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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the definition of cycle use and standby?

"Cycle Use" - direct power source: This can be used for the charging and discharging of electrical equipment, which include motorbikes or even the household vacuum cleaner.

"Standby Use" - back up power. Standby use is used as a back-up source of energy. This is mainly used when there is a sudden drop in power or a power cut.

How can you check a battery's performance?

This is dependent upon the battery series; they will require different methods for checking a battery's performance.

Do deep-cycle batteries have a memory?

Unfortunately, deep-cycle battery performance reduces over time. A positive that can be pulled from this is that the deep-cycle batteries do not suffer from any memory problems as NiCd batteries can.

How can I find out the current state of my battery?

Regular battery examinations can interpret irregularities within the batteries themselves but also the charging systems. The method used to examine the electrochemistry of the battery is done through inspection of the electrolytes within the cell. Interpretation can be done through voltage readings.

How are batteries rated?

Lead acid batteries are currently only rated upon the capacity over a defined timed period.

How long can batteries last?

The life of a battery varies and it depends on a number of different factors, which include how it is charged, the temperature at which it is kept at, as well as a number of other factors.

In which situation should a deep-cycle battery be?

Deep-cycle batteries are used when more than half of the capacity of the battery is used per cycle. Deep-cycle batteries are most commonly used within electric vehicles, golf carts, electrical mobility devices and solar.

What determines the life of a VRLA battery?

Different factors determine the life of a sealed lead acid battery. These factors are temperature, rate of discharge and also the number of cycles (charges and discharges), which the battery undertakes.

Is there a difference between float and cycle applications? If so, what?

Float applications require constant charge with very occasional discharge. A cycle application can be charged and discharged on a regular basis.

Can overcharging damage batteries?

Overcharging is possibly the worst element for a battery. It is believed that the battery charger is this is not the case and this could cause destruction to the workings of the charger. The automatic circuits within the chargers are sensitive to a number of things, which can include: heat, direct contact with sunlight and both indirect and direct contact with electromagnetic influences, which can fail or shift the calibration of the charger. If they fail, the overcharging can affect the life of a battery. During overcharging, this can displace the currents within a battery causing oxidization, thus removing water from the electrolytes within the battery. Once removed, this is no longer active within the battery itself this will then make the battery itself become inactive. Sealed batteries are not exempt from the same problems if overcharged. In fact sealed batteries are particularly sensitive to overcharging. Unfortunately once moisture is removed from the battery; it is not possible to replace the liquid lost. Sections of the battery can sustain damage through overcharging this means that the undamaged section of any can be used and recycled if detected early enough. If overcharging occurs, correct immediately.

Can over-discharging damage batteries?

Over discharging can be a problem which can originate from insufficient battery capacity which can cause the battery to be overworked. Discharges greater than half the capacity of a cell can shorten life cycle of a battery without increasing the depth of the cycle life. Inadequate complete charging can cause symptoms of over-discharging. These are called Sulphation. This can cause a loss of battery capacity and an unusually low specific gravity. Sulphation is when sulphur from the electrolyte within the battery comes in contact with lead on the plates and in turn this forms a compound called lead-sulphate. If this condition becomes chronic, certain battery chargers will not remove the hardened sulphate. Sulphation can be removed by using a proper de-sulphation charge with manual chargers. To get this result the flooded batteries must have a charge within the parameters of 6 to 10 amps at 2.5 volts per cell this will then return them to their specific gravity rate. AGM batteries which are sealed should be brought up to 2.35 volts and then discharged to a rate of 1.75 volts per cell. This is to be repeated until the capacity of the battery has returned. Charging alternators and float battery chargers are automatic which means it can taper the rate at which the battery charges at.