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Maximize Battery Charger

MAXIMIZE YOUR LIFT’S BATTERY CHARGE PROFILE

In the same way, that different deep-cycle battery designs vary in capacity and overall performance, charging the battery can be as unique as the battery itself. Because deep-cycle batteries in various vehicles and machinery can differ in their work environment, the battery’s capacity and performance are susceptible to how they are charged and maintained. Battery manufacturers like U.S. Battery work with charger manufacturers such as Delta-Q to develop various charging profiles for particular battery sizes and designs to maximize your lift’s battery performance. Ultimately, the overall performance of any work platform comes down to how well the batteries are maintained, the depth of discharge, and the “charge quality” during each recharging session.

According to Delta-Q, the manufacturer has more than 50 charge algorithms on hand for a variety of batteries. To determine how to give your equipment’s battery the best charge, you need to understand what charge algorithms are. There are different charge algorithms available on many battery chargers, but to understand this, you first need to know that there are basically three stages of battery charging. The first is a Bulk Stage, where the charger uses constant current at full charger output to bring the battery to approximately 80% state of charge. The second stage is Absorption Charge using constant voltage where the charge current tapers from full charger output to a lower level that depends on battery conditions. The charger allows the battery to control the charge rate at which it can accept a charge until 100% of the amp-hours removed on the previous discharge are returned. At this point, the battery is not quite fully charged and requires a controlled overcharge. The third stage is the Finish Charge, where the charger gives the battery a lower constant current charge at a charge rate that is proportional to the design capacity of the battery. Assuring the battery is fully charged and provides enough gassing to mix the electrolyte to prevent electrolyte stratification.

During these three charge stages, charge algorithms can differ in current, voltage, time, and amount of overcharge. Charge algorithms are adapted to optimize charging for specific battery models and chemistries. To begin with, there are three primary types of algorithms. SPECIFIC charge algorithms that are custom designed in collaboration between the charger manufacturer and the battery manufacturer and are used by most Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) of access lifts and machinery. For performance and warranty reasons, lift OEM’s use a specific battery and therefore require a particular charge algorithm to maximize the battery life for the performance and use environment of the equipment. Depending on the battery chemistry and its use, the charge time and current applied during these three stages can vary to provide the best possible balance between cycle life, runtime, and overall battery life.

Some charger manufacturers use GENERIC charge algorithms designed for particular battery chemistries (such as flooded lead-acid, AGM or Gel) and a wide range of amp-hour capacities. Each chemistry requires a different charge algorithm and amount of overcharge. According to charger manufacturer Delta-Q, a generic charge algorithm will provide a reasonable compromise between battery life and performance. Generic algorithms provide greater flexibility between battery makes and models, especially if the owner decides to change to a different battery when it’s time for the battery to be replaced.

Some charger manufacturers offer UNIVERSAL charge algorithms that can be used for all types of batteries, and most battery manufacturers do not recommend the use of these algorithms. If used, battery state of charge and temperature should be carefully monitored to prevent undercharge or overcharge that could severely decrease battery performance and life.

Ultimately, the best way to get the most out of your batteries, and your lift equipment, is to consult with the manufacturer and/or look up the charge algorithm they have for the specific battery in your equipment. The battery charger should use that specific charge algorithm; allowing you to get the most out of your batteries and ultimately your equipment. For more information on batteries and charging profiles, visit www.delta-q.com.

U.S. Battery FLA Date Code

How Old Or New Are Your Deep-Cycle Batteries?

Used and refurbished battery-powered equipment are abundant and are often found at great prices. Although the vehicle may be in good working order, it’s important to determine how old the deep-cycle batteries are. In most cases, battery manufacturers stamp or etch a date code on the battery indicating the month, year, and location of manufacture.

U.S. Battery uses a stamped code on the terminals of its flooded lead-acid batteries. The top left letter stamped on the terminal correlates to the month it was manufactured (A-L refers to January to December). In this example, the letter “K” is the 11th month indicating the battery was manufactured in November. The number indicates the year 2014, and the bottom letter specifies the U.S. Battery plant where it was produced.

U.S. Battery Mfg. Co. Plant Codes

  • The letter “X” is for  Corona, California plant.
  • The letter “Y” is for  Augusta, Georgia plant.
  • The letter “Z” is the Evans, Georgia plant.

U.S. Battery Mfg. Co. AGM Date Code

On U.S. Battery AGM Batteries,  the date, month, and year on the battery case are etched into the top of the battery and are clearly visible. The date is in the format of DDMMYY or YYMMDD. In this example, September 15, 2014.

