If you want your mobility scooter or power wheelchair batteries to last as long as they can, you can do a few things to dramatically extend their lifespan. Battery maintenance best practices are different for sealed lead acid, or SLA, batteries and lithium-ion batteries.
Pride Mobility devices use both SLA and lithium-ion batteries.
5 tips to extend your SLA battery life!
SLA batteries are most commonly used in Pride Mobility devices. They resemble car batteries. According to experts, use the following tricks to help your SLA batteries last longer.
- Charge up your SLA battery after each use
If you’re a daily rider, plug in your mobility scooter or electric wheelchair after each use. This not only ensures you have a full battery for the next day, it also helps extend your battery life.
- Never store empty SLA batteries
If you’re going to park your scooter or power wheelchair for a few weeks or months, make sure you start by charging your battery to full capacity. Every two weeks, plug it in to top it off.
- Use the right charger for your SLA battery
Just because the charger fits, it doesn’t mean that’s the right one for your battery. Make sure your charger voltage matches the battery. Overcharging — or using a charger with greater voltage than your battery specs — can lead to overheating and ruin your battery completely.
Likewise, undercharging — using a charger with a lower voltage — will put undue strain on your battery and lead to faster deterioration.
- Disconnect the charger when your SLA battery is fully charged
This seems like a no-brainer. Once your battery is fully charged, disconnect the charger. At the very most, disconnect your charger after 24 hours.
- Avoid extreme temperatures
Believe it or not, the temperature of the room you charge your device in matters. At low temperatures, batteries don’t charge as efficiently. At higher temperatures, charging gets so efficient that it threatens to heat up and damage the battery.
Ideal charging room temperatures for SLA batteries are between 50 degrees and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can destroy your battery, or cause permanent damage, by letting it freeze.
The extreme temperature warning doesn’t just apply to charging. Avoid very cold and very warm temperatures when storing your SLA battery, too.
5 tips to extend your lithium-ion battery life!
1. Avoid running your lithium-ion battery completely dry
Lithium-ion batteries that never completely deplete last longer because they never complete a full discharge cycle.
For example, if you only use half of your battery in a day before recharging, you could potentially double the number of charging cycles you get out of a single battery.
2. Don’t let your lithium-ion battery reach 100% charge
Just like depleting the battery causes undue stress, so does keeping it at 100% for prolonged periods.
The best way, experts say, to prevent full charge is to disconnect the charger at 80%. Some smart devices slow charging near 100% automatically.
3. Don’t use generic rapid chargers for lithium-ion batteries
Just like electric vehicles and personal devices, fast charging your lithium-ion battery is hard on it and leads to faster deterioration.
Standard chargers don’t wear so hard on the battery. Good news, the charger you received with your Pride Mobility lithium-ion device will charge the battery at the optimal rate to preserve battery life. We always recommend using the original charger that came with the mobility scooter or electric wheelchair.
4. Store your lithium-ion battery at less than half
If you’re storing your lithium-ion battery for prolonged periods, keep the charge at 40% or as close as you can to that.
Lithium-ion batteries are under the least amount of stress at this level of charge.
5. Don’t charge or store your lithium-ion battery below freezing
Lithium-ion batteries don’t charge below 32 degrees. In the same vein, you shouldn’t store lithium-ion batteries below freezing either. So, if you keep your scooter in a shed during the winter, pull the battery and keep it inside.
Like with SLA batteries, storing or using lithium batteries in extra warm temperatures also speeds up degradation.
Takeaways about prolonging SLA and lithium-ion batteries
Both SLA and lithium-ion batteries don’t like to be fully discharged. And while it’s OK to top off SLA batteries, lithium-ion batteries should not be fully charged at 100%.
You may not notice improved battery’s performance right away, but over time and the life of your device, it can provide significant benefits.
Your batteries will last longer and work better with a little extra attention to how they are stored and charged.