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How can I maximise the life of my VRLA battery system?

How can I maximise the life of my VRLA battery system? VRLA batteries play a crucial role in providing power in UPS, communications and road sign applications. For large scale installations requiring multiple VRLA batteries, a common concern is how to maximise battery service life in order to reduce maintenance time and replacement costs.

There are a number of basic things you can do to extend the life of a larger VRLA battery system, such as a 48V1000Ah energy storage system, including:

  • Keeping the batteries in a cool environment between 20°C and 25°C (Related: What are the effects of temperature on VRLA batteries?)
  • Occasionally (every 6 months) check the tightness of the connection bolts
  • Ensure the batteries are being regularly recharged

It is also good practice to use a battery equaliser to further extend the life of your VRLA batteries.

Why should I use a battery equaliser?

What has been found to happen in larger battery systems, where the batteries have been in use for a few months, is that the impedance of individual cells may change.

This results in a variation of charge. So in a 48V system where you have 24 x 2 Volt Cells, typically these can change to be 2.15V each.

A change in the impedance of individual cells is often caused by a multitude of factors such as aging, manufacturing variation or temperature variations in the stack.

If you check each cell without an equaliser being used, you may get a variation of up to 1.0V between the lowest and the highest reading. This means that the cell with a potential of 3.0V is being overcharged and that at 2.0V is under-charged.

True to its name, a battery equaliser is designed to even out the voltage. It works by taking the excess energy from the higher voltage cell and dispensing it into the lower voltage cell.

As a result, BOTH cells are cared for and battery life is extended.

There are several models of equalisers available.  For example, a 16 channel unit would look after 16 cells this way. For the 48V1000Ah system mentioned, 2 x 16 channel equalisers would be needed – good enough for 32 cells.

An equaliser is useful in applications where a 12V appliance is attached to one of the batteries in a 24V string to ensure the system does not become unbalanced.

Need some extra advice on extending the life of your batteries? Just ask us!

The industrial battery experts at Valen are proud to offer our clients the highest level of technical support.

To talk to one of our knowledgeable team members about your particular application and system, simply click here to get in touch.

Which battery is right for my application?

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