Sense Smart™ Electrolyte Sensor Valve Selected As Solar Power World’s Top Products For 2015

Solar Power World Magazine selected the Sense Smart™ Electrolyte Sensor Valve, as one of the Top Solar Products of 2015. As one of the leading publications for solar industry contractors, manufacturers, and installers, Solar Power World looks at a variety of new products and innovations , selecting the best for its annual list of top products. “The Sense Smart™ Valve was designed to provide critical and timely information that indicates when batteries need water,” says Don Wallace, U.S. Battery CMO/Executive Vice President. “So it’s rewarding that a publication like Solar Power World, recognizes how this product can be a benefit for the growing solar industry.”

Flooded lead-acid batteries used to store energy on off-grid and industrial solar power systems, will lose water from normal evaporation and charging. The Sense Smart™ features a built-in processor and probe that triggers an LED indicator light to inform the user when the electrolyte of a complete battery set, requires watering. A solid red light tells operators to add water after the next full-charge. A blinking red light indicates the electrolyte level has been low for more than 10 days and requires immediate attention.

U.S. Battery Sense Smart ValveThe Sense Smart™ Electrolyte Sensor Valve is also used in a variety of other industries including electric vehicle, access lift, RV and more. Available in two models, the (TBU 1000) simply replaces one cell vent cap on a single battery of a connected battery set, and doesn’t require drilling or calibration. An optional system (TBU 2000) includes a dash mounted LED indicator with a six-foot wire lead. Manufactured by Battery Watering Technologies, and distributed exclusively through U.S. Battery Manufacturing, the Sense Smart™ valve is designed specifically for U.S. Battery brand 6-volt, 8-volt, and 12-volt batteries and works with all BWT single point watering systems.

U.S. Battery products and Battery Watering Technology products are manufactured in the U.S.A. and distributed worldwide. For more information, contact U.S. Battery Manufacturing, 1675 Sampson Ave. Corona, CA 92879. (800) 695-0945. Visit www.usbattery.com.

U.S. Battery And The Physics Factory Team-Up To Give Young Students An Education On Solar Power And More

To help the Physics Factory share its enthusiasm for physics to young students across the country, U.S. Battery donated several of its deep-cycle batteries that will be used along with a solar panel array mounted on the Physics Factory’s Physics Bus. The bus is a rolling science museum that makes appearances at schools and science fairs across the country, providing demonstrations of physics in a fun and entertaining way. “We supplied the Physics Factory with our L16 deep cycle batteries that will work well with the solar panels they placed on top of their bus,” says Mike Wallace, U.S. Battery Creative Manager. “This helps to provide power for demonstrations and will also help to showcase the benefits of solar power to students at a young age.”

“To allow a full eight hour day exhibition that’s completely off-the-grid, we needed batteries that were incredibly efficient and long lasting,” says Erik Herman, Physics Factory Instructor. “That’s why we were absolutely delighted to receive a donation of eight L16 XC2’s from U.S. Battery. We now have the convenience to simply pull up anywhere, flick a switch, and open the doors for kids to come aboard and enjoy science. Whether it’s along a sidewalk downtown, in a school playground, a park, or even at a camp or reservation, we have allowed this physics experience to be free and un-tethered.”

To date, the Physics Bus has showcased its exhibition at 51 events between October 2014 and October 2015. “From a combination of photo/video documentation, and our handy Arduino infrared-beam people-counter, we estimate 7720 people passing through our doors, with over 6580 of them K-12 students,” said Herman.

Ensuring that the Physics Bus always has power readily available, U.S. Battery’s L16 deep-cycle batteries are built with exclusive Diamond Plate Xtreme Capacity technology that provides higher peak capacity, improved watt-hours per liter, and watt-hours per kilogram. In addition, L16 batteries feature an Outside Positive (OSP™) plate design, which mitigates the effects of positive plate deterioration and further increases battery life, capacity and performance. The use of the batteries on the Physics Bus will help to provide reliable power stored from the photovoltaic power system mounted on the roof, that was provided by New York-based Taitem Engineering. “Unlike typical residential or RV use, we will be discharging, in one day, three days worth of energy collected from our four roof-mounted panels,” says Herman.

U.S. Battery L16 deep-cycle batteries will store power from the solar panels mounted on the roof of the Physics Bus.

