Why Should You Care About The Batteries In Your Mobility Equipment?
No vehicle performs to full potential without a properly working fuel system. And in your scooter or wheelchair, your batteries are your fuel tank. Choosing the right battery and maintaining it properly is vital to any product's performance. To help you better understand the importance of the battery's contribution to your equipment's performance, and to offer some valuable tips for helping your batteries perform to their full potential, we've prepared this information on:
- Proper charging techniques
- Hazards to watch out for
- Some myths we've collected over the years
Forget What You Have Heard!
Battery technology has changed a lot over the past few years. Wheelchair batteries today, especially gel / sealed batteries, offer more power in the same size package, provide more consistent performance, and have turned the following past concerns into "Myths"
- All Batteries are the same
- Batteries have memories
- Batteries should be run all the way down
- Gel / sealed batteries must be charged with lower amps than wet batteries
- Gel / sealed batteries will not last as long as wet batteries
- Marine batteries are always the same as deep cycle batteries
- Maintenance-free batteries are always sealed
- Putting batteries on concrete will cause them to discharge
Battery Types (What does it all mean anyway?)
There are several important terms to describe batteries. What is the difference between deep cycle and SLI? What about wet lead acid versus gel / sealed?
It's really very simple:Deep cycle batteries are those designed to be regularly discharged and recharged. SLI, or automotive-type starting batteries, are for rapid bursts of power after which they are quickly recharged by an alternator. Many marine batteries are actually SLIs, and SLI batteries have no application in wheelchair use.
You Need Deep Cycle & You Need Gel / Sealed
Although wet lead acid batteries are less costly than gel / sealed and can provide about 10% more running time (given equal size batteries), wet lead acid are high maintenance. Plus, they are a significantly higher safety risk due to the increased potential of battery acid contact and / or explosion. Gel / sealed batteries, on the other hand, are far safer and are approved for all means of transportation. Gel / sealed batteries are always maintenance free. And high quality gel / sealed batteries have the same - or greater - life potential as high quality wet lead acid products. How long should batteries last? On average, 1 to 1-1/2 years if maintained properly.
Did you know lead-acid batteries are virtually 100% recyclable?
They have a higher recycling rate than other waste products such as aluminium, paper, glass and plastic. Be sure to return your scrap lead-acid battery to a retailer.
There are differences in quality
Many companies make claims about their batteries but you can be sure that any battery bought from Mobility Smart will be of the highest quality.