Charging an industrial battery properly is key to ensuring that it functions at a high level throughout its life, while bad charging habits can lead to early battery death or degradation. To get the most out of your industrial battery and prevent damage from bad charging, make sure to utilize the following good charging techniques.
Choose the Right Charger
Industrial battery chargers are not one size fits all. Different chargers put out different levels of voltage, which can damage batteries that are not designed to receive that much power. On the other hand, a charger that is not powerful enough will take a considerable amount of time to charge a depleted battery. Make sure you choose the right battery charger for your needs.
Store Batteries Charged
When an industrial battery is left in storage fully discharged, extensive sulfation (buildup of sulfates within the battery) can occur, which may make your battery resistant to charging in the future. Ensure that any batteries you wish to store long term are fully charged before you pack them away.
Keep Batteries Clean
Buildup of grime, corrosion, and other materials on industrial battery terminals can prevent a solid connection from being made between the battery and the charger. To make sure that your battery charges properly and receives a steady input of power, keep all terminal ends as clean as possible.
Allow Battery to Cool
While a battery undergoes a charge cycle, its temperature rises. To prevent grid corrosion and eventual battery failure, allow your industrial battery to cool down in between charging and discharging.
Maintain Liquid Levels
When battery plates are exposed, they begin to experience sulfation, which is one of the main causes of battery degradation and failure. Check the electrolyte level in your industrial battery often, and top off the liquid level with water after a charge cycle if the plates are exposed (be careful, however, not to overfill, as the electrolyte expands during charging).
Pay Attention to Ambient Temperature
Charging a battery at temperatures over 120 degrees F or 49 degrees C can result in overheating, melting, and other damage. On the other end of the spectrum, never charge a frozen battery, and be aware that batteries freeze faster when they are discharged than when they are fully charged.
Charge Batteries Fully
Allow every new charge cycle to complete before discharging your industrial or commercial battery. Otherwise, insufficient expansion of the electrolyte can result in sulfation. Additionally, incomplete charge cycles mean that your battery is not working at its full capacity.
Use a Smart Charger
Manual battery charging can result in overcharging, especially as a battery ages and undergoes a reduction in charge capacity. In addition, manual charging does not take ambient and battery temperature (which affects voltage levels) into account, thereby resulting in a voltage level that is too high for warm batteries or too low for cool batteries.