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Consistent Battery Maintenance Is Key To Longevity And Performance

There’s something to be said about due diligence, especially when it comes to your golf car’s batteries. While many individuals and golf courses are content with simply charging batteries overnight, and checking water levels whenever they get around to it, others conform to a strict maintenance schedule that ultimately prevents numerous conditions that can lead to poor performance and ultimately, battery failure.

Run It Till It Dies

The downtime while your batteries are charging is often inconvenient and some golf car owners run the car until it’s nearly out of power or dead altogether. Batteries that experience frequent deep discharges (discharges of more than 50-percent of a battery’s rated capacity) will have dramatically shorter life than batteries with lower depth of discharge (DOD). The use of ‘opportunity charging’ or charging at every opportunity instead of waiting to recharge until batteries are fully discharged will dramatically increase battery life. (This should not take the place of fully charging regularly.)  If you need longer runtime between charges, consider switching to batteries with higher amp-hour capacity.  This may require switching to a different type of battery with a lower voltage per monoblock but higher capacity.

For example, a golf car with a 48-volt battery pack can use four 12-volt batteries, six 8-volt batteries or eight 6-volt batteries (if space is available).  While all provide the same 48-volt pack voltage, the eight 6-volt batteries provide the highest capacity and runtime. According to Fred Wehmeyer, Senior VP of Engineering at U.S. Battery Manufacturing, a battery that is routinely discharged to 40% DOD will last about 2.2 times longer than a battery that is discharged to 80% DOD. The initial cost for eight 6-volt batteries is higher than four 12-volt batteries; but considering how much longer they will last, the return on investment is much greater.

Water Whenever

Failing to consistently check water levels and add water to your batteries can also result in low capacity and eventual battery failure if left unchecked. Watering flooded lead-acid batteries is one of the most basic and important maintenance procedures. During battery charging, gases evolved from the decomposition of water results in water loss. This lost water must be replaced by regular water addition.  The rate of water loss can be even higher at elevated temperature and water levels must be checked more frequently. If water is not replaced regularly, the tops of the battery plates in each cell can become exposed to air and damaged to the point that capacity is reduced and battery life is shortened.  Electrolyte levels should always be maintained above the top of the plates by adding water before charging and after charging to about 1/8-inch below the bottom of the vent wells.  Final watering should be done after charging to prevent electrolyte overflow.

If you really hate watering batteries, consider a Single Point Watering System and a battery watering monitor. These often come in kits that are pre-made for specific golf cars and/or battery packs. Monitors such as U.S. Battery’s Sense Smart Valve works with SPWS systems and indicates via a dash or battery mounted LED when the batteries need water.

Summer’s Over; Park It Till Next Year

Improper battery storage is, unfortunately,  a common practice with resorts and RV owners. Storing your golf car with the battery pack in a discharged condition for a long period of time can lead to sulfation (a condition that leads to the development of large lead sulfate crystals that reduce the battery’s available capacity). Over time, this sulfation can reduce both the full charge capacity and overall life of the battery.

The battery pack should always be fully charged before the vehicle is put into long-term storage. In winter months, this also prevents the batteries from freezing. Maintaining the batteries at full charge will keep your batteries in good condition until the next time you use them.

Getting The Most Out of U.S. Battery’s Mobile App

U.S. Battery introduced its mobile app earlier this year.  This powerful tool allows users to access exclusive U.S. Battery content from their Apple or Android device. Here are a few ways that the app can be useful to you.

Battery Application Guide

When it comes time to replace one or more of your deep cycle batteries, selecting the right one for your application can be confusing. Battery powered vehicles and equipment often operate under different voltages and run-times, which makes selecting the right deep-cycle battery particularly important.

U.S. Battery Manufacturing created its mobile app to help you make the correct battery selection. The included Battery Application Guide makes it easy to find and select the right battery for a variety of applications including golf carts, floor machines, aerial work platforms, and more. By selecting your machine’s manufacturer and model, you can determine the batteries best suited to ensure your machine’s optimal performance.

Access to Product Spec. Sheets

From the app, you are able to easily access the most up-to-date spec. sheets and product information for all of U.S. Battery’s Flooded Lead Acid and AGM batteries.

