Off-Season Battery Maintenance and Charging

Batteries periodically need exercising and maintenance to prevent sulphation from building up on the battery plates. Batteries that sit unused for a long period of time (longer than four weeks) need a maintainer.

Consider a water fountain in the middle of a cold winter. The water freezes because it sits dormant. Running water never freezes because the molecules are always in motion.

The same is true for your batteries. Maintaining the battery keeps the molecules in motion. When maintained, sulphation won’t rear its ugly head (just like the ice in a flowing fountain).

Battery Sulphation

Once the plates become sulphated, the battery sees a reduction of run time or starting capabilities that worsen with time.

Other problems can occur when trying to charge a sulphated battery. While the charger tries to charge the battery, the battery plates do not accept the charge. The charger stays in constant charge mode and can overcharge a battery, which will cause it to swell or burst. Automatic chargers will only shut off once it sees the battery is fully charged. In other cases, the battery voltage is so low the charger cannot read the battery and thus goes straight into its float/trickle mode without doing anything to the battery.

Choosing the Correct Maintainer

The type of battery determines what charger/maintainer to use.

For example, a standard starting battery in most cars, any 1 to 3 amp fully automatic unit will work fine for maintaining throughout the winter.

Choosing the correct charger/maintainer depends on the amp hour or reserve capacity of the battery and whether you want to charge or just maintain the battery. The higher the amp hour of a battery, the higher the charger amps you’ll need to charge the battery. For maintaining only, a lower amp charger will work.

Below is a general size chart for choosing the correct charging amps for many SLA rechargeable batteries:

Battery Amp HourRecommended Amps of Charger
Under 7 AH500 – 750 milliamps
7 – 20 AH1 – 2 Amps
21 – 40 AH2 – 3 Amps
41 – 75 AH3 – 5 Amps
76 – 100 AH6 – 10 Amps
101 – 125 AH10 – 15 Amps
126AH+15 – 20 Amps

You can estimate charging times with the following formula: (Battery Capacity) / (Charger amps) = Charging Time

Shorai Battery Installation Guide

Click here for an easily printable PDF of this guide.

Do not throw away the box or any foam packaging until after installation is complete!! Please also be sure to read the included User’s Guide for cautions and information on care and charging…

You’ll need a 10mm wrench or a #3 Philips screwdriver to install the LFX battery, possibly scissors, and whatever tools are needed to remove and reinstall bodywork and to access the battery box.

EXAMPLE – BMW G450X

The factory-installed battery in the BMW G450X is Yuasa lead-acid YTZ7S. Our standard recommendation for Shorai Lithium-Iron is LFX09A2-BS12. The LFX09A2 weighs 3.5 lbs less than the original YTZ7S (or 1.59Kg, ~73% lighter), has less than 1/4 the self-discharge rate, and turns the engine 20% faster!

LET’S GET STARTED – CHECK CONTENTS…

  • Shorai LFX Starter Battery, with one set terminal screws/nuts pre-attached
  • Spare set terminal screws/nuts (A3 steel, tin plated)
  • Five Shorai Decals, in three sizes
  • Various sheets of high-density, adhesive-backed foam sheets for LFX fitment to stock battery box (if needed)
  • Outer packaging, with specs and dimensions
  • User’s Guide

CHECK POLARITY & SIZE

First, remove the original lead-acid battery from your vehicle, according to the maker’s guidelines. BE SURE to Remove the NEGATIVE terminal bolts and cables first, then the Positive, to avoid possibility of shorting from positive to grounded vehicle parts…

Compare the original battery side-by-side with the new LFX battery. First check that the Polarity (+/- terminals) arrangement is the same on both. If not, contact Shorai directly for advice. Next check that the LFX battery does not exceed the size of the original in any dimension (length, width, height). If the LFX is larger in any dimension such that it cannot be made to fit into the stock battery box, please contact Shorai directly.

Pictured above note that the LFX battery is identical in length to the original battery behind it, and below you can see the LFX is the same width as well, but a bit shorter. We’ve used one sheet each of 5mm and 10mm thick spacer foam to make up the height difference.

