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U.S. Battery FLA Date Code

How Old Or New Are Your The 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.

User Manual Cover

U.S. Battery Manufacturing’s New User Manual Provides Complete Information On Battery Data, Maintenance, Safety, Optimization, And More…

U.S. Battery Manufacturing now provides customers with a User Manual that includes everything you need to know to get the most out of your deep-cycle batteries. “Our User Manual is like placing the entire knowledge base of our engineers and battery industry experts at our customers’ fingertips,” says Mike Wallace, U.S. Battery Director of Marketing. “We compiled all of this information into an easy-to-understand manual that is designed to help customers properly use and maintain their batteries from purchase to end of cycle life and beyond.”

U.S. Battery’s User Manual will be updated regularly and covers a variety of topics, including safety, installation, and storage tips, as well as proper maintenance procedures and performance optimization. Customers can also learn how to address frequently encountered scenarios and find links on how to properly compare battery features and capacities before making their next purchase.

To view or download the free interactive digital U.S. Battery User Manual, Click Here

US Battery AGM Deep Cycle logo

US Battery Manufacturing Updates Its AGM Battery Line With A New And Improved Performance Deep-Cycle Design

U.S. Battery Manufacturing has launched its new and improved line of AGM Deep-Cycle batteries specifically designed to provide increased deep-cycling performance. “Our advanced line of AGM Deep-Cycle batteries have features that improve cycling performance and longevity, which makes them a better choice for customers wanting maintenance-free reliable operation,” says Zachary Cox, U.S. Battery VP Operations.

The new AGM Deep-Cycle batteries will be available after March 22, 2021, with updated features such as the use of thick positive alloy grids for exceptional corrosion resistance, high-density positive active material, and advanced glass mat separators. These components work together to maintain the battery cell structure during deep-cycling, limit acid stratification, and inhibit internal shorts.

The batteries also feature a carbon-enhanced negative active material that improves charge acceptance and cycling performance. In addition to being resistant to vibration, fully sealed, and maintenance-free, U.S. Battery’s new AGM design improves reliability, overall performance, and delivers longer cycle life.

In addition to these design upgrades, U.S. Battery’s AGM Deep-Cycle line will also have a new look, featuring a new case and graphics on redesigned labels. On top of the current 6V, 8V, and 12V models, the product line is also expanding to include new 6V and 12V options. “More of our customers are asking for high-performance deep-cycle batteries that are maintenance-free and cost-effective alternatives to lithium,” says Don Wallace, U.S. Battery COO. “We’re responding with engineering that delivers the superior performance and reliability needed for modern battery-powered equipment and vehicles.”

U.S. Battery’s complete line of AGM and Flooded Lead-Acid Deep-Cycle batteries are available for a wide variety of applications such as EV Golf Car & Utility, AWP, RV, Marine, Floor Cleaning Machines, and Renewable Energy.

 

The Battery Council International’s Statement On President-Elect Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Recovery Plan

President-elect Joe Biden announced his Build Back Better Recovery Plan which outlines historic investment in Research & Development in markets “where global leadership is up for grabs” including “battery technology … and clean energy.”

“The lead battery industry, with its strong domestic supply chain, is ideally positioned to rapidly deliver on the President-elect’s promise to have American jobs support the nation’s post-Covid economic recovery, and also to ensure America’s global leadership on technological innovation and a green economy infrastructure,” said Roger Miksad, Battery Council International executive vice president and general counsel.

Lead batteries will be the dominant rechargeable battery technology for the foreseeable future, are the most recycled consumer product in the nation, and are the global leader in a variety of green applications from well-known automotive uses supporting clean mobility in low-carbon start-stop and micro-hybrid vehicles, to the growing utility and renewable energy storage markets which are ushering in a global energy transition.

