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Battery Support

  • Battery FAQ
Battery FAQ

How to connect a battery in Series?
The positive terminal of the first battery is connected to the negative terminal of the second battery, the positive terminal of the second is connected to the negative of the third, etc. The voltage of the assembled battery is the sum of the battery voltages of the individual batteries. So the batteries are connected: + to - to + to - to + to -, etc. The capacity of the battery is unchanged.

How to connect a battery in Parallel?
The positive terminal of the first battery is connected to the positive terminal of the second battery, the positive terminal of the second is connected to the positive of the third, etc. and The negative terminal of the first battery is connected to the negative terminal of the second battery, the negative terminal of the second is connected to the negative of the third, etc. So the batteries are connected: + to + to + and - to - to -. In this configuration, the capacity is the sum of the capacities of the individual batteries and voltage is unchanged. For example, if you take 5 6V 10AH batteries and connect the batteries in series, you would end up with a battery array that is 30 Volts and 10AH. If you connect the batteries in parallel, you would end up with a battery array that is 6 Volts and 50AH. By the way, this is how ordinary auto batteries are made. 6 2volt cells are put in series to give 12v battery and the 6 cells are just enclosed in one case. Many ni-cad batteries are done the same way.

What is a Deep CycleBattery?
Deep cycle batteries are designed to be discharged down as much as 80% time after time, and have much thicker plates that a standard automotive battery.

What is a AGM or Absorbed Glass MatBattery?
The newer type of sealed nonspillable maintenance free valve regulated battery uses "Absorbed Glass Mats", or AGM separators between the plates. This is a very fine fiber Boron-Silicate glass mat. These type of batteries have all the advantages of gelled, but can take much more abuse. These are also called "starved electrolyte."Just like the Gel batteries, the AGM Battery will not leak acid if broken.

What are the advantages of the AGM battery?
The advantages of AGM batteries are no maintenance, sealed against fumes, hydrogen, leakage, or non-spilling even if they are broken, and can survive most freezes. AGM batteries are "recombinant" - which means the Oxygen and Hydrogen recombine inside the battery. These use gas phase transfer of oxygen to the negative plates to recombine them back into water while charging and prevent the loss of water through electrolysis. The recombining is typically 99+% efficient, so almost no water is lost. Charging voltages for most AGM batteries are the same as for a standard type battery so there is no need for special charging adjustments or problems with incompatible chargers or charge controls. Since the internal resistance is extremely low, there is almost no heating of the battery even under heavy charge and discharge currents. AGM batteries have a very low self-discharge rate (from 1% to 3% per month). So they can sit in storage for much longer periods without charging. The plates in AGM's are tightly packed and rigidly mounted, and will withstand shock and vibration better than any standard battery.

What is a Gel CellBattery?
A gel battery design is typically a modification of the standard lead acid automotive or marine battery. A gelling agent is added to the electrolyte to reduce movement inside the battery case. Many gel batteries also use one way valves in place of open vents, this helps the normal internal gasses to recombine back into water in the battery, reducing gassing. "Gel Cell" batteries are non-spillable even if they are broken. Gel cells must be charged at a lower voltage (C/20) than flooded or AGM to prevent excess gas from damaging the cells. Fast charging them on a conventional automotive charger may permanently damage a Gel Battery.

What is the Amp Hour (Ah) rating?
An amp-hour is one amp for one hour, or 10 amps for 1/10 of an hour and so forth. It is amps X hours. If you have something that pulls 20 amps, and you use it for 20 minutes, then the amp-hours used would be 20 (amps) X .333 (hours), or 6.67 AH. The accepted AH rating time period for batteries used in solar electric and backup power systems (and for nearly all deep cycle batteries) is the "20 hour rate". This means that it is discharged down to 10.5 volts over a 20 hour period while the total actual amp-hours it supplies is measured. Sometimes ratings at the 6 hour rate and 100 hour rate are also given for comparison and for different applications. The 6-hour rate is often used for industrial batteries, as that is a typical daily duty cycle. Sometimes the 100 hour rate is given just to make the battery look better than it really is, but it is also useful for figuring battery capacity for long-term backup amp-hour requirements.

Do I ever need to add acid to my battery?
Under normal operating conditions, you never need to add acid. For a standard auto or marine battery, only distilled, deionized or approved water should be added to achieve the recommended levels mentioned above. When a battery is shipped in a dry state or accidental spillage occurs, electrolyte should be added to the battery. Once filled, a battery should only need periodic water addition.

Can batteries freeze?
In a partially discharged state, the electrolyte in a lead acid battery may freeze. At a 40% state of charge, electrolyte will freeze if the temperature reaches approximately 16.0
The freezing temperature of the electrolyte in a fully charged battery is -92.0

Does my deep cycle battery develop a memory?
Lead acid batteries do not develop any type of memory.

Do batteries self-discharge when not in use?
All batteries, regardless of their chemistry, self-discharge. The rate of self-discharge depends both on the type of battery and the storage temperature the batteries are exposed to. However, for a good estimate, wet flooded deep cycle batteries self-discharge approximately 4% per week at 80

Is there a maximum temperature for charging lead acid batteries?
When charging lead acid batteries, the temperature should not exceed 120
At this point the battery should be taken off charge and allowed to cool before resuming the charge process.

Are lead acid batteries recyclable?
Lead acid batteries are 100% recyclable. Lead is the most recycled metal in the world today. The plastic containers and covers of old batteries are neutralized, reground and used in the manufacture of new battery cases. The electrolyte can be processed for recycled waste water uses. In some cases, the electrolyte is cleaned and reprocessed and sold as battery grade electrolyte. In other instances, the sulfate content is removed as Ammonia Sulfate and used in fertilizers. The separators are often used as a fuel source for the recycling process.

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