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Unread 05-16-2013, 06:37 AM   #1
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Question Question for the battery experts

There have been many posts regarding batteries, but even though I have read many of them, I still have question that can probably be answered pretty fast.

I have a 48volt 97 CC DS with trojan batteries dated 2010. I doubt it was very well maintained because the home was a seasonal rental prior to my purchase and the DS came with the house.

That said, I have been charging it every time it's used. My wife uses it every day just to travel a couple miles (total) for her water aerobics in the morning. I use it for some travel a couple times per week for a total distance of about fifteen miles.

After charging it, I get a battery pack reading of 51.9 volts. Individual readings were all 8.6 volts except for one at 8.5 and one at 8.4 volts. After waiting over night (more than 12 hours) all batteries tested at 8.51 except one at 8.49 volts. I have not yet tested individual cells. I just purchased one of those cheap gravity testers with the little balls in the dropper. The batteries are clean and water up to the bottom of the battery tube below the cap (well above the plates). I have not tested the batteries with a load on them, but I have an analog meter and it shows in the white (charge) until I floor it, and then goes to the edge of the green most of the time. I have 22" ATV knobby tires (8" wheels) and have it jacked up in the rear. I have 4 gauge battery cables and a 400 amp controller. My battery meter has never yet gone down into the green sitting still (after use), and I have not tested the battery pack AFTER using the cart.

After saying all that, I have a simple question that a battery expert can probably answer quite easily. My cart seems to have the ability to go quite a distance, but slows down very fast after about two minutes of driving. It will still go the distance, but seems to slow substantially, down to about 15mph. Is it possible that even though the batteries charge up, that I can still have batteries with a low amperage? Or, would low amperage mean it would also limit the distance I could travel? I should know that answer to that one, but I guess my age is starting to affect my ability to reason this one out.

Thank you for your patience.

By the way, it seems to me that my cart stated to slow down AFTER I last topped off the batteries with distilled water and charged them. Maybe it's just a coincidence?
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Unread 05-16-2013, 09:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: Question for the battery experts

As batteries age they loose their amperage storage capacity. Abuse and neglect speed up the aging process. I have seen batteries destroyed in 18 months, so age can be a wildcard.
The floating balls tester is not for batteries, it is an anti-freeze tester.
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Unread 05-16-2013, 09:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: Question for the battery experts

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyb View Post
As batteries age they loose their amperage storage capacity. Abuse and neglect speed up the aging process. I have seen batteries destroyed in 18 months, so age can be a wildcard.
The floating balls tester is not for batteries, it is an anti-freeze tester.
I do have one that is for batteries! It, however is not adequate for use on deep cycle batteries. You really need a decent temperature compensated - graduated hydrometer to give you accurate readings! Those little ball ones will tell you if you have a dead cell, but other than that they are not accurate for specific gravity.
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Unread 05-16-2013, 11:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: Question for the battery experts

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Originally Posted by simple man View Post
I do have one that is for batteries! It, however is not adequate for use on deep cycle batteries. You really need a decent temperature compensated - graduated hydrometer to give you accurate readings! Those little ball ones will tell you if you have a dead cell, but other than that they are not accurate for specific gravity.
Yes, this one states that it is for batteries.

So, the question still is, can the battery hold a charge but not have the amperage? I seem to be able to drive it over 15 miles and still have enough charge to stay in the white (charge) of the analog meter. I think I need to do a digital meter test on the batteries AFTER I drive a while. I don't know that much about electric motors, but it seems to me that if the amperage was low, I wouldn't get the length of travel I currently get, even though it seems to slow.

Don't get me wrong, I still get about 15mph. But, when I first start I get about 22+ mph.
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Unread 05-16-2013, 01:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: Question for the battery experts

A load test is the easiest way to find out. If you don't have a load tester, go old school and do a voltage drop test. Either butt the cart up to an immovable object or chain it to one. Take the seat off and press the accelerator pedal down to where the tires start to spin or half way, whichever comes first. While doing that, test the batteries individually. You will find out if you have one or more bad ones.
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Unread 05-16-2013, 03:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: Question for the battery experts

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Originally Posted by clubcarjeff View Post
A load test is the easiest way to find out. If you don't have a load tester, go old school and do a voltage drop test. Either butt the cart up to an immovable object or chain it to one. Take the seat off and press the accelerator pedal down to where the tires start to spin or half way, whichever comes first. While doing that, test the batteries individually. You will find out if you have one or more bad ones.
I would not do this with a iq (shunt motor) cart, could fry the motor, I would load test while driving it.
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