Deep cycle batteries power our recreational vehicles. Some examples include golf carts, wheelchairs, boats, and more. Unlike automotive batteries, deep cycle batteries are designed to give off the majority of charging capacity in a cycle, and provide power for an extended amount of time. Because of the special functions of deep cycle batteries, as opposed to starter batteries, they require special care and maintenance in order to prolong their lifespan and keep them working for you and your machinery. At Powertron Battery Co., we have decades of experience working with deep cycle batteries, and sell the largest selection of them in Orange County. We have compiled a list of tips so you can get the most out of your deep cycle battery and protect your investment.
- Checking the Charge of Your Deep Cycle Battery
When your deep cycle battery is being used to power a mechanism, the charge needs to be monitored so you do not find yourself without power unexpectedly. Deep cycle batteries tend to discharge about 45-75% of its capacity, depending on the manufacturer. So how do you check the charge of your battery? There are plenty of fine tools out there to help you out, such as voltage indicating digital monitors, hydrometers, and amp-hour meters. Use one of these to check the current charge of your deep cycle battery. They should be recharged when they indicate a 50% charge, but never let them get lower than 20% to ensure a long life.
- Prevent Sulfation
Lead-acid batteries, such as deep cycle batteries, run the risk of sulfation if left uncharged for too long. Sulfation occurs when the lead sulfates crystallize, and your battery can no longer accept a charge. Once this occurs, it is generally too late to save the battery, as the battery is destroyed by expanding sulfate deposits that crack the battery plates, rendering them incapable of conducting a current. To avoid the risk of sulfation, fully recharge your deep cycle battery following a discharge cycle. Make sure to have periodic charge cycles to keep your battery healthy. Prevention is the ultimate protection against sulfation.
- Avoid Stratification
Stratification of the electrolyte in your deep cycle battery, which occurs due to repeated acts of partial charging and discharging, can significantly reduce the battery’s capacity and performance. Stratification throws off the balance of chemicals used to run your battery. In this case, the acid has seeped to the bottom of the battery, and the lack of acid at the top of your battery limits plate activation. This imbalance can severely affect the performance of your battery. Stratification can be rectified by the slow act of diffusion, regular running of the battery, and mechanical stirring of the electrolyte.
- Give Your Battery a Cooling Off Period
Whenever you give your battery a period of use and recharging, it is best to let the battery “rest” and remain inactive until it cools off. If you immediately put the battery to work in your boat, wheelchair, or golf cart after a full charging, you run the risk of burning your battery out, rendering it incapable of performing to the best of its abilities. Because so much heat is generated during a recharging cycle, having it run right after the fact can create grid corrosion, leading to complete battery failure.
- Equalization is Key in Deep Cycle Batteries
In order to keep cells in balance following a normal charge cycle, periodic equalization need to be performed. This is an extended, low current charge applied after the full charge cycle, which will extend the charge time by about 3 hours in manually timed chargers. Keeping the cells balanced is extremely important for deep cycle batteries, as any dip in cell regularity will lead to instability or even battery failure.
When it comes to finding the battery you need for your mechanisms, throughout the Orange County area, we at Powertron have everything you need. Not only do we have all battery-related materials, but also an extensive level of knowledge we love to share with our customers and visitors. We carry all types of deep cycle batteries for all of your mechanisms and vehicles, such as 6V, 8V, 12V and Marine deep cycle batteries, Lifeline AGM Batteries, 24 Deep Cycle, 31 TMX Deep Cycle, and more, which are always in stock.
Deep cycle batteries are composed of a special balance of chemicals and are meant to be recharged, but it is important to know how to maintain them during and after the charge cycle. We have created these tips for your use at home, but of course, for any more information or materials, please drop by our store and let our friendly experts help you. Batteries are our life, and we are always happy to talk shop with our customers.