Just about five years ago, Congress Lake Club in Hartville, Ohio purchased a new fleet of E-Z-GO TXT golf cars and immediately noticed the vehicles had sluggish performance. While there was nothing wrong with the golf cars themselves, one of the club’s members, Bill Glover, retired U.S. Battery VP of Sales, worked with the club’s safety supervisor Lynne Vincent, and discovered the batteries appeared to be undercharged.
After putting the batteries through a series of equalizing charges they showed some improvement but not enough for optimum service. Thinking this was most likely a charging issue and not a battery related problem, Glover contacted Delta-Q, the manufacturer of the charging system, and requested that they send some chargers with a revised charging algorithm installed, (basically this amounted to a simple software change). “After being cycled five or six times with the new chargers and correct charging profile, the batteries quickly ramped back up to their full rated capacity, further verifying that incorrect charging regimes were the root cause of the sluggish performance,” said Glover.
To avoid this type of situation again, Glover and Vincent decided to create an off-season charging regimen that would prevent the batteries within their fleet from having this problem again, especially after they have been sitting through the winter months. The process involves:
- Allowing each golf car to run through a charge and checking the state-of-charge in each battery.
- A discharge machine is used to cycle each golf car.
- A constant current charger is in place on the batteries to bring them up to full charge, 1.275 specific gravity readings in each battery cell. This step was done several times to assure the sulfate is completely transformed back into the solution.
“The off-season charging regimen has been extremely effective in keeping the golf cars performing like new every year,” said Glover. “The program has worked to extend the life of the batteries which are now five years old, and the golf cars are still running like new.”
While U.S. Battery recommends storing batteries in a fully-charged state, these additional steps have proven to be beneficial to the Congress Lakes Club’s fleet of golf cars. For additional information on battery charging and maintenance tips can be found on the U.S. Battery website at www.usbattery.com.
More information on Congress Lakes Club can be found at www.congresslakeclub.com.