How to Extend the Life of a Deep Cycle Battery?
You've most likely heard about the benefits of using a sealed deep cycle battery in your power scooter, solar array, or battery backup system. One of the key reasons for their appeal is that they require very little maintenance in order to last a long time. Even the least bit of maintenance, however, can dramatically improve the life of your battery and save you money in the long run.
Let's have a look at a few techniques to extend the life of your battery by months or even years.
FULL CYCLE CHARGING VS. OPPORTUNITY CHARGING
One of the simplest methods to increase the life of your battery is to ensure that you give it a chance to fully charge in a complete cycle each day. This permits your battery to go through a conditioning process, which protects the plates from sulfation damage. When you plug your battery in irregularly during the day and then unhook it as needed, without ever completing a full cycle, this is known as opportunity charging. This deprives your battery of the time it needs to properly condition itself, resulting in a reduction in battery life.
UNDERSTANDING THE DEPTH OF DISCHARGE
Another thing you can do to protect your battery is to familiarize yourself with its depth of drain standards. Most deep cycle batteries are designed to withstand a 50% depth of discharge, while others can withstand up to an 80% depth of depletion. When you drain your battery 80 percent each day and always recharge it in a complete cycle, you may expect to obtain little over 220 complete cycles, however if you only discharge 50 percent, you can expect to get about 750 complete cycles. On the other hand, if your battery has been depleted less than 10%, you don't want to keep charging it. This, like opportunity charging, will prevent your battery from ever completing a full cycle, resulting in harm.
Your deep cycle battery should always be completely charged while not in use. These batteries are built to last, and they don't lose much charge when lying idle. Thus, charging them fully before storing them and monitoring them occasionally to top them off if they have discharged to 20% DoD will allow you to keep them in good working order without having to keep a charger plugged in all the time. Temperature is another important consideration when it comes to storage. Batteries that are stored in subzero temperatures or in excessive heat will degrade more quickly than other batteries. To avoid damage, always bring your deep cycle batteries inside and store them in a cool, dry place.
CHARGING AT A SLOW RATE
Finally, the greatest strategy to extend the life of your battery is to ensure that it is charged as slowly as possible. Slow charging overnight, for example, is considerably gentler on your battery's internal components than quick charging for a few hours. This is because quick charging raises the battery's internal temperature.
With these four short methods, you can extend the life of your battery. With careful care and charging, most deep cycle batteries can last up to six years (depending on the frequency of use). It is your responsibility to ensure that your charging regimen does not harm your battery. Contact Batco Batteries today to learn more about correct charging equipment and practices from our sales staff.