Keeping you in charge

FAQs

What is an AGM battery?

An AGM battery is a lead-acid electric storage battery that:

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How does a VRLA battery work?

A VRLA battery is a "recombinant" battery. This means that the oxygen normally produced on the positive plates of all lead-acid batteries is absorbed by the negative plate. This suppresses the production of hydrogen at the negative plate. Water (H2O) is produced instead, retaining the moisture within the battery. It never needs watering, and should never be opened

If a battery is continually undercharged, a layer of sulphate will build up on the positive plate, which acts as a barrier to recharging. Premature plate shedding can also occur. Performance is reduced and life is shortened. Therefore, it is critical that a charger be used that limits voltage. The charger must be temperature-compensated to prevent under or overcharging due to ambient temperature changes.

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What is the chemistry of Lead/acid batteries?

Lead/acid batteries all use the same basic chemistry. The positive plate is comprised of lead dioxide and the negative of finely divided lead. Both of these active materials react with the sulphuric acid electrolyte to form lead sulphate on discharge and the reactions are reversed on recharge. Batteries are constructed with lead grids to support the active material and individual cells are connected to produce a battery in a plastic case. There are, however, major differences in battery construction depending on the duty cycle and application.

Chemical reactions:

Charging
Total material conversion: 2 PbSO4 + 2 H2O › 2 H2SO4 + PbO2 + Pb

Discharging
Total material conversion: 2 H2SO4 + PbO2 + Pb › 2 PbSO4 + 2 H2O

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How do VRLA batteries recharge? Are there any special precautions?

While our VRLA batteries accept a charge extremely well due to their low internal resistance, any battery will be damaged by continual under- or overcharging. Capacity is reduced and life is shortened. Overcharging is especially harmful to any VRLA battery because of the sealed design. Overcharging dries out the electrolyte by driving the oxygen and hydrogen out of the battery through the pressure relief valves. Performance and life are reduced.

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What is a float charger?

This type of charger continually delivers a pre-set voltage to the battery, regardless of charge conditions. These chargers are used in stationary, emergency back-up power, emergency lighting, and other applications.

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How long does it take to recharge a fully discharged VRLA battery?

A specific time is difficult to determine because recharging depends on so many variables:

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How should old batteries be stored while they are waiting to be picked up?

Spent lead-acid batteries, just like new ones, should always be stored indoors on a surface which will prevent the discharge of contaminants into the environment. They also should be stored away from sewer or storm drains.

Remember, both lead and sulphuric acid are considered hazardous substances which, if improperly handled, can cause significant harm to the environment.

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Can VRLA batteries be installed in sealed battery boxes?

NO! Never install any type of battery in a completely sealed container. Although most of the normal gasses (oxygen and hydrogen) produced in a VRLA battery will be recombined as described above, and not escape, oxygen and hydrogen will escape from the battery in an overcharge condition For safety’s sake, these potentially explosive gasses must be allowed to vent to the atmosphere and must never be trapped in a sealed battery box or tightly enclosed space!

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When is the Power-Sonic VRLA battery to be equalized?

When a system is initially installed it is recommended that it be equalized at a voltage of 2.4 volts per cell average for 12 to 24 hours. This practice will assure the system is fully charged and also aid in minimizing the on charge voltage differences between units in the same series string. Otherwise, equalization should not be required.

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Can Power-Sonic supply a battery for my application?

Yes. Power-Sonic has wide experience with batteries for many applications and we can most likely provide a suitable battery for you.

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Can Power-Sonic supply the latest technology batteries for my product?

Yes. Power-Sonic can supply a good range of batteries except automotive and traction batteries.

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Can Power-Sonic design a prototype for my application?

Yes. Power-Sonic Technical Department are happy to assist in designing prototypes for your specific application.

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I only need a few batteries for a project I am working on. Can Power-Sonic supply these?

Yes. Power-Sonic stock many batteries. Please contact our sales department.

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Where is my nearest Power-Sonic sales office?

You will find contact details on our Contacts Page.

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Can Power-Sonic provide me with a copy of the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for XXX batteries?

Yes. Please see our Downloads page.

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What is the difference between float and cycle applications?

A float application requires the battery to be on constant charge with an occasional discharge. Cycle applications charge and discharge the battery on a regular basis.

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What is the difference between series battery connections and parallel battery connections and how do they increase battery capacity and voltage?

In the SERIES CONNECTION, batteries of like voltage and Amp-Hour capacity are connected to increase the Voltage of the bank. The positive terminal of the first battery is connected to the negative terminal of the second battery and so on, until the desired voltage is reached. The final Voltage is the sum of all battery voltages added together while the final Amp-Hours remains unchanged. The bank's Voltage increases while its Amp-Hours remain unchanged.

In the PARALLEL CONNECTION, batteries of like voltages and capacities are connected to increase the capacity of the bank. The positive terminals of all batteries are connected together, or to a common conductor, and all negative terminals are connected in the same manner. The final voltage remains unchanged while the capacity of the bank is the sum of the capacities of the individual batteries of this connection. Amp-Hours Cranking Performance and Reserve Capacity increases while Voltage does not.

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What is battery rating?

The most common battery rating is the AMP-HOUR RATING. This is a unit of measurement for battery capacity, obtained by multiplying a current flow in amperes by the time in hours of discharge. (Example: A battery which delivers 5 amperes for 20 hours delivers 5 amperes times 20 hours, or 100 ampere-hours.)

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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 sulphate content is removed as Ammonia sulphate and used in fertilizers. The separators are often used as a fuel source for the recycling process.

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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.

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What determines the life of an VRLA battery?

Sealed lead acid battery life is determined by many factors. These include, how the battery is maintained and charged, temperature, depth and rate of discharge, and the number of charges and discharges (called cycles).

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What is sulphation of batteries?

Sulphation is the formation or deposit of lead sulphate on the surface and in the pores of the active material of the batteries' lead plates. If the sulphation becomes excessive and forms large crystals on the plates, the battery will not operate efficiently and may not work at all. Common causes of battery sulphation are standing a long time in a discharged condition, operating at excessive temperatures, and prolonged under charging.

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What is the self discharge of a VRLA battery?

All sealed lead acid batteries self-discharge. If the capacity loss due to self-discharge is not compensated for by recharging, the battery capacity may become unrecoverable. Temperature also plays a role in determining the shelf life of a battery. Batteries are best stored at 20 C and under these conditions a rule of thumb for self discharge would be approximately 3% per month. Batteries are best stored at 20 C. When batteries are stored in areas where the ambient temperature varies, self-discharge can be greatly increased. Check the batteries every three months or so and charge if necessary.

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How do I read Date codes inscribed on to of the battery?

Old version of Date Code (Pre July 2006):

Month / day / year (MMDDYY)
e.g. 101295 = 12th Oct 1995

New Version of Date code (Post July 2006):

Year / month / day (YYMMDD)
e.g. 070315 = 15th March 2007

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Can I use an AGM battery for my wheelchair?

You can use an AGM battery for your wheel chair; however, our cyclic Gel battery is more suitable for this application.

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Are they suitable for golf trolleys?

See Power-Sonic Gel range.

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Can I charge them upside down / at an angle?

Batteries can be charged at an angle but not upside down.

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How do I dispose of my old battery?

Your battery can be returned to Power-Sonic. Please see address details on our contact page.

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What should I do before replacing my faulty battery?

Before replacing your battery please ensure the charger is functioning correctly, as many battery failures are caused by faulty chargers.

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