The U.S. lead battery industry invested $100 million in R&D in 2019 and through agreements with the U.S. National Laboratories system is actively pursuing next gen battery technology and energy storage to meet the needs of a market that is expected to grow from 360 GWh in 2020 to 430 GWh in 2030.  These battery innovations are being developed by U.S companies and will be built by U.S. workers in communities across the nation.

Specific Gravity

WEEDING OUT A BAD BATTERY FROM YOUR PACK

Most electric golf cars utilize a battery pack of four or more deep-cycle batteries that can last a long time if you’ve performed the proper maintenance. Periodically, however, the vehicle may not seem to have the range it used to, and replacing all of the batteries may be cost-prohibitive at the moment. In most cases, it’s not the entire battery pack that is going bad, but instead, one battery is not keeping up with the rest of the pack and hurting performance.

Identifying A Bad Battery In Your Pack

1: Fully Charge Your Battery Pack And Take Readings

Perform a full charge to all the batteries and check the specific gravity readings on each battery with a hydrometer and multi-meter. Use the battery manufacturer’s data to see if the readings show the battery pack is undercharged. (Here’s an example of a typical deep-cycle battery data). Repeat the charge cycle to bring the state of charge of the pack up. If, after repeated charges, the batteries begin to increase in specific gravity readings, the problem is not the batteries, and further investigation is required.

2: Perform A Discharge Test At 50% DOD

If the specific gravities indicate charged batteries (1.260 or higher in all cells) and the voltage readings are good on each battery, discharge the battery pack on the vehicle in question. If one cell is significantly lower than the rest of the cells in the pack, mark that battery as suspect. Use a load tester or run the golf car through its typical routine. Battery packs that give less than 50-percent of the rated runtime are usually considered bad.

3: Test And Find The Bad Battery

Measure the voltage at the end of your discharge test to locate the bad battery. The one with a significantly lower voltage than the rest of the pack at the end of discharge is usually the culprit.

4: What If All The Batteries Show Low Voltage?

If all the batteries have a low voltage, and your hydrometer readings on all the batteries do not show a single defective cell, then the entire battery pack may be at the end of its service life.

Replacing Defective Batteries

Once you’ve found a bad battery in your golf car’s battery pack, it is okay to replace the single battery with a new one if it’s under six months old.  If the battery is over six months old, it’s best to replace it with another battery from your fleet that has a date within six months of the rest of the pack or replace the entire pack.

When replacing a single battery or battery pack, it’s important to keep these facts in mind:

1) Cycle life comparisons should be made at the same depth of discharge (DOD).

2) Amp-hour ratings should be compared using the same discharge time and/or discharge current that will be used in the application.

3) Run-time ratings may be the most accurate comparison when selecting a battery for a given application.

R&J Batteries' construction

U.S. Battery’s Australian Distributor R&J Battery Continues To Expand

U.S. Battery distributor R&J Batteries, one of Australia’s largest battery distributors, is expanding its presence in Queensland with the purchase of Tableland Batteries located outside of Atherton, Australia. This gives R&J its sixth branch in Queensland and its 24th branch since the company’s inception. “I believe that there are plenty of opportunities to expand our wings and grow the R&J Batteries brand throughout the Tablelands region,” said Ray Robson, Managing Director of R&J Batteries. “We currently service this area weekly from the R&J Batteries Cairns warehouse. By taking over this business, it will allow us to further explore new opportunities into regions that we have not serviced in the past.”

In addition to the new business acquisition, R&J Batteries is also in the process of constructing a new distribution center as part of its growth strategy in Queensland. The 2,750 sqm distribution center is located in Stapylton, which is opposite the existing R&J Batteries Stapylton branch. The construction of the site is expected to be completed in March 2021. According to Stuart Hamilton, Chief Executive Officer at R&J Batteries, the new distribution center will consolidate several smaller warehouses and accommodate future growth opportunities. “This is a very exciting chapter in the history of R&J Batteries. We have outgrown our current site, so moving into a dedicated, bigger facility will allow us to grow and service the entire Queensland region for many years to come. Investing close to $7,000,000 on this new facility is a major commitment from Ray and is a sure sign of his commitment to the future of R&J Batteries in Queensland as well as throughout Australia and New Zealand,” said Hamilton.