 User-Specific Notifications

Learn about new products you might be interested in as soon as they are announced. Users can create a login and get notifications on new products, events, articles, and videos that are customized to their particular interests.

The U.S. Battery app is free and is available for download from iTunes and Google Play.

U.S. Battery’s 12VRX XC2

US Battery’s 12VRX XC2 is a popular choice for 12-volt deep cycle batteries used in a variety of applications. Originally designed for the 48-volt EZGO RXV vehicles without watering systems, the 12VRX has become popular in many other 48-volt and 72-volt golf cars in addition to equipment in applications such as aerial work platforms, recreational vehicles, and floor cleaning machines.

US Battery developed the 12VRX as a substitute to the popular 12VXC battery in order to address the difficulty of manually watering the rear battery on RXV golf cars. The cell vents on the 12VRX are configured horizontally on the battery as opposed to the chevron or “V” shaped spacing of the 12VXC. This allows the battery to be manually watered in equipment where space is limited or where batteries are partially covered. In addition to being easier to water, the 12VRX also differs from the 12VXC in how it is lifted. The 12VRX contains lifting tabs on top of the battery that eliminates the need for the handles located on the ends of the 12VXC. This saves almost a full inch in length, allowing the 12VRX to be installed in tight compartments where the 12VXC does not fit.

While the 12VRX is only compatible with Battery Watering Technologies (BWT) watering systems, the 12VXC is compatible with both Flowrite and BWT watering systems. For RXV golf cars with existing watering systems, US Battery offers a third 12-volt deep cycle battery called the 12VXZ. This battery is designed to fit in the RXV vehicles and still be compatible with the OEM Flowrite watering kits. Of all three batteries, the 12VRX is the most universal in regards to fitment.

U.S. Battery’s 12VRX offers unique advantages for a variety of applications. Advantages include providing high capacity (155 Amp Hours at the 20-hour rate), the ability to reach peak capacity in fewer cycles than other batteries in its class, and the ability to provide the most total energy throughout the life of the battery. This premium battery is part of the company’s Endurance Plus™ line of batteries, designed to provide high value and optimum performance. U.S. Battery products are manufactured and assembled by hand in the U.S.A. See U.S. Battery’s full line of 12-volt deep cycle batteries here https://usbattery.com/products/12-volt-batteries/

 

 

 

Battery Powered Elevating Platforms May Soon Be Replacing Ladders

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The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that there were 268,731

Ladder/Stool fall injuries, in the U.S., requiring medical treatment in 2017

Ensuring employee safety is an ongoing concern, causing many employers to look at the use of traditional ladders and scaffolding in the workplace. These growing concerns have in turn led to an increase in demand for compact vertical lifts and smaller scissor lifts. An article in the May-June 2018 issue of Access, Lift & Handlers Magazine reported that vehicle manufacturers such as JLG, Skyjack and, Snorkel are making smaller, more compact vertical mast lifts and scissor lifts in response to the industry’s call for greater safety for workers who would normally use ladders and scaffolding on jobs of 18 to 25 feet.

These low-level lifts feature smaller footprints, tighter turning radiuses, and are lighter than typical Aerial Work Platforms. They are available in manually operated or self-propelled models, allowing them to access areas that would be difficult or impossible for other lifts. The Skyjack SJ12 & SJ16, for instance, have a zero inside turn radius and only weigh 1,720lbs. and 2,130lbs, respectively. And, they only need four 6v deep cycle batteries, like the US2200 XC2, to supply the necessary 24V for operation. Due to their versatility and stability, construction crews, facility managers, and consumers are quickly adopting vertical mast lifts; as a way to reduce the risk of injury on the job.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Replacement Batteries For Floor Cleaning Machines

Maintenance crews are often on a strict schedule, so it’s vital that battery powered floor cleaning machines perform reliably and maintain full power throughout your cleaning schedule. This is one of the reasons why selecting the correct batteries for floor cleaning machines can be confusing. The least expensive batteries may not provide enough longevity, while the most expensive may hurt the bottom line of your company’s operating costs. There are some methods, however, to ensure you get the right balance between reliability and cost.

