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GB Industrial Batteries

What gives GB Industrial Batteries their superior level of quality?

Our Advanced Design Separator and Paste Formulation, together with lower internal resistance, performance engineering and careful assembly, work together to make GB the best deep cycle industrial batteries available. Our exclusive separator is designed to deliver superior electrolyte distribution, lower water usage and reduced positive shedding, so our batteries last significantly longer. Our proprietary paste formulation is the key ingredient to long battery life.  

What are Gel, AGM and SLA / sealed lead acid batteries?

Gel cell or sealed lead acid batteries have basically the same chemistry as conventional wet or “flooded cell” batteries. The battery electrolyte is in a gelatin form (GEL) or is absorbed into a glass matt (AGM). The battery is then sealed with epoxy. They are exceptionally leak resistant and may be used in any position, but cannot be re-hydrated when they eventually begin to dry fail. Applications include UPS devices, emergency lights, and wheelchairs. These batteries contain 2 volts per cell with common voltages of 4, 6, and 12 volt. They are not recommended for use in deep cycle or forklift applications. 

Does GB ship their batteries filled and charged?

Yes, all GB industrial batteries ship filled with electrolyte, fully charged and ready for immediate use, including international export shipments. 

Do I use the cables and plug from my old battery on my new battery?

No, all new and reconditioned batteries ship with the correct cables and plug installed. 

Will my new battery be compatible with my existing charger?

Yes, provided your existing charger was sized correctly for your forklift at the time of purchase.  

Does GB charge for delivery or freight?

Freight is included as an option within the checkout cart on applicable battery models. We deliver to destinations within the continental United States on new and reconditioned forklift batteries and chargers. 

The five most common reasons for Premature Battery Failure

Low water levels

From our experience, this is the number one cause of battery failure. 


· Charging batteries that are as little as 1” low on water can cause damage to the entire battery that can never be repaired. It dries and burns the uppermost portion of the “plates”, causing high resistance that is permanent, and effectively isolates the portion that remained submerged. 


· Even when the proper water levels are restored, the damaged portion continues to cause high resistance and the battery runs much hotter from that point forward, causing accelerated water loss and further plate damage due to overheating. 

Over Charging and Opportunity Charging

· Industrial batteries are typically designed to last at least 1,500 charge cycles, over a five to fifteen year period. Each time you charge a battery, regardless of how long, it constitutes one cycle


· Consistently charging a battery twice per day, during lunch breaks for example, is known as Opportunity Charging, and reduces the useful life of a battery by 50%.


· The additional heat generated by opportunity charging a battery usually reduces the run time equal or greater in proportion to the amount of charge it actually received, making the practice completely ineffective and costly. 


· Routinely charging the battery before it is 80% discharged is another common form of over charging. For example, if you only use the battery a few hours a day, it’s best to use it until it is truly in need of charging before actually plugging it in. Remember, each charge constitutes one cycle, so try not to charge unnecessarily. 

Over watering

· Commonly occurs as a reaction to low water levels, but is a major problem unto itself. 


· Flushes the electrolyte from the cells and gradually dilutes the acid to the point that the battery can no longer function properly. In many cases this can be remedied sending the battery out to have the acid adjusted, but the battery’s life will still be shortened somewhat. 


· Causes tray corrosion (listed   below).

Failing to Equalize Charge

· Batteries should receive an Equalize Charge once every 10 cycles.


· Almost all chargers are equipped with an Equalize feature. On older chargers, this setting is usually referred to as Weekend or Weekly charge. 


· Selecting this setting adds 3 additional hours to a normal charge, ensuring all of the cells in the battery reach full charge, and   the allowing extra time for the electrolyte to mix during the Gassing   Stage. 


· Failure to equalize causes reduced battery run time and eventual failure, due to Sulfation, Stratification, and an imbalanced capacity between the cells.

Corrosion

· Batteries should be rinsed or washed at least once per year to prevent corrosion. 


· Even when the proper water levels are consistently maintained, sulfuric acid vapors escape during charge. These vapors leave an oily sulfuric acid residue on the top of the battery around the vent caps. Over time, the water in the residue evaporates leaving full strength, concentrated acid that is much more concentrated than   the diluted acid inside the battery. 


· The concentrated acid is very conductive. As it gradually accumulates and spreads out, it eventually makes contact between the intercell connectors across the top of the battery. This results in shorting between the cells, causing the battery to self-discharge, and additional heat during charge and use. 


