With winter weather just around the corner we will be entering the season for floor scrubbers and the requirement for replacing batteries and chargers. Historically this industry is fraught with the misdiagnosis of batteries issues and why they fail, the following article was posted by US Battery and touches on one of the issues.
Ninety percent of the problems maintenance crews have with their battery powered floor cleaning machines is that they run out of power before they have time to finish the job. This is due to improper charging where the batteries are not given enough time to reach full capacity and are starting the work day in an undercharged condition. If this is a constant problem, it can eventually lead to batteries that fail before they need to and this can be a costly addition to battery replacement costs.
There’s an easy way to find out the battery’s state-of-charge (SOC) with a simple hydrometer. First, make sure your floor cleaning machine is equipped with the correct deep-cycle batteries for that application. Using the hydrometer requires gloves, safety glasses and should be done in a well-ventilated area. Measuring the SOC of each battery cell and comparing hydrometer specific gravity readings to the specifications found on the battery manufacturer’s website will aloow you to be able to determine if the battery is charged or undercharged. If it’s undercharged, it’s imperative to give the batteries additional charging times. If the cleaning machines are always in use, try to find times to give them additional charge time during lunch breaks or when workers may not be using the machines. This will ultimately extend battery life and increase the run times of the machines and add to productivity. If, however the batteries are charged for a long period of time and never seem to become fully charged, it can be an indication of other problems in the battery or with your charger’s algorithms. Check with the battery manufacturer is these problems persist. For more information and tips to improve battery maintenance visit www.usbattery.com.
For those who have been around for a few years, you know how much we need to focus on the need for proper charging and the advantages to installing maintenance free batteries like the Discover AGM EV traction batteries in these types of heavy cycling applications. Many of our customers and OE manufacturers acknowledge this need and pair Discover EV batteries with a Delta Q charger is an excellent maintenance free option for floor scrubbers. With the recent introduction of the Delta Q IC series chargers and specifically the high output IC1200 charger, charge times for high capacity 330 – 400 Ah battery packs are reduced significantly compared to lower output predecessors thus increasing scrubber uptime and productivity.
Remember to focus on cost of ownership when considering moving from a flooded to AGM battery. Regular maintenance costs on flooded products over the life of the battery can translate into costs greater than the actual purchase price of new flooded batteries.