MK Battery Sealed Gel and AGM Batteries Technical Manual
TECHNICAL MANUAL
Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid (VRLA)
Gelled Electrolyte (gel) and Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) Batteries
EAST PENN Expertise and American Workmanship
Quality System Certified to ISO 9001
Introduction
• is non-spillable, and therefore can be operated in virtually any
position. However, upside-down installation is not recommended.
Valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) technology encompasses both
gelled electrolyte and absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries. Both types
are valve-regulated and have significant advantages over flooded leadacid products.
* Connections must be retorqued and the batteries should be cleaned periodically.
What is an AGM battery?
An AGM battery is a lead-acid electric storage battery that:
More than a decade ago, East Penn began building valve-regulated
batteries using tried and true technology backed by more than
50 years experience. East Penn’s unique computer-aided manufacturing expertise and vertical integration have created a product that is
recognized as the highest quality, longest lived VRLA battery
available from any source.
• is sealed using special pressure valves and should
never be opened.
• is completely maintenance-free.*
• has all of its electrolyte absorbed in separators consisting
of a sponge-like mass of matted glass fibers.
• uses a recombination reaction to prevent the escape of
hydrogen and oxygen gases normally lost in a flooded
lead-acid battery (particularly in deep cycle applications).
• is non-spillable, and therefore can be operated in virtually
any position. However, upside-down installation is not
recommended.
East Penn’s gel and AGM batteries are manufactured to tough quality
standards. East Penn manufactures high power gel and AGM batteries
with excellent performance and life.
Applications
VRLA batteries can be substituted in virtually any flooded lead-acid
battery application (in conjunction with well-regulated charging), as
well as applications where traditional flooded batteries cannot be
used. Because of their unique features and benefits, VRLA batteries
are particularly well suited for:
* Connections must be retorqued and the batteries should be cleaned periodically.
How does a VRLA battery work?
A VRLA battery is a “recombinant” battery. This means that the
oxygen normally produced on the positive plates of all lead-acid
batteries is absorbed by the negative plate. This suppresses the
production of hydrogen at the negative plate. Water (H2O) is
produced instead, retaining the moisture within the battery.
It never needs watering, and should never be opened as this
would “poison” the battery with additional oxygen from the air.
Opening the battery will void the warranty.
Deep Cycle, Deep Discharge Applications
•
•
•
•
•
Marine Trolling
• Electronics
• Sailboats
Electric Vehicles
• Wheelchairs
• Golf Cars
Portable Power
• Floor Scrubbers
Personnel Carriers
• Marine & RV House Power
Commercial Deep Cycle Applications
Standby and Emergency Backup Applications
• UPS (Uninterrupted Power Systems)
• Emergency Lighting
• Computer Backup
• Telephone Switching
• Village Power
What are the differences between gel
batteries and absorbed glass mat
(AGM) batteries?
• Cable TV
• Solar Power
Unusual and Demanding Applications
• Race Cars
• Off-road Vehicles
• Marine & RV Starting
Both are recombinant batteries. Both are sealed valve-regulated
(SVR) – also called valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA). AGM batteries
and gel batteries are both considered “acid-starved”. In a gel
battery, the electrolyte does not flow like a normal liquid.
The electrolyte has the consistency and appearance of petroleum
jelly. Like gelled electrolyte batteries, absorbed electrolyte batteries
are also considered non-spillable – all of the liquid electrolyte is
trapped in the sponge-like matted glass fiber separator material.
• Air-transported Equipment
• Wet Environments
• Diesel & I.C.E. Starting
What is a gel battery?
A gel battery is a lead-acid electric storage battery that:
The “acid-starved” condition of gel and AGM batteries protects
the plates during heavy deep-discharges. The gel battery is more
starved, giving more protection to the plate; therefore, it is better
suited for super-deep discharge applications.
• is sealed using special pressure valves and should never be
opened.
• is completely maintenance-free.*
• uses thixotropic gelled electrolyte.
• uses a recombination reaction to prevent the escape of
hydrogen and oxygen gases normally lost in a flooded
lead-acid battery (particularly in deep cycle applications).
Due to the physical properties of the gelled electrolyte, gel battery
power declines faster than an AGM battery’s as the temperature
drops below 32ºF. AGM batteries excel for high current, high power
applications and in extremely cold environments.
1
What is the difference between VRLA
batteries and traditional wet batteries?
Can our VRLA batteries be used as
starting batteries as well?
Wet batteries do not have special pressurized sealing vents, as they
do not work on the recombination principle. They contain liquid
electrolyte that can spill and cause corrosion if tipped or punctured.
Therefore, they are not air transportable without special containers.
They cannot be shipped via UPS or Parcel Post or used near
sensitive electronic equipment. They can only be installed “upright.”
Our VRLA batteries will work in SLI (Starting, Lighting and Ignition)
applications as long as the charging voltage is regulated to the
appropriate values from the tables on page 11. Many vehicle
regulators are set too high for gel batteries; therefore, the charging
system may require adjustment to properly recharge a gel battery
for best performance and life.
Wet batteries lose capacity and become permanently damaged if:
AGM batteries excel in low temperature, high current applications
such as cold weather starting.
• left in a discharged condition for any length of time (due to
sulfation). This is especially true of antimony and hybrid types.
• continually over-discharged, due to active material shedding.
This is especially true of automotive starting types.
What do the ratings and specifications
signify for this line?
Our gel cells have triple the deep cycle life of wet cell antimony alloy
deep cycle batteries, due to our unique design. The shelf life of a
VRLA battery is seven times higher than the shelf life of a deep cycle
antimony battery.
All ratings are after 15 cycles and conform to BCI specifications.
CCA = Cold Cranking Amperes at 0°F (–17.8°C)
Cold cranking amperes equal the number of amperes a new, fully
charged battery will deliver at 0°F (–17.8°C) for thirty seconds of
discharge and maintain at least 1.2 volts per cell (7.2 volts for a
12-volt battery).
How do VRLA batteries recharge?
Are there any special precautions?
CA = Cranking Amperes at 32°F (0°C)
While our VRLA batteries accept a charge extremely well due to their
low internal resistance, any battery will be damaged by continual
under- or overcharging. Capacity is reduced and life is shortened.
Same as above, tested at 32°F (0°C).
Overcharging is especially harmful to any VRLA battery because of
the sealed design. Overcharging dries out the electrolyte by driving
the oxygen and hydrogen out of the battery through the pressure
relief valves. Performance and life are reduced.
The reserve capacity is the time in minutes that a new, fully charged
battery can be continuously discharged at 25 amperes and maintain
at least 1.75 volts per cell (10.5 volts for a 12-volt battery).
RC = Reserve Capacity at 80°F (27°C)
Minutes discharged at 50, 25, 15, 8 and 5 Amperes
If a battery is continually undercharged, a power-robbing layer of
sulfate will build up on the positive plate, which acts as a barrier
to recharging. Premature plate shedding can also occur.
Performance is reduced and life is shortened.
Minutes discharged is the time in minutes that a new, fully charged
battery will deliver at various currents and maintain at least 1.75
volts per cell. These are nominal or average ratings.
Therefore, it is critical that a charger be used that limits voltage.
The charger must be temperature-compensated to prevent underor overcharging due to ambient temperature changes. (See Charging
Voltage vs. Ambient Temperature chart on page 11.)
