Equalizing charge lead acid battery voltage,repair battery not charging battery,energizer automotive battery usa jobs - Easy Way

Lead acid batteries should be charged in three stages, which are [1] constant-current charge, [2] topping charge and [3] float charge. The switch from Stage 1 to 2 occurs seamlessly and happens when the battery reaches the set voltage limit.
Once fully charged through saturation, the battery should not dwell at the topping voltage for more than 48 hours and must be reduced to the float voltage level.
These described voltage settings apply to flooded cells and batteries with a pressure relief valve of about 34kPa (5psi). Aging batteries pose a challenge when setting the float charge voltage because each cell has its own unique condition. Measuring the open circuit voltage (OCV) while in storage provides a reliable indication as to the state-of-charge of the battery. Some buyers do not accept shipments of new batteries if the OCV at incoming inspection is below 2.10V per cell. Watering is the single most important step in maintaining a flooded lead acid battery; a requirement that is all too often neglected.
The formation of gas bubbles in a flooded lead acid indicates that the battery is reaching full state-of-charge. If your golf trolley is discharging your batteries when not being used, you must have a short circuit or partial short in the speed controller or wiring. I would like to ask you two questions regarding the process of charging sealed lead acid batteries, i would be so grateful for you for taking in consideration a simple answer as i am so far from the technology of batteries. 1)- I bought 2 new 6v 10Ah sealed lead acid batteries to use instead of the dead ones in my child’s ride-on, i also bought a simple wall charger which states that it charges at 1Ah, does this mean that to charge them for the 1st time i should leave them connected to the mains for 10 hours? 2)- I also have a 12v 1.5Ah charger, can i connect those 2 new 6v 10Ah batteries in series and charge them together and how much time would they take to be fully charged. More of a question:  Is it possible for a 6 volt charger to charge a automobile 12 volt lead acid battery to the point where it will have enough energy to start a car?
Can i use Sealed maintenance free batteries instead of Electrolyte filled ( Distilled water recharge )lead acid batteries.
For connecting the battery as a buffer I just nead to conect in parallel the battery with my device and the charger?
I have a two year old car battery which gives enough power to start my car when cold , but it refuses to crank the engine after the car runs for more than 10 kms. I tested this battery, It initially read 12.76V, and I had applied a top-up charge using a 600ma smart charger intended for smaller batteries. I connected a paralell series of 3x 15 ohm,  and 3x 22 Ohm, 10W resistors, with a 1 ohm 10W resister in series with the combination, to use as a current indicator. As expected on connection, the voltage dropped very quickly, and the current was below what would be expected for the voltage.
I believe this effect was due to thermal changes, and a delay in the chemical reactions in the battery, mentioned elsewhare in article on battery perfomance. Most guides to rested open circuit voltage suggest that with an open circuit voltage of 12.26V, the battery is about 65% cahrged.
These statement would indicate that the battery is in good condition, and close to stated capicity.
Is the rapid change in discharge curve normal, or does that indicate there could be a fault?
This page is a good reference about lead acid Battery charging, but few points are incorrect, but not fatal mistake. I set up a 50W network of resistors to create a loat to discharge them and graphed the in-circuit terminal voltage and current over a period of 25 hours.
The Terminal voltage initially dropped very quickly from it’s resting state, then took about 30 mins to stabilise. The calculated AH removed from the battery and the open circuit voltage after the test both indicated about 40% drain re the stated 220AH capacity of the battery. How much charging current is required for charging above batteries in parallel connection condition. PS.This kind of discharging test is really not necessary and it is unwise because it will damage your battery. It is easy to charge with a higher voltage to a lower voltage, in your case, a 12V to a 6V. I came across some very confusing information regarding battery balancing and equalization on the internet. Gel batteries are much more sensitive than other lead acid batteries – like AGM or flooded cell. I should point out that I knew ahead of time that all the batteries in the pack were near fully charged.