· Even though battery trays have a baked on powder coat finish, they will easily corrode if the residue is not rinsed off. The corrosion will become progressively worse until it is either removed, or it destroys the battery.

Frequently Asked Questions: Forklift Batteries

How are batteries rated and what do the ratings mean in battery selection?

The most common battery rating is the AMP-HOUR RATING. This is a unit of measurement for battery capacity, obtained by multiplying a current flow in amperes by the time in hours of discharge. (Example: A battery which delivers 5 amperes for 20 hours delivers 5 amperes times 20 hours, or 100 ampere-hours.) 

Manufacturers use different discharge periods to yield an different   Amp-Hr. Rating for the same capacity batteries, therefore, the Amp-Hr. Rating has little significance unless qualified by the number of hours the battery is discharged. For this reason Amp-Hour Ratings are only a general method of evaluating a battery's capacity for selection purposes. 


The quality of internal components and technical construction within the battery will generate different desired characteristics without effecting its Amp-Hour Rating. 


For instance, there are 150 Amp-Hour batteries that will not support an electrical load overnight and if called upon to do so repetitively, will fail early in their life. Conversely, there are 150 Amp-Hour batteries that will operate an electrical load for several days before needing recharging and will do so for years. The following ratings must be examined in order to evaluate and select the proper battery for a specific application: COLD CRANKING AMPERAGE and RESERVE CAPACITY are ratings used by the industry to simplify battery selection. 

SHORT RUN TIME

Progressively shorter run times could be caused by a malfunctioning battery OR charger. It is best to have both checked if you begin to experience shortened run time or suspect a problem. 

EQUALIZE CHARGE

Industrial batteries must receive an equalize charge at least once per month, or permanent damage will result. Never equalize more than once every 5th charge cycle, or damage will result. Reason: Selecting equalize mode on your charger adds 3 additional hours of charge time to that charge cycle, ensuring all of the cells reach 100% charge. Equalizing too often or too little will shorten battery life.  

NEVER ALLOW BATTER WATER TO RUN LOW OR DRY

Water should be added every 5 to 10 charges or permanent damage will result.  

WHAT KIND OF WATER TO USE

In general, normal city water will   suffice, but if you have any doubts about purity of the local water supply, A) contact the GB battery supplier in your area B) get a chemical analysis of the water C) use distilled water. 

OVER DISCHARGING

Never over discharge batteries. More is not necessarily better when it comes to recharging batteries. Most battery manufacturers warrant their batteries for up to 1,500 cycles of charge and discharge provided, among other things, that the battery is never discharged beyond 80%. This normally coincides with an eight-hour shift. Trucks fitted with extra equipment such as clamps, high speed lifts, etc. will need a higher capacity battery to ensure the battery is   not discharged beyond 80%. Lift truck interrupts are available to detect the correct discharge level and are recommended by battery manufacturers as a means of ensuring batteries are not over discharged. The best way to ensure batteries   are not being overcharged is to periodically (once a month) check the temperature of the center cell on a battery at the end of regular   charge. If the temperature of the electrolyte is more than 36° F above the ambient temperature, call your battery technician—   there is a problem. 

ADDING ACID

 Never add sulfuric acid to a battery. If an acid spillage occurs, contact the GB battery supplier in your area. 

AVOIDING SPARKS

Batteries produce and store hydrogen gas, which is highly explosive. Never weld near a battery. Never place metal objects on batteries. Such objects can cause a short circuit between adjacent cells and result in possible injury to those   close to the battery. Similarly, people charged with caring for or operating   batteries should not wear any metal jewelry. 

UNDER-SIZED CHARGERS

A charger that is more the 100AH less than the your battery’s rated capacity will result in an undercharged battery with significant reduction in operating life. Your local GB vendor has all the information to ensure the battery and chargers are precisely matched. 

OVER-SIZED CHARGERS

 A charger that is over 100AH more than your battery’s rated capacity. Can overcharge and overheat your battery, reducing the operating life of your battery. 

WHEN TO REPLACE A BATTERY

Repair or replace batteries when capacity that has fallen below 80% of its   rated capacity. Continuing to operate a bad battery can damage a truck's electric motor and electronics. Failing batteries also require recharging more frequently, wasting hundreds or   thousands of dollars in energy per year, depending on the size of your fleet. 

