Golf Cart Battery : What is it?
Golf cart batteries normally operate in conjunction with the golf cart motor, with the motor providing the mechanical propulsion and the battery powering the motor. Golf cart batteries are installed under the front hood or seats, depending on the location of the motor.
Most golf cart batteries are of the semi deep-cycle kind, which use thick lead sponge plates rather than the solid lead used in other types. They are designed to operate so that they can lose as much as 80% of their power before needing a recharge, which is usually done on a separate charger. They can also be “dry-charged,” or recharged by adding battery acid as needed, although this is not as effective and can damage the battery.
Golf cart batteries have an average amperage of 180 to 220 amp hours and an output of six volts. They usually last about 550 charge and recharge cycles before draining to below half of their initial efficiency, giving them a lifespan of approximately two to six years.
Kinds of Golf Cart Batteries include the following:
Flooded lead acid golf cart batteries
Flooded lead acid batteries consist of plates immersed in an electrolyte solution of diluted sulfuric acid. They tend to gas, or exceed normal electrolyte levels, during charging. This can usually be remedied by occasionally dousing the battery with water. They offer a very low cost per mile, making them very cheap to operate. They are also recyclable. They can withstand extreme weather conditions and can also be used as backup power sources for other batteries.
Deep cycle lead acid golf cart batteries
Deep cycle lead acid batteries contain additional electrolyte solution to keep the vehicle’s performance at a steady rate when the power reaches low levels. This also enables them to deliver large amounts of current without incurring voltage sag, or an abrupt drop in voltage. They perform best during startup, when a strong surge of current is needed to ignite the motor. They do not require watering during charging, but often have to be controlled by a separate regulator or balancing system.
Nickel-cadmium golf cart batteries
Nickel-cadmium golf cart batteries consist of two plates – a positive nickel hydroxide plate and a negative electrode plate. They cost more than lead acid batteries, but are much cheaper to operate because of their higher lifespan and efficiency. They use the same flooded system as flooded lead acid batteries, and also require watering during charging. However, they can operate on much higher discharge levels and can last 2,000 to 3,000 charge cycles, lowering to only about 80% of the original capacity. They also fare better in cold weather, unlike lead acid batteries which tend to lose capacity in low temperatures.
|Charge cycles: Choose a golf cart battery with a high charge cycle capacity. Look for those that can deliver high mileages on a full charge, which will require fewer recharges. Batteries start losing capacity after reaching the maximum number of charge cycles, so choose one with a high capacity to start with to keep it running well after reaching the cycle limit.|
Voltage sag: Choose a golf cart battery that can maintain a steady flow of current despite low voltage. Make sure the battery can maintain a reasonable flow when the power starts to die down. Many poor quality batteries deliver decreasing current to the motor when they reach the sag limit, causing the golf cart to slow down. Look for a golf cart battery that provides a constant flow, with an indicator present to help you keep track of the remaining power.
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