Once the batteries were wired in parallel, I connected a 12 volt charger and let it charge the pack. Once the pack had come up to 14.1 volts, I disconnected the charger and let the pack sit (still wired in parallel) overnight. Lead Acid batteries have changed little since the 1880's although improvements in materials and manufacturing methods continue to bring improvements in energy density, life and reliability. Lead acid batteries used in the RV and Marine Industries usually consist of two 6-volt batteries in series, or a single 12-volt battery. A battery cell consists of two lead plates a positive plate covered with a paste of lead dioxide and a negative made of sponge lead, with an insulating material (separator) in between. Build your own Accurate LC Meter (Capacitance Inductance Meter) and start making your own coils and inductors.
1Hz - 2MHz XR2206 Function Generator produces high quality sine, square and triangle waveforms of high-stability and accuracy. Having the ability to control various appliances inside or outside of your house wirelessly is a huge convenience, and can make your life much easier and fun. The primary function of a solar charge controller is to protect your battery bank from being over-charged by your solar array. Bulk Charge - This first stage of battery charging is used whenever your batteries are low on energy.
Absorption Charge: This 2nd stage of battery charging is used to safely bring your battery bank up to 100%.
Equalization Charge: Some charge controllers are capable of a manually engaged equalization charge on wet lead acid batteries.
PWM: Pulse Width Modulated, or PWM charge controllers offer a relatively inexpensive and effective way to regulate battery voltage. MPPT: Maximum Power Point Tracking, or MPPT charge controllers (in general) offer the user the ability to operate a solar array voltage at higher than battery voltage.
As you can see, there are many options available, but which one is the right controller for you? Once you know how big your solar controller needs to be, the rest of the selection process gets easier, but there are still site specific variables and monitoring issues to be considered.
Unless you plan on installing multiple charge controllers, you will likely look to running a 48V battery voltage system, and the distance between your solar array and solar controller will be a factor, where you could wire your array at 48V to match your battery bank and use a less expensive PWM controller provided your solar array was very close to your battery bank.
As you can see from the above, if your array is any distance at all from your battery bank then any cost savings in the PWM controller will be more than lost in wiring costs.
The online MPPT calculators (above) allow you to play with your series and parallel numbers to see the impact to the array current and array voltage. The implementation of MPPT solar controllers has provided a great deal of versatility in designing solar systems since the solar array voltage can be (and most often is) higher than the battery bank voltage. 12V Lead Acid Battery for solar or wind power system, View 12V Lead Acid Battery, OEM Product Details from Xiamen Mars Rock Science Technology Co., Ltd.
Now YOU can recondition your used batteries at home and restore them to 100% working condition. Keep reading to discover how you can earn thousands by purchasing old batteries and selling them as reconditioned batteries.
Most people will just throw away their old batteries unknowing that they can be brought back to life to work 100% again. I’m sure you already know: BATTERIES ARE NOT CHEAP which is probably why you’re reading this page. When I first started searching online for a good guide, I found that many of them were incomplete, unclear, and some of them even had wrong information!
It’s also super important that you have clear, correct instructions to follow and that’s exactly what this guide has. We show you step-by-step how to recondition batteries with extra added information to answer your questions along the way. WAY MORE USEFUL CONTENT – Our guide is over 22 USEFUL pages longer than a leading competitor (even with a font of 11pts as oppose to 15pts). First we’ll go over the rechargeable battery types so that you know more about the battery that you are trying to recondition. There are a few ways that you can test your batteries and none of the ways cost a lot of money.
We go over four different ways to test your batteries depending on which type it is using; a multimeter, battery tester, battery analyzer, and finally using a hydrometer. Have you noticed that after you’ve had a device for a while, the battery just doesn’t stay charged like it used to and you’re constantly having to plug it in? We want you to have the best, most easy-to-follow experience learning to recondition batteries at home. Save tons of money by reconditioning batteries instead of buying new ones whenever possible. You can make money by selling fully functional reconditioned batteries on Ebay, Amazon, and Craigslist.
Note: since the guides are in portable-document-format (pdf), you don’t need to wait for shipping. Once you get the hang of reconditioning batteries, you can turn what you’ve learnt into a highly profitable business. A regulated current raises the terminal voltage until the upper charge voltage limit is reached, at which point the current drops due to saturation. The constant-current charge applies the bulk of the charge and takes up roughly half of the required charge time; the topping charge continues at a lower charge current and provides saturation, and the float charge compensates for the loss caused by self-discharge. The topping charge is essential for the well-being of the battery and can be compared to a little rest after a good meal. A warmer ambient requires a slightly lower voltage threshold and a colder temperature prefers a higher setting. This is especially critical for sealed systems because they are less tolerant to overcharge than the flooded type. Cylindrical sealed lead acid, such as the Hawker Cyclon cell, requires higher voltage settings and the limits should be set to manufacturer’s specifications.
