Deep Cycle Battery

Making Your Golf Cart Batteries Last Longer

Nobody likes having to replace a set of 6-volt or 8-volt golf cart batteries every few years, especially if you think you’ve maintained them by frequently charging and watering. So what went wrong? There’s more to making your batteries last longer than simple routine maintenance. According to Fred Wehmeyer, Senior Vice President/Engineering at U.S. Battery Manufacturing, there are three key factors that maximize battery life.

The first is starting with a better battery. If you’ve always shopped for the less expensive battery, you’re sacrificing capacity and extended operation. Premium batteries cost a little more initially, but simply put, they have more lead plates and better internal construction. This is one of the major factors in battery longevity and with the benefit of greater capacity for longer run times between charging.

A better battery will also help with the second factor towards extending battery life, which is the amount of discharge placed on the batteries. Battery manufacturers recommend limiting the discharge rate to 50-percent for optimum battery cycle life. 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 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.

The third factor is one you’re probably already doing, proper maintenance. This includes checking water levels and topping off each cell to the battery manufacturer’s recommended levels as needed. It 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 shorten battery life.

Does this really work? The best examples come from new and used golf car dealers who are seeing the benefits of providing training for their customers on these important factors, as well as proper maintenance procedures. Many report that they have had customers get an average of five to seven years out of their batteries, which can dramatically reduce the cost of owning and operating a battery powered golf car over the long haul.

US REGC2H XC2

Renewable Energy Pushes For Deep Cycle Battery Storage in Large Scale

Attending a roundtable forum on energy storage, Kevin Moran, Executive VP at Battery Council International, says he realized the discussions on large-scale battery storage will be a necessity for areas in the U.S. that are embracing and expanding their use of renewable energy sources. “The potential for an expansion in grid-scale battery storage installations may be even greater that I had previously thought,” said Moran in an article in Batteries International Magazine.  “Several states have either passed, or are considering setting targets for [energy] storage.” 

Moran pointed out that California recently passed a mandate that 100 percent of its electricity must come from renewable sources by 2045. “It’s hard to believe they can meet this goal without a massive investment in battery storage,” said Moran. 

His views on energy storage for the future points to progress made on the battery storage front over the next several years, and that different battery chemistries will be competing with ways on how their products will meet the demands for energy storage in the future. 

Large scale battery storage has been used in a variety of industrial applications utilizing specialized batteries designed for this purpose. Dutt Electronics, in Spain for example, utilized U.S. Battery RE series batteries in an autonomous system to balance the power output between stored energy consumption and battery charging during peak energy hours. While systems like these have proven to work in an industrial scale, they can also provide a solution to the growing need for energy storage and distribution in a larger scale.

Additionally, energy storage grids utilizing deep-cycle flooded lead-acid batteries for storage also offer an environmental advantage, according to the BCI, as these types of batteries are nearly 100-percent recyclable in a closed-loop system that offers zero impact on landfills.

US 12VXZ XC2

On National Battery Day, The Battery Industry Focuses On The Ongoing Discussions Regarding Lead Batteries As The Future Of Energy Storage

While National Battery Day (February 18) is observed to appreciate the convenience of batteries on everyday life, the future of batteries and the role they play in energy storage was the subject of a briefing held on February 12 on Capitol Hill. The event featured a panel of leading science and business leaders who shared highlights on innovative lead battery research and expressed the need to continue support, as the results will meet the growing needs of energy storage, sustainable manufacturing, and in the automotive industry.

Among the representatives attending were California Rep. Mark Takano (Democrat) and New York Rep. Chris Collins (Republican) who serve as co-chairs of the Advanced Energy Storage Caucus. “Energy storage is the future of renewable energy,” said Takano. “Cheap grid-scale storage means that renewables can compete with fossil fuels on cost alone.”

Rep. Collins also stated that energy storage means energy independence, noting that the current downside of solar and wind power is that environmental conditions aren’t always available. ”We have to store the energy in a way that’s real and sustainable, and the technology is not quite there,” said Collins…“We need breakthroughs.”