Choosing The Right Battery

When selecting a replacement battery it is important to refer to the manufacturer’s specifications.  These can be different for various floor machines such as Tennant, Nilfisk Advance, Factory Cat, Global Industrial, PowerBoss, Karcher, Minuteman International, and others.

As an example, the Nilfisk Grey Line Sweeper Scrubber SR models, run on a 24V system. Units like the SC1500 requires four, 6V 200 amp-hour batteries. U.S. Battery’s  US 2000 XC2 or US 2200 XC2 are ideal for these power requirements. The Nilfisk SC600, however, runs on the same voltage system but requires four 255 amp-hour, 6V batteries. U.S. Battery’s US 250 XC2 would provide the best solution for these modes. In all, these examples, these batteries provide a great balance between cost and long-lasting performance.

Maintaining Batteries For Longer Life

To get the most performance from your batteries, it’s also important to commit to a regular maintenance regimen such as:

  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 Care & Maintenance 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 Sweeper Scrubber Battery flyer to see all of the models, sizes, and specifications available to fit your particular vehicle.

 

Illinois Doctor Uses U.S. Battery 12-Volt Deep-Cycle Batteries To Covert His BMW To Electric

With only a 12-mile commute to his office, Dr. Karl Klontz thought it would be environmentally responsible to convert his 1994 BMW 318i from gas to electric power, which would also coincide with his solar energy lifestyle. “As a hobby, I work with solar power, going abroad annually to install solar arrays at schools, clinics, and hospitals in developing nations at no cost to the recipients,” says Klontz. “I decided to make the car electric as I’d already installed small solar arrays on my house to power the lights and appliances.”

Klontz electric motor Klontz realized he used his vehicle on a daily basis and that it consumes the most energy out of all his possessions. “I figured my car was a candidate, so I converted it to electric in order to commute to my job 12 miles away each day,” said Klontz. The conversion of his BMW to electric wasn’t easy, but he managed to gather up the components and put it all together to make it work. “The trickiest parts were finding the proper alignment and bracing for connecting the electric motor to the drivetrain, and the arrangement of the electric components,” said Klontz. “I worked slowly over two years to complete the project in my free time.”

The vehicle is powered by nine U.S. Battery US12V XC2 deep-cycle batteries wired in series that make up a 108-volt system. “I’ve heard from a number of sources in electric car conversion circles, that U.S. Battery products were very reliable providers of energy for jobs such as the one I undertook,” said Klontz. He checked into using Lithium-ion batteries, but the cost was prohibitive. Nonetheless, Klontz’s conversion works fine for his daily driving routine.

“The system has lasted roughly two years with approximately 1,400 charge/discharge US Batterys in Klontz conversioncycles,” says Klontz. “With the car in its fifth year of running, I’ve logged nearly 20,000 miles on the vehicle.” Klontz is well versed in making flooded lead-acid batteries last and adds a maintenance routine to keep the batteries in top condition. “I rely on a number of strategies to keep the batteries running as long as possible,” says Klontz. “I try not to discharge them too deeply on any drive. I recharge them immediately after making each trip, particularly in cold weather. I check their fluid levels regularly. I keep the terminals clean, and I check their individual cell specific gravity at the first sign of any voltage lowering.”

Since Klontz recharges the batteries using the solar array in his home, the cost to operate his car dropped to almost nothing, and his carbon footprint is greatly reduced. Overall, the conversion and its advantages showcase what’s possible and Klontz is happy with what he’s accomplished. “If I were to convert another car to all-electric, I’d choose a lighter model,” said Klontz. Lighter models, however, come with less overall structural protection for the driver, and the BMW has proven to be an exceptionally rigorous vehicle in terms of suspension, brakes, and other underlying features.”

 

How To Recycle A Flooded Lead-Acid Battery

Recycling Deep Cycle batteries is one of the most important aspects of owning or using battery powered machinery and vehicles. Flooded lead-acid batteries used in golf cars, automobiles, floor cleaning machines, RV’s and more, are recycled at the highest rate of any commercial product; a rate greater than 99 percent.

Where to recycle batteries is the first critical step for this successful process to begin. According to the Battery Council International (BCI), a not-for-profit trade association formed to promote the interests of the international battery industry, batteries should first be identified. Flooded lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries are two very different types of batteries, and cannot be put into the same recycling process. Battery recyclers will indicate what types of batteries they can accept, so read the labels and make sure your batteries go to the right place.

