Battery powered vehicles are becoming more popular in a variety of industries, and where temperatures fluctuate drastically, it’s important to know how to properly maintain deep-cycle batteries in these conditions.
During summer months, some parts of the country can experience extreme heatwaves where temperatures soar into the triple digits. This affects the performance of batteries to a point where precautions should be taken.
Flooded Lead-Acid batteries often need watering, so during extreme heat conditions, it’s important to check water levels more frequently. It’s essential to fill each battery cell with water so that the electrolyte is just below the vent tube, but covers the cell plates entirely.
Because of the chemical make-up of deep-cycle flooded lead-acid batteries, they will charge and discharge at different rates, depending on the ambient temperatures. This sometimes leads to overcharging during excessive heat conditions, where specific gravity readings, (done with a hydrometer) may show that the battery is not fully charged when it actually is.
For every 10-degrees F (7-degrees C) above an ambient temperature of 80-degrees F,(72-degrees C) you must add 0.004 (0.005 for Celsius readings) to your hydrometer reading to get the proper state of charge of the battery. In doing so, you might notice that the deep-cycle flooded lead-acid batteries in your equipment or vehicle may charge faster in excessive heat conditions than they do in colder temperatures.
Checking water levels and preventing overcharging by checking the battery’s state of charge and applying the temperature correction factor will definitely keep your batteries in top shape during excessive heat conditions. Your batteries will also perform better and last longer, lowering your annual operating costs which can be a dramatic saving for fleets with battery-powered vehicles.