Takano also applauded the lead battery industry’s efforts in recycling. “As we have honest conversations about batteries, battery storage, and renewable energy, we cannot ignore the environmental life cycle of these [lead] batteries. I commend the leading science and business leaders who are pioneering developments on battery research. Together, we can pave the way for a sustainable future for every community.”

Dr. Tim Ellis, president of Dallas-based RSR Technologies, was one of several experts who shared highlights on innovative lead battery research, citing ongoing research at Argonne National Laboratory to better understand the performance of lead batteries at the molecular level, leading to better dynamic charging acceptance and improved cycle life.

According to the Battery Council International, the need has never been greater for innovative storage solutions, especially advanced lead batteries. The BCI noted that lead batteries have a 150-year proven track record and are poised to meet growing demand and future applications.

On National Battery Day, the Battery Industry also wants to remind consumers to recycle all forms of batteries, being careful not mix lead and lithium batteries together. For more information on where to find a battery recycling center visit the Call2Recycle website.

US REL16 XC2

Experienced Off-Grid Homesteaders Believe Flooded Lead Acid Batteries Are Still The Best Choice For Renewable Energy Systems

Batteries used for energy storage are necessary for any off-grid homestead or cabin. For experienced off-grid homesteaders, managing power storage from renewable energy sources is something they become good at, and over the years, the choice of batteries for experienced homesteaders like Allan Sindelar, a licensed electrician, and homesteader who has been living off-grid for more than 25 years, he still prefers deep-cycle flooded lead-acid batteries (FLA) for the job. “Few off-grid installers have been selecting, installing, and maintaining batteries long enough to learn from entire battery life cycles,” said Sindelar in his article The Best Batteries For Your Off-Grid Battery Bank that was published in Mother Earth News. “Without much long-term data, we tend to use what has worked previously, rather than trying new and possibly expensive approaches.”

Sindelar recalls when early homesteaders were using two car batteries 30 years ago, but once the FLA batteries became more affordable, off-grid homesteaders settled on using the L16 FLA batteries for their performance and reliability. “These are well-sized for small-to-medium systems and are available at a relatively low cost.” Sindelar also says in his article that experienced homesteaders are often better at performing routine maintenance which can lead to FLA batteries lasting greater than six years or more.

With other battery types trickling into the off-grid industry, Sindelar believes the data isn’t there to determine if they are a better solution over the long-run. “While tremendous advances are taking place in battery development, most are based around increasing a battery’s performance and energy density per pound, that is, lightweight, high-capacity batteries for electric vehicles and portable applications,” says Sindelar. “In homestead systems, weight isn’t a key factor. For most homesteaders, conventional flooded lead-acid batteries still fit this bill best.”

The appeal of batteries with no maintenance is big among new homesteaders, but Sindelar believes there are drawbacks. “Sealed batteries are substantially more expensive and more susceptible to damage from overcharging,” says Sindelar. “They’re well-suited to homeowners who don’t want to perform their own battery maintenance, as the charge for professional service several times each year adds up. This group might include many newcomers to off-grid living, who value the benefits but don’t desire the DIY involvement of earlier generations.”

As battery technology increases Sindelar believes it’s a good idea to use tried-and-true flooded lead-acid batteries until the various choices of batter types become clear in this form of use. “Homesteaders may want to consider waiting through one more set of batteries before trying lithium or other emerging technologies. Superior technologies are coming, and prices will drop as PV module prices have dropped in recent years, but we’re not there quite yet.”

Rosli Zainol USB Director of New Business SIA region

U.S. Battery Manufacturing Adds Rosli Zainol As Director, Business Development For The South East Asia Regions

To assist in new business development in
the South East Asia region, U.S. Battery Manufacturing added Rosli Zainol to
the company’s global sales team as the Director of Business Development. Rosli
is based in Singapore and is multilingual, proficient in English, Malay,
Mandarin and French. He graduated in 2002 from Ngee Ann Polytechnic University
with an EE diploma.