Connected in a string, all cells receive the same charge current and controlling individual cell voltages as each reaches full capacity is almost impossible. A voltage peak constitutes an overcharge, causing hydrogen evolution, while the valley induces a brief discharge that creates a starved state resulting in electrolyte depletion. The results are inconclusive and manufacturers as well as service technicians are divided on the benefit. Another method is the hysteresis charge that disconnects the float current when the battery goes to standby mode. A low voltage suggests a partial charge due to long storage or a high self-discharge caused by a micro-short. Battery University monitors the comments and understands the importance of expressing perspectives and opinions in a shared forum. If they discharge too quick during use only, it sounds like they are too small a capacity for the job.
If the current I am taking is constant is imposible to do this, because my charger will never be able to charge the battery? Can I use one charger of 1000 mAh output to charge all 3 batteries in parallel and then keep them on a maintenance charge till neded?  Or will I need to charge them one at a time. I am not sure what is really you question is, but you can’t change a 12v using 24v power supply.

I set out to test them to determine if they are working correctly for a 2 year old battery. It dropped slowly over the next 16 hours (to about 12V, then fell much more quickly over 8 hours to about 11V.
The easiest circuit requires just 1 electronic component which is a 7807 regulator (7 volt regulator). Since you have a 500mA charging current, you can’t continually use more than 500ma for 13 hours. To simplify what I have said above, the answer to your question is yes, but if you continually use more power than you have provided from the charger, then the battery will eventually drained.
Particularly How much they are applying the Excess percentage to the Practical Applications. Is it Possible to find out the Value of S.G with Voltage before Charging what will be the Values if them corresponding to our Charging Current with duration. By wiring all the batteries in parallel, it forces all the batteries to balance out at the exact same voltage level.
The next morning, I wired them back in a series configuration and reconnected the 48 volt charger.
These batteries are constructed of several single cells connected in series each cell produces approximately 2.1 volts. The plates are enclosed in a plastic battery case and then submersed in an electrolyte consisting of water and sulfuric acid (see figure # 1). This LC Meter allows to measure incredibly small inductances making it perfect tool for making all types of RF coils and inductors. The meter is a perfect addition to any power supply, battery chargers and other electronic projects where voltage and current must be monitored. It is a very useful bench test equipment for testing and finding out the frequency of various devices with unknown frequency such as oscillators, radio receivers, transmitters, function generators, crystals, etc. BA1404 HI-FI Stereo FM Transmitter broadcasts high quality stereo signal in 88MHz - 108MHz FM band. It is an irreplaceable tool for troubleshooting and repairing electronic equipment by determining performance and health of electrolytic capacitors. 8-DIP machined IC socket allows to swap OPA2134 with many other dual opamp chips such as OPA2132, OPA2227, OPA2228, dual OPA132, OPA627, etc. It's breadboard compatible so it can be plugged into a breadboard for quick prototyping, and it has VCC & GND power pins available on both sides of PCB. Charge controllers continually monitor battery voltage, solar array voltage and output current and ensure your batteries get correctly charged. Most charge controllers automatically begin bulk charging as soon as power is drawn from the battery bank. Voltage remains constant and current gradually tapers off as internal resistance increases during charging. Equalizing refers to an overcharge performed on flooded lead-acid batteries after they have been fully charged.
They are commonly found in mobile, marine, telecommunications and smaller off-grid battery charging environments.
These controllers (in general) are able to convert the higher input voltage into a lower voltage for battery charging, and convert that loss in voltage to an increase in charging current to the batteries (Ohms Law). Therefore, the calculation is can get complicated when the array voltage is dissimilar to the battery bank voltage, as is almost always the case when using MPPT controllers.
You would probably even select a (minimum) 20A controller to give you room to add a similar solar panel in the future.
The above example doesn't work when using a solar voltage dissimilar to the battery bank voltage.