The included self-adhesive foam spacers are sized as below.


In this example, we only needed to shim the height. Do the same if the original battery is significantly larger in width or depth, and trim the selected spacers to fit with scissors.

Note! You will find the four terminal nuts (2 are spares) come with foam blocks attached on the nut bottoms. This helps keep the nuts in place during install, and up high where they can catch the bolt threads.

The G450X has a truncated battery box floor, so we’ve trimmed to fit the diagonal shape, then applied the sticky side of spacer to the battery box, as shown below.

The LFX batteries can bolt cable eyelets to either the top or front sides of the terminals. Be sure to Install the POSITIVE terminal cable first, then Negative, to avoid short circuits.

Max torque for the terminal screws is 30kg/cm (26 inch/pound). Do not over-tighten. We recommend the use of a #3 (big!) Phillips screwdriver, as this allows you to apply downward pressure on the terminal screw. That helps the
threads catch, and reduces torque on the terminals. Note that the terminals are not anchored at back, and may twist slightly during install. If so, performance is not affected.

Check that the positive terminal of the LFX battery cannot short against any part of the vehicle; and be sure that the original positive terminal cover, if any, is re-installed on the LFX battery before the battery box cover is fitted.

Weight Savings… Nice!

Shorai LFX batteries are pre-charged to approximately 90% of capacity. Therefore it is not required – nor generally recommended – that the batteries be charged before use in your vehicle. However, owners of Shorai BMS01 charger systems may use the CHARGE mode to fully top the battery, as the BMS01 will insure ideal cell balance and perform diagnostics to guarantee best performance.

Enjoy your Shorai LFX battery!

SHORAI INC.
845 STEWART DR., SUITE C
SUNNYVALE, CA 94085

See http://shoraipower.com for full product details and much moreā€¦ Please use the on-site CONTACT form to ask us for help with installation, if needed.

Envia Systems Achieves World Record Energy Density for Electric Car Batteries

Envia Systems, of Newark, CA, announced recently that the company’s next-generation rechargeable battery has attained unprecedented results. They’ve achieved the highest recorded energy density of 400 Watt-hours/kilogram (Wh/kg) with their lithium-ion cell.

What does this mean for us? When it’s ready for commercial use, this battery is expected to halve the cost of the battery pack, a giant step towards a 300-mile range electric vehicle. More power, less expensive. The batteries are a major contributor to the price of electric vehicles, approximately 65 percent the car’s total cost to manufacture.

From Envia Systems’ Press Release:


“Since the inception of Envia, our product team has worked tirelessly and logged over 25 million test channel hours to optimally develop each of the active components of the battery: Envia’s proprietary SiC anode, HCMR cathode and EHV electrolyte,” said Dr. Sujeet Kumar, Envia Systems co-founder, president & CTO. “Rather than just a proof-of-concept of energy density, I am pleased that our team was successful in actually delivering 400 Wh/kg automotive grade 45 Ah lithium-ion rechargeable cells.”

“Envia’s new battery technology represents exactly the kind of innovation and breakthroughs that ARPA-E is looking for from the American research and development community,” said ARPA-E Director Arun Majumdar. “We hope that this low cost and high density battery technology enables wide spread adoption of electric vehicles across the country and around the world.”

“In an industry where energy density tends to increase five percent a year, our achievement of more than doubling state-of-art energy density and lowering cost by half is a giant step towards realizing Envia’s mission of mass market affordability of a 300-mile electric vehicle,” said Envia Systems Chairman and CEO Atul Kapadia.


This is exciting news for any enthusiast for electric vehicles, such as the Chevy Volt. The more capacity the battery is capable of, simply put, the further the car will travel. According to GM’s Chevy Volt FAQ, currently the vehicle has a driving range of 25 to 50 miles on pure electricity stored from an overnight charge. While the outside temperature, terrain, and driving style will still effect current and future battery technologies, the possibility of one day seeing up to a six-times increase in range is definitely something to look forward to.