Nilfisk floor cleaning machine

Replacement Batteries For Nilfisk Floor Cleaning Machines

Choosing the right deep-cycle batteries for Nilfisk Retriever and SRModel Ride-On-Top floor cleaning machines

Nilfisk is one of the leading manufacturers of battery-powered floor cleaning machines that last a long time. Many older models are still in use with maintenance crews that utilize these vehicles on a full-time basis. With proper maintenance, the deep-cycle batteries can last several years but eventually will need to be replaced. Here are some of the best replacement batteries with some options for SR and Retriever sit-on-top models.

The Nilfisk Retriever 4000B and 4600B model cleaning machines, as well as the Nilfisk SR1100B machines, require a 24-Volt battery pack that fits a Group Size 902 deep-cycle battery.  U.S. Battery manufactures a US 305XC2 deep-cycle battery that is a direct replacement that provides 310 amp-hours at a 20-hour rate. If the vehicle will be under severe working conditions requiring longer operating times between charges, U.S. Battery also has a High Capacity battery for these vehicles, a US 305HCXC2, which provides 340 amp-hours at a 20-hour rate.

There are several models of the Nilfisk SR ride-on-top floor cleaning machines that require different size batteries because of the size and shape of the unit. For Nilfisk SR1000B and SR1005B models that require a 24-volt battery pack with a group size 31 battery, U.S. Battery offers it’s US 31DSXC2 deep-cycle battery that provides 130 amp-hours at a 20-hour rate.

Nilfisk SR100ECO models utilize a group size 24 battery and operate with a 12-volt system requiring two 12-volt batteries. U.S. Battery’s US 24DCXC2 is an optimum choice for a replacement with an 85 amp-hour rating at a 20-hour rate. Larger Nilfisk SR1300B models also have a 24-volt system but can operate with longer runtimes with four 6-volt batteries in the 903 group size platform. U.S. Battery’s US L16XC2 deep-cycle batteries are a popular choice, providing 385 amp-hours at a 20-hour rate. Greater capacity can be achieved with U.S. Battery’s US L16HCXC2 high-capacity batteries that are rated at 420 amp-hours at a 20-hour rate.

The Nilfisk SR1300ECO floor cleaning machine utilizes a 24-volt system requiring two 12-volt deep-cycle batteries in a group size 27. U.S. Battery’s US 27DCXC2 makes a great replacement, providing 105 amp-hours at a 20-hour rate.

Proper Maintenance Adds Battery Life

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

  • Checking and replenishing the electrolyte levels. Installing a BWT or Flow-Rite single-point-watering kit can make this an easy and quick process.
  • Performing an equalization charge
  • Checking and Cleaning battery terminals and connections
  • 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 produces increased 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 all types of floor cleaning machines for various make and manufacturers, U.S. Battery’s Floor Machine Battery page to see all of the models, sizes, and specifications available to fit your particular vehicle.

 

Group 27 & 31 Batteries and Floor Cleaning Machines

Group 27 & 31 Batteries Designed for Floor Your Cleaning Machines

Maintaining clean facilities has become more critical than ever. To reduce the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, reliable power for floor cleaning machines is playing an essential role in a Facility Manager’s cleaning regimen.

Many battery-operated floor cleaning. machines utilize BCI group 27 & 31 batteries. Typically, group size 27 and 31 batteries are referred to as “Hybrid.” This is due to the way they are constructed (generally designed for lighter cycling duties such as marine and RV applications). While “hybrid” type batteries are designed to have more deep cycle capability, than Starting batteries, they do not perform as well over time. “Hybrid” type batteries cannot cycle at the same performance levels and are unable to produce as many cycle lives as a true deep cycle battery.

The US Battery team, in consultation with some of our industry partners, came to the conclusion that if we were going to be a player in this market that we needed to have batteries that could provide our customers with a quality product that is also a better value. So, we set out to build a better option. We worked from the ground up and developed our “DC” line of batteries, which includes the US 27DC XC2, and the US 31DC XC2 specifically for use in high-energy consuming cleaning equipment.

When comparing to the “Hybrid” types available on the market, hybrids generally can provide approximately 150-170 cycles when discharged down to 1.75 volts per cell. Our DC line, by comparison, typically supplies about 500 cycles. This is a considerable improvement, and while slightly more expensive than a hybrid, the value to the end-user is substantially improved.

Today our DC line of batteries are used in many floor cleaning machines; because of their reliability and long life. Operators of Nilfisk, Minuteman International, and Power-Flite floor machines often find them powering their equipment. To see all of our cleaning deep cycle batteries please see the Floor Machine application page.

White golf club car.

Replacement Batteries For Club Car Golf Carts

Club Car golf carts have been around for nearly 60-years, producing a variety of battery-powered golf cars, utility, and personal use vehicles. As most owners of these vehicles know, proper battery maintenance is key to longevity and reliability, but eventually, the batteries will need to be replaced. 