The wire size to carry 52A of current across any distance will quickly become an overwhelming cost issue. You could easily use an MPPT controller and double the array voltage (thereby lowering the array current) and significantly reduce your wire size.
The maximum input voltage of a solar controller is the array Voc (Open Circuit Voltage) x 1.25. If you require further details regarding the transaction data, please contact the supplier directly.
Batteries contain hazardous chemicals that seep into the environment when they’re thrown away.
Most people don’t know how to recondition their batteries and many will pay you to do it for them. Now there’s something you can do about it with our secret methods for rejuvenating those batteries that you would normally just throw away. You’ll end up throwing away up to 50% less batteries which is overall better for the environment. If for any reason you’re not fully satisfied than we will have no problem refunding your money. You can start just a few minutes from now once your payment has been approved, even at 3 in the morning! There are so many of people that need batteries reconditioned and I will never get to them all.
In other words, you can purchase “dead” batteries in bulk from auto mechanics for seriously next to nothing. Don’t worry, if you’re not 100% completely satisfied with our product you can request a full refund. Since we’ve had some fantastic feedback on our guide we’re considering raising the price to $129.97 in the near future. If you did decide to purchase our guide now then make sure you check out our free gift to you. If continually deprived, the battery will eventually lose the ability to accept a full charge and the performance will decrease due to sulfation. A battery with high leakage may never attain this low saturation current, and a plateau timer takes over to end the charge. Chargers exposed to temperature fluctuations include temperature sensors to adjust the charge voltage for optimum charge efficiency. Charging beyond the specified limits turns redundant energy into heat and the battery begins to gas. Failing to apply the recommended voltage will cause a gradual decrease in capacity due to sulfation. If sulfation could be measured and the right amount of pulsing applied, then the remedy could be beneficial; however giving a cure without knowing the underlying side effects can be harmful to the battery. Using OCV to estimate state-of-charge works best when the battery has rested for a few hours, because a charge or discharge agitates the battery and distorts the voltage. Battery users have found that a pack arriving at a lower than specified voltage has a higher failure rate than those with higher voltages. A naked plate will sustain irreversible damage through oxidation, leading to reduced capacity and lower performance. Do not fill to the correct level before charging as this could cause an overflow during charging.
However, all communication must be done with the use of appropriate language and the avoidance of spam and discrimination.
We recommend posting your question in the comment sections for the Battery University Group (BUG) to share. How there are calculating the Capacity (Ah) in Theoretical Manner and how they are applying the Practical Ah to the battery. I recently installed a 48 volt battery pack onto my boat as part of my off grid solar system and found that the batteries needed to be equalized.
Electrical charge flows from the batteries that contain more charge to the batteries with less charge. By injecting a little extra current into the pack, it helps speed up the equalization process.
When I turned on the charger, I checked each cell and verified that the voltage was now evenly distributed across all the batteries in the pack. However, I will plan on checking them monthly for imbalances and repeat the exercise should they ever get more than a couple hundred millivolts apart.
Regular water addition is required for most types of lead acid batteries although low-maintenance types come with excess electrolyte calculated to compensate for water loss during a normal lifetime.
A six-volt battery has three single cells, which when fully charged produce an output voltage of 6.3 volts. It can be connected to any type of stereo audio source such as iPod, Computer, Laptop, CD Player, Walkman, Television, Satellite Receiver, Tape Deck or other stereo system to transmit stereo sound with excellent clarity throughout your home, office, yard or camp ground. Unlike other ESR Meters that only measure ESR value this one measures capacitor's ESR value as well as its capacitance all at the same time.
Headphone amplifier is small enough to fit in Altoids tin box, and thanks to low power consumption may be supplied from a single 9V battery.
It's small, power efficient, yet customizable through onboard 2 x 7 perfboard that can be used for connecting various sensors and connectors. You can control lights, fans, AC system, computer, printer, amplifier, robots, garage door, security systems, motor-driven curtains, motorized window blinds, door locks, sprinklers, motorized projection screens and anything else you can think of.
Moreover, most charge controllers will manage 3, 4 or 5 different stages of battery charging cycles to properly charge your batteries at different times and battery voltages. In this stage, current is sent to the batteries at the maximum safe rate they will accept until voltage rises to near (80-90%) full charge level.
