Selecting the proper aircraft battery involves a number of questions…
How long will the battery last?
What price should you pay for a good battery?
Which battery company should you trust?
We will help you solve these questions and make the correct decision, right now.
Batteries are a fairly simple device that allows storage of electricity in chemicals. Flooded wet cell batteries have chemicals that can reverse the process of a battery being exhausted. By adding an electric charge to these batteries, the chemical potential is restored.
More common batteries, such as the Valve-Regulated Lead-Acid (VRLA) sealed battery and the Nickel Cadmium battery, offer different options for your specific aircraft.
The Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd) battery contains interleaved electrodes connected internally. This aircraft battery involves a process that minimizes oxygen recombination and helps ensure low and stable overcharge current.
The VRLA aircraft battery use either one 12-cell or two 6-cell plastic containers. The main difference between VRLA battery and vented batteries is the use of higher pressure valves and different separators. In the VRLA batteries these valves promote oxygen transfer.
There are two primary types of VRLA batteries, gel cells and AGM. Gel cells add silica dust to the electrolyte, forming a thick putty-like gel. These are sometimes referred to as “silicone batteries”. AGM (absorbed glass mat) batteries feature fiberglass mesh between the battery plates which serves to contain the electrolyte. Both designs offer advantages and disadvantages compared to conventional batteries, as well as each other.
Extending Battery Life
When was the last time you thought about your aircraft’s battery?
If you are like most pilots, you most likely thought about it when you had to remove it either because it failed or due to required normal maintenance. Performing maintenance on your battery, not just when it is required, can preserve its usefulness and performance.
The battery needs to be inspected regularly to assure it will function and perform as expected.
Both Teledyne/Gill and Concorde require periodic inspection and maintenance of their aircraft batteries. One of the required inspections is a capacity test.
This consists of placing a specified load on the fully-charged battery and then measuring the time it takes for the battery to be drawn down to a specified voltage.
If the capacity test reveals that the battery has at least 80% of its rated capacity, then it’s considered airworthy and can be returned to service.
Charging your battery can be optimized as well. The ideal way to charge a battery is at a constant current rate in amps equal to 20 to 40 percent of the battery’s capacity in amp-hours until the battery reaches optimal voltage.
A great option for charging your aircraft battery is a charger such as the ones made by BatteryMINDer®. Aviation batteries use a higher specific gravity (SG) electrolyte in their batteries. If you use a non-aviation charger then the battery can be overcharged. Compared to automotive chargers (13.8-14.6 volts) the BatteryMINDer® chargers are 12 volt chargers and will not overcharge your battery.
BatteryMINDer® models feature a Plug ‘n Run feature as well as a full-time automatic pulsed desulfation circuitry which can dissolve built up sulfation on the battery’s storage plates, this will restore lost cranking power as well as extend the life of your aircraft battery. The temperature compensating sensor featured on the BatteryMINDer® chargers will keep your battery from being overcharged in warm weather and undercharged in cold weather. This is vital to the longevity of your aircraft battery.
So, that begs the question, how do batteries fail if you can recharge them and protect them from dying? There are a few ways battery failure occurs:
- Sludge buildup in the bottom of the battery
- Batteries discharging during periods of disuse
- Gassing and subsequent loss of electrolytes
- Sulfation- the most common cause of battery failure
An aircraft battery can be bought from numerous companies, but few have the quality track record of Gill. Founded in 1920, Gill has stood the test of time.
Gill’s latest battery line, the 7000 Series LT batteries, are sealed, VRLA, and non-spillable. Compared to other brands, such as Concorde, the evidence is quite obvious that Gill has added features that, to put it simply, create a longer lasting battery.
Amongst other features, this new line of batteries includes:
- Improved 18 month/1800 hour capacity check inspection
- Gill has extended this capacity check inspection time from 12 months or 800 hours. This is a major increase for pilots and mechanics. Compare this time to any aircraft without Gill batteries and you’ll find 12 months, or 800 hours, is the standard.
- Industry leading 24 month warranty for both turbine and non-turbine aircraft
- Most manufacturers only offer 12 months on turbine aircraft only.
- High reliability through engineered processes
- The superior shelf life offered by Gill’s new battery series can help defend against battery self-discharge. The new shelf life can last up to two years without degradation to the battery.
- Robust construction that offers durability and dependability
- FAA / PMA Approved and TSO authorized
- Offers the best discharge and recharge efficiency in lead-acid chemistry
- Improved energy density
- Tested to DO-160E
Choosing a product like Gill 7000 Series LT aircraft battery can really upgrade your current battery situation. Gill has worked hard at improving their batteries and becoming the new industry leader.
Consider this 7000 Series LT next time your battery needs to be replaced.
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