10 Tips for Storing Batteries

by Visitor GregWorley ‎10-31-2011 09:06 AM - edited ‎11-01-2011 01:37 PM

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Heavy equipment batteries are not cheap. It pays to keep your current batteries in prime condition and ready to perform. Here are some guidelines for ensuring optimum battery performance and longevity:

 

1.  Store inventoried batteries in a cool, dry area in an upright position.

 

2.  Keep stored batteries from freezing for maximum life.

 

3.  Never stack batteries directly on top of each other unless they are in cartons or on pallets protected by corrugated packaging.

 

4.  Do not stack batteries more than two high.

 

5.  Always use first-in, first-out stock rotation.

 

6.  Voltage drops with long storage periods. If a battery drops below 12.4 volts, always charge it before use. New batteries will measure 12.6 volts or more.

 

7.  Always test batteries before installation, and charge if necessary.

 

8.  When charging batteries, always follow safety precautions and wear proper eye protection. Turn the charger off and disconnect battery prior to hook-up.

 

9.  A battery that has not begun to accept minimum charging current within 15 minutes at the highest charger setting should be replaced.

 

10. If violent gassing or spewing of liquid occurs or the case feels hot, temporarily reduce or halt charging. Never attempt to charge a frozen battery, allow it to warm first.

 

And don’t forget about the maintenance of your battery in the machine. Watch this video with Caterpillar Preventive Maintenance Instructor, Jeff Payne, to learn what to look for in your machine battery box to prevent problems.

 

 

 

 

 

How do you get the most out of your batteries? Please share your comments below.

Comments
by Contributor DragonRailways
on ‎11-01-2011 09:49 PM

When storing batteries, we use wood to separate levels of batteries, and use wooden pallets to keep our batteries off floors.  We also use wood when storing batteries on steel shelves, as it has shown us, that steel shelves will, over time, drain a battery.  We store batteries in a locked sotrage closet, inside our shop, with a heating vent into the space, along with an exhaust vent to allow any fumes, if present, to be vented to the outside.

If we can't move the battery from it's in-use location, but have a need to park the unit, we will often wrap the battery in a non-conductive blanket.

Usually, though, if we are going to shut down a unit for the winter, we will install a block heater, an oil pan heater, and a radiator heater on the unit, and then remove the battery for storage.

We don't use old batteries, nor do we use any battery which won't take a charge.  As for batteries which are cracked, leaking, or foaming, we handle it as hazardous materials, which will see us draining the battery, and then reducing it to components; which are then packaged and sent out to battery makers..

by Visitor lechien219
on ‎11-03-2011 12:06 AM

thank for guidelines. Man Very Happy

by New member charlesb
on ‎11-04-2011 01:19 PM

Good article.  I have used many types of batteries (lead acid (LA)), lithium and large form factor air depolarized alkaline). My experience includes solar systems, diesel UPS, wind turbines, fuel cells, marine standby and agricultural applications. The CAT article also alludes to winterizing secondary (rechargeable) LA batteries.  In my experience with LA agricultural batteries, I have found that batteries, not connected to a charger (open circuit), will self discharge (and sulfate) at a destructive rate depending on temperature and state-of-charge.  Self discharge rates increase as storage temperatures rise. The battery freezing point rises as the state-of-charge decreases. 

LA batteries in storage should be maintained at room temperature and recharged every three to six months using a four or five stage battery charger.  (Storage with direct contact to concrete is not recommended - I am aware of scholarly opposing opinions.)   If LA batteries are not properly maintained, they are very expensive; conversely, if properly maintained, ROI is much better.

This is my general opinion based on my experience.  Manufactures’ instructions should be followed precisely.  Please, and most importantly, always carefully read, understand and follow the manufacturer’s safety precautions.  Lead acid storage batteries are always dangerous and especially dangerous during the recharge cycle. Poorly maintained lead acid batteries may evolve copious quantities of hydrogen gas during the charge cycle (a micro joule of energy can (with fatal consequences) ignite a 4% to 75% mixture of hydrogen in air.  

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