the boundaries of battery power and in the process, is being recognized as the most respected deep-cycle battery manufacturer in the industry.

Deep Cycle battery and charger

Checklist For Charging Deep-Cycle Batteries

When it seems like your deep-cycle batteries aren’t operating at full capacity, it may be that they’re not getting a full charge. Undercharging deep-cycle batteries is a common occurrence, especially when they are constantly being used and there’s a rush to get them back in use before they are fully charged. To ensure your batteries are getting a full-charge every time, follow this checklist of procedures from battery manufacturers that can ensure your deep-cycle batteries are getting a full charge.

Before starting you’ll need to make sure the vehicle the batteries are installed in is off, and that you are working in a well ventilated area and with proper safety equipment such as goggles and gloves. Have a hydrometer handy so you can measure the battery’s state of charge, which is a simple but very effective way to verify your batteries are at full charge.

1) Always charge your batteries as soon as possible and try to limit the depth of discharge to 50 percent to maximize battery life. If you can’t keep track of the depth of discharge, you can’t go wrong by always charging the batteries after every use.

2) Connect the charger to the battery or battery pack and allow it to go through a complete charge cycle until it shuts off.

3) Check the state-of-charge (SOC) of the battery pack by using a hydrometer to measure the specific gravity readings. A fully charged battery usually has a specific gravity reading close to 1.275, but check with the battery manufacturer for this specific full charge reading.

4) If the charger turns off before the batteries are fully charged, unplug and restart the charger.  If it continues to turn off before the batteries are fully charged, consult the vehicle and/or charger manufacturer for corrective actions. 

5) If the charger is working properly, it’s always a good idea to perform an equalizing charge at least once a month. This will cause the electrolyte to gas (bubble) and reduce the chance of stratification, which can lower battery life.

6) Check the electrolyte levels on each battery after charging and add distilled water using a watering pitcher or with a single point watering system. Check with your battery manufacturer to determine the correct levels. These basic steps will ensure your batteries are getting the maximum performance and life. It is important to also regularly check your charger to make sure it’s working properly, and keep it stored in an area where it won’t get damaged. To find additional resources on charger diagnostics, battery maintenance and ways to increase battery efficiency and service life, visit U.S. Battery’s website at www.usbattery.com.  

U.S. Battery Recycling logo

Battery Sorting, Training Key To Safe Recycling Efforts

Lithium-ion batteries have become part of our daily lives. They have proven useful for powering many of the electronics that we rely on, from cellphones and power tools to a growing number of electric vehicles. Their chemistry and construction, however, are not compatible with the process used to recycle lead-acid batteries. As a result, the Battery Council International (BCI) has growing concerns that more Lithium-ion batteries may be introduced into the lead-acid recycling ecosystem. The results of such contamination can result in explosion and fire that can cause injury to recycling center personnel and equipment. Lithium-ion batteries must be taken to a proper recycling location to be disposed of these facilities are not the same as lead battery recycling centers. Visit the BCI website to find out where to recycle lithium-ion batteries near you.

Properly Identifying Lead-Acid and Lithium-ion Batteries

Some of the best ways to tell the difference between a lithium-ion battery and a lead battery include:

1) Weight – Lead batteries typically weigh almost double that of a lithium battery of the same size.

2) Labeling – Lead batteries are labeled with the letters PB or have the word Lead Battery somewhere on the battery. Lithium-ion batteries have the letters Li or have the words lithium-ion somewhere on the battery case.

3) Terminal Styles – Most lead batteries have two protruding terminals with a light gray appearance. Lithium batteries may have a number of different styles of terminals.

If you’re still not sure what type of battery you have, you should remove the battery for closer inspection to find a label or other markings that may indicate the chemistry.

The BCI has created a toolkit that can be used by companies, to help employees identify and ensure that lead and lithium batteries are not recycled together.  The toolkit includes training videos, as well as a poster and flyer that can aid lead battery sorters and handlers with proper identification.

Video: https://youtu.be/4TPnUrENTRc

Selecting The Best 6-Volt Deep Cycle Battery For Floor Scrubber Machines

Cleaning companies that rely on deep-cycle batteries to power their floor scrubber machines worry when battery power fades before the job is done. Because deep-cycle six-volt batteries take several hours to fully charge, it can mean lost time and money whenever a floor scrubber is down.

This is why it’s extremely important to select the right deep-cycle battery with a run-time that matches the average length of time floor scrubber machines are on duty. To do this, it requires more than just comparing the ratings on the labels and finding the least expensive battery.

Getting optimum power for floor scrubbers, start by determining the correct size, voltage and ampere hour (AH) capacity required for your specific floor cleaning machine.  Compare this information to 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), which is the percentage of AH capacity discharged from the battery during 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.

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.

Putting this in perspective, a deep-cycle battery with a lower capacity might be a better choice for a company with a cleaning machine that is used occasionally, or for jobs that take less time.  Cleaning companies or rental fleets with cleaning machines that see heavy cycling, a deep-cycle higher capacity battery would benefit them by providing longer run times and lower DOD resulting in longer cycle life. One might be less expensive initially, while the other may last longer and need to be replaced less often, especially if the batteries also receive regular maintenance.

All that being said, when comparing battery brands and run-times 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 usage 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 for your application.