RECORD KEEPING

We recommend that each forklift, battery and charger in your fleet be given a unique number for easy identification and tracking purposes. Keep regular records on the maintenance of batteries. For instance, keep a log of ever time a battery is watered and equalize charged, or at minimum, each time an operator complains of short run time and   whenever cells or cables are replaced. These records will be invaluable when it comes to predicting when battery replacement will be necessary. 

FORMULAS

Charger Model# Breakdown: 


Model GB100-3-18-750 = 

GB brand, 100% rated, 3 phase, 18 cell (36 volt), 750AH (Ampere Hour).


Battery Model# Breakdown:   


Model 18-125-13 = 18 cells (x2 = 36 volt), 125AH per plate, 13 plate

Calculating AH Capacity

Negative plates per cell – 1, / 2 x AH per plate = AH (Ampere Hour). 


Example, 18-125-13: 13 – 1 = 12, / 2 = 6 x 125 = 750AH

Calculating KWH Capacity

AH x Volts (2v per cell) = WH (Watt Hour) / 1000 x .97 (efficiency factor) = KWH (Kilo Watt Hour).


Example, battery model 18-125-13, 36V / 750AH: 750 x 36 = 27,000 / 1000 = 27 x .97 = 26.19KWH.

CYCLE LIFE

One cycle of a battery is a discharge from full charge to full discharge and a return to full charge again. The total number of cycles a battery can perform before failure is called its Cycle Life. Most battery manufacturers will not discus the Cycle Life of their product. Many advertised Deep Cycle batteries have not been tested, or, which is the case with cranking batteries, were never designed for long Cycle Life.  

BATTERY ELECTROCHEMISTRY EVALUATION

Routine battery examinations divulge irregularities in the charging system as well as in the batteries. The principle method is to examine the electrochemistry of the battery through hydrometric electrolyte inspection. As previously discussed, this important   examination cannot be accomplished with AGM or GEL batteries. Voltage readings alone   require experience to interpret. 


Hydrometric readings will uncover early warnings of overcharging or over discharging before batteries are damaged. The state-of-charge and reliability of a lead acid battery can best be determined by the specific gravity of the electrolyte measured directly with a common bulb-type hydrometer with a glass float. We do not   recommend the ball float type hydrometer. Specific gravity is a unit of measurement for determining the sulfuric acid content of the electrolyte. The recommended fully charged specific gravity of marine batteries is 1.255 to 1.265 taken at 80°F. More than .025 spread in readings between fully charged cells indicates that the battery may need an equalization charge. If this condition persists, the cell is failing and the battery should be replaced. Since water has a value of 1.000, electrolyte with a specific gravity of 1.260 means it is 1.260 times heavier than pure water while pure concentrated sulfuric acid has a specific gravity of 1.835. 

The following table illustrates typical specific gravity values for a cell in various stages of charge: 


100% Charged = 1.285 - 1.290 Sp. Gr.

75% Charged = 1.240 - 1.245 Sp. Gr.

50% Charged = 1.195 - 1.200 Sp. Gr.

25% Charged = 1.150 - 1.155 Sp. Gr.

0% Charged = 1.115 - 1.120 Sp. Gr.


Temperature compensation of hydrometric readings is usually unnecessary unless the battery is extremely hot or cold, however, after hard charging or discharging, you may want to add or subtract   points of Specific Gravity based on the table. 


Do not apply hydrometer color-coding to readings taken from deep cycle batteries. These red-white-green markings are for "hot" automotive battery types. Also, hydrometer readings taken immediately after water is added to a cell is inaccurate. The water must be thoroughly mixed with the underlying electrolyte by charging, before hydrometer readings are reliable. In addition, do not assume a deep cycle battery will not take a charge because you have been charging it for a while and the float will not rise. If   the battery has been fully discharged or partially sulfated it will   require considerable charging or equalization before recovering. As electrolyte levels are reduced in the battery, it is important to add water to each cell. Note that only the water portion of the electrolyte evaporates, therefore, it is not necessary to add acid to a battery during maintenance. In fact, the addition of acid to an active battery will reduce its capacity and shorten its remaining life.   Water should be added to cells after charging the battery. This will   eliminate spillage due to expansion of electrolyte upon charging. Generally speaking, any water that is safe to drink is safe to use in a battery. Do not use water of a known high mineral content or stored in metallic containers. It is the metal impurities in the water that lower the performance of the battery. Distilled water guarantees purity.