Technology

Why do inverter batteries die early?

People often lament about the low quality of their batteries or that they die soon. What causes your battery to die before working for the expected period of time? Sub-optimal battery maintenance is often at the heart of battery problems, causing your battery to break down or lose capacity.  

Regular maintenance and proper upkeep of your battery can increase its lifespan and prevent you from digging a hole in your wallet due to frequent battery replacements. Some common battery maintenance mistakes you might be making and causing your battery to significantly lose its life are mentioned below. Familiarizing yourself with them is the first step to preventing them from happening.

Low-quality chargers

The inverter/Ups is responsible for controlling the charging and discharging process of the battery. It is a common misconception that only the quality of the battery matters and you can make do with a low-quality charger or inverter/UPS. Based on this belief, you might be tempted to save some bucks by investing in a quality inverter.

A low-quality inverter/Ups is a death sentence for your battery as it can amplify the wear and tear process of your battery. A below-par inverter also costs you more when you are made to replace faulty batteries frequently.

For a high-quality charging process, make sure your inverter comes integrated with AI and is programmed to charge your battery in six stages.

Six-stage battery charging ensures that your battery is not overcharged and during the entire charging process, the internal temperature of the battery does not rise beyond the optimal levels. Su-vastika’s premium range and IGBT-based UPS/inverters support six-stage charging. Therefore, batteries working with these inverters work longer.

Excess usages

A battery’s life is dependent on how you use them. Batteries store the energy that is later utilized by your inverter to power the appliances and gadgets in your house and office during a power failure. If you are powering more appliances at one time regularly, they will extract more power from the battery. It won’t be long before your battery would require recharging. So, the higher the load on your batteries, the faster their wear and tear process. Therefore, always make sure to put an optimal amount of load on the battery.

Overcharging

Overcharging your battery also reduces its lifespan. Overcharging can overheat the electrolyte, causing the decomposition of water into oxygen and hydrogen and early aging. Supplying it with more current increases the battery’s internal temperature. As the battery heats up, it accepts more current, spiking up its temperature further. This situation is called a thermal runaway and can destroy the battery in not more than a few hours. Overcharging can cause the battery to swell and eventually explode.

Clogged vent caps

Batteries come with vent plugs that release the excess energy in the form of gas and heat. Often low maintenance, keeping the batteries at a dusty location and insufficient cleaning can choke these vent plugs and the toxic gases and heat find no way to escape. This will build up pressure in the battery, which often causes the battery to explode. Therefore, always make sure to keep the vent plugs clean so that excess gas pressure can find a way to relieve itself.

Deep discharge

Deep discharge or over-discharge happens when the entire capacity of the battery has been used up by the connected load. Deep discharge can reduce the battery life significantly as it does not let the battery have any power reserve for self-discharge.

Su-vastika’s premium range UPS/inverters come with safe discharge and power reserve features. The low voltage cutoff (LVC) can be set at a higher level (11V instead of 10.5V) to create a power reserve that prevents deep discharge. The battery’s power reserve increases battery life by six to eight months and in some cases, one year when the load connected to the battery is not high.

Therefore, always buy a UPS/inverter with the option to set LVC at a higher level as it prevents your battery from going obsolete before working for its expected useful life.

Sub-quality batteries

The use of low-quality batteries is another reason causing the die sooner than estimated. A high-quality battery lasts longer than a low-quality battery. They can store power more efficiently and provide clean power to your appliances, ensuring their health and longevity. The primary reason is the material used inside them. Good quality batteries use premium quality material which makes them last longer than cheap batteries.

Wrong battery location

Most people try to keep their batteries and UPS/inverter in one corner of the house, often where it gets no fresh air. UPS/inverters release toxic gases and heat. Keeping it in an enclosed area accumulates the gases, creating a poisonous area in the house. These glasses are inflammable, which makes the battery vulnerable to explosions. When the battery remains heated all the time, its performance gets impacted considerably and the chances of premature battery failure increase. 

Insufficient water topping

Battery electrolyte is composed of acid (sulfuric acid) and water. Water gets lost from the batteries through evaporation. A decrease in water levels implies that there is a higher concentration of acid in electrolytes. It makes the battery cells highly acidic, causing sulphation on the battery plates. Lead sulfate crystals deposited on the battery plate are non-conductive, as a result, they hamper the current flowing through the electrolyte.

Not adding enough water to the battery can damage the cells, rendering the battery obsolete. Even if the water dries in one of the batteries, it becomes impossible to revive the cell to its full capacity and the whole battery goes down with it. Therefore, it is essential to add water to the battery at regular intervals to ensure the battery’s water remains at an optimal level. Also, keep the vent plugs clean by washing them with water.

Also, using tap water is not good for batteries (lead acid and tubular batteries). Always add distilled water to the battery as the minerals present in the tap water can react with the electrolyte and increase sediments and reduce performance.

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