 

When it comes time to get a new set of deep-cycle batteries for your Club Car, it’s important to make sure you select the right ones for your particular application, and most importantly, the type of use it will see. Club Car’s battery specifications are different for the various model vehicles they produce. Most utilize a 48-volt electric engine but depending on the model, have different amperage and power requirements.

 

As an example, Club Car DS and Precedent models (2in1, 2Plus2, Cargo, Professional), XF (2in1, 2Plus2) and XF Cargo models take six BCI Group Size GC8 eight-volt batteries. Choosing the right one depends on if you 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 to choose from 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.

 

Club Car Precedent Champion models also use a 48-volt system but utilize four BCI Group Size GC12, 12-volt batteries. U.S. Battery’s 12VRX XC2 (20-hour rate of 155) provides a great compromise between daily and occasional use. 

 

Proper Maintenance Makes The Difference 

 

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 golf cars and utility vehicles visit U.S. Battery’s Golf and Utility Vehicle Battery page to see all of the models, sizes, and specifications available to fit your particular vehicle.

8V batteries with watering kit

5 Benefits To Using A Single Point Watering System

Anyone using deep-cycle flooded lead-acid batteries in their electric vehicle or other equipment knows the importance of routinely watering the batteries. During charging, the water content of the electrolyte will decrease due to the electrolysis of water into hydrogen and oxygen gases. If left unchecked, the electrodes inside each cell can become exposed, resulting in a loss of battery performance. Regular watering is essential to the continued life and performance of any flooded deep cycle battery.

Electric vehicles and other equipment using deep cycle batteries typically have from four to eight individual batteries – each with multiple cells. Watering each cell can take a significant amount of time, especially if you are maintaining a fleet of vehicles. Battery packs are often located in areas that are not easily accessible, increasing the time required for watering.U.S. Battery offers two single-point watering systems (SPWS), Battery Watering Technologies and Flow-Rite, which can make battery maintenance quick and easy while offering several other benefits.

  1. You Can Fill All Your Batteries At Once
    A SPWS connects to all of the cells in each of the batteries within the pack allowing you to fill them with water from a single point.
  2. Save Time During Regular Maintenance
    On a single battery-powered vehicle, you can water all of the batteries in about a minute, versus what would normally take 45-60 minutes per vehicle.
  3. No Chance Of Over Watering
    With an SPWS, the battery cells fill up to the proper level and shut off to prevent overfilling.
  4. Monitoring Systems Can Tell You When To Water
    Some SPWS offer a sensor that can monitor water levels in the battery and indicate when they need watering.
  5. Extended Battery Life
    Frequent maintenance extends the life of your batteries which in turn lowers your annual operating costs.

Click here for more information and installation instructions for our SPWS

AGM and Flooded Deep-Cycle Batteries

Understanding the Differences Between AGM And Flooded Deep-Cycle Batteries

When it comes to powering electric vehicles like golf carts, deep-cycle lead-acid batteries are the industry standard. The reason is that they are designed to provide the most cost-effective energy storage and delivery over the life of the battery.

Over the years, there have been two main types of deep-cycle lead-acid batteries that many golf car owners and fleets have used, the Flooded Lead-Acid (FLA) battery and the Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) battery. While both provide optimum performance in a wide variety of applications, their design difference can offer various advantages depending on the application.

Engineering

The main design difference between FLA and AGM batteries is how the electrolyte is managed. In FLA batteries, the battery plates are submerged in the liquid electrolyte. During use, water in the electrolyte is broken down into oxygen and hydrogen gases and water is lost. This requires regular additions of water to be replaced to keep the battery plates fully submerged in the electrolyte.

In AGM batteries, the electrolyte is absorbed in special glass mat separators that retain all the electrolyte needed for the life of the battery.  Since there is no free electrolyte, the oxygen generated on a charge is recombined at the negative plate.  In normal operation, hydrogen is not generated and no water is lost.  This eliminates the need to add water and also allows the battery to be sealed with a one-way valve that prevents leakage of the electrolyte.

Performance Differences

FLA batteries have been used in a wide variety of applications for well over 150 years. Their popularity comes from their safety, reliability, and cost-effectiveness when compared with other types of rechargeable batteries.   According to Fred Wehmeyer, U.S. Battery Senior VP of Engineering, FLA batteries deliver the lowest cost per watt-hour both in acquisition cost and in overall cost per charge/discharge cycle.  “This is why they are the best choice for fleets of vehicles or equipment that are used heavily on a daily basis,” says Wehmeyer. “Also, both FLA and AGM batteries offer an environmental advantage over other types of batteries because they are essentially 100 percent recyclable and enjoy the highest recycling rate of any commercial product.”