U.S. Battery L16 deep-cycle batteries will store power from the solar panels mounted on the roof of the Physics Bus.

 

Reliable power is essential for the Physics Bus, as the results of their exhibitions are easily visible through the expression on student’s faces. “Students are awe-struck by our exhibits. They usually enter not knowing what to expect, but then they start experiencing never-before-seen physics phenomena coming from common everyday appliances,” says Herman. “Electromagnetic waves sending energy through space to create a light show inside a microwave oven, an otherwise average-looking guitar whose strings make the sound visible as well as audible, a TV whose beam dances to the vibrations of your voice. Half way through, kids’ eyes are popping out of their heads and their mouths are hanging open in amazement.

The donation of the deep-cycle batteries will hopefully allow the Physics Factory to continue their goal to bring education to students and adults across the country. ” We’re planning a cross-country tour, New York to California, for a showcase at the Maker Faire in San Mateo in May 2015, and the wheels are already in motion to cultivate other Physics Buses in other locations around the U.S., says Herman.
The Physics Factory is a non-profit organization that provides educators and students additional opportunities to learn more about the science of physics by mentoring, educating and demonstrations. For more information on the Physics Factory and where the Physics Bus is scheduled to appear, visit their website at www.physicsfactory.org.

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 www.usbattery.com.

Lead Batteries The Most Recycled Product In The U.S.A. According To The EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency compared recycling rates for a multitude of materials and found that lead-acid batteries had the highest recycling rate of all consumer products. The facts were published in a June 2015 EPA report titled Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: 2013 Fact Sheet. The report assessed the disposal and recycling trends in the USA. In a 2013 study within the report, the EPA found that the rate of lead-acid battery recovery was about 99 percent (2.85 million tons), the highest recycling rate over other products such as newspapers, yard trimmings, aluminum cans, tires, consumer electronics, glass, PET bottles and more.

“The recycling infrastructure for lead-acid batteries is a closed loop (cradle to cradle) system,” says Fred Wehmeyer, Senior Vice President of Engineering at U.S. Battery Manufacturing. “As an example, new flooded lead-acid batteries are manufactured from recycled raw materials and the safe delivery methods used to ship batteries worldwide are also the same methods used to return spent lead-acid batteries to be recycled. Throughout the years the process has become extremely refined and efficient, making it one of the most successful environmental reclamation systems in existence.”

According to the Battery Council International, a variety of processes go into recycling lead-acid batteries in which recycling facilities are controlled under some of the strictest U.S. EPA regulations. Innovative systems have been developed to capture all of the components of lead-acid batteries for recycling. For example, lead from spent batteries is smelted and refined to be reused to build new lead-acid batteries. The sulfuric acid electrolyte is also captured and neutralized during the recycling process and then processed into fertilizer.

With a high recycling rate and low operating cost, the FLA battery remains the best solution for most electrically powered vehicles such as golf cars, floor maintenance machines, access lifts, and other battery operated vehicles. It is also the most efficient technology for storing energy and has the longest track record for safety and reliability. 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 flooded lead-acid batteries and battery recycling, contact U.S. Battery Manufacturing, 1675 Sampson Ave. Corona, CA 92879. (800) 695-0945. Visit https://www.usbattery.com.

Lithium vs Flooded Lead-Acid Batteries

Comparing The Real Cost Benefits For Use In Golf Cars And Other Industrial Uses

By Fred Wehmeyer, Senior VP Engineering for U.S. Battery Manufacturing, and Zachary Cox, Product And Process Engineering, U.S. Battery Manufacturing

With the popularity of small electronics and new battery technology, we often hear that “lithium is the way of the future.” In many ways, lithium has proven to be beneficial for hand-held electronics and high dollar electric vehicles. But for many other industrial applications, like in the golf car industry, lithium doesn’t always add up.

When it’s time for a new set of batteries in your golf car, lithium sounds like a good alternative for many of the popular reasons, including no maintenance and a seemingly environmentally friendly footprint. Taking a closer look, however, we can see that switching to lithium in golf cars, is not limited to simply swapping out a set of batteries.