Of course, it may not hurt to approach with some skepticism. There are many exhilarating claims made in the battery industry, and many don’t come about delivering as intended (we here at BatteryMart.com see this even in marketing claims for a simply AA alkaline!). However, if there’s a kink somewhere that prevents this technology from coming forth full-force, the lessons learned here would assuredly lead to more breakthroughs in the future. But, for now, let’s give credit to Envia for their accomplishments!

If you like any additional reading, please check out these links:
Envia Systems’ Website: http://enviasystems.com/
Envia’s Press Release: http://enviasystems.com/pdf/Press_Release_400WHK.pdf
Envia’s Test Results: http://enviasystems.com/announcement/

Battery Activation and Charging Procedure for Dry Charged Batteries

  • Please note: The below information only applies to our Dry Charge conventional wet cell batteries. All of our AGM, Maintenance Free, and Gel batteries do not require acid and come charged and ready to install.


    First and foremost… Take great care when working with your battery!

    Batteries contains electrolyte (sulfuric acid) which is a highly toxic and dangerous substance if it comes in contact with your body. When carrying acid or a battery filled with acid, keep it away from your body. Wear rubber gloves and safety glasses when working with the battery to keep any possible acid from touching your hands or eyes.

    Batteries are also capable of delivering a high current discharge. Any jewelry should be removed and other metal objects should be kept away from the battery to avoid shorting across the battery terminals. It’s best to use only insulated-handled tools when working with your battery, as well.

    Initial Filling of your Battery

    Wet cell batteries like our Dry Charge batteries need to be filled with electrolyte (acid), which is dangerous to the eyes and skin. When working with acid, you should follow these simple precautions:

    1. Wear protective goggles to protect your eyes. If you do splash acid in your eyes, hold your eyelids open while washing your eye with lukewarm water for at least 20 minutes. Have someone contact your doctor immediately for further instructions, while you wash the affected area.
    2. Wear rubber gloves that extend well past your wrists. If you splash your skin, flush continuously with lukewarm water for at least 20 minutes and contact your doctor for further instructions.

    You can purchase electrolyte directly from our website when you order your battery. Simply choose to “Include Acid Pack” and add your battery to your cart. If you have any questions about ordering acid, you can give us a call at 1-800-405-2121. You can also purchase acid at most large auto parts stores.

    Once you have your acid, carefully fill each battery cell with electrolyte. Be sure to not overfill. Fill to a level that is just below the overfill line marked on the battery case. Once the cells are properly filled, replace the caps. Hand tighten only.

    You only need to put electrolyte in your battery once. If you need to fill the battery at a later date, use distilled water to keep your battery cell chambers to the proper level. Keep your cell levels above the minimum mark and below the maximum mark (these should be shown on your battery case).

    Charging your Battery

    Both hydrogen and oxygen are emitted while batteries are charging. Hydrogen is a very flammable gas and oxygen supports combustion. Because of this, you should always place your battery in a clean, well ventilated area when filling or charging your battery. Your chosen workspace should be free from anything that might spark a fire, such as welding, smoking, grinding, open flame, etc.

    Important Note: If you charge your battery at too high an amperage, you may cause the battery to overheat and even explode. Please read your instructions carefully regarding safe amperage charge levels for your battery.

    Initial Charging Procedure:
    Once you’ve filled your battery with acid and the battery caps are hand-tightened, you should charge the battery with a low-amperage battery charger. For best, safest results, a battery should never be charged at amperage greater than 10% of the battery’s capacity. So, if you have a 10 Ah battery, use a 1 amp battery charger. If the battery is 5 Ah, then you should use a 0.5 Amp (500 mA) battery charger. It can take around 10-12 hours to fully charge your battery, so we recommend that you use an automatic charger that will cut the charge off when the battery is fully charged.

    Recharging your Battery:
    When recharging your battery, you should check your cable connections and terminals to be sure they are clean and dry. Automatic chargers are your best options, as these will fully charge your battery and then help to keep it maintained and healthy. This maintenance is also important to keep your battery in good condition if it sits for extended periods of times (but keep an eye on your acid and fluid levels!). For recharging, you can likely use the same charger you used for the initial charge.

