Maintenance of Batteries

Despite the use of fully closed system batteries has increased, open system batteries are used especially in heavy vehicles and bus group. Regardless whether your battery is classified as open system or closed system, it should be controlled in terms of certain aspects. Although control periods vary depending on operating conditions; Generally, batteries should be controlled at least in every six months while the batteries which are subject to commercial use should be controlled in every 3 months. The first control point of battery is lead terminal. If there is any oxidation on lead terminal, it should be cleaned with hot water.
If battery is used while lead terminals are oxidized, vehicle may break down do to melting on lead terminals and problems on energy transmission. Other important issue is tightness of battery fixing apparatus. Especially for heavy duty trucks and tractor group vehicles, if fixing apparatus is loosen or taken out of its place; performance loss may occur due to melting of lead terminal, deformation of boxes, excessive movement and vibration-induced active substance spillage.

If the battery is an open system battery; in this case the electrolyte level and density values of cells should be controlled. Level should be set as one finger upper than the plates. In case of decrease, pure water should be added. If battery cell is overloaded, then the liquid – contained in cell – may go out and may damage to cables and connection points of the vehicle as a result of any movement.   
As a result of the controls, if electrolyte density values are determined as below 1.24 g/cm3; it means that sulfation i.e. capacity loss has started. In this case, it must be applied rectifier charging process to the battery. As we cannot measure density value of closed system batteries; in order to have an idea about battery’s fullness; we can measure voltage value. and therefore may have an idea about battery’s fullness. If the voltage value is below 12.4 Volt, likewise should be made rectifier charge to the battery. The point that should be noted here is, if the battery is exposed to be charged on the vehicle, momentary voltage value may indicate a high value. We should measure the battery after a rest for a certain time or by opening difference lightning of the vehicle for 5 minutes and after a rest for a while of the battery to be measured.  Rectifier charging process is realized in order to remedy the situation of sulfation occurred in battery plates. For this process it is needed limited voltage, constant current adjustable rectifier. Prior to charging process three criteria should be determined. These are time, voltage and current.

Battery Charge Time Table
Color Voltage Ratio of Fullness Battery Charge Time
1.280 Green >12.60 Full Charged *%100 Suitable
1.246 12.60-12.40 %100-%75 6 hours
1.213 Yellow 12.40-12.20 %75-%50 12 hours
1.180 12.20-12.00 %50-%25 18 hours
1.146 Red 12.00-11.70 %25-%0 20 hours
1.113 <11.70 Deep Discharged 22 hours
Charge time, can be count with the assistance of related charge table with measurement of the static voltage or cell density of the battery. For example, if the battery capacity is 60 amperes per hour and static voltage is 12,26 Volt; according to table we can see that charge time is 12 hours. According to rectifier instruction, rectifier voltage should be set to 16,10 Volt and rectifier current battery capacity should be adjusted as 20/1. For 60 ampere per hour, rectifier stream will be from 60/20 to 3 amperes. If we charged the battery in this condition, density value of the cells will increase because sulfate ions on the plates will turn on liquid state again and battery capacity will reach to the tag value.  In order to control the accuracy of this process after charging battery must be rest for 24 hours, after rest static voltage of the battery should be over 12.7 Volt’s. If the voltage value is below 12.7 Volt’s than there is error on charging process or there is another error in the battery except sulfation.

One of the most important points to be considered in the charging rectifier is the need of enough ventilation of the recharge area. While charging of the battery, hydrogen gas is given out. If hydrogen gas is more than 4% on the ambient, this will cause explosion risk. Any slightest spark and fire that may come from outside or even any static electricity that may we have, may cause explosion of the battery. One of the most common mistakes made by the services is mounting battery on the vehicle and trying to start using it immediately after charging of the battery. If hydrogen gas compression occurs during charging of the battery, a micro spark occurring in the cell may cause the explosion of the battery when it is pressed to vehicle starter. 
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