Ampere Hour Capacity at 20, 6, 3 and 1 Hour Rates
Important Charging Instructions
EXAMPLE
10 amperes for 20 hours (10 x 20) = 200 Ah @ the 20-hour rate
8 amperes for 3 hours (8 x 3) = 24 Ah @ the 3-hour rate
30 amperes for 1 hour (30 x 1) = 30 Ah @ the 1-hour rate
Therefore, if you have an application that requires a
draw of 17 amperes for 3 hours, you would need a 51
Ah battery (@ the 3 hour rate)…(17 x 3 = 51). However,
this is 100% of the capacity of this 51 Ah battery.
Ampere hour capacity is a unit of measure that is calculated by
multiplying the current in amperes by the time in hours of discharge
to 1.75 volts per cell. These are nominal or average ratings.
The warranty is void if improperly charged. Use a good constant
potential, temperature-compensated, voltage-regulated charger.
Constant current chargers should never be used on VRLA batteries.
Can VRLA batteries be installed in
sealed battery boxes?
Most system designs will specify a battery that will deliver a
minimum of twice the capacity required. This means the battery
will discharge to 50% of its capacity. Using a 50% depth of
discharge (versus 80% or 100%) will dramatically extend the life
of any battery. Therefore, when helping to specify a battery for a
system, choose a battery with at least twice the capacity required
for best performance. If 50 Ah is required, specify at least a 100 Ah
battery.
NO! Never install any type of battery in a completely sealed
container. Although most of the normal gasses (oxygen and hydrogen) produced in a VRLA battery will be recombined as described
above, and not escape, oxygen and hydrogen will escape from the
battery in an overcharge condition (as is typical of any type battery).
For safety’s sake, these potentially explosive gasses must be allowed
to vent to the atmosphere and must never be trapped in a sealed
battery box or tightly enclosed space!
2
CHART A
Independent Laboratory Testing BCI 2-Hour Life
Group Size “27” Batteries East Penn Gel and AGM vs. Competitor
This chart compares the cycles run until the battery capacity dropped to 50% of
the 15th cycle’s capacity (on discharges at the 2-hour rate to a 10.5-volt cutoff).
East Penn AGM
East Penn Gel
CHART B
Charging Current vs.Charging Time
Shown is the current needed to charge a battery from 0% to 90% state of charge
in a given time. Or time required to change a battery from 0% to 90% state
of charge at a given current. For example, to charge an 8G8D (curve H) to 90% in
3.5 hours, 100 amperes are required; at 35 amperes, it would take 10 hours
Initial Charging Current (Amperes)
H
F, G
A 8GU1, 8GU1H, 8AU1, 8AU1H
B 8G22NF, 8A22NF
C 8G24, 8A24
D 8G27, 8A27
E 8G30H, 8G31, 8G31DT, 8A30H, 8A31, 8A31DT
F 8GGC2, 8AGC2
G 8G4D, 8A4D
H 8G8D, 8A8D
E
D
C
B
A
Hours
3
CHART C
VRLA Battery Voltage During Constant Current Discharge
Battery Voltage
Voltage vs. Percent Discharged
CHART D
Gel Percent Cycle Life vs. Recharge Voltage
This chart shows the effect on life of overcharging a gel battery.
(e.g.: Consistently charging at 0.7 volts above the recommended level reduces life by almost 60%!)
% of Cycle Life (B.C.I. RV/Marine)
Percent Discharged
Recharge Voltage (12-volt Battery)
4
What are the features and benefits that
make East Penn’s VRLA batteries unique?
Exclusive Computerized Gel Mixing
Proper gel mixing is critical to life and performance. Consistency in
mixing means consistent reliability. We have designed and built the
newest, state-of-the-art gel battery manufacturing facility in the world.
An example is our proprietary computerized gel mixing operation.
East Penn Expertise
East Penn builds VRLA batteries to the highest standards. Our manufacturing process features improved controls using state-of-the art
computers and the latest manufacturing technology and equipment.
Therefore, the VRLA batteries produced by East Penn consistently
meet the highest quality performance and life standards.
Our exclusive formula is mixed using computer control in every stage
of the process. Computer control delivers superior consistency for
gel battery performance that is unequaled.
Our temperature-controlled process and specially designed equipment assure a homogenous gel. It is important to note that our
equipment was designed by our engineers specifically for gel mixing…
even down to the contour of the tank bottoms and feed pipe locations. No other battery manufacturer has comparable equipment.
Ultrapremium Sealing Valve
A critical feature of any VRLA battery, gelled or absorbed, is the quality of the sealing valve. Not only must the valve keep the cell pressurized and safely release excessive pressure and gas due to overcharging, but it must also keep the cell from being contaminated by the
atmosphere. Oxygen contamination will discharge a VRLA battery
and eventually ruin the battery.
Multi-Staged Filling/Vacuuming Operation
Most other manufacturers fill their gel cells in a one step process,
vibrating the battery with hopes of releasing most of the air pockets.
This system is less than perfect and leaves voids or air pockets at
the critical gel-to-plate interface. These voids are non-reactive and
reduce overall battery performance.
Our valves are UL recognized and 100% tested after manufacturing.
The benefit is reliable performance and long life.
Spillproof and Leakproof
Our process fills and vacuums each cell several times. This multi-step
process assures complete evacuation of air and complete gel-toplate interface. Our computerized process also weighs every battery
before and after filling as a check for proper gel levels. The benefit is
more power-per-pound of battery.
A major advantage of VRLA batteries is their spillproof and leakproof
feature. However, all VRLA batteries are not created equal in their
degree of non-spillability. Some manufacturer’s AGM batteries are
unevenly filled. Over-saturation of the separators leaves liquid electrolyte that could spill. Under-saturation could lead to premature failure.
Some gels do not set properly; they remain liquid and can leak or spill.
Our AGM topping process assures that the maximum retainable electrolyte quantity is held within the battery separators, without leaving
any unabsorbed liquid to spill or leak.
Our exclusive gel electrolyte is formulated, mixed and controlled to
assure proper “set” in every battery. East Penn’s computer-controlled
gel mixing and filling equipment ensures homogenization of the mix.
This assures a gel battery that will not spill or leak. This feature allows
our gel cell to be operated in virtually any position. However, we do
not recommend an upside-down orientation.
Tank Formed Plates
East Penn is the only battery manufacturer that uses tank formation
to activate the battery plates. This process guarantees a fully formed
and voltage matched plate. The extra handling of the plates provides
an additional inspection step in the process to verify plate quality.
The AGM filling process assures that each cell is saturated with the
maximum amount of electrolyte that can be held by the separators,
without leaving excess electrolyte that could spill or leak.
Ultrapremium, Gel Glass Mat, Double Insulating Separators
Another critical component is the separator, which isolates the
positive from the negative plate. The separator must allow
maximum charge flow between the plates for maximum performance.
Separator failure is a leading cause of warranty claims
and customer dissatisfaction.
Exclusive Gel Formula
The gelled electrolyte is another critical element in this type of battery.
Our gelled electrolyte contains sulfuric acid, fumed silica, pure
demineralized, deionized water, and a phosphoric acid additive.
The phosphoric acid is a key reason that our batteries deliver
dramatically longer cycle life than leading gel competitors and
3 times longer cycle life than traditional wet cells.