    You may also be interested in reading the following article about winter storage and maintenance:
    Off-Season Battery Maintenance
    Here you can learn about keeping your battery safe while it’s not in use, the effects of sulphation, and see some charger recommendations based on your battery’s Amp Hour rating.

    To view our line of products, please click one of these following links:

    You can also find your battery with our extensive look-up:

Introducing the Most Advanced and Reliable Battery Fuel Gauge

New product from PRO Charging Systems:
The most innovative and advanced battery fuel gauge today!

Delta Volt

  • Accurately displays battery pack state
  • Utilizes Advanced Firmware
  • Intelligently Detects Battery Pack Charge Status
  • TROUBLE FREE, Easy Installation – Connect It and Forget It!
  • Advanced Microprocessor Constantly Evaluates Battery Pack State
  • Thin Design, Durable, Water Resistant – Made in the USA and Built To Last
  • Available for 12 Volt, 24 Volt, 36 Volt, and 48 Volt battery systems

Suitable for many different applications:
Golf Carts, Hunting Buggies Electric Utility Vehicles, LSVs, Aerial Lifts, Lift Trucks, Scrubbers, Lawn Equipment, Emergency Vehicles, Boats and More…

The battery fuel gauge solves one of the most common complaints about battery status indicators currently on the market today. Most battery status indicators are not accurate and many are not reliable. Many employ old technologies. The new Pro Charging Systems Battery Fuel Gauge changes the paradigm. Think the old “Motorola Brick Phone” from the late 1980’s versus today’s I-Phone. The new Pro Charging System (PCS) battery fuel gauge measures the battery’s energy state with precision and accurately displays the information more like a traditional fuel gauge. The display is easy to read and understand. In addition, the installation of the product is quite simple. Since the system utilizes intuitive technology, it fits and adapts to a wide range of applications. Great pride is taken in the performance, quality and versatility of this product and it is backed by exceptional customer service.

Features of the Battery Fuel Gauge:

  • Twelve LED array shows level of battery pack depletion
  • LED array displays the level of charging for the battery pack
  • Low Battery Voltage LED Indicator – Red indicator flashes warning and stays on when charging is required
  • An audible low battery voltage warning is optional
  • Status self-adjusts while charging is in progress
  • Rugged PC ABS polymer case/Water resistant design
  • For use with Lead Acid (Wet/AGM) batteries

Showcasing Some Hard-to-Find Batteries for Devices You Didn’t Know We Offered

If you spend some time just browsing through our battery store, I believe you’ll find that we carry replacement batteries for a wide array of applications and that we work diligently to ensure that our cross reference information is up-to-date and accurate. There are a few lookups that we are commonly associated with: motorcycle batteries, sealed lead acid batteries, cordless phone batteries, and battery chargers to name a few.

It’s easy, though, to miss out of some of the lesser known batteries we carry. These batteries are held up to the same high-quality standards that we strive for, without the brand-level pricing associated with OEM batteries. Below, you’ll find a few of our categories that you may not even be aware that we had.

Cordless Razor Batteries

Cordless Razor Battery
When a cordless razor battery begins to fail, it’s noticeable; shaves are never as close, and it’s just an uncomfortable experience. Sure, you can plug it into the wall, but that can be just as irritating. We carry replacement electric shaver batteries for many razors, including those by Norelco, Braun, and Remington. We even build cordless razor battery packs in-house to help keep the prices low.

Portable Reader Batteries

Portable Reader Battery

Even if you don’t already own one, chances are you’ve at least seen advertisements for the new Amazon Kindles. These innovative devices have set a new standard in how we purchase and read. But, like many other electronic devices, these run on lithium-based batteries. If you ever need a replacement battery for your e-book reader, we have you covered.

Key Fob Batteries

Keyless Entry Battery

Just about any vehicle you can buy now comes with one of these. These usually take lithium coin cell batteries. Usually, the battery number is printed right on the battery, so you can use that as a reference to find the right replacement. Fresh batteries will keep your range at maximum (or you can just hold the remote to your head).

