Leisure batteries

Leisure batteries, also known as deep cycle batteries and marine batteries have a vast number of uses. They are most popularly used to supply moderate levels of current over a long period of time and are commonly used for motor homes and marine related activities such as motor boating and use in fishing trolleys.

Leisure batteries are also extensively used in mobility scooters, motor engines, electric golf trolleys, motor bikes, televisions and power lights.

Leisure batteries are designed in such a way that they can be easily discharged up to 50% of their total capacity. Leisure battery plates are resilient because they are made up of thicker plates whereas the separators between the plates are thick too.

Leisure batteries are basically lead-acid batteries and are of two main types:

Flooded batteries, that have the battery plates totally immersed in acid, must be kept in an upright position to keep to keep the acid from spilling. These types of batteries require constant maintenance and might need to be topped up with distilled water from time-to-time.

Sealed batteries, have a glass fiber mat around the battery plates. The acid is present inside this mat hence there is no danger of acid spilling no matter what position the battery is kept in. Another good thing about these sealed batteries is that they require minimal maintenance.

A long cycle refers to the time a battery takes to go from fully charged to requiring being charged again. Leisure batteries with a long cycle are invaluable. Any electrical equipment or appliance requiring a hefty dose of power benefits from a battery having a long cycle. If far less power is needed for an appliance and the same long cycle battery is used, it will require a lot more time in order to recharge properly.

To keep a leisure battery performing at the optimum level, care should be taken that the battery doesn't go below 50% of the maximum charge that it can take. A battery loses some of its effectiveness and efficiency naturally over time so it is okay to discount around 20% of its capacity. This should leave you with an estimate that your leisure battery has around 50% capacity remaining.

Leisure batteries should be subject to regular maintenance. Two important things to keep in mind are never to leave a leisure battery at a low level of charge and also never to let it get to the point that it is discharged entirely.

If either of the above conditions occurs, it can lead to lead sulphates depositing on the battery plates, sometimes causing irreversible sulphation damage. Also in batteries made up of a cell bank, if just one cell happens to get discharged far more than the others, it will end up being a part of the load on the battery. This will cause the other cells to start passing current through it, leading it to an even more heightened state of being discharged. Hence batteries must never be in a low charge state.