East Penn uses an ultrapremium grade separator in our gel batteries. We believe that this expense (which is 5 to 6 times higher than
other types) is worth the benefits of extended life and performance:
Exclusive AGM Electrolyte
• The fiberglass mats embed themselves into the surface of
the plates, acting like reinforcing rods in concrete. This
extra reinforcement locks the active material onto the plate
for longer life and extended performance.
• The ultra-clean separators have no oil contamination
or other impurities. Therefore, resistance is low and
battery performance is high.
• Excellent porosity allows maximum charge flow,
which means more power-per-pound.
• Superior resistance to oxidation dramatically reduces
separator failure, which extends life.
• Our separators are especially suited for gel batteries,
while others use separators designed for flooded
automotive batteries.
Our AGM electrolyte contains high purity sulfuric acid and absolutely
pure totally demineralized, deionized water to increase battery
performance. Since the designs are “acid-starved” to protect the
plates from deep discharge, the acid concentration can drop to nearly
zero during an extremely deep discharge. Substances that will not
dissolve in acid may become soluble when the concentration drops
this low. Upon recharge, these dissolved substances crystallize out
of the electrolyte, potentially destroying the battery. Our electrolyte
prevents these events.
5
Ultrapremium AGM glass mat separators
loss is harmful to the battery and is evident by black posts, which
are caused by sulfuric acid fumes escaping from the battery through
and around the lead posts and bushings. These fumes can cause
corrosion and can damage sensitive electronic equipment.
Glass mat separator properties can vary considerably. East Penn
uses glass mat engineered to have an ideal balance of properties—
i.e. absorbency, compressibility, puncture resistance and electrical
resistance. This attention to detail results in high performance and
long life.
These pores and fissures are caused by the industry’s method of
casting posts and bushings. This method produces tiny air pockets
and paths which allow corrosive gas to escape, causing life shortening depressurization, cell dry-out and corrosion damage.
Exclusive Thru-Partition Weld Seals
One of the causes of self-discharge in batteries is the minute
electrical currents that flow between each cell through the partition
at the weld area. These currents accelerate the discharge of
batteries not in use.
To eliminate this problem, we use forged terminal posts and
bushings, which are completely solid with absolutely no porosity.
The benefit is longer life, better performance and no leakage of
corrosive gas…especially important when installed in or near
sensitive electronic equipment.
We block these currents by using an exclusive weld seal or gasket.
This feature dramatically reduces self-discharge to less than 3%
per month: the lowest self-discharge rate of any battery manufacturer and seven times lower than many conventional batteries!
Acid Stratification Prevention
Acid stratification can occur in conventional wet cells. During
charge, acid is released at the plate surfaces. During discharge,
acid is consumed at the plate surfaces. Since the concentration is
not uniform, diffusion (spontaneous mixing by random molecular
motions) begins. If this mixing occurred rapidly, stratification would
not occur, but it is relatively slow, allowing lighter parts of electrolyte to “float” toward the surface and heavier parts to “sink”
toward the bottom.
Exclusive Patented Calcium/Copper Lead Alloy Grids
This exclusive alloy provides longer shelf life, more powerper-pound and superior corrosion resistance. By using special
grain refiners, we can dramatically improve performance and life.
Heavy-Duty Motive Power Style Grid Design
While other manufacturers cut costs by using automotive style
grids, we use a high-performance deep cycle grid. This heavy-duty
grid design is similar to the grid in a motive power battery.
The top portion of the plates do not perform as well in contact with
lower concentration electrolyte. The bottom portion of the plates do
not perform as well with the higher concentration, and will corrode
prematurely. High voltage “equalization” charging is sometimes
used in wet batteries to make gas bubbles that re-mix the electrolyte.
The hefty “power rods” designed into our grids not only lock the
active material onto the grid, but also act as “bus bars” to collect
and direct the energy to the terminals. The benefit is more powerper-pound of battery for your equipment and longer battery life.
Because the immobilized gel will not “float” or “sink” within itself
when a non-uniform concentration exists, it cannot stratify.
Therefore, no high-voltage equalizing charge is necessary. Simply
recharge at the standard 13.8 to 14.1 voltage setting. This means
longer life and consistent performance in stationary and standby
applications.
Multiple Plate Lug Milling
Shiny, well milled plate lugs are critical to our superior cast-on-strap
quality. Each of our plate lugs is automatically milled to assure
the highest quality strap with no loose or dropped plates. Our
lugs are then fluxed and tinned automatically for an additional
assurance of quality.
Electrolyte in an AGM battery is strongly held by the capillary
forces between the glass mat fibers, but not completely
immobilized. Stratification is possible in extremely tall cells, but
cannot occur in batteries of the size covered in this document.
Heavier Plate Straps
We use an exclusive lead/tin alloy in a unique multi-stage caston-strap operation. The result is heavier straps with outstanding
lug-to-strap knit. This eliminates dropped and loose plates,
thereby improving performance and life.
Convenient Carrying Handles
Carrying handles are included on the (gel) 8GU1H, 8G24, 8G27,
8G30H, 8G31DT, 8G31, 8G4D and 8G8D models. Handles are also
available on (AGM) 8AU1H, 8A24, 8A27, 8A31DT, 8A4D and 8A8D.
This feature makes carrying, installation and removal easier,
more convenient and less time consuming.
Polyester Element Wrap
Another cause of deep-cycle battery failure is “mossing.”
This phenomenon occurs late in a battery’s life, as the positive
active material actually grows around the edge of the separator
and eventually “shorts” against the negative plate. This ends the
battery’s service life.
Dozens of Terminal Options Available
Our batteries are delivered with the most popular type of terminal;
however, on a special order basis many terminal options are
available. This gives you total flexibility to specify the proper
terminal for your application… without making compromises.
Our AGM separators wrap around the bottom of the plate and
are wider than the plates. This makes mossing failures unlikely.
To prevent life-shortening mossing in our gel batteries, we use a
special polyester fiber sheet that is wrapped around the edge of
each element, similar to the wrap in an industrial battery. The
result is longer service life.
Exclusive Forged Posts and Bushings
“Black” posts and oxygen-contaminated batteries are often due to
porous lead terminal posts. A battery can lose its critical pressure
through tiny pores and fissures in the battery terminals. Pressure
6
Proprietary Case, Cover, and Pressure Vent
State-of-the-Art Technology
We design and mold our own rugged polypropylene cases, vents
and covers in our on-site, state-of the-art plastics molding facility.
This provides ultimate control of our high performance designs,
quality and delivery to our manufacturing plant, assuring you the
highest quality battery and most reliable service.
Within our newly constructed multi-million dollar VRLA production
facility, we have incorporated state-of-the-art manufacturing
processes that are unmatched by any other battery manufacturer.
This major addition allows us to build the most modern and
reliable VRLA batteries in the industry.
Environment and Worker Protection
The designs of East Penn's VRLA batteries are always improving.
The preceding sections accurately describe East Penn's VRLA
products as of the date of publication. East Penn reserves the
right to change their processes to improve quality, value or utilize
advances in manufacturing technology. Ratings and capacities may
change without notice.
It’s nice to know that every possible safeguard was designed into
our process to protect our co-workers and the environment…
special safeguards that are exclusive to East Penn. One benefit
is assurance of a consistent source for batteries without fear of
governmental interference or delays.