Hand-held Video Game Batteries

Video Game Batteries

Back in the day, these used to run on AA batteries. The original Nintendo Game Boy took four and Sega’s Game Gear took a whopping six batteries (the price of a color, back-lit screen). Nowadays, these come fitted with replaceable lithium-ion batteries. You can find replacement Nintendo DS batteries and Sony PSP batteries. For the older PSP system, we even have a larger, higher capacity PSP battery for extra runtime.

Medical Batteries

Otoscope Battery

We also carry replacement batteries for a wide array of Welch Allyn medical devices: otoscopes, diagnostic sets, thermometers, etc. Our replacement medical device batteries are guaranteed to provide reliable performance and be long lasting. All without the premium pricing that comes along with the name brand battery.

If you like this post and would be interested in seeing more like it, be sure to drop us a quick message our contact form and let us know. Or, if there’s a specific topic you’d like to know more about, feel free to let us know. Thank you!

How to Jumpstart Your Vehicle with Booster Cables (Video)

With winter approaching, one of the most common questions we get at Battery Mart is about proper handling of booster cables. Below is a short (about 3 minutes) video on how to safely connect to vehicles with booster cables, brought to you by QuickCable, the makers of the popular Rescue Jump Packs.


Transcription of video:

Jumpstarting a vehicle with a dead battery is relatively easy and quick. But, it’s important for you to follow the correct procedures to prevent personal injury or damage to your vehicle. This video will show you how to properly jumpstart a vehicle, step by step, using a pair of rescue booster cables.

Be sure your car battery is actually dead before you decide to jumpstart it. If your ignition turns over or your cars lights or windshield wipers still work, the problem is not a dead battery. To Jumpstart your vehicle, you will need: a working vehicle with a good battery and a good set of booster cables. Always wear eye protection, and nitrile or rubber gloves when working around lead-acid batteries. Battery acid can cause severe burns and blindness. Remove any metallic jewelry from your hands and wrists before attempting to jumpstart a vehicle. Electrical contact with jewelry can cause serious injuries.

Okay, let’s start with the vehicle with the dead battery. Be sure the vehicle is in park, the ignition is off, and all electronics are turned off, such as lights, stereo, wipers, and air conditioning. If your vehicle has a manual transmission, put it in neutral with the parking brake set. Next, position the working vehicle close to the vehicle that needs jumping. Be sure the two vehicle are not touching. Put the working vehicle in park or neutral with the parking brake set and turn off the ignition.

Next, identify the positive and negative clamps and battery terminals. Rescue booster clamps are color-coded red for positive and black for negative. Battery terminals are usually marked positive, POS, or a plus sign for positive and sometimes color-coded red, or they are marked negative, NEG, or with a minus sign for negative.

Connect one end of the positive cable to the positive terminal of the dead battery. Connect the other end of the positive cable to the positive terminal of the good battery. Next, connect the negative cable to the negative terminal of the good battery. Finally, connect the other end of the negative cable to the engine block, vehicle frame, or some other metallic non-moving ground of the vehicle with the dead battery.

Start the vehicle with the good battery first. Let it run for a few minutes, then try starting the dead vehicle. Once the vehicle has been successfully jumpstarted, you can begin to remove the cables. Remove booster cables in the reverse order of connection, starting with the negative clamp connected to the ground. Be careful of moving engine parts as you disconnect cables.

For complete instructions on jumpstarting a vehicle, download the booster cable instruction sheet on quickhowto.com.

Solar Panels: Advantages and Benefits of Solar Power

Harnessing the power of the sunSolar power is a far-reaching technology. In recent years, it’s grown more and more popular as an efficient and economical energy source. Solar panels are becoming more common as a green alternative for commercial and residential applications.

A solar panel (also referred to as a Photovoltaic Module) is made up of an interconnected group of solar cells. A single panel generally only produces a limited amount of energy, but many applications allow you to work several panels together, forming a Photovoltaic Array.

Solar power has many advantages over more traditional power sources:

Solar power is a renewable resource. We are not in danger of depleting our reserve of solar power. Though the sun may disappear behind some clouds and isn’t around at night, it’ll always come back in full force.

