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Batteries - good charging habits30th of October 2014
As part of our special report on batteries, a look at how good charging habits can boost performance and prolong battery life – from Roger Stockton, technical specialist at Delta-Q Technologies.
Customer satisfaction and productivity when using battery-powered floor machines is based on the machine being available and able to run for the needed amount of time. With good charging habits, machines will meet your performance expectations, and prolong the life of your batteries.
Here are some helpful tips to use in your facility.
• Charge when the opportunity presents itself. If a machine will be used for most of the day and is used regularly in this manner, operators should recharge the batteries during break periods. Severely discharging the batteries poses a risk to their health and will cause the loss of energy capacity. If machines are only used for a short period of time each day, make sure to plug in the machine every few days and complete the charging cycle.
• Complete the charge cycle. Completing a charge cycle means having the machine plugged in until the charger indicates the cycle is finished. As a rule, make sure to complete a charge cycle at least once a week. The finishing stages of the charging process, including a set amount of overcharge, are important for battery life. If charge cycles are not completed, the battery pack remains undercharged and you will notice less running time from the machine.
• Select the correct battery charge profile for your batteries. Modern chargers can be programmed to deliver a charge profile (also called an algorithm) that charges the batteries according to their needs. Different battery chemistries require different charge profiles (eg, flooded versus sealed AGM or GEL batteries).
When new batteries are put into the machine, it’s important to check that the charger is programmed with the correct charge profile. The profile can be specific to the manufacturer and model of your batteries, and should at least match their type. An incorrect algorithm could lead to regular over- or undercharging of the batteries, which affects their performance and life.