As R&J Batteries continues to expand into the region, the company also prepares for the company’s 25th-anniversary celebrations later this year.

U.S. Department of Energy Urged to Invest in U.S. Lead Battery Industry

In January 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy announced a program for creating and sustaining U.S. global leadership in energy storage utilization and exports, utilizing a secure domestic manufacturing chain independent of foreign resources of critical materials. In response, the Battery Council International (BCI) filed comments urging the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to recognize the importance of the lead battery industry to the nation’s energy storage needs and to invest in America’s lead battery industry as part of the DOE’s Energy Storage Grand Challenge.

According to the BCI, the lead battery industry by definition fulfills this goal. It is a domestic industry, which means that the raw materials used to manufacture lead batteries in the U.S. and North America are recycled and produced domestically, including the lead, plastic, and electrolyte. There is no need to import minerals or other materials from unreliable markets to ensure a steady, dependable, and affordable source of energy storage.

The BCI believes that ongoing research into advanced lead battery technologies presents incredible opportunities for the lead battery industry to deliver the energy storage needs of the future. BCI’s comments highlight several of the important advances that have been made by the lead battery industry in recent years and describe several basic science research opportunities that are well-placed for federal investment and grants.

In the coming months, DOE will be releasing opportunities for industry to seek federal grants to pursue additional research into advanced battery technologies. BCI expects to continue engaging with DOE and other stakeholders to ensure that lead batteries are among the technologies chosen to receive federal attention.

BCI’s comments can be accessed here. For more information, contact Roger Miksad at rmiksad@batterycouncil.org.

overlanding house prowerrv

Increase Your RV’s House Power For Overlanding Adventures: Selecting The Right Battery

Most RV’s are equipped with two types of batteries, one for engine starting and another that stores reserve energy to power appliances and the electrical systems in the RV (house power). Most campgrounds with RV parking have electrical hook-ups and when connected there’s no worry about draining your house power battery.  But as more RV owners venture to primitive sites, having the right kind of battery will keep you from running out of power during your stay.

It’s important to understand that there are different types of batteries that can be installed in RV’s for house power use. The most common is a standard 12-volt automotive starter battery. According to Fred Wehmeyer, Sr. VP of Engineering at U.S. Battery Manufacturing automotive starter batteries are not the best type to use for house power when primitive camping.  When you need reserve power to operate lights and appliances in your RV without electrical hook-ups, you need sustained power over a long period of time.  Automotive batteries are designed to provide very high current over a very short time to crank the engine, but are not designed to be discharged deeply and will drain quickly when powering the house load.  Also, the vehicle’s alternator/regulator charging system is not designed to fully charge batteries that are deeply discharged when used for house power.  This type of battery charging requires a dedicated charger that can be connected to AC power and also requires specially designed deep-cycle batteries to withstand the rigors of deep-cycling to provide many hours of reserve energy.

Deep cycle batteries are a much better choice for RV house power.  They are available in both 6 volt and 12-volt sizes that can be connected in multiple series and parallel configurations to provide the amp-hour capacity at 12 or 24 volts, to support the runtime needed in the application,” says Wehmeyer. “Depending on the physical size and the internal design of the battery, battery manufacturers provide ratings on the battery label to indicate the runtime and amp-hour capacity at various discharge rates and times.  This allows the user to match the battery voltage and amp-hour capacity to the desired runtime for the specific requirements of the various loads (lights, appliances, etc.) and to select the best deep cycle battery type and configuration for the application.”