Energy and heat from the sun is free. While solar panels tend to have higher initial costs than other energy solutions, there are no additional electrical expenses. Given time, the savings from your solar panel will begin to show.

Solar panels require little maintenance. One of the biggest reasons that electronic devices fail is due to moving parts. Solar panels have no moving parts and are much less susceptible to failure because of it.

Solar cells can last a lifetime.

They are excellent options for remote locations. When running large lengths of wires to connect to a grid are either too expensive or just not feasible, solar power may be a more realistic option.

Many other energy sources rely on depletable resources: fossil fuels, animal matter, plant matter. Sunlight, however, continually hits the Earth in large amounts, whether actively being used or not. Applying solar panel effectively omits the step of obtaining new resources.

Along with the advantages, it is worth commenting on some of the disadvantages of solar power. The sun is not always readily available (at night, cloudy day, snow covered, etc.), so it may still be necessary to have a back-up power source. Solar cells are still not exactly cheap. Outfitting your application to run completely through solar panels can have a significant up-front cost. Of course, this will likely improve over time, and technology improves and the cost continues to improve with it.

Interested in seeing some of the solar battery chargers we offer here? Be sure to check out our line of solar panels. Listed below, you’ll find a few of our most popular panels.

Cell Phone Battery Tips: Prolong the Life of Your Cell Phone Battery

Many people are moving away from their landline phones in favor of cell phones. Even still, the primary benefit is still a cell phone’s portability. To get the most out of your phone, you’ll have to get the most out of your phone’s battery. When it comes to your battery, there are two things to consider: how to make it last longer between charges and how to prolong the life of the battery.

Increasing Runtime Between Charges

  • Turn the phone off. It may sound counter-intuitive at first, but this is the simplest and most effective way to conserving battery power. If you’re sleeping or just don’t want to take calls, just turn it off. Do the same if you’re in an area with no reception (like subways or remote areas) or in a roaming area. The phone will continuously search for service and this can drain the battery pretty quickly.
  • Disable vibrate. The vibrate function uses up significant amounts of battery power. Stick with using the ring tone, but keep the volume as low as possible.
  • Turn off the phone’s backlight. If you can get by without it, disabling the backlight will keep your phone running longer. Some phones this isn’t an option, though. For these, you can usually set the phone to dim the backlight after a set amount of time. One or two seconds should be sufficient.
  • Avoid unnecessary features. Features like the camera (especially flash) and Internet connection are good to avoid if it’s going to be a while before you can charge your phone again. The same goes for WIFI, GPS, and infrared.
  • Turn off Bluetooth. This can drain your battery fast, and having it on can cause problems near virus-infected smart phones.
  • Keep a spare. Much like we had recommended with laptops, keeping a spare battery to swap in is a great idea for long trips where you won’t have access to a charger. Just remember to keep that spare charged itself before you leave!

Prolong the Life of Your Battery

  • Initialize a new battery. New batteries should be 100% charged before their first use. For Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) and Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) this is about 16 hours initial with two to four full charge/discharge cycles. Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) should be charged 5 or 6 hours. But do not fully discharge the Li-Ion battery! Make a habit of recharging it when you have one bar left.
  • Keep the battery cool. The battery will last longest the closer it stays to room temperature. None of us can control the weather, of course, but you can avoid leaving the phone in a hot car or in direct sunlight. Even keeping it in your pocket can raise its temperature, due to body heat. If the battery is excessively hot, your charger may be malfunctioning.
  • Clean the battery contacts on the battery and on the phone. Over time, the contacts can accumulate dirt. You can clean them with a cotton swab and some rubbing alcohol. If the contacts are two different metals (such as gold and tin), accelerated corrosion may occur. This often requires solvents, such as acetone or nail polish remover. These solvents dissolve plastic, so use a Q-Tip to avoid damaging the phone or battery housing.
  • You should refrain from charging your phone’s battery through a car’s cigarette outlet on a continuous basis. This charging method does a fast charge and is best for emergency charges only but should never be used to always charge the battery. The best way to charge the battery is by using your AC charger plugged into a wall outlet.