Over 250 Quality Assurance Checks
Hundreds of quality checks are performed to assure total
confidence in the performance and life of our batteries.
For example:
• 100% Cycling. After initial charging, every battery
is discharged and then recharged at the factory. This
allows us to check the performance of the battery and give
it a second charge that equalizes the cells for improved
performance and longer life.
It’s interesting to note that, as a cost-saving measure, we use
the current generated during the initial discharge to recharge
other batteries in this computer-controlled process.
• Extended Shelf Stand Test. Before shipment, every
battery is required to stand for a designated period of time.
Beginning and ending voltages are compared. This extra
quality assurance step verifies that the critical pressure
control valves are functioning properly.
• Filling Weight Control. During this computerized process,
batteries are weighed before and after filling. This assures
that the exact amount of electrolyte is in each battery.
• Multi-Staged Filling and Vacuuming Process.
Every battery is filled and vacuumed several times during
this computerized process. Multi-staged vacuuming
assures complete electrolyte-to-plate interface, with no
power-robbing air pockets.
• Computerized Polarity Check. Every battery is checked by
computer for proper polarity.
• High Rate Discharge Test. Every battery is discharged at
approximately twice the rated capacity. A sensitive computer
monitors the voltage drop during this discharge to assure that
every battery performs as designed.
• Formed Element Inspection. Elements are assembled and
charged outside the battery container in a computerized
forming and drying process. This allows visual inspection of
every grid, plate, separator, and formed element before being
sealed inside the battery, assuring perfect cell elements with
longest life and highest performance.
• Tank Formed Plates. Voltage matched plates are critical
in standby applications. Forming each plate outside the
battery assures the highest quality, best matched plates
in the industry, and also allows a visual check before and
during assembly.
7
How do East Penn’s VRLA battery features
compare with other types of batteries?
FEATURE
EPM GEL
OTHER GEL
EPM AGM
0THER AGM
ALL WET
CELLS
1.
EPM Expertise
YES
NO
YES
NO
EPM ONLY
2.
Spillproof and Leakproof
YES
YES
YES
YES
NO
3.
Sealed Valve-Regulated
YES
YES
YES
YES
NO
4.
Ultra-Premium Sealing Valve
YES
NO
YES
NO
NO
5.
Exclusive Gel Formula
YES
NO
NO
NO
NO
6.
Deep Discharge Protection
YES
YES
YES
YES
NO
7.
Exclusive Computerized Gel Mixing
YES
NO
NO
NO
NO
8.
Tank Formed Plates
YES
NO
YES
NO
NO
9.
Multi-Staged Gel Filling/Vacuuming
YES
NO
NO
NO
NO
10.
Ultra-Premium Glass-Mat Dual Insulating Separators
YES
NO
NO
NO
NO
11.
Exclusive Thru-Partition Weld Seals
YES
NO
YES
NO
NO
12.
Exclusive Patented Calcium/Copper Lead Alloy Grids
YES
NO
YES
NO
NO
13.
Heavy-Duty Motive Power Style Grids
YES
NO
YES
NO
NO
14.
Grid Lug Milling, Brushing and Fluxing
YES
?
YES
NO
EPM ONLY
15.
Heavy-Duty Special Alloy Plate Straps
YES
NO
YES
NO
NO
16.
Special Polyester “Moss Guard” Element Wrap
YES
NO
NO
NO
NO
17.
Forged Posts and Bushings
YES
NO
YES
NO
EPM ONLY
18.
Acid Stratification Prevention
YES
YES
YES
YES
NO
19.
Carrying Handles
YES
?
YES
LIMITED
LIMITED
20.
Dozens of Terminal Options
YES
?
YES
?
EPM ONLY
21.
Highest Cycle Life
YES
NO
YES
NO
NO
22.
Highest Performance
YES
NO
YES
NO
N.A.
23.
Shelf Stand Test
YES
?
YES
NO
NO
24.
250+ Quality Assurance Checks w/ ISO 9001 Certification
YES
?
YES
NO
EPM ONLY
25.
State-of-the-Art Technology & Facility
YES
NO
YES
NO
EPM ONLY
8
Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions
NOTE: Before reviewing this section, be sure you understand the difference between gel, AGM, and flooded batteries.
How do we justify the premium price of
VRLA batteries to those unfamiliar
with this type of battery?
Absorbed Electrolyte Advantages:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Totally maintenance-free
Air transportable
Spillproof/leakproof
No corrosion
Installs upright or on side
Lower cost than gel cell batteries
Compatible with sensitive electronic equipment
Very low to no gassing (unless overcharged)
Excellent for starting and stationary applications
Superior for shorter duration/higher rate discharges
Superior under extreme cold conditions when fully charged
Superior shelf life
Superior rechargeability
(from 0% to 90% in 31⁄2 hours)
• Rugged and vibration-resistant
• Very safe at sea with no chlorine gas in bilge
(due to sulfuric acid and salt water mixing)
• Operates in wet environments…even under 30 feet of water
Simply review the advantages, features and benefits, performance,
and impressive life cycle results. Based upon this and the lowest
cost-per-month or duty cycle you and/or your customer should
have no trouble choosing VRLA batteries.
However, please remember that these batteries are not for
everyone or every application. Always be aware of the charging
considerations. (See pages 11 & 12.)
What are the advantages and
disadvantages of the different types
of battery designs?
Gelled Electrolyte Advantages:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Totally maintenance-free
Air transportable
Spillproof/leakproof
No corrosion
Superior deep cycle life
Installs upright or on side (side installation may lose
about 10% capacity)
Very low to no gassing (unless overcharged)
Compatible with sensitive electronic equipment
Superior shelf life
Superior rechargeability
(from 0% to 90% in 31⁄2 hours)
No recharge current limitation @ 13.8 volts
Rugged and vibration-resistant
Very safe at sea with no chlorine gas in bilge
(due to sulfuric acid and salt water mixing)
Versatile: Starting, Deep Cycle, Stationary
Operates in wet environments…even under 30 feet of water
Will not freeze to –20°F/–30°C (if fully charged)
Lowest cost-per-month (cost ÷ months of life)
Lowest cost-per-cycle (cost ÷ life cycles)
Absorbed Electrolyte Disadvantages:
• Shorter cycle life than gel in very deep cycle applications
• Automatic temperature-sensing,
voltage-regulated chargers must be used
• Water cannot be replaced if continually overcharged
• Charge voltage must be limited
(14.4 to 14.6 volts maximum at 68°F)
Flooded Electrolyte Advantages:
• Lowest initial cost
• Higher cranking amps
• Water can be added (if accessible)
• Excellent for starting applications
• Tolerant of improper recharge voltage
• Certain designs are good for deep cycle applications
• Replacements readily available
• Good under extreme cold conditions when fully charged
Flooded Electrolyte Disadvantages:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Gelled Electrolyte Disadvantages:
•
•
•
•
Higher initial cost
Heavier weight
Water cannot be replaced if continually overcharged
Automatic temperature-sensing,
voltage-regulated chargers must be used
• Charge voltage must be limited to extend life
(13.8 to 14.1 volts maximum at 68°F)
9
Spillable
Operates upright only
Shorter shelf life
Fewer shipping options
Cannot be installed near sensitive electronic equipment
Watering may be required (if accessible)
Why can’t VRLA batteries be opened?