The use of PWM controllers in medium to large off-grid battery charging systems is waning due to the fact that these controllers need the solar array nameplate voltage to match the battery voltage being charged. These newer charge controllers are generally used on medium to large scale off-grid solar systems. This situation occurs all the time, particularly when using 60 cell (grid tie) solar panels and MPPT charge controllers to charge battery banks. MPPT controllers can not raise the array voltage to meet the needs of battery bank charging. Before throwing away your batteries you should test them to see if they can be reconditioned. If the batteries are for a solar energy system where you’ll need a large battery bank then you can literally save thousands. It is the most popular household battery reconditioning guide because it is the best available.
A float current that is too high for the faded cell might sulfate the strong neighbor due to undercharge.
Although in-house service can often bring such batteries to full performance, the time and equipment required adds to operational costs. Old batteries loose capacity but yours should be in good condition being only one year old.
Little current will take forever to fully charge it up, so you can safely charge it using 10A. This article shows how I figured out how I needed to balance the batteries and how I went about doing it. Since these were Gel batteries, I was very careful to not let the pack voltage exceed 14.1 volts. A twelve-volt battery has six single cells in series producing a fully charged output voltage of 12.6 volts. Lead acid batteries do not generate voltage on their own; they only store a charge from another source. The circuit includes an auto ranging as well as reset switch and produces very accurate and stable readings.
Arduino Prototype uses all standard through-hole components for easy construction, two of which are hidden underneath IC socket. This charge cycle should always be done while you are present to monitor your batteries, as they can release excessive amounts of gas, or become overheated during this process.
They are much more expensive than traditional PWM controllers, and care must be taken to properly wire your array to prevent mismatch or overly high solar voltages.

This is the reason that parallel strings of individual 60 cell solar modules can not fully charge 24VDC nominal battery banks. This business model is great not only because you can earn up to six figures (the more batteries you recondition the more money you’ll make) doing it, but also because it’s great for the environment. We are certain that you’re going to love this guide but if for some reason you don’t like it then just email us your receipt and we’ll issue a full refund. Cell-balancing devices are available compensate for the differences in voltages caused by cell imbalance. As stated above, a fully charged 6 cell battery shows about 12.65 Volts when fully charged whether it is a small car battery or a massive forklift truck battery.
A dead battery in cold will work after it warm up, so be sure to know that Voltage reading is not accurate in winter time.
This is the reason lead acid batteries are called storage batteries, because they only store a charge. USB IO Board is self-powered by USB port and can provide up to 500mA for electronic projects. Board features 28-PIN DIP IC socket, user replaceable ATmega328 microcontroller flashed with Arduino bootloader, 16MHz crystal resonator and a reset switch. In PWM, the controller or charger senses tiny voltage drops in the battery and sends very short charging cycles (pulses) to the battery. Make sure to carefully follow all battery, and charge controller manufacturer instructions.
Watering systems eliminate low electrolyte levels by automatically adding the right amount of water. Lead acid batteries must always be stored in a fully charged state and be periodically recharged even when not in use.
It is best if u built ur own charger, or you really want to get a more expensive smart charger. The size of the battery plates and amount of electrolyte determines the amount of charge lead acid batteries can store. Arduino sketches are uploaded through any USB-Serial adapter connected to 6-PIN ICSP female header. Board is supplied by 2-5V voltage and may be powered by a battery such as Lithium Ion cell, two AA cells, external power supply or USB power adapter. This chemical reaction also begins to coat both positive and negative plates with a substance called lead sulfate also known as sulfation (shown as a yellow build-up on plates).
Lead sulfate is a soft material, which can is reconverted back into lead and sulfuric acid, provided the discharged battery is immediately connected to a battery charger. Proper recharging and maintenance requires an intelligent charging system that can vary the charging voltage based on the state of charge and use of your RV or Marine battery.
In order to recharge a 12-volt lead acid battery with a fully charged terminal voltage of 12.6-volts, the charger voltage must be set at a higher voltage. During the battery recharge cycle lead sulfate (sulfation) begins to reconvert to lead and sulfuric acid. During the recharging process as electricity flows through the water portion of the electrolyte and water, (H2O) is converted into its original elements, hydrogen and oxygen. These gasses are very flammable and the reason your RV or Marine batteries must be vented outside. Gassing causes water loss and therefore lead acid batteries need to have water added periodically. Sealed lead acid batteries contain most of these gasses allowing them to recombine into the electrolyte. If the battery is overcharged pressure from these gasses will cause relief caps to open and vent, resulting in some water loss.
