Tips to Protect Machine Batteries from the Summer Heat
Heavy equipment owners are often concerned about the harmful impact of the cold winter season on their machineries. However, the truth is that the heat of the summer may also cause serious damage to your machine, particularly its batteries. Often times, this battery damage remains unnoticed until it has to work harder during the cold winter days. The damage caused to the battery is rarely noticed during the summer because any construction equipment is easier to start during this part of the year. Unfortunately, however, the battery tends to deteriorate at a faster pace in the heat. In presence of high temperature, lead-acid battery’s current collectors corrode during charging and degrade very quickly. As a result of this corrosion, machine batteries tend to lose their strength over a period of time.
It is also important to note that in presence of higher temperature; the life of a battery becomes shorter. This is because of the fact that a higher temperature results in a faster rate of sulphation or the development of crystals comprised of lead sulphate. Typically, lead sulphate is formed around a battery’s electrodes. As long as recharge is done immediately, this is not a matter of concern. However, if recharge is not done immediately, lead sulphate may turn into crystals that are not easy to recharge. A faster rate of sulphation may also occur because of parasitic loads or small currents delivered by the battery to various electronic components of the machine. The electrical currents and parasitic loads are very minimal, but they can cause serious damage to the battery when they combine with heat.
Mentioned below are some tried and tested tips to help protect machine batteries from the summer heat.
- Always try to make sure that your construction equipment remains away from direct sunlight. When it is not in use, park your machinery in a covered or shaded place like a garage. This will surely maximise the battery life.
- The health of the battery should be checked regularly as part of your routine equipment maintenance. Before any heavy use of the equipment during the warmer months, ensure that the battery is properly and completely charged. Relying solely on the alternator is not recommended as this may lead to alternator stress and cause early failure. Whenever necessary, use a battery charger and ensure that all battery connections are tight and clean.
- Whenever possible, use absorbed glass mat or AGM batteries as low maintenance alternatives to lead-acid batteries. The impact of parasitic loads and the sulphation process is much lower in these batteries and they can be kept in storage for longer durations.
- If your battery sits idle for a long time, the battery is likely to get drained quickly because of parasitic loads. Therefore, try to keep your machinery active.
- The electronics of your machinery is the largest source of parasitic loads. Therefore, remember to turn off all electronic systems before you exit your machine.
We, at K and G Machinery, offer a wide range of heavy equipment suitable for different industrial applications. If you have any questions related to your machinery or its maintenance, feel free to contact our experts.