• Our VRLA batteries are protected against deep discharge
because they are “acid-starved.” This means that the battery
uses the power in the acid before it uses the power in the plates.
Therefore, the plates are never subjected to
destructive ultra-deep discharges.
VRLA (Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid) batteries, sometimes called SLA
(Sealed Lead-Acid) batteries or SVR (Sealed Valve-Regulated)
batteries work on a recombination principle. Oxygen gas is produced at the positive plates during charge. The charged negative
plates react first with this oxygen and subsequently with the electrolyte. Water is produced and the negative plates are very slightly
discharged. Additional charging recharges the negative plates
instead of producing hydrogen gas. Since very little hydrogen and
oxygen is lost and the water (H2O) is retained, we say that the
gasses have recombined. To work properly, the oxygen produced
must be retained in the battery until the reaction is completed.
Positive pressure allows the gas to be retained.
• With proper temperature-sensing, voltage-regulated
charging (refer to table on page 11) the VRLA battery
never runs out of water.
• Our gel batteries contain ultra-premium, glass-mat,
dual-insulating separators which will not break down in
service. The glass mat embeds itself into the plate, which
retards life-shortening shedding.
• Our gel batteries contain polyester element wrap which retards
“mossing” or active material growth that causes short circuits.
If any VRLA (gelled or absorbed electrolyte) battery is overcharged,
gas will be vented from the valves. Hydrogen as well as oxygen will
be released. If continued, the electrolyte will eventually dry out and
the battery will fail prematurely. This is why charging limits are so
critical.
• Our AGM batteries contain separators at the ideal compression
and ideal saturation to achieve the best balance between capacity utilization and recombination efficiency.
• Over 250 quality control checks assure superior performance
and long battery life.
In a sealed battery a balance is maintained between the hydrogen,
oxygen and charge. If a VRLA battery is opened, or leaks, the negative plates are exposed to extra oxygen from the atmosphere.
This excess oxygen upsets the balance. The negative plates become
discharged. The positive plates may be subsequently severely overcharged. The battery will fail prematurely, and the warranty will be
voided.
Why do EPM VRLA batteries have
longer shelf life?
Our calcium/copper lead alloy premium separators and demineralized
electrolyte are ultra-pure. Impurities in the lead alloy, separators
and electrolyte cause tiny currents inside a cell which eventually
discharge the battery and shorten its shelf life. The purer the
components, the longer the shelf life. No one can match
East Penn’s purity!
Some say calcium grids don’t do well in
flooded deep cycle applications. Why does
East Penn use calcium grids in VRLA
batteries for deep cycle applications?
Our exclusive “weld seal gasket” blocks the minute cell-to-cell
currents that cause self-discharge. The better the weld seal, the
longer the shelf life. Weld seals are exclusive to East Penn VRLA
batteries.
Flooded calcium alloy makes a very efficient, low resistance battery.
Therefore, when deeply discharged, the plates release all their available power, eventually causing plate shedding and active material
fall-out. In contrast, with flooded antimony batteries, the antimony
helps lock the active material onto the grid. Therefore, the plate
does not shed as easily, which extends the deep cycle life of the
battery when compared to flooded calcium.
Does depth of discharge affect cycle life?
Yes! The harder any battery has to work, the sooner it will fail.
Our VRLA calcium alloy battery (East Penn’s exclusive patented
alloy) is also very efficient with low resistance. However, when
deeply discharged, the electrolyte is used up before the plates
are totally discharged because the battery is “acid-starved.”
This feature:
Typical* VRLA Battery Cycling Ability
vs. Depth of Discharge
Typical Life Cycles
• limits the discharge the plates can deliver.
• protects the plates from shedding due to deep discharge.
• extends the life of the battery.
Capacity Withdrawn
100%
80%
50%
25%
10%
Why do EPM VRLA batteries have
longer cycle life than others?
Gel
450
600
1000
2100
5700
AGM
200
250
500
1200
3200
Some of the major features that contribute to our long cycle life are:
* You may experience longer or shorter life based upon application, charging regimen,
temperature, rest periods, type of equipment, age of battery, etc.
• Our patented calcium/copper grid alloy delivers superior
performance due to the purity of the lead. Copper is added
as a “grain refiner.” This means that the microscopic grains
in our lead grids are odd-shaped, so they retard corrosion
and extend the life of our grid.
As you can see, the shallower the average discharge, the longer
the life. This is why it’s important to size a battery system to
deliver at least twice the average power required, to assure shallow
discharges.
• Our thicker grids have more corrosion resistance than
thinner grids.
10
Gel Charge and Float Voltages
at Various Temperature Ranges
Follow these tips for the longest life:
• Avoid ultra-deep discharges.
• Don’t leave a battery at a low stage of charge for an extended
length of time. Charge a discharged battery as soon as possible.
• Don’t cycle a battery at a low state of charge without regularly
recharging fully.
• Use the highest initial charging current available (up to 30%
of the 20-hour capacity per hour) while staying within the
proper temperature-compensated voltage range.
Temp.
°F
≥ 120
110 – 120
100 – 109
90 – 99
80 – 89
70 – 79
60 – 69
50 – 59
40 – 49
≤ 39
Why can’t EPM VRLA batteries be
discharged too low?
Our VRLA batteries are designed to be “acid-starved.” This means
that the power (sulfate) in the acid is used before the power in the
plates. This design protects the plates from ultra-deep discharges.
Ultra-deep discharging is what causes life-shortening plate shedding
and accelerated positive grid corrosion which can destroy a battery.
Charge
Float
Temp.
°C
Optimum Maximum Optimum Maximum
13.00
13.20
13.30
13.40
13.50
13.70
13.85
14.00
14.20
14.50
13.30
13.50
13.60
13.70
13.80
14.00
14.15
14.30
14.50
14.80
12.80
12.90
13.00
13.10
13.20
13.40
13.55
13.70
13.90
14.20
13.00
13.20
13.30
13.40
13.50
13.70
13.85
14.00
14.20
14.50
≥ 49
44 – 48
38 – 43
32 – 37
27 – 31
21 – 26
16 – 20
10 – 15
5–9
≤4
What is acid stratification?
How do VRLA batteries prevent it?
See page 6 for a detailed explanation of this phenomenon.
Why does temperature have such
a dramatic effect on batteries?
How does a battery recharge?
The process is the same for all types of lead-acid batteries: flooded,
gel and AGM. The actions that take place during discharge are the
reverse of those that occur during charge.
Temperature is a major factor in battery performance, shelf life,
charging and voltage control. At higher temperatures there is
dramatically more chemical activity inside a battery than at lower
temperatures. The following charts graphically illustrate this fact.
The discharged material on both plates is lead sulfate (PbSO4).
When a charging voltage is applied, charge flow occurs. Electrons
move in the metal parts; ions and water molecules move in the electrolyte. Chemical reactions occur at both the positive and negative
plates converting the discharged material into charged material. The
material on the positive plates is converted to lead dioxide (PbO2);
the material on the negative plates is converted to lead (Pb).
Sulfuric acid is produced at both plates and water is consumed at
the positive plate.
100
75
50
25
% RATED CAPACITY AVAILABLE
Typical Self-Discharge of VRLA Batteries
at Different Temperatures
40°C
104°F
30°C
86°F
20°C
68°F
If the voltage is too high, other reactions will also occur. Oxygen is
ripped from water molecules at the positive plates and released as
a gas. Hydrogen gas is released at the negative plates—unless,
oxygen gas can reach the negative plates first and “recombine” into
H2O.
