Thursday, August 14, 2008

charge your battery!

I sent the following note to the RASC Toronto Centre listserv. Or at least I thought I did...

Regardless, it is something we all should be aware of.
Some general advice for everyone with a portable battery or power pack or power "tank."

The advice pertains to portable lead-acid 12 volt batteries.

Charge it regularly!

Lead-acid battery technology is the same as in your vehicle. These types of batteries work best if they are regularly charged up. Your car's alternator is charging the battery as you drive to and fro. You need to do the equivalent with your portable. If not, the lead plates within the battery develop sulfur build-up. Then the battery will perform poorly and eventually not hold a charge.

If your portable battery comes with an AC wall-plug style adapter, use it once a month. Mine has overcharge protection. So that means I could leave the battery plugged in all the time! It would be topped up every time I needed it.

If your portable battery can be charged from your vehicle, be careful. Mine does NOT have overcharge protection with this feature. It could be overloaded, heat up, etc. That's bad for lead-acid batteries.

Lead-acid batteries do not have "memory effects" like Ni-Cd batteries. In fact, do *not* let them run down. Again, keep it topped up.

Do not let a lead-acid battery freeze.

One more time: charge it up. Keep it topped up.

Finally, as per usual, consult your documentation...

(sent via Computer Ease webmail while at Skyservice)

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