The facts are that lithium batteries require a new charger and a Battery Monitoring System, an on-board computer known as a BMS. The BMS monitors each cell individually and regulates charge and discharge for cell balancing and safety. The BMS must communicate with a charger that is capable of reading the BMS communication protocol. This is not required for lead-acid batteries.

With operational costs being a major concern for anyone with a golf car fleet, it’s important to point out that there is the initial cost of a lithium iron phosphate pack (LiFePO4), plus the required additional equipment necessary to operate it. A single LiFePO4 cell has a nominal voltage of 3.2 volts, thus requiring 15 cells in series for a 48-volt pack. The average retail price of one 100 Ahr (amp-hour) cell is $155, putting the pack cost at $2325. A compatible BMS and charger cost $290 and $1075 respectively. Altogether, a conversion would cost $3690 and will provide a reported 2000 cycles at a lower energy content of 4800 watt-hours vs 7200 watt-hours for a comparable flooded lead-acid battery pack.

When comparing the costs, (see the chart below) you can see that for a 48-volt pack, you can buy four 12-volt lead-acid batteries for about $640 retail. That will get you around 150 Ahr and 750 or more cycles with no additional equipment needed. Overall, the flooded lead-acid battery pack will deliver more energy per cycle at a lower cost per kilowatt-hour on each cycle by a factor of over 3:1.

Lithium batteries are also touted as the “green” alternative to lead-acid because they do not contain lead or corrosive materials. The facts are, however, that lead-acid golf car batteries are recycled at a rate of 97-99 percent, with the recycled lead going back into new golf car batteries, not the environment. The recycling infrastructure of lead-acid batteries is a closed loop process that more than pays for itself, while recycled lithium rarely goes back into new batteries due to the high cost of recycling.
For golf courses and golf car fleets intent on lowering operating costs, it’s clear that lead-acid batteries remain the best choice because of their lower operating cost, proven track record, and a great recycling system that produces a small environmental footprint.

The chart demonstrates the direct cost comparison between lithium and FLA batteries as they pertain to the golf car industry and the voltage vs amp-hour requirements. For additional information on deep-cycle flooded lead-acid batteries for golf car and other industrial uses, visit U.S. Battery Manufacturing, www.usbattery.com.

 

COST COMPARISON CHART

LithiumVsFLA-CostChart

 

U.S. Battery Manufacturing Helps A Shore Boat Convert To Electric Power

U.S. Battery Manufacturing provides the battery power for the Newport Harbor Yacht Club’s shore boat in Southern California. The shore boat was recently retrofitted to run on electric power, and uses 16 U.S. Battery US-L16HCXC2 deep-cycle batteries to power the 90 horsepower Duffy electric engine. According to Pat Werner, vice commodore of the Newport Harbor YC, the engine cost $10,000, but estimates that the electric system will be able to pay for itself within five years and save the yacht club an estimated $5,000 annually in fuel costs.

U.S. Battery’s US-L16HCXC2 deep-cycle batteries were used because they feature exclusive XC2™ formulation and Diamond Plate Technology® that create the industry’s most efficient battery design. This allows U.S. Battery products to deliver the highest initial capacity and highest rated capacity through the life of the battery. This plate technology also allows U.S. Battery’s products to reach peak capacity in fewer cycles, provide higher total energy delivery, and extend service life. This level of battery performance allows the Newport Harbor YC to achieve better pulling power, zero emissions, and with proper maintenance, a service life expectancy of 10 years or more. ’’The U.S. Battery products are outstanding,” says Anthony Palacios, Newport Harbor YC dock master. “Because the batteries hold a consistent charge and require very minimal maintenance, especially with the addition of a single point watering system, it makes the care of the batteries so much more efficient. In addition, the motor runs smooth and without lack of power. U.S. Battery always stands by their product and the customer service is always a pleasure to deal with.”

The 52 year old shore boat serves as a reliable water taxi service that takes up to 20 passengers to their vessels in the mooring fields in Newport Harbor in Southern California. The yacht club hopes that this type of conversion catches on and begins a trend towards zero emissions vehicles in harbors across the country to provide reliable service that is economical and efficient. U.S. battery products are manufactured in the U.S.A. and distributed worldwide. For more information, contact U.S. Battery Manufacturing, 1675 Sampson Ave. Corona, CA 92879. (800) 695-0945. Visit www.usbattery.com.