8°C
46°F
A battery will “gas” near the end of charge because the charge
rate is too high for the battery to accept. A temperature-compensating, voltage-regulating charger, which automatically reduces
the charge rate as the battery approaches the fully charged state,
eliminates most of this gassing. It is extremely important
not to charge batteries for long periods of time at rates which
cause them to gas because they use water, which in sealed valveregulated batteries cannot be replaced. Of course, no battery should
be overcharged for a long period of time…even at low rates using
so-called “trickle charges.”
STORAGE TIME (MONTHS)
0
3
6
9
12
15
18
21
24
27
AGM Charge and Float Voltages
at Various Temperature Ranges
Temp.
°F
≥ 120
110 – 120
100 – 110
90 – 100
80 – 90
70 – 80
60 – 70
50 – 60
40 – 50
≤ 40
Charge
Float
Optimum Maximum Optimum Maximum
13.60
13.80
13.90
14.00
14.10
14.30
14.45
14.60
14.80
15.10
13.90
14.10
14.20
14.30
14.40
14.60
14.75
14.90
15.10
15.40
12.80
12.90
13.00
13.10
13.20
13.40
13.55
13.70
13.90
14.20
13.00
13.20
13.30
13.40
13.50
13.70
13.85
14.00
14.20
14.50
Temp.
°C
In a fully charged battery, most of the sulfate is in the sulfuric acid.
As the battery discharges, some of the sulfate begins to form
on the plates as lead sulfate (PbSO4). As this happens, the acid
becomes more dilute, and its specific gravity drops as water
replaces more of the sulfuric acid. A fully discharged battery has
more sulfate in the plates than in the electrolyte.
≥ 49
43 – 49
38 – 43
32 – 38
27 – 32
21 – 27
16 – 21
10 – 16
4 – 10
≤4
The following illustration shows the relationship between specific
gravity readings and the combination of the sulfate from the acid
with the positive and negative plates at various states of charge.
11
FULLY CHARGED
Specific
Gravity
1.265
FULLY DISCHARGED
Specific
Gravity
below 1.225
Specific
Gravity
1.190
Specific
Gravity
1.120
Typical Charging Time vs. 90% and 100% State of Charge
60% of time
State of 0%
Charge
EXAMPLE:
s
POS = PbO2
NEG = Pb
ACID = H2SO2
As battery discharges,
the sulfate from the electrolyte
forms on the plates.
s
POS = PbSO4
NEG = PbSO4
Electrolyte = H2O
40% of time
90%
100%
31⁄2 hours
6 hours
It will take about 60% of the charge time to bring a VRLA battery
from 0% charged to 90% charged. It will take the remaining 40%
of the total charging time to put the last 10% of the charge back
into the battery.
As battery recharges,
the sulfate is driven back
into the electrolyte.
How critical is recharge voltage?
Why are all VRLA batteries so charge
sensitive?
Charge is a quantity of electricity equal to rate of flow (Amperes)
times time (hours), and usually expressed in Ampere-hours (Ah).
0% state of charge is defined as the depth of discharge giving a
terminal voltage of 10.50 Volts – measured under a steady load at
the 20-hour rate at 80ºF. (The 20-hour rate is the 20-hour capacity
divided by 20 hours.)
All lead-acid batteries give off hydrogen from the negative plate
and oxygen from the positive plate during charging.
VRLA batteries have pressure-sensitive valves. Without the ability
to retain pressure within the cells, hydrogen and oxygen would be
lost to the atmosphere, eventually drying out the electrolyte and
separators.
Typically, the charge that must be returned to a VRLA battery to
achieve a 100% state of charge is from 105% to 115% of the
charge removed.
Voltage is electrical pressure. Charge (ampere-hours) is a quantity
of electricity. Current (amperes) is electrical flow (charging speed).
A battery can only store a certain quantity of electricity. The closer
it gets to being fully charged, the slower it must be charged.
Temperature also affects charging.
Charging Guides
Typical Charge Time vs.
Initial Charge Current to 90% Full Charge
If the right pressure (voltage) is used for the temperature, a battery
will accept charge at its ideal rate. If too much pressure is used,
charge will be forced through the battery faster than it can be
stored. Reactions other than the charging reaction occur to
transport this current through the battery—mainly gassing.
Hydrogen and oxygen are given off faster than the recombination
reaction. This raises the pressure until the pressure relief valve
opens. The gas lost cannot be replaced. Any VRLA battery will dry
out and fail prematurely if it experiences excessive overcharge.
Note: It is the pressure (voltage) that initiates this problem—
a battery can be “over-charged” (damaged by too much voltage)
even though it is not fully “charged.”
(Using an automatic temperature-sensing, voltage-regulating charger
set at 13.8V. Totally discharged battery at 11.80–12.0 volts.)
Initial Amperes
Part No.
8GU1, 8GU1H, 8AU1, 8AU1H
8G22NF, 8A22NF
8G24, 8A24
8G27, 8A27
8G30H, 8G31, 8G31DT, 8A30H, 8A31, 8A31DT
8G4D, 8GGC2, 8A4D, 8AGC2
8G8D, 8A8D
This is why charging voltage must be carefully regulated and
temperature compensated to the values on page 11.
13 hrs* 6 hrs* 31⁄2 hrs*
3
5
7
8
9
17
20
8
12
17
21
24
42
50
15
23
33
41
45
83
100
*approximate
HOW TO USE THIS CHART: When charger is first turned on,
read amps after about one minute. Initial ampere reading will
indicate approximate charging time.
EXAMPLE
If an 8G24 reads about 17 ampere charge current
when first turned on, the battery will be at 90%
in about 6 hours.
How long does it take to recharge
a fully discharged VRLA battery?
A specific time is difficult to determine because recharging
depends on so many variables:
• Depth of discharge
• Temperature
• Size and efficiency of the charger
• Age and condition of the battery
IMPORTANT: Always use an automatic temperaturesensing, voltage-regulated charger! Set charger at 13.8
to 14.1 volts at 68°F for gel, or 14.4 to 14.6 volts at 68°F
for AGM. Do not exceed 14.1 volts for gel or 14.6 volts
for AGM.
See the following Charging Guides for an estimated time based
upon the initial charge current the battery accepts.
12
How can continual undercharging
harm a battery?
What is a thermal runaway?
The appropriate charge voltage depends on the battery temperature
(see page 11). A warmer battery requires a reduced voltage. If the
voltage is not reduced, current accepted by the battery increases.
When the current increases, the heating increases. This can continue in a loop feeding on itself with the battery temperature and
charging current rising to destructive levels.
In many respects, undercharging is as harmful as overcharging.
Keeping a battery in an undercharged condition allows the positive
grids to corrode and the plates to shed, dramatically shortening life.
Also, an undercharged battery must work harder than a fully
charged battery, which contributes to short life as well.
Gel batteries are much less susceptible to thermal runaway than
AGM batteries. Batteries may become more susceptible with
increasing age. Without a recombination reaction, flooded batteries
convert most excess charging energy to gas, not heat. This makes
them almost immune from the thermal runaway.
An undercharged battery has a greatly reduced capacity. It may
easily be inadvertently over-discharged and eventually damaged.
