What type of batteries does my mobility product need?
All scooter / electric wheelchair batteries are 12 volt and are usually fitted in pairs giving a 24 volt output. It is recommended that when replacing batteries they are fitted in pairs.
The power output is marked in amp hours (Ah) on the side of the battery E.g. 12 volt 35A/h. The amp hour rate may vary slightly from different manufacturers for a similar size battery, therefore the critical thing is the physical size of the battery.
The next thing you need to decide once you have identified which battery Amp hour you require, is whether you want a GEL battery or an AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) battery this is often referred to as a sealed lead acid (SLA) battery.
Both batteries are sealed, non-spillable and maintenance free. The main difference between them is the performance/longevity. As the battery in a scooter or power chair is the only power source the battery is designed to work differently to other batteries, like car batteries for example.
A car battery is designed for starting the car, therefore it is required to produce a large amount of power immediately as you turn the key, and is then constantly trickle charged. A GEL or SLA battery is designed to give a constant flow of power over a longer period, and then to be recharged fully, this is called a cycle.
Wheelchairs and scooters typically require two batteries with 24-volt series connection. Never mix and match different battery manufacturers or technologies, or use batteries that do not have similar date codes. Never mix Gel batteries and AGM batteries.
Always fully charge batteries prior to use. Follow installation and start-up instructions provided by the mobility equipment manufacturer.
Active users of power wheelchairs cycle their batteries daily (deep cycling). This stringent application requires a unique battery design that will sometimes compromise initial capacity in return for longer battery life.
Gel battery performance improves once the battery has been cycled (discharged and recharged) 20-25 times. This break-in period is necessary to fully activate the battery for maximum performance and longevity. Thus, range and running time of your mobility device could initially increase with use.
When to charge?
Charge Daily. The charger supplied with your mobility device should fully charge your batteries overnight. Overcharging is not a problem with today’s smart chargers as they are voltage limited and shut off automatically. Sealed Gel and AGM batteries do not exhibit a "use it or lose it" capacity-robbing effect known as "memory". Accessible Madrid has a broad range of mobility scooter and powerchair battery chargers for all battery types.
Proper Charging Guidelines
- Use the equipment manufacturer’s automatic charger for all routine charging or a suitable equivalent.
- Never use an automotive or wet-type charge on Sealed Gel or AGM batteries as doing so will damage your battery.
- Depth of discharge affects cycle life. The harder a battery has to work the shorter its life expectancy.
- Avoid ultra-deep discharges and never drain your batteries completely.
- Do not leave your batteries in a low state of charge for an extended length of time. Charge a discharged battery as soon as possible.
- Do not cycle your batteries at a low state of charge without regularly recharging them fully.
Storage and Maintenance
- Always store your batteries FULLY CHARGED
- Check all stored batteries once a month and recharge as needed.
- Fully charged Sealed Gel and AGM batteries can hold a charge for up to 6 months, however, they should always be charged before use.
- When storing a power chair or scooter for more than 4 weeks, charge the batteries first and then disconnect them for storage.
- Avoid hot and cold extremes when storing.
- Sealed Gel and AGM batteries require no watering. Any performance-related issues should be handled by a properly trained wheelchair or scooter technician.
- Batteries can be hazardous.
- Dropping a tool or touching a watch or bracelet across the terminals can result in an electrical shock, sparks, smoke, fire and even and explosion. Use extreme caution around exposed battery terminals.
- Battery posts, terminals and related accessories contain lead and lead compounds to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.
- Wash hands after handling.
- BE CAREFUL! Batteries produce explosive gases. Keep sparks, flames and cigarettes away from batteries at all times. ALWAYS wear safety glasses and a face shield when working on or near batteries. Ventilate well. Do not install in an airtight container.
- All old batteries are consider “hazardous material” and must be recycled through an approved agency to prevent improper disposal. Lead-acid batteries are virtually 100% recyclable.
The chart below shows approximate sizes in millimetres for each battery size.
Battery Ah Length Width Height
1.3Ah 97 43 59
2.2Ah 178 34 66
2.9Ah 79 56 106
3.4Ah 134 67 66
5Ah 90 70 108
8Ah 151 65 100
10Ah 151 65 114
12Ah 151 99 100
15Ah 151 99 100
18Ah 181 76 167
22Ah 181 76 167
27Ah 166 175 125
35Ah 195 131 181
40Ah 196 165 165
50Ah 196 165 165
55Ah 229 138 232
60Ah 259 169 178
75Ah 260 168 232
How long should my batteries last for?
Battery life can vary enormously. A battery will have a pre-ordained cycle life but this will be affected by a number of environmental factors such as frequency of use, depth of discharge, length and frequency of charge time and storage temperature. Experience tells us that the average life span is around two years but can be much longer or much shorter.
What is the difference between GEL and AGM?
The two battery types use different technology but generally speaking, gel batteries will perform better and last you longer although they are more expensive than AGM, they tend to represent better value.
