What the heck is a deep-cycle battery?

If you raise the seat on your electric golf cart, you'll see that the batteries all say "deep-cycle." So what the heck is a "deep-cycle" battery? Well, that simply means that it is designed to be deeply discharged on a regular basis. This is different from your car battery, which is designed to deliver a short, high-current burst that cranks the engine; only a fraction of its capacity is discharged in that moment. The deep-cycle batteries that run a golf cart are designed to discharge between 45% and 75% of their capacity on any given run of the golf cart. In other words, their charge goes down that much in the course of normal golf cart operation. According to the Arizona Wind & Sun company (Windsun.com), these deep-cycle batteries can go all the way down to a 20% charge, but to optimize their lifespan, they should only be cycled down to a 45% discharge at the most. There is a correlation between the amount of battery
discharge, and the number of recharge/discharge cycles that it can perform in its life.

The most important thing to monitor with your deep-cycle batteries is the water level. Check them every month or so - personally, I check each battery on the 1st of every month. If the water is down to the metal fins, top it off with distilled water until the fins are well-covered. Don't overfill, however - the water level needs to be able to fluctuate with the temperature inside the battery.

One more thing to mention - when a battery goes bad and you take it in to buy a new one, it is 98% recyclable. The plastic cases, lead plates, sulfuric acid, solder, and other metals are 100% recovered for reuse. According to the Battery Council (batterycouncil.org), industry wide there is a greater than 98% rate of recovery on all lead acid batteries sold in the United States, resulting in a virtually closed manufacturing cycle. You can feel pretty good about the environment in driving an electric golf cart, because the batteries are definitely recycled.

Happy carting,
The Psychic

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