Sealed lead acid batteries have become a part of our daily existence, powering everything from emergency systems to the trusty automobile. One question often lingers on the mind of battery owners: “How long can a sealed lead acid battery sit dead?” In this article, we will explore the general range of shelf life for sealed lead acid batteries and stress the fact that proper storage and maintenance are essential.
The General Range of Shelf Life
Sealed lead acid batteries are legendary for their longevity and reliability, but even these powerhouses cannot defy the hands of time forever. A sealed lead acid battery’s shelf life depends upon several important factors.
1. Type of Battery:
The type of sealed lead acid battery will be a significant determining factor in the shelf life of that battery. Valve-regulated lead acid (VRLA) Batteries, including absorbent glass mat (AGM) and gel batteries, have a longer shelf life than flooded lead acid batteries.
Temperature fluctuations significantly affect the life of a battery. Sealed lead acid batteries should ideally be stored at temperatures between 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). For every ten °C (18°F) over this range, the battery’s life can be cut by half.
3. State Of Charge:
Storing a sealed lead acid battery in a discharged state is a recipe for lessened shelf life. Ideally, batteries should be stored with a state of charge between 50% and 75%. Check regularly for voltage drops below these levels and recharge if necessary.
4. Self-discharge Rate:
Sealed lead acid batteries have a self-discharge rate, which is the slow drain of charge even without use. Compared to gel batteries, AGM batteries have a lower self-discharge rate generally.
Storage and Maintenance of your Battery
Good storage and maintenance significantly increase the shelf life of a sealed lead acid battery.
- Clean, Dry Environment: Keep your battery in a clean, dry environment to prevent corrosion and unwanted growth of contaminants like moisture and dirt, which interfere with its functioning.
- Charging Regularly: If a sealed lead acid battery remains unused for an extended period, it needs periodic charging. This is because sulfation often occurs when lead sulfate crystals are plates of the battery, thereby, capacity.
- Avoid Overcharging: Excessive heat generation along with water loss in the battery occur due to overcharging, thereby shortening its overall lifespan duration; therefore, use chargers that are compatible with these specifications.
- Check for Leaks: Watch out for the battery for leaking, cracks, or even swelling, which could indicate that it has internal damage and hence cannot hold a charge well.
In a nutshell, several factors influence the shelf life of a sealed lead acid battery, such as type, temperature, state of charge, and self-discharge rate. For maximum battery longevity, correct storage is essential in addition to regular maintenance since this will guarantee faithful service over the years. Thus, when asking, “How long can a sealed lead acid battery sit dead?” you should realize that proper care will keep it stored for an extended time.
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