Gel Batteries vs. AGM Batteries
Each battery has its advantages and disadvantages, it is therefore important to choose the right battery for your application.
Advantages of Gel batteries:
- Full recovery from deep discharge even when the battery is not recharged immediately
- Ideal for repeat cycling daily use
- Excellent performance over long discharges
- Good tolerance to high temperature applications
- Suitable where mains power is unstable
- Zero stratification due to immobilised electrolyte
- No equalization charge necessary
- Reduced self-discharge
- Limiting design protects the positive plates to greatly improve cycle life
- Thicker plates for reduced grid corrosion and increased cycle life
- Improved charge acceptance due to low internal resistance
- High resistance to water loss with the right charging set up
- Ultra stable polymer separator with glass mat for increased performance
- High resistance to shorting due to superior mechanical strength of the polymer separator
- Increased tolerance to poor charging parameters
- Can be discharged even when full recharge has not been achieved, without loss of battery capacity
Advantages of AGM batteries:
- Lower initial cost when compared to equivalent power gel
- Ideal for starting and stationery applications
- Superior performance for shorter durations/higher current discharges
- Smaller size battery can be used for higher rate discharges
Will my new batteries be easy to fit?
Yes. Generally speaking, it should only take a few minutes to fit your new batteries. You will need some basic tools such as a Phillips screwdriver and a 10mm spanner.
How can I tell if my existing batteries are spent?
Battery failure or degeneration usually manifests itself in poor performance. If your scooter or power chair feels sluggish or you are not getting very much range, it is probably your batteries that are to blame although it is prudent to have this checked as problems can be caused by a variety of technical areas within your product.
How do I best care for my batteries?
Try to keep your batteries clean, particularly the terminals. Make sure the connections to the terminals are tight and un-obstructed. Do not store your batteries in extreme temperatures.
What is the best regime for charging my batteries?
We recommend that you charge your batteries after every trip. Even if you have not been very far it is wise to ensure that your batteries are full before each journey. Don't leave your batteries for long periods without being charged, even if you have not used your scooter. Always give your batteries at least 12 hours each time you charge them.
Lithium Ion vs. Lead Acid
When comparing different models, one of the main factors to decide is the type of battery you can carry when you take a flight or travel in a cruise. Traveling with heavy equipment can be a nuisance, especially for people with physical disabilities.
There are many rules when traveling with mobility scooters, and these regulations affect batteries. Airlines and shipping companies usually do not put any problem with devices with GEL batteries (dry batteries): This type of batteries have their interior gelled (not liquid), are watertight and have gone through rigorous testing and certification. They are considered "safe" by the Air Transport Association (IATA). Mobile devices that incorporate gel batteries, usually have no problems to be transported by plane and boat.
Airlines and shipping companies often place more restrictions on transporting devices that incorporate lithium-ion batteries. A lithium battery can be transported by plane depending on whether it is installed in the equipment and its capacity in Watt-hours (Wh) (for rechargeable), or the content of Lithium (LC, in grams) (for non-rechargeable) ). Watt-hours are calculated by multiplying the battery voltage by the amperage of the battery. For example a lithium battery of 24V X 10Ah has a capacity of 240 Watt-hours. Always have to contact the airline sufficiently in advance of the flight to inform them of the details of the mobility device, its dimensions, weight and type of battery, so that they authorize its transportation.
The advantage of lithium-ion batteries is that they are extremely light. For example, a lithium-ion battery only weighs 1-2 kg.
The alternative to the lithium-ion battery are lead acid batteries (GEL), which are heavier. Lead-acid batteries are on average 4 times the weight of lithium-ion batteries. Increasingly lead acid batteries are manufactured in GEL format. When it comes to traveling with devices that use 'lead-acid' batteries, there are environmental problems related to a possible spill of the acid they contain. That is why there are restrictions of IATA on lead acid, on the rest of batteries. Lead-acid batteries are more beneficial for the elderly population and people with physical disabilities who do not travel and have the help of a person.
Today, people with physical disabilities spend more on their mobility scooters. They look for more value for their money and that the product is adaptable to all their needs. Lithium-ion batteries provide more convenience to users who use their scooter in their home and surroundings and when traveling.
Battery chargers for mobility scooters
Having trouble finding the right mobility scooter charger for your model? Accessible Madrid makes it easy to shop for a replacement scooter battery charger. We have the largest inventory of scooter and power chair battery charger models in stock and ready to ship, next day air and worldwide if needed, to get you back on the go.
Unlike the typically similar automotive or motorcycle direct connect chargers, a mobility scooter charger may be one of two different general types; the off-board and the on-board. We also offer the ubiquitous direct-connect "alligator-clip" style chargers for those who prefer using that configuration.
Off-board chargers are categorized according to their connectors as well as their amp ratings. The typical off-board charger may work on a number of scooter and power chair models sharing the same connector style. The on-board chargers are usually more brand & model-specific, and they are mostly factory OEM replacement parts.
If you wish to buy any battery or battery charger for your mobility scooter from Accessible Madrid, please click HERE