Care of your battery
Although the following advice has been provided to us by Golf Glider, for whom we are distributors, the information naturally applies to any electrical vehicle and battery use in general.
Charge a new battery for 24 hours continuously before first use.
Do not be tempted to play more than your normal round of golf between full charging of your battery. The battery may be capable of more holes but only at the expense of its efficient working life. In general, do not allow batteries to fully-discharge, or nearly discharge.
Charging should be for a minimum of 12 hours uninterrupted between discharges.
The battery will benefit from being left on continuous charge when not in use.
After use, return the battery to charge as quickly as possible. A fully discharged battery left for an extended period can become irreversibly damaged.
Do not be tempted to use an inadequately charged battery. Poor performance is likely to follow as well as possible damage. Remember that a battery is not an energy source, only an energy store. Therefore, if insufficient energy is supplied on recharge, poor performance will inevitably follow.
Inspect the battery strap and battery periodically for any visible damage.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER IS: IF YOU ARE NOT USING THE BATTERY, IT SHOULD BE LEFT ON CHARGE, OR ONLY STORED IF FULLY CHARGED.
NEVER LEAVE CHARGER LEADS ATTACHED TO A BATTERY IF THE CHARGER IS SWITCHED OFF.
The above advice is from Golf Glider, based upon using the appropriate charger that they supply with their equipment. We always advise buying a quality charger. It will last longer and so will your batteries. A lower specification charger will need longer to charge and may never fully recharge a discharged battery.
In the event of a battery failure the manufacturers will usually be able to identify the reason as battery cells have a “memory” showing past use. In fact, it is often possible for them to resurrect a non-responding battery using their specialised equipment.
There are some cheap and / or inferior chargers on the market, often supplied with equipment from the Far East and often sold with fake Torberrys / powerpoles fitted. The fake connectors often fail in use due to incorrect material being used or the batteries fail quickly due to inadequate charging. Genuine Torberry / Anderson connectors, properly-fitted with the correct size cable should not get so hot during normal use that they cannot be easily handled.
Some more-technical information provided by the manufacturer
All lead acid batteries self discharge whilst in storage and if they are stored in a discharged condition for an extended period of time a layer of lead sulphate will be formed on the negative plates. This phenomenon is referred to as “sulphation”. Since lead sulphate is an insulator, it has a direct detrimental effect on charge acceptance. As storage time is extended the degree of sulphation becomes more advanced and charge acceptance is further reduced.
Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) batteries are designed to have a very low self-discharge rate of approximately 3-4% per month, but it should be noted that the self-discharge rate varies according to ambient storage temperature. Consequently, shelf life is reduced at higher temperatures. VRLA batteries have a 12-month shelf life at 0°C to 20°C; 9 months at 21°C to 30°C; 5 months at 31°C to 40°C, and only 2.5 months at 41°C to 50°C. So, to extend storage life, lead acid batteries should be stored in a cool, dry place.
If VRLA batteries are to be stored for an extended period of time they should be given a top charge periodically. The recommended procedure for a 12 volt battery is at between 14.4 – 14.7 volts for 10 to 20 hours. The voltage applied must be appreciably higher than the normal float voltage in order to break down any sulphation.
At higher temperatures, the electrical Amp-hour capacity of a battery increases and conversely decreases at lower temperatures.
Recharging Stored Batteries
To optimise performance and service life, batteries stored for extended periods of time should periodically be given a supplementary charge, commonly referred to as a “top charge”. Top charging should also be carried out prior to using a battery that has been stored.
Correct charging is one of the most important factors to consider when using valve regulated lead acid batteries. Battery performance and service life will be directly affected by the efficiency of the charger selected.
The charging voltage should be chosen according to the type of service in which the battery will be used. Generally, the recommended voltage for cyclic use is 2.40 to 2.50 volts per cell
Battery Age Top Charging Recommendations
Within 6 months: 15 to 20 hours at constant voltage of 2.40 volts per cell.
Within 12 months: 20 to 24 hours at constant voltage of 2.40 volts per cell.
Cleaning the battery case: ALWAYS use a water dampened cloth but NEVER use oils, organic solvents such as petrol, paint thinners etc. DO NOT even use a cloth that is impregnated with or has been in contact with any of these or similar substances.