Most scooters and powerchairs are powered by a set of Sealed Lead-Acid batteries. These can also be found in many electric vehicles and in the regenerative braking systems of many newer cars. Knowing when to replace your scooter batteries can be both obvious and not-so-obvious. In this article, we will cover a few basics about batteries and give you some pointers on maintenance and troubleshooting.
What is an SLA Battery?
Sealed-lead acid batteries are typically used in electric vehicles of various types.
The sealed design of SLA batteries makes them completely leak-proof and allows them to be mounted in a variety of positions without fear of them spilling. Another advantage is that you don’t have to top off the electrolyte inside them with distilled water the way you do with traditional lead acid batteries. This is because the gas produced by an SLA battery is reabsorbed into the battery’s electrolyte.
How Long Does an SLA Battery Last Overall?
The life of an SLA battery will depend on a number of factors, including what it’s being used for, the operating temperature and how well it’s been maintained. Battery life is measured in charge cycles. A single charging cycle means going from 100% full charge capacity to a complete discharge. As a ballpark figure, you can expect an SLA battery to last over 500+ charging cycles.
Signs That Your SLA Battery is Dying
Even with the proper care and storage, your SLA battery will, in time, need to be replaced. If your battery is having trouble holding a charge, or if you’re noticing performance sputters or reduced range, it may need to be replaced. If your battery is looking swollen or cracked or you find a buildup of corrosion on its terminals that’s a good sign that it has been regularly overcharged. Swollen batteries have already been damaged and will need to be replaced as soon as possible. Should you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms, please contact us at 1-855-564-9350 to discuss replacement options.
Prevention > Intervention. So, How Do You Maintain an SLA Battery?
Preventing premature battery death is a multi-step process. For starters, you need to ensure that you’re using the right charger. Gel batteries used in solar power, wind generation and communications applications require a different charge voltage than other SLA batteries. When selecting a charger, be sure that it’s rated for your battery’s specific voltage. For scooter batteries, this can be anywhere between 2 and 8 amps.
Be sure to avoid overcharging your battery. Do not speed up the charging time or increase the voltage in an attempt to charge your battery faster. Overcharging leads to overheating, which can kill your battery entirely in as little as a few hours.
Undercharging is equally problematic. Do not use a lower charging voltage than your battery requires as this will prevent your battery from becoming fully charged. When a battery is undercharged it has to work much harder than a fully charged one, resulting in a shortened battery life.
SLA Battery Charging & Storage Tips
Follow these suggestions to maintain a regular charge and keep your SLA battery healthy.
- Recharge your battery after each use
- Always store your battery fully charged
- Disconnect the charger immediately once the battery is fully charged
- When storing an SLA battery, be sure to keep it in a cool, dry place
- Do not store an SLA battery in a discharged state
- When storing a battery, check its charge every couple of months
- If the battery is stored in an area with a temperature above 68 degrees F, it will need to be charged more frequently
For long-term storage, charge for 36-48hrs continuously, once a month.
Battery care can seem a little involved at first, but with only a few easy things kept in mind – you can easily maximize your battery’s lifespan and keep your unit running for longer while having the peace of mind knowing that your power source is being kept in top shape and ready when you will need it.
If you’re looking for a replacement, please take advantage of our BATTERY COMPATIBILITY MATRIX to find the right battery for you.
If you already know what type you need, you can see what we have in stock here:
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