After enduring harsh winter conditions, municipal fleets soon face new challenges that can impact the performance of the vehicle including excess heat from the summer sun, congested vacation traffic and, in some environments, dust, if the climate is dry. Encouraging proper battery care through seasonal maintenance checks is an effective tool for municipalities that may aide in reliable transportation services for residents – even when travel conditions might not exactly go as planned.
Following are some tips fleet operators can follow:
Check electrolyte levels: Conventional flooded lead acid batteries require periodic electrolyte replenishment with water, which requires an investment of time for municipal workers to check and maintain the batteries. This is particularly critical in warmer weather, as heat can accelerate evaporation of the electrolyte.
Clean and inspect the condition of the battery: Keeping the battery free of acid and corrosion may improve performance in warm weather. When cleaning, remember to disconnect the battery and wear protective gear. Use a battery terminal brush to clean away deposits and baking soda paste to neutralize acid accumulation. Check the case, terminals, cables and clamps for damage from acid and corrosion. Replace damaged cables and clamps, but if the case or terminals are damaged, replace the battery.
Check the battery’s charge: The battery should be fully charged, which is typically at 12.8 volts, to minimize sulfation. Measure the battery’s voltage with a voltmeter to determine the Open Circuit Voltage (OCV). Manufacturer specifications will indicate what OCV corresponds to 100 percent State of Charge (SOC). If the battery needs to be charged, manufacturer specifications will provide the proper level of charge.
Always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for battery care and handling and direct any questions to your battery professional.
ODYSSEY® Batteries Can Provide Premium Power for Municipal Fleets
Non-spillable and virtually maintenance-free, Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) ODYSSEY® batteries, manufactured with Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) technology, never require watering and their pure lead plates are engineered to offer higher resistance against the detrimental effects of heat than alternative battery chemistries. In fact, they can perform in extreme weather conditions at temperatures as high as 176°F (80°C) and provide extended cycle life with 400 charge/discharge cycles at 80 percent Depth of Discharge (DOD).
ODYSSEY® batteries eliminate the risk of galvanic corrosion when dissimilar metals come into contact because the plates in TPPL batteries are made of pure lead. Their design provides protection against high-impact shock and mechanical vibration, which often cause premature battery failure.
Due to its deep cycling capabilities, ODYSSEY® batteries can handle the increased use of onboard accessories in today’s municipal service and mass-transit vehicles. The pure lead featured in the battery’s TPPL technology enables the plates to be made thinner, so more of them fit in the battery. More plates mean more plate surface area, and that means more power: twice as much as conventional batteries.
When the battery does need a charge, ODYSSEY® battery chargers are designed to fully and safely charge ODYSSEY® batteries and other quality brands of 12-volt Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) and flooded lead acid batteries.
This year, EnerSys® marks 25 years of ODYSSEY® battery production. To learn more and join us in celebrating this important milestone, visit our website at www.odysseybattery.com or connect with us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook by using the hashtag #MYODYSSEY.
EnerSys, the global leader in stored energy solutions for industrial applications, manufactures and distributes energy systems solutions and motive power batteries, specialty batteries, battery chargers, power equipment, battery accessories and outdoor equipment enclosure solutions to customers worldwide. Energy Systems, which combine enclosures, power conversion, power distribution and energy storage, are used in the telecommunication, broadband and utility industries, uninterruptible power supplies and numerous applications. Motive power batteries and chargers are utilized in electric forklift trucks and other industrial electric powered vehicles requiring stored energy solutions. Specialty batteries are used in aerospace and defense applications, large over-the-road trucks, premium automotive, medical and security systems applications. EnerSys also provides aftermarket and customer support services to its customers in over 100 countries through its sales and manufacturing locations around the world. With the recent NorthStar acquisition, EnerSys has solidified its position as the market leader for premium Thin Plate Pure Lead batteries, which are sold across all three lines of business. More information regarding EnerSys can be found at www.enersys.com.