Why does my golf cart battery charger need to stay connected to my golf cart battery bank when not in use for extended periods of time?) It all starts with the chemistry of your batteries. Almost all golf carts come from the manufacturer with cheap batteries. Or at least cheap reliable chemistry. Batteries can be very expensive depending on the chemistry and anatomy of the specific battery in question. Usually when we come across golf cart batteries and the golf carts themselves they are all ran on lead acid type batteries. These batteries are configured within the golf cart’s frame rails and depending on the type of motor they are running you could see between (4) four and (8) eight batteries. These batteries will make up either a 36 volt battery system or a 48 volt battery system. Examples: (6) six 6 volt batteries could be found in a 36 volt golf cart. Or (4) 12 volt batteries could be found in a 48 volt golf cart or even (6) 8 volt batteries could be found in a 48 volt system.
Another quick way to determine what the voltage is of the batteries in your golf cart is to just count the caps on top of the battery. In some instances they will have a quick release car that covers all the cells filler holes. Either way count the caps or the holes that are being covered by one. (Each cell is 2 volts.) Then just multiply that number by the number of batteries found in you golf cart or application. Usually the number of batteries or the power in each golf cart battery bank is going to be determined by the golf cart batteries’ discharge rates from the electric motor or accessories running off of it. Example – Stereo, Lights, Cooling fans, etc…
So now that we know that our golf cart is running on lead acid batteries, let me explain why you need to keep you golf cart batteries fully charged and why certain battery chargers are best for your golf cart. Lead acid batteries are very affordable in comparison to AGM Batteries or lithium batteries. This is based on the internal elements and chemistry that make up the battery. Lithium batteries will last 10x as long as traditional lead acid batteries and have less than .01% discharge rates in static situations. (This is why they usually cost 10x as much.)
Another form of chemistry found in golf cart batteries on occasion is a AGM battery, which usually on average lasts 3x as long and have about a .030 discharge rate monthly if not charged or used often enough. They usually will cost 3x as much as the traditional lead acid batteries. As for your battery – a traditional lead acid battery – they are tried and tested products that get the job done. Though these types of batteries lose about 10% of their charge a month if they sit with out a charger on them. That is without a load on them – If your electrical system is applying a load in anyway that number could be drastically larger. So we need to make sure the charger is operating properly and completely. Also note that your golf cart batteries discharge rates will be affected by usage and the type of motor you are running within the cart. If you would like to learn more about your golf cart or the batteries it operates on continue reading
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