How to maintain your lead-acid battery?
Please follow these best maintenance practices to obtain long-life of lead-acid batteries.
- Lead-acid battery undergoes self-discharge of 1% per month for antimonial battery and much less for lead-calcium batteries. The float charge current should be just adequate to compensate for the loss of capacity on self-discharge. The float current has to be fine-tuned to achieve this objective to get longer life. For vehicular application, a setting of 3 milli Amperes per Ah ( 3mA per Ah) is advised.
- The magnitude of float current is dependent on the alloy composition and presence of impurities if any in the battery. An increase of the float voltage and electrolyte temperature increase the magnitude of float current.
- In a series-connected system, some cells may show significantly different voltages. This will result in an imbalance and could be due to the build-up of lead sulphate caused by incomplete charging. Periodic gassing charge to bring back all the cells to a close match with only a small difference in millivolts between cells should be carried out. Equalisation charge improves the uniformity of voltages.
- A periodical discharge is advised to improve the state of health (SOH) of batteries. This will also avoid any possible surprise failures.
- The top of the battery cover should be kept clean. Wipe clean any traces of battery acid spill-overs during charging. Leaving it behind can cause a leakage current.