First of we should have some knowledge about batteries. Battery is a device which converts chemical energy into electrical energy. By definition a battery is a container consisting of one or more cells carrying an electric charge and used as a source of power.
Types: A primary battery is one that can convert its chemical energy into electricity only once and are called non-rechargeable batteries while a secondary battery is one which can by recharged by giving voltage and current to it and are also called storage battery, it can be recharged and used multiple times.
Battery Capacity: is the amount of electric charge it can store. The more electrolyte (the liquid in the container is called electrolyte) and electrode material there is in the battery the greater the capacity of the battery.
The capacity printed on a battery in Amperes Hours (like 150 AH) is usually the product of 20 hours multiplied by the constant current that a battery can supply for 20 hours. For example if a battery rated 150 AH (150 multiplied by 20 equals to 3000 watts) can supply 3 kilo-watts.
Lead–acid batteries, widely used in Pakistan as a back-up battery, is the oldest type of rechargeable battery. Typically a 12 Volts Lead-Acid battery has six cells having 2 Volts per cell.
These are general voltage ranges for six-cell lead-acid batteries:
Open-circuit and fully charged: 12.6 Volts (2.1 Volt per cell)
Open-circuit and fully discharged: 11.7 Volts
The maintenance of several types of back-up batteries is similar to Lead-Acid battery so we will discuss about lead acid batteries.
It is important to maintain the batteries in order to avoid energy waste and cost. Normally, when we purchase back-up batteries, we might notice a decrease in the performance of battery within first six months. This is all due to improper maintenance.
- Volt Meter
- Sulfuric Acid
- Distilled Water
- Keep an eye on battery liquid level the liquid level should be up to the mark.
- Never let your battery to be overcharged. Overcharging reduces the battery life.
- Always use distilled water to maintain the liquid level of the battery (if distilled is not available you can use pure rain water or the water drained from AC).
- Never use tap water to fill the battery liquid level. The presence of other ions in tap water will cause a drastic reduction in battery lifespan.
- The specific gravity of UPS, CAR and Solar batteries should be between 1250 to 1275.
- Use hydrometer to test the specific gravity of each cell of battery and add acid or distilled water as required.
- Periodically check the charge level of your battery if batteries remain discharged for long time then it is unable to bring them back.
- Always wear rough clothes, gloves and eye protector while dealing with batteries.
- Keep batteries and acidic liquids out from the reach of children.
- Always use plastic containers for acidic handling and for distilled water.
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Always measure the performance of battery in charge cycles not in months or years, a highly maintained battery can give you approximately 1000+ charge cycles. The term charge cycle is typically used to specify a battery's expected life. One charge cycle is equal to One Full discharge and One Full Charge. A battery can give you performance according to its charge cycle rating.