How can you tell if an
VRLA battery is fully charged?
Thermal runaway can be prevented with:
• Temperature compensation monitoring at the battery—not
at the charger.
• Limiting charging currents to appropriate levels (see page 11).
• Allowing for adequate air circulation around the batteries.
• Using timers, or Ampere-hour counters.
• Using smart chargers that recognize the signature of a
thermal runaway event which will shut the charger down.
By using a voltmeter.
Open Circuit Voltage vs. State of Charge Comparison*
%
Charge
Flooded
100
12.60 or higher
75
12.40
50
12.20
25
12.00
0
11.80
Open Circuit Voltage
Gel
AGM
12.85 or higher
12.80 or higher
12.65
12.60
12.35
12.30
12.00
12.00
11.80
11.80
How do I know if a charger is
“gel friendly” or “AGM friendly”?
NOTE: Divide values in half for 6-volt batteries.
* The “true” O.C.V. of a battery can only be determined after the battery
has been removed from the load (charge or discharge) for 24 hours.
Unfortunately, many chargers on the market claim to be gel
“friendly” or “OK for sealed batteries”, but are not. Some
overcharge the batteries, while others may not fully charge
the batteries. Some chargers claim to be “smart”. Some “smart”
chargers do a good job, others do not. The best choice of charger
often depends on the application.
How can you tell if a VRLA battery has
been damaged by under- or overcharging?
Use only “voltage-regulated” or “voltage-limited” chargers.
Standard constant current or taper current chargers must not be
used. The voltage must fall in the range of the chart on page 11.
Almost all applications require temperature sensing and voltage
compensation. Beware, many chargers measure the ambient
temperature which could be significantly different from the battery’s
internal temperature.
The only way is with a load test. Use the same
procedure you would use with a wet cell battery:
a. Recharge if the open circuit voltage is below 75%.
b. If adjustable, set the load at 1⁄2 the CCA rating or
three times the 20 hour rate.
c. Apply the load for 15 seconds. The voltage should
stabilize above 9.6 volts while on load.
Low frequency current ripple (to about 333 Hz) can be detrimental
to sealed batteries depending on the application. On applications
where the charger is connected continuously to a float voltage,
especially where simultaneous charge and discharge may occur,
the level of current ripple must be a consideration.
d. If below 9.6 volts, recharge and repeat test.
e. If below 9.6 volts a second time, replace the battery.
If you are not sure if a charger is performing properly, follow this
procedure:
What is a float charger?
What float voltage is recommended?
a. Using a fully discharged VRLA battery (OCV about 11.8V)
and a digital voltmeter, record the initial open circuit
voltage at the battery terminals.
b. Using an automatic charger as described above,
set voltage if adjustable (14.1V for gel, 14.4V for
AGM models).
c. Connect and start charging. Record initial on-charge
voltage and current .
d. Each hour or so, check and record the on-charge voltage
across the battery terminals. Except for occasional, brief
“blips” or pulses, the voltage should not exceed the voltage
limits noted in “b” above.
This type of charger continually delivers a pre-set voltage to the
battery, regardless of charge conditions.
These chargers are used in stationary, emergency back-up power,
emergency lighting, and other applications.
The frequency of discharge and temperature will dictate a more
exact setting. For example, the more frequent the discharge, the
higher the suggested recharge voltage, to a maximum of 2.35 volts
per cell (at 20°C/68°F).
Our recommended float voltage is 2.25 to 2.3 volts per cell for
gel and absorbed models.
13
e. At the end of charge (when the current is very low or goes
to zero) check and record the voltage. Note that the charger
may have turned off by then.
f. The disconnected battery should be at 100% or above after a
24 hour rest.
During the charging time, the charger should not have exceeded
the limit (except for occasional, brief pulses). This indicates that
the charger is working properly.
The valves only let gas out, never in. A partial vacuum can form
within a sealed battery under various circumstances. Battery temperature and ambient pressure play a role, but predominantly the
recombination and discharge reactions are responsible. After charging
ends, the recombination reaction continues until most of the oxygen
in the battery headspace is consumed. The total volume of the battery
components decreases slightly during a discharge. Deeply discharged
batteries often have a “sucked-in” appearance. Batteries with large
cells may display this appearance even when fully charged.
Keep in mind that the voltage limit is at 68°F/20°C. Charging at
higher or lower temperatures will change this limit.
A temperature-sensing charger should always be used, as
manual adjustments are never accurate and will damage any
VRLA battery.
If a battery bulges severely on charge, this is not normal. It is an
indication of a blocked valve or an overcharge situation. Such a
battery should be removed from service.
A sucked-in appearance can also be normal. A sucked-in battery
should be charged, but if it remains sucked-in after charging, the
appearance can safely be ignored; however, if only a single cell
displays or lacks this appearance a load test would be prudent.
Do VRLA batteries have a
“memory” like ni-cad batteries?
How safe are VRLA batteries?
Can they explode?
One of the major disadvantages of nickel-cadmium (ni-cad)
batteries is that after shallow discharge cycles, the unused portions
of the electrodes “remember” the previous cycles and are unable
to sustain the required discharge voltage beyond the depth of the
previous cycles. The capacity is lost and can only be restored by
slowly discharging completely (generally outside the application),
and properly recharging. VRLA batteries do not exhibit this
“use it” or “lose it” capacity robbing effect known as memory.
VRLA batteries are very safe, unless abused. However, as with any
type battery, certain safety precautions must be taken.
ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GLASSES
WHEN WORKING AROUND BATTERIES!
!
What is a safe charge rate or voltage
setting for outdoor applications with wide
temperature fluctuations if a temperaturesensing charger is not available?
DANGER / POISON
SHIELD
EYES.
EXPLOSIVE
GASES CAN
NONE! As the chart on page 11 (Effect of Temperature on
Recharge Voltage) shows, charging voltage varies widely with
temperature. There is no fixed voltage setting or current that
will work. A temperature-sensing, voltage-regulated charger
must be used. Anything else will damage any battery and cause
premature failure!
CAUSE BLINDNESS
OR INJURY.
FLUSH EYES
IMMEDIATELY
WITH WATER.
NO
• SPARKS
• FLAMES
• SMOKING
SULFURIC
ACID
CAN CAUSE
BLINDNESS OR
SEVERE BURNS.
GET
MEDICAL
HELP
FAST.
KEEP OUT
OUT OF
REACHOF
OF CHILDREN.
CHILDREN.
KEEP
OFTHE
REACH
DO NOT TIP. KEEP VENT CAPS TIGHT AND LEVEL.
DO
NOT
OPEN
BATTERIES.
DO NOT OPEN FLUSH COVER BATTERIES.
CALIFORNIA PROPOSITION 65 WARNING: Batteries, battery posts,
terminals and related accessories contain lead and lead compounds
and other chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer
and birth defects or other reproductive harm. Wash hands after
handling.
Can a VRLA battery be load tested?
Yes. See page 13 (How can you tell if a VRLA battery has been
damaged by under- or overcharging?).
Because VRLA batteries normally emit very little to no hydrogen gas,
they are safe near sensitive electronic equipment. They do not
cause corrosion of surrounding metals. No hydrogen gas means
no dangerous explosions… UNLESS SEVERELY OVERCHARGED!
Why do some VRLA batteries bulge?
