Maintaining your deep cycle batteries is important if you want them to last a long time. You should charge and discharge them at least once every two months. This will help keep the electrolyte levels in your batteries balanced, while also ensuring that they can function well under pressure.
“Deep-cycle” refers to a rechargeable battery’s ability to be recharged many times before it reaches the end of its useful life. These types of batteries are used in things like solar panels, electric cars, and even many portable electronics that require the use of power over an extended period.
If your lithium deep cycle battery has lost its ability to hold a charge or is no longer able to support your everyday needs, there are some things you can do to restore it to full capacity — so you can continue enjoying the benefits of using it for years to come.
Taking Care of Your Deep Cycle Battery
You can recharge a lead-acid battery many times, but eventually, it will wear down and no longer hold a charge. You can use a hydrometer to test whether your battery is still good for another cycle. Even if it isn’t, you can still get some use out of it by connecting the two terminals to a car battery or other power source.
Treat your batteries well, and they should last at least three years. If you want to make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth, follow these tips:
Keep them in a cool place. The ideal temperature for deep cycle batteries is between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (10 and 27 degrees Celsius).
Don’t overcharge them. Deep cycle batteries are charged when the fluid reaches the bottom of the cell. Avoid overcharging by using an automatic timer that senses when they’re full and stops charging them.
Store your deep cycle batteries fully charged. They’ll last longer if you don’t drain them completely before recharging them again.
Charge your batteries properly. When charging your deep cycle batteries, use a charger designed for lead-acid batteries. Never charge them with chargers made for nickel-cadmium or lithium-ion batteries; doing so could cause sparks and damage your equipment.
The Different Types
Lithium batteries are the most popular deep cycle batteries used in solar applications due to their superior performance. Their popularity has increased significantly in recent years in response to the need for energy storage systems that are more powerful, lighter and longer-lasting. They offer these benefits and many more, but it is necessary to understand the different types of batteries available so you can choose one that best meets your needs.
There are five types of lithium batteries:
- Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) -Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries are a type of rechargeable battery commonly used in industry, photography and autonomous vehicles. They are made up of lithium iron phosphate, which is a type of chemical compound. The lithium ions in this compound aid with the storage and transport of electrons. LiFePO4 batteries tend to be more expensive than other types of rechargeable batteries, but they have many advantageous properties, including high energy density, no memory effect and higher discharge rate.
- Lithium Manganese (LiMn) -Lithium Manganese batteries are lithium-ion batteries that use a LiMn2O4 cathode. They are often used in power tools, medical devices, and toys. The LiMn battery cells can be hot-swappable like the Li-Ion battery cells and can also be used for electric vehicles and grid energy storage.
- Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (LiNiCoAlO2) – Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide, also known as NMC, is a Lithium-ion battery cathode material. This material is attractive because it can provide high energy density and safety at low operating temperatures. This battery chemistry can be used for both rechargeable and non-rechargeable applications. The higher the concentration of nickel in the formula, the higher the energy density will be.
- Lithium Titanate Oxide (Li4Ti5O12) -Lithium Titanate Oxide is an inorganic compound with a chemical formula of Li4Ti5O12, also known as an E-type structure. The compound is composed of titanium oxide and lithium oxide. The E-type structure of this compound has numerous applications in the field of electronics and the electromechanical industry. The properties of the compound are studied and analyzed in detail for a better understanding of its uses.
- Lithium Iron Disulfide (LiFeS2)Lithium Iron Disulfide is a versatile material that has many applications in energy storage, thermoelectric power generation and other areas.
Discharging and Charging Your Battery
Discharging and charging your lithium deep cycle battery properly is the only way to achieve long battery life. Overcharging or discharging your battery at the wrong rate will result in irreparable damage.
Your new battery is factory-charged. After you purchase it, you must discharge it below 60% of its full capacity before charging it again. You should also avoid using an engine generator for charging if possible. Instead, charge it with a smart charger that monitors its voltage and gives feedback on the current state of charge.
Charging your lithium deep cycle batteries:
- Connect the charger’s positive and negative leads to the battery.
- Plug in your charger’s power cord and turn on the power switch.
- Allow at least 6 hours for a full charge.
- Attach a voltmeter to the battery for monitoring purposes (optional). Readings between 13.5V and 14V are ideal during the charging process, but should not be taken as final readings because they will decline as the battery reaches full capacity.
- Once charged, detach the voltmeter or unplug the charger from your power outlet.
- Leave it attached until you’re ready to use it again (optional).
One of the most important ways to take care of your battery is to put it in a location that has enough ventilation. When you let it sit in an area with poor ventilation, gases are allowed to build up inside. This can cause battery damage and lead to some very expensive repairs.
In addition to providing adequate ventilation, it’s also a good idea for you to keep any combustible materials away from your battery. A deep cycle battery can be quite dangerous if it gets too hot, and if there are flammable materials nearby, this could spell disaster.
When you aren’t using the battery, you should disconnect the cables and keep them off the ground. Failure to do so could result in short circuits, which would also be very dangerous.