This build-up will continue after each recharging cycle and gradually the battery will begin to loose capacity to store a full charge and eventually must be replaced. Lead sulfate build up is reduced if battery is given an Equalizing Charge once every 10 discharge cycles or at least once a month. An Equalizing Charge increases charging voltage to 14.4 volts or higher for a short period. This higher voltage causes gassing that equalizes (re-mixes) the electrolyte solution. Since most RV and Marine craft owners seldom remember to perform this function, Progressive Dynamics has developed the microprocessor controlled Charge Wizard. The Charge Wizard will automatically provide an Equalizing Charge every 21 hours for a period of 15 minutes, when the battery is fully charged and not in use. A typical 125-AH RV or Marine battery will take approximately 80 hours to recharge at 13.6 volts. Increasing the charge voltage to 14.4-volts will reduce battery recharge time for a 125-AH battery to 3-4 hours. The optional Charge Wizard automatically senses when a battery has a very low state of charge and automatically selects its BOOST MODE of operation. When the battery reaches the 90% charge level, the Charge Wizard automatically reduces the charge voltage down to 13.6 volts to complete the charge.
The Charge Wizard will automatically select its STORAGE MODE of operation (13.2-volts) once the battery reaches full charge and remains unused for a period of 30 hours. However, this lower voltage does not provide enough gassing to prevent a battery condition called Battery Stratification. Battery Stratification is caused by the fact that the electrolyte in the battery is a mixture of water and acid and, like all mixtures, one component, the acid, is heavier than water. Therefore, acid will begin to settle and concentrate at the bottom of the battery (see figure #8). This higher concentration of acid at the bottom of the battery causes additional build-up of lead sulfate (sulfation), which reduces battery storage capacity and battery life. In order to prevent Battery Stratification, an Equalization Charge (increasing charging voltage to 14.4-volts) must be applied periodically. The Charge Wizard automatically selects its EQUALIZATION MODE (14.4 volts) every 21 hours for a period of 15 minutes. This Equalizing Charge feature is standard on our Marine chargers. As you have learned, in order to properly charge and maintain a lead acid battery you must use an intelligent charging system. Progressive Dynamics, Inteli-Power 9100 Series RV converters with a Charge Wizard installed, or one of our Inteli-Power Marine Battery Chargers will provide the intelligent charging system your battery needs for a long life, with low maintenance. Dry cells Batteries are split between dry cell and wet cell. The old original dry cells were the kind with a carbon rod down the middle, and they had little power and shelf life. Current non-rechargeable dry cells have an excellent shelf life and generally provide 1.5VDC.
Rechargeable dry cells have a shelf life of less than a year before needing to be charged again. NiCads have given rise to the idea of batteries having a memory. Failing to fully discharge a NiCad before recharging it eventually led to a loss of battery life.
There is no need to "condition" these batteries, and it is better to keep them on a float charge and fully charged than it is to cycle them by discharge then recharge. Cycling a battery makes it wear out faster. Wet cells Wet cells are the batteries we have in our cars - an acid and lead plates that generate electricity. Sealed lead-acid batteries will not leak, although they may discharge gasses if not charged properly. Gel cells are said to work better than AGM batteries in conditions where they have long use and frequent cycling. The batteries are more deeply discharged and are used frequently, then recharged. AGMs seem more efficient at uses where they are deeply discharged but only infrequently, being kept on a floating charge. The battery in a UPS is kept fully charged while the power is on, but when the power goes off, the computers, monitors, printers, and such pull a lot of current from the battery until they can be shut down properly. The differences between gel cells and AGMs may make no difference to non-critical users who need a big capacity, portable battery for occasional use. This may include ham radio operators who need a big battery for a day or two in the field for an event or for campers who want a battery on camping trips to run lights or to recharge AAs. Discharge Using a charged battery discharges it.
If the battery has a manual, it may have a chart showing different capacities based on different draws.
