Steps to selecting the right deep cycle battery

2016-06-28 06:00

Now that we have a better understanding of the different deep cycle battery technologies, we will look at how to select the right battery for your application.

When purchasing a new battery for your 12V RV appliances, you will need to firstly identify how you are going to be using your RV, whether you are primarily plugging into an electrical source, or dry camping, and how many house appliances you need to power.

Once this has been established, you will need to make sure that your Ampere-Hour (AH) or Reserve Capacity (RC) rating of the battery will meet or exceed your application requirements.

An AH rating refers to how many amps the battery can deliver for a certain number of hours before it is discharged.

For example, a battery that can deliver 5A for 20 hours before it is discharged, would have a 100AH rating. An RC rating refers to the number of minutes that a fully charged battery at 27°C / 80°F can deliver 25A until it drops below 10.5 volts. Within a specific battery type, footprint or industry group, a battery with a higher AH rating will deliver longer discharge times.

After determining your power needs, you will need to look at your available space, weight and size restrictions to ensure that your application will be able to accommodate the battery block.

You will also need to consider whether you need multiple batteries for your house appliances, how accessible the battery installation location is, and how much servicing is required. It is important to look at what type of battery you are currently using, and what type of charging system you have available.

Selecting the right battery is critical to the longevity and expected performance of your battery and applications. Without proper charging, maintenance and knowledge, batteries may fail prematurely, resulting in more time and money spent on servicing and replacements.

Battery Issues:

Many RVers are experiencing battery failures and other battery related issues long before they expect their house batteries to die.

How you charge, discharge, recharge, maintain and store your house batteries on and off season will determine the performance and life expectancy of your battery.

The most common causes for premature battery failure and inadequate performance are sulfation, corrosion, vibration related problems as a result of improper charging and a lack of maintenance knowledge.

When a battery is improperly charged or if it has been discharged for a long period of time, sulfation occurs; this happens when small crystals of sulfuric acid from the battery’s electrolyte start to form on the plates. This acts as a barrier, impedes the opportunity for chemical reaction, and stops the battery from a full charge.

Over time, the sulfation that has been collected cannot be converted back into active plate material.

The sooner a battery is recharged after it is discharged, the better.

Undercharging your battery happens when your deep cycle battery is repeatedly discharged without being fully recharged between cycles.

A full battery cycle is on complete discharge from 100% to about 50% then recharged back up to 100%. This helps extend your battery`s life and helps prevent sulfation and performance issues. Refer to Figure 5 to see cycle life in relation to depth of discharge. - Supplied

The sooner a battery is recharged after it is discharged, the better

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