If you look at the types of batteries that owners of electric powered golf carts are using, the vast majority are equipped with 6, 8, or 12-volt deep-cycle lead-acid batteries because they provide reliable and cost-effective power over many years of deep-cycle service. “Switching your RV’s house power from an automotive starter battery to a deep cycle, RV/Marine or golf car-type battery will provide greater amp-hour capacity (reserve power) for Overlanding adventures and longer cycle life particularly when sized properly for a maximum of 50 percent depth of discharge (DOD) based on the battery pack’s total amp-hour capacity,” said Wehmeyer.

When discussing deep cycle batteries, there are essentially two types,  flooded lead-acid (FLA) and valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA).  There are also two types of VRLA batteries,  absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries and gelled electrolyte (GEL) batteries.  FLA batteries require regular maintenance such as checking the electrolyte levels and adding distilled water to the battery cells from time to time. This is to ensure the electrolyte completely covers the cell plates at all times, typically 1/4-inch below the bottom of the fill well of the cell cover.

Sealed VRLA batteries have no free electrolyte in them and do not require water addition.  In an AGM battery, the electrolyte is absorbed in a special glass mat separator, and in a GEL battery, the electrolyte is immobilized in a silica gel.  Both types of VRLA batteries require special chargers and/or charge algorithms to provide optimum performance and life.  They are usually heavier, more expensive, and do not last as long as premium FLA deep cycle batteries.

Deep-cycle lithium batteries are becoming more popular in many applications but Wehmeyer says that the chemistry of lithium batteries requires a battery management system (BMS) to safely control how the battery is charged and discharged.  While there are specialized chargers available for lithium batteries, it is not a simple proposition to safely add them to an RV’s electrical system.

As you can see, simply switching from standard automotive starting batteries to deep cycle batteries for your RV’s house power can be very beneficial.  Also, if later you find that you need additional runtime or capacity, you can add more batteries or switch to higher amp-hour capacity batteries.  Another option is to add solar panels and/or an auxiliary generator to be able to charge the batteries when AC power is not available.

 

JLG batteries

Replacement Batteries For JLG Electric Scissor Lifts

Choosing The Right Deep-Cycle Batteries for JLG 24-Volt ES, RS-Series, and JLG 48-Volt LE, E-Series Lifts

JLG is one of the leading manufacturers of scissor lifts and aerial work platforms that are used globally. The company has several lines of battery-powered vehicles that have improved duty-cycles due to their use of deep-cycle batteries.

Many of the company’s ES and RS Series scissor lifts feature a 24-volt system that takes a Group Size GC2 deep-cycle battery. Most of these lifts utilize four 6-volt batteries, so when it comes time to replace them, there are a couple of options that can keep these lifts running at optimum efficiency while also lowering annual operating costs. U.S. Battery’s US 2000XC2 offers 220 amp-hours at a 20-hour rate, offering an excellent value for JLG ES and RS Series lifts to provide excellent life and reliability when maintained.

When work crews need a battery that can keep up with long work cycles and want a longer-lasting battery, U.S. Battery’s US 2200XC2 is perhaps one of the best and hardest working deep-cycle GC2 sized batteries on the market. The US 2200XC2 has 232 amp-hours at a 20-hour rate, giving JLG lifts more runtime and longer life, especially with regular charging and maintenance.

JLG’s larger LE and E Series platform lifts have a 48-volt system and utilize eight Group Size 903 batteries. For these applications, U.S. Battery manufactures the US L16XC2 deep-cycle battery, which provides exceptional value with extended runtime and long life. The US L16XC2 produces 385 amp-hours at a 20-hour rate, making it one of the most popular batteries in this size range for these applications. U.S. Battery’s US L16EXC2 battery is also a Group 903 and is a cost-effective solution for platform lifts, which supplies 360 amp-hours at a 20-hour rate. The US L16HCXC2 is a high-capacity model in the same Group Size 903, that provides 420 amp-hours at a 20-hour rate, offering JLG LE and E Series lifts the maximum runtime available.

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 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 work platforms visit U.S. Battery’s Aerial Work Platform Battery page to see all of the models, sizes, and specifications available to fit your particular vehicle.