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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

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.

The Electric Golf Car Market Expected To Expand

Market Researchers See Continued Growth On Electric, Battery Powered Golf Cars Through 2026

According to a market analysis by consulting and marketing research firm, Future Market Insights, the golf car market is expected to be positive for the long-term, with electric golf cars having the highest anticipated compound annual growth rate of 6.4 percent through 2026. (Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment 2016-2026 ).

According to the research, the growth is due to the electric golf car as internal transportation for developing countries, as well as private clubs, golf-centric real estate developments, the travel tourism industry which is expected to include new construction of resorts and golf courses.

Golf Car Options Magazine also published the research, but they suspect that this expected growth of the global golf car market will be challenged with the maintenance of lead-acid batteries, claiming that they are also less efficient and require frequent charging. While battery maintenance is essential for optimum performance in electric golf cars, items such as single point watering systems, Sense Smart Valves and proper charging techniques, can dramatically reduce maintenance and extend battery life. In addition, flooded lead-acid batteries have the benefit of being recycled at a rate of 99 percent, with the recycled lead going back into new golf car batteries in a closed-loop system.

The report goes on to say that electric powered golf cars are expected to continue to dominate the market in terms of value over the forecast period.

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/

 

 

 

Hate Watering Your Batteries? There’s An Easier Way

Single Point Watering Systems Make Watering Batteries Safe And Easy

Monitoring the level of electrolyte in your Flooded Lead Acid batteries is one of the necessary maintenance procedures to keep your batteries working properly, and extend their service life. While it sounds like a simple process, it can be very time consuming and cumbersome. Checking the water level in four or six batteries in a vehicle often requires removing the vent caps on each battery and visually inspecting the water level. In many cases, that can be difficult depending on where the batteries are located in the vehicle. If they’re difficult to reach, it can also add difficulty in adding the right amount of water, as overfilling can also cause problems, as well as not adding enough water too.

One of the ways to make the process much easier is investing in a Single Point Watering System (SPWS).  These systems allow you to add water to all of your vehicle’s batteries at one time, from a single water tube that is easily accessible. In addition, SPWS units also stop the flow of water, once it reaches the proper level within each of the battery cells. For battery powered vehicles with difficult access to the battery compartment, this makes battery maintenance much easier, and can ultimately extend the life of the batteries which can save you money in the long run.

Sense Smart ValveGoing one step further, SPWS manufacturers also have sensors available, that can be used with your watering system to monitor water levels in the battery pack and indicate when the batteries need watering. Manufacturers such as Flow-Rite and BWT have complete systems that are easy to install, and consist of valve caps that replace the factory units and allow water to be poured into each cell via a network of hoses. Most systems are also available pre-assembled for your particular application, and do-it-yourself systems are also available for custom applications.

It’s also good to point out that SPWS usually last a long time with proper care, and with constant monitoring, you’ll never need to spend too much time out of your weekend checking and watering your vehicle’s batteries again. For more information on a variety of single point watering systems for flooded lead-acid batteries, and sample installations, visit www.usbattery.com.

Installing A Flow-Rite Single Point Battery Watering System

Keeping your flooded lead-acid batteries properly filled with water is an essential part to prolonging battery life and maintaining optimum performance. But with multiple batteries that make up a power source for golf carts, RVs, cleaning machines and other vehicles, the task of watering can be a long and cumbersome process.

This is one of the reasons why a single point watering system can be very useful. Using a single point watering system can make it easy to water a complete battery pack, without having to reach them in cramped compartments or having to check each battery cell. Complete systems like those available from Pro-Fill are easy to install and feature a fill-valve that stops the flow of water into the battery cell, once the proper fill level is achieved. Flow-Rite also builds in a flame arrestor to prevent accidental ignition of battery cell gasses, making the entire process very safe and reliable.

Installing a Flow-Rite Pro-Fill watering system involves removing the battery cell vent covers and replacing them with the new fill-valves supplied in the kit. Measure and trim the supplied water hose leading to the fill-valves on each battery, starting from the center outwards. Route the lines to each of the batteries in the pack and cap off the ends to keep the water contained within the system. The Flow-Rite system can be used with a gravity feed water tank, or a siphon hose that can be inserted into a bottle of distilled water. It’s also important to remember that after installing a single point watering system, that you only add water after the batteries have been charged. With easier access and faster, accurate, watering capabilities, its easy to see how a single point watering system can be a huge benefit to maintaining your flooded lead-acid batteries and extending their overall service life and performance. For more information on a variety of single point watering systems for flooded lead-acid batteries, visit www.usbattery.com.

 

Installation Procedure:

USB_FlowR-1a

The Flow-Rite fill valves automatically shut the flow of water when the proper fill level is reached. The valves also have a built-in flame arrester to prevent accidental ignition of battery cell gasses.

 

Make sure you’re in a well ventilated room and use proper battery maintenance protection. Remove the vent caps on each battery.

 

On six-volt systems the Flow-Rite valves come in sets of three. These are inserted into each of the battery vents.

 

The fill valves lock in place by twisting the top cap.

The fill valves lock in place by twisting the top cap.

 

Find one of the center batteries in your pack and attach the fill hose so that it will be easy to access.

Find one of the center batteries in your pack and attach the fill hose so that it will be easy to access.

 

 The hoses simply install by pushing them onto the water channel connectors as shown here.


The hoses simply install by pushing them onto the water channel T-connectors as shown here.

 

Measure and cut the appropriate length of hose to connect each of the batteries.

Measure and cut the appropriate length of hose to connect each of the batteries.

 

The Pro-Fill directions will give you ideas on how to properly route the lines to manage the flow of water to all the batteries in your pack.

The Flow-Rite directions will give you ideas on how to properly route the lines to manage the flow of water to all the batteries in your pack.

 

Some of the water T-connectors at the farthest ends of the battery packs will need to be capped off to properly divert the water to the other batteries.

Some of the water T-connectors at the farthest ends of the battery packs will need to be capped off to properly divert the water to the other batteries.

 

The center fill hoses incorporate a quick disconnect coupler that prevents water from leaking out of the system. The other half of the fill valve attaches to a water source like a gravity feed tank or hand pump.

The center fill hoses incorporate a quick disconnect coupler that prevents water from leaking out of the system. The other half of the fill valve attaches to a water source like a gravity feed tank or hand pump.