The next step is to visit https://www.call2recycle.org. This website offers resources for individuals and businesses on where the best recycling locations are in your area. The website also helps to find recyclers that allow for drop-off or who offer pick-up services.

Doing your part to recycle batteries is key to continuing the success of the battery industry and its continued growth. For more information, visit www.usbattery.com.

Checking Electrolyte Levels On Deep Cycle Batteries

Deep Cycle batteries are designed to be constantly charged and discharged to provide optimum power. The result from this constant “cycling” is that some of the electrolyte evaporates, and over time, the electrolyte levels in the battery drops.

To maintain battery performance and reliability, it’s very important to check the water levels in the battery on a monthly basis. To do this, wear eye protection and gloves before removing the vent caps on the batteries. Check with the battery manufacturer to see how to remove the vent caps, (they usually pull or twist off). Start with one cell at a time.

Get a small flashlight and look into the vent. You will see the cell plates in the electrolyte. The level of the electrolyte should be enough so that the cell plates are submerged. Some battery manufacturers recommend the water level be 1/4 inch below the fill well. That’s approximately enough to cover the battery plates, but not enough to touch the bottom of the vent. For more information on deep-cycle battery maintenance and tips on how to improve battery performance and life, visit www.usbattery.com

Make A Battery Cleaning Solution

Keeping your battery and the terminals clean is a key maintenance procedure to getting the most performance from your deep cycle batteries. Corrosion occurs when acid from inside of the battery makes its way to the terminals and connectors on top of the battery. The acid attacks the battery terminals and connectors, which if left untreated can reduce or disconnect power to the vehicle. In addition, untreated corrosion can lead to arcing, where the electrical current jumps an air gap resulting in a spark. This arcing can melt terminals, damage connectors, or cause ignition of hydrogen gas emitted during charging.

Fortunately, battery terminal corrosion can be easily cleaned with a special solution that neutralizes battery acid. The solution can be made by mixing one tablespoon (15ml) of baking soda to every 1-cup (250ml) of hot water. Apply the solution to the corroded areas of the battery terminals and use a wire brush or toothbrush to gently clean off any additional residue on the terminals. Once the terminals and wiring are clean, rinse the area with water to rinse any remaining solution off the batteries. Use some paper towels to dry the area.

To slow down the corrosion process apply some corrosion prevention spray to the terminals to coat them. Make sure to check the terminals approximately every six months and clean as necessary. Be sure to use protective gloves and safety glasses to prevent injury and ensure all connections are safely removed from the batteries prior to cleaning. For more battery maintenance tips, visit www.usbattery.com.

Getting More Power From Your Aerial Lift

Replacement Batteries For Aerial Lifts

When working on a job site it is necessary for equipment operators to get the most battery life out of your scissor lifts.  High-quality Deep Cycle batteries can provide you with years of reliable cost efficient power.  Choosing the right batteries and properly maintaining them is crucial to get the most out of your lift.

Picking the Correct Battery

When selecting a replacement battery it is important to refer to the lift manufacturer’s specifications.  Most lifts use either 6V or 12V batteries, but not all batteries are able to supply sufficient power for every lift. The size of the lift, its lift capacity, and the lift’s intended application help determine its power requirements.

For Example:

  • JLG’s ES Series and R Series scissor lifts utilize a 24V system requiring four 6V batteries with a minimum rating of 220 amp-hours. Batteries like the U.S. Battery  US 2000 XC2 or US 2200 XC2 are ideal for these power requirements.
  • While the JLG LE Series scissor lifts are a 48V system and require eight 6V batteries with a minimum rating of 370 amp-hours. Making our US L16 XC2 the perfect fit for this series of lifts.

 

Maintaining Your Deep Cycle Batteries

Committing to a regular maintenance regimen is essential to increasing your lift’s battery life.  Regularly doing the following can also greatly reduce your operating costs:

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

Do you have a Skyjack, Snorkel, Genie, or another type aerial lift and want to know what U.S. Battery product would work best for you? Then please leave a comment below.