Why do some VRLA batteries appear
“sucked in”? Are there visual signs of a
faulty or plugged pressure relief valve?
Do not install any lead-acid battery in a sealed container or enclosure. Hydrogen gas from overcharging must be allowed to escape.
DO NOT CHARGE IN EXCESS OF 14.1V @ 68°F - Gel Cells
DO NOT CHARGE IN EXCESS OF 14.6V @ 68°F - Absorbed
To prevent the permanent loss of gases so that recombination
has time to take place, each cell can hold up to about 1.5 psi
without venting.
Always use a reliable, temperature-sensing, voltage-regulated,
automatic charger.
Because SVR batteries have immobilized electrolyte, they cannot
spill or leak, even if punctured. That is why they are approved for air
transport by the International Commercial Airline Organization (ICAO),
International Airline Transport Association (IATA), and Department of
Transportation (DOT) as noted on the label if properly insulated from
short circuits.
Batteries with very large cells, such as the 8G4D, 8G8D, 8A4D, 8A8D
and 8GGC2, will bulge somewhat as this normal pressure builds. This
is especially true in higher temperatures, because the polypropylene
case is pliable. Therefore, a certain amount of bulge is normal.
14
Also, when protected against short circuits and securely braced/
blocked, our VRLA batteries “are not subject to any other requirements of 49 CFR Parts 171-180…” for shipping.
g. Spray exposed terminals and connectors with several coats
of battery terminal corrosion protection spray. (Mask surrounding areas to protect against overspray.)
h. For batteries which may be exposed to very wet environments
(e.g. bilge mounted batteries) total encasement of the exposed
terminals and connectors is necessary. However, do not block
or cover the vents. Allow ventilation.
A battery terminal boot should be used. Install the boot on the
cable before crimping the terminal. Fill the boot with petroleum
jelly and fit over the sprayed connectors (as in “g” above).
i. Battery charging in a boat requires a charger specifically
designed for marine applications. In addition to battery gases,
bilges often contain potentially dangerous fuel fumes.
Follow all wiring and grounding recommendations of the
charger manufacturer for on-board and on-shore connections.
Using a charger not specifically designed for marine
applications or failure to follow the marine charger
manufacturer’s grounding and wiring recommendations
could result in major corrosion damage to the hull or
prop, and create a serious risk of electrical shock or fire,
personal injury or death.
Which way does current flow? On which side
should a circuit breaker be installed?
During discharge, electrons progress through the external circuit
from the negative post toward the positive post. Inside the battery,
positive ions move toward the positive plate by diffusion where they
react, leaving neutral molecules in solution. The resulting neutral
molecules move back toward the negative plate by diffusion. There
are also negative ions in the electrolyte offsetting the positive ion
charges. Some travel by diffusion toward both the negative and the
positive plates, where they are consumed. During charge, all of the
directions reverse.
Although not physically accurate, when designing circuits or making
calculations, it is just as valid to consider positive charges moving
through the whole circuit. Indeed, this is the convention used to
define the direction of current in electronics (known as conventional
current).
Battery Installation
Proper location of disconnects depends on the application.
Vehicles can vary, but in most cases, the negative terminal is treated
as ground. The entire chassis is connected to the negative terminal
of the battery. The positive side of the circuit is considered “hot.”
Switches/circuit breakers should usually be installed on the hot
side of a device. When disconnecting the entire battery from the
system with a fusible link or circuit breaker, breaking the connection
from the negative terminal to the chassis often works best.
Note: In a multi-battery installation, it is often best to replace the
entire set of batteries when one battery is weak or has failed.
Series
A “series” system increases the voltage, but keeps the battery
capacity (cranking amps, amp hours, reserve minutes, and
minutes running time) the same. Therefore, two 12-volt
batteries connected in series (POS to NEG, NEG to POS)
will deliver 24 volts at the same rating as one battery:
During recharge, each battery receives the same amount
of current; e.g. if the charger is putting out 10 amps, both
batteries are getting 10 amps.
In multiple battery installation, there could be other considerations
such as total voltage, multiple voltages, and the effects on other
devices.
What do I need to know about
installation, especially in salt water
marine applications?
Series hookup
increases voltage…
2 x 12V = 24 Volts
Wiring and Waterproofing
ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GLASSES
WHEN WORKING AROUND BATTERIES!
a. Cabling of the approved gauge should be tinned copper.
If using untinned copper, allow plenty of spray silicone to
“wick” along the strands.
b. Install heat-shrink tubing with a silicone interior; the silicone
forms an excellent moisture barrier. Cut the tubing long
enough to cover the terminal lug and plenty of the insulated
portion of the cable. Slip tubing onto the cable.
c. Crimp on the appropriate terminal.
d. Position the heat-shrink tubing. Heat and inspect.
e. Clean battery terminals and connect. Be sure perfect metalto-metal contact is made, with no dirt, corrosion, grease or
foreign material to interfere with current flow.
f. Always attach the cable connected to the solenoid or starter
first. Attach the ground cable last! Tighten snugly, BUT DO
NOT OVERTIGHTEN, which will damage the terminals or crack
the battery cover. This will destroy the battery and VOID THE
WARRANTY.
Parallel
A “parallel” system increases the capacity available, but keeps
the voltage the same. Therefore, two 12-volt batteries with
400 CCA, 110 R.C. and 65 Ah will deliver 12 volts, 800 CCA,
220 R.C. and 130 Ah. (Actually, since each battery’s load is
lighter, the reserve capacity will more than double.)
Parallel hookup
keeps same voltage…
2 x 12V = 12 Volts
15
To properly recharge, a sophisticated “battery isolator” should
be installed. Otherwise, one battery will be continually overcharged and the other undercharged in a dual-voltage set-up.
IMPORTANT: Do not install any type of battery in a completely sealed box or enclosure. In the event of overcharging, the potentially explosive gasses must be allowed to
escape.
During recharge, the current (amps) is split between the
batteries. The battery that is discharged the most will receive
more current than the other until both are brought up to full
charge.
Series/Parallel
A “series/parallel” system provides a combination of voltage
and capacity for special applications. Note: Never mix different
types and sizes of batteries in the same bank.
Dual Voltage
The illustration shows an arrangement that would supply
24 volts to a starter and 12 volts to the electronics (or vice versa).
12 VOLTS
24 VOLTS
Dual Voltage
hookup provides
a combination
of voltage
and capacity.
MEMBER OF:
AMERICAN BOAT
& YACHT CLUB
UL Recognized Component
INDEPENDENT BATTERY
MANUFACTURERS
ASSOCIATION
NATIONAL MARINE
MANUFACTURERS
ASSOCIATION
DISCLAIMER: By providing this information, East Penn, its employees and distributors make no representation or warranties about the information provided in this document.
All content is provided without warranties, express or implied. East Penn and its representatives are not to be held liable for any and all damages whatsoever
in using or interpreting the information in this document, whether suitable or not.
MK Battery
1645 South Sinclair Street • Anaheim, California 92806
Toll Free: 800-372-9253 • Tel: 714-937-1033 • Fax: 714-937-0818
Web: mkbattery.com • Email: [email protected]
E.P.M. Form No. 0563 Rev. 3/04
© 2004 by EPM Printed in U.S.A.
No part of this document may be copied or reproduced, electronically
or mechanically, without written permission from the company.
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