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How do you make the battery of a pipe rail trolley winter-ready?

pipe rail trolleyWritten by René Mondt | Last update: 16-07-2017

The battery of a pipe rail trolley must be properly prepared before going into winter storage. This will benefit the lifespan of the battery. In short: how do you make the battery of a pipe rail trolley winter-ready? We list the different steps. 

1. Charge the battery well with the charger you always use
Before charging the batteries, check the level of the electrolyte (battery acid). If needed, replenish the battery with demineralized water up to at least 0.5 cm above the plates.

2. Have the charger complete the entire charging program
Then let the batteries “rest” for 24 hours. Optionally use an acid scale to weigh whether the battery acid has a specific weight of between 1.26 – 1.28 kg/l. Optionally also check the voltage of the battery with a Voltmeter/Multimeter. This must be above 12.6 Volt. If these values are not reached, you must charge the battery again. If the values are still not reached after that, then it there is basically no point in putting this battery into winter storage.

3. Loosen the pole clamps
Clean the top of the battery with a mixture of soda and (lukewarm) water. Use a washing-up brush or paint brush for this. Then dry the lid. This avoids surface voltage leakage due to acid on the lid, which means the battery has a minimum self-discharge. 

4. Properly clean and grease pole clamps
Cleaning the pole clamps is done with the wire brush. You then grease it lightly with acid-free Vaseline. Note: do not use lubricating grease. You can then connect all clamps again except the minus cable (by not connecting the minus cable, you avoid voltage leakage and draining the battery).

5. Place the batteries in a frost-free and moisture-free environment
Make sure this environment is properly ventilated and that no metal objects can fall onto the battery. This can cause a short circuit, spark or even an explosion. 

6. Give the batteries an interim charge
The interim charge is important for obtaining a longer lifespan for the batteries. Do this monthly. We do not recommend a trickle charger. It is not necessary if you follow the above steps.

7. Properly charge the batteries when you take the pipe rail trolley into use again.
This could be in the month of March, for instance. The batteries are now in optimal condition to start the new season without any problems. Note: charging the batteries releases a very explosive gas. Therefore, always keep them away from sparks, fire and cigarettes. 

In the video below, a mechanic shows you how to carry out the different steps.

If you have developed your own “winter storage” method that works well in your situation and which you are satisfied with in terms of the lifespan of the batteries, then you can of course continue using this method.

Safety measures 

If you work with a battery, make sure you take the appropriate safety measures. After all, battery fluid is highly corrosive. 
  • Avoid skin contact by wearing gloves and always wear safety goggles. If you still come into contact with battery fluid, wash hands immediately with water and soap and/or rinse eyes with flowing water for 5 minutes and consult a doctor.
  • While working with a battery, do not wear jewelry like rings, bracelets, necklaces and watches. A short circuit current can melt a piece of jewelry, resulting in severe burns.
  • Prevent further shorting and ensure there is no electrical connection between the battery poles. The battery cover must be undamaged. Bare spots or dents can cause a short circuit!

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More information

Do you have questions about making the pipe rail batteries winter-ready? Then please contact one of our product specialists or ask your question via the form below. We will then contact you as soon as possible - on working days even within 24 hours.

Rene MondtAbout René Mondt

René Mondt, product specialist for measuring equipment and technique, was born in the greenhouse environment and has been working in the horticulture sector, being rather experienced with the technical part of the cultivation. He understands the customer and cultivation like no other. "My motto is to assist the customers and support them the way I would prefer to be supported myself: quick and tailor-made advice."

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