When the battery shows 10V at the terminal with no load, the manufacturer deems the battery fully discharged.
Smaller amperages will take longer to charge and may not ever fully charge a big enough battery.
Sealed batteries have one-way valves to vent the gas, but remember the gas is hydrogen, which is flammable. This means you will still be charging the battery as long as the charger is connected, and you will overcharge the battery. Battery life Battery life depends on many factors, and I'll cover only cycles. A sealed lead-acid battery which is fully discharged (as defined above) has a life of about 200 cycles. If a battery is subject to "shallow" discharges (30% or 40% down from the voltage read when fully charged), then the life may be 800 or more cycles. It is better to keep a sealed lead-acid battery on a floating charge than to allow it to fully discharge by sitting a year between uses. The next best option is to fully recharge the battery monthly. People who use their batteries infrequently and then use them to full discharge (and beyond) will damage their batteries and shorten the battery's life substantially from any advertised life. They don't recharge their batteries until a day or two before they leave, drain the batteries dead during the week, then bring the batteries home and put them away discharged until next year.
If you have a 12 amp-hour battery and fully charge it, connect the lamp and volt meter to the battery, turn the lamp on, and note the time.
When you notice the light fading, start watching the meter and note the time the voltmeter reads 10.5V. Its capacity will continue to degrade until you find the battery useless and recycle it. Answers to Common Questions about Batteries Do lead acid batteries discharge when not in use? All batteries, regardless of their chemistry, will self-discharge.
The rate of self-discharge for lead acid batteries depends on the storage or operating temperature. A battery with a 125-amp hour rating would self-discharge at a rate of approximately five amps per week. Keeping this in mind if a 125 AH battery is stored for four months (16 weeks) winter without being charged, it will loose 80 amps of its 125-amp capacity.
An equalizing charge prevents battery stratification and reduces sulfation, the leading cause of battery failure. When should I add water to my batteries? How often you use and recharge your batteries will determine the frequency of watering. It is best to check your battery water level frequently and add distilled water when needed. Tap water contains minerals that will reduce battery capacity and increase their self-discharge rate. Warning - A brand new battery may have a low electrolyte level. Adding water to a battery before charging may result in overflow of the electrolyte. What is the proper electrolyte level? Battery electrolyte levels should be just below the bottom of the vent well, about ? - ? inch above the tops of the separators. Never let the electrolyte level to drop below the top of the plates. Do I ever need to add acid to my battery? Under normal operating conditions, you never need to add acid. Only distilled or deionized water should be added to achieve the recommended electrolyte levels. Can my batteries freeze? If your battery is partially discharged, the electrolyte in a lead acid battery may freeze. At a 40% state of charge, electrolyte will freeze if the temperature drops to approximately -16 degrees F. When a battery is fully charged the electrolyte will not freeze until the temperature drops to approximately -92 degrees F. What are the most common mistakes made by owners of lead acid batteries? Undercharging - Generally caused by not allowing the charger to restore the battery to full charge after use. Continuously operating a battery in a partial state of charge, or storing the battery in the discharged state results in the formation of lead sulfate (sulfation) on the plates. Sulfation reduces the performance of the battery and may cause premature battery failure. Overcharging - Continuous-charging causes accelerated corrosion of the positive plates, excessive water consumption and in some cases, damaging temperatures within the battery.
Lead acid batteries should be charged after each discharge of more the 50% of its rated capacity and during or after prolonged storage of 30 days or more. Under-watering - In lead acid batteries water is lost during the charging process.
Check your battery water level frequently. Over-watering - Excessive watering of a battery results in additional dilution of the electrolyte, resulting in reduced battery performance. Add water to your battery after it has been fully charged, never when the battery is partially discharged. Can I reduce the need to add water to my battery by lowering the charging voltage to 13 volts or less? Lowering the charging voltage will reduce the need to add water, but this will cause a condition known as battery stratification. Battery stratification is caused when the sulfuric acid in the electrolyte mixture separates from the water and begins to concentrate at the bottom of the battery. This increased concentration of acid increases the formation of lead sulfate (sulfation). To prevent stratification, your battery should receive a periodic equalizing charge (increasing the charging voltage to 14.4 volts or above).

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