“Rosli will be a great asset to our global
sales team,” says Brad Dwan, U.S. Battery Director of Sales for Asia, Pacific,
and the Middle East. “With a background in the Power and Telecom industries, he
is experienced in knowing the different types of power needs for a variety of
industries in the region, and will be responsible for developing new business
in this growing area of the world.”

U.S Battery’s reputation for providing reliable and highly efficient deep-cycle battery products, continues to grow within various industries in South East Asia. Along with finding new business, Rosli is also tasked with servicing the company’s relationships here, and providing the top-level customer service that U.S. Battery dealers are accustomed to.

For more information on any of U.S. Battery’s deep-cycle products, contact U.S. Battery Manufacturing at (800) 695-0945, or visit www.usbattery.com.

U.S. Battery Reorganizes Its Corporate Structure To Handle Growth In Sales, Manufacturing, And Operations Capabilities

U.S. Battery Manufacturing has reorganized the corporate leadership structure within the company’s sales and operations in Corona, California, Augusta, Georgia, and Evans, Georgia plants.

The company’s President and CEO, Terry Agrelius announced that Don Wallace has been named Chief Operating Officer, with Michael Coad promoted to Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and Zack Cox promoted to Vice President of Operations.

“The restructuring of our corporate leadership team has been designed to assist U.S. Battery in reaching its global growth initiatives as well as our long-term commitment to both our customers and our employees,” says Terry Agrelius, President & CEO U.S. Battery Manufacturing. “These individuals have the experience and foresight to take U.S. Battery well into the future while maintaining the exceptional core values that have stood strong since the company’s inception more than 90 years ago.” 

The leadership re-organization also included changes within the company’s three U.S. based manufacturing plants to include the promotion of David Mason as Vice President of Manufacturing at the Corona, California plant, Ryan Doss as the Vice President of Manufacturing at the Augusta, Georgia plant, and Thomas Hendrickson as Vice President of Manufacturing at the Evans, Georgia plant.U.S. Battery Manufacturing is a leader in deep-cycle batteries earning a global reputation as the most respected battery manufacturer for a variety of industries, as well as a leader in environmental management efforts in the battery industry, earning an ISO 14001 certification. For more information on U.S. Battery and its products, contact U.S. Battery Manufacturing, 1675 Sampson Ave. Corona, CA 92879. (800) 695-0945.

BWT install photo-12

Why Only Distilled Water Should Go Into Your Deep-Cycle Battery

Electric vehicles that run on one or more deep-cycle batteries require watering after the batteries have undergone a full charge. According to engineers at U.S. Battery Manufacturing, a global leader in deep-cycle batteries, water is lost from battery cells by evaporation. This happens during various instances such as, the heat that occurs during the charging process, heat from weather conditions, and during equalization charging, where the electrolyte in the battery bubbles to mix the electrolyte and prevent stratification (sulphuric acid settling at the bottom of the cells) which can diminish performance. 

Checking water levels periodically maintains the health of the battery cells and according to battery manufacturers, adding the right kind of water will aid in that process. Battery manufacturers such as U.S. Battery recommend using distilled water. 

Using ordinary tap water or softened water is bad for your deep-cycle batteries, as the minerals found in the water can react with the electrolyte and minimize performance and increase sediments 

Battery manufacturers recommend checking water levels frequently, usually after charging. When filling, it’s important to use proper safety gear such as latex gloves and eye protection. Manufacturers also emphasize that it’s important to fill battery cells only with enough water to cover the cell plates, but not to overfill, as the electrolyte expands with heat and overflow. To avoid splashing or overfilling, it’s recommended to use a hand pump or battery pitcher to fill each battery cell.

Adding the right kind and amount of water in your deep-cycle battery’s cells, will ultimately keep them in top shape and extend the life and performance. For more information, visit www.usbattery.com