AGM batteries offer the advantage of being maintenance-free. This can be significant in applications where regular maintenance is difficult or costly, such as when the batteries are located in remote or hard to access locations. Even though AGM batteries cost more per watt-hour, the elimination of maintenance costs reduces the overall battery operational costs.  Also, since the battery is sealed and does not emit gases in normal use, it can be used in sensitive areas such as food or pharmaceutical storage facilities.

Selecting between FLA or AGM deep cycle batteries ultimately depends on the type of use and the capability to provide regular maintenance in the application.

AGM = No Maintenance + Higher Cost + Susceptible to abuse like overcharging

FLA = Requires Watering + Lower Cost + Susceptible to abuse from poor maintenance

No matter what type of battery you use, it is always best to target the depth of discharge to 50 percent or less for both FLA or AGM battery types. This will optimize battery life cycle cost vs acquisition cost over the life of the battery system.

 

Santa's Posse 2019

U.S. Battery Makes Donation To Santa’s Posse

Santa’s Posse is a nonprofit organization that partners with the Clark County, Washington Sheriff’s Office, who collects and distributes toys and food for the needy. To help Santa’s Posse deliver to more than 1,000 families this year, U.S. Battery and its Distributor Battery Systems of Portland, Oregon, donated two US 27DC XC2 deep-cycle 12-Volt multi-purpose batteries. The batteries will be auctioned to raise additional money that helps to provide more than 2,900 kids with toys and holiday meals.

U.S. Battery’s Western Regional Sales Manager Dwayne Porter is also a volunteer Sheriff’s Auxiliary member and presented the donation on behalf of Battery Systems of Portland and U.S. Battery, to Sergeant Kevin Allais of the Clark County Sheriff’s Department. Donations to Santa’s Posse can be made via the organization’s Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/SantasPosse/

Connected 8v Batteries

Deep-Cycle Battery Terminals And Cable Maintenance Tips

When battery-powered vehicles and equipment suffer from intermittent performance issues, one of the most common reasons for this is poor battery cable connections. Ironically, loose connections can be caused by both under-tightening and over-tightening of the battery terminal connectors, as well as corrosion that can occur over time. Deep-cycle battery terminals are made from lead, which is a soft metal that creeps over time. The result is that they must be retightened regularly to maintain proper torque levels. If too much torque is applied when attaching cables to battery terminals, however, it can cause damage to the lead terminals preventing them from making a proper connection.  Battery manufacturers recommend terminal torque specifications that vary with the different types of terminals used for deep-cycle batteries.

Deep cycle batteries can come with UTL, UT, large and small L, Offset S, and SAE tapered post terminals, among others.  For UTL and UT battery terminals with threaded studs, the recommended torque is 95 – 105 in-lb (7.9 – 8.8 ft-lb).  For bolt-thru terminals such as large and small L and Offset S, the recommended torque is 100-120 in-lb (8.3 – 10 ft-lb).  SAE terminals have a recommended terminal torque of 50-70 in-lb (4.2 to 5.8 ft-lb). For other terminal types, consult the battery manufacturer’s recommendations. When measuring terminal torque, use a torque wrench with settings or readings in the 0 – 200 in-lb (0 – 16 ft-lb) range. Larger torque wrenches can inadvertently exceed the recommended settings or readings.

It is also important to consult the battery manufacturer’s recommendations for the proper type and assembly of the terminal hardware. Most manufacturers provide stainless steel nuts and lock washers or plated bolts, nuts, and lock washers with the batteries depending on the type of terminal used. The correct method is to position a lock washer between the nut and the connector (never between the connector and the lead terminal) and apply the recommended torque to completely compress the lock washer without deforming the lead terminal.

Clean terminals will maintain the best connection, so if corrosion is observed on the battery terminals and connectors, they should be cleaned with a wire brush and a solution of baking soda and water to neutralize any electrolyte that may be on the surfaces. To reduce the formation of corrosion on the terminals, battery manufacturers recommend using a corrosion inhibitor after making proper connections. Never apply grease or other lubricants between the terminals and connectors since they can interfere with the connection.

Check the cables to determine if they are corroded and need to be replaced.  Corrosion can extend under the cable insulation but is often not visible. A good ‘tug’ on the cables can expose weak connections. If new cables or connectors were added during the life of the vehicle, make sure the wire connectors are properly crimped and soldered to the cable ends.  Studies have shown that wire cables with crimped connectors that are not soldered to the cable ends can corrode faster and create a high resistance connection between the wire cable and crimped connector. This high resistance can cause excessive heating during discharge and melt the lead terminal, causing a loss of connection and permanent damage to the battery.  If any of the cables show signs of melted insulation, corrosion under the insulation, or have bare wire showing replace the cables and connectors.

While faulty connections are often the cause of battery terminal meltdowns resulting in poor performance, using appropriately sized wires with properly crimped and soldered connectors and the proper torque settings will reduce the chances that poor connections will adversely affect battery performance.