How to Opportunity Charge the Right Way
Sometimes you might need a bit more runtime from your floor scrubber or burnisher. If you find yourself in that situation, there is a solution… Opportunity Charging.
Before we talk about opportunity charging, let’s talk about conventional charging. The conventional charging procedure involves unplugging the battery charger at the start of the job. The operator uses the floor scrubber. Afterward, the operator charges the battery pack until it is completely recharged. For a deep-dive into this procedure, see our other article, The Definitive Guide to Battery Maintenance.
What is Opportunity Charging?
Opportunity Charging is the process of using “opportunities” throughout the day to recharge your floor scrubber. These opportunities might be during breaks, lunch periods, or between shift changes. This just might help you get the runtime you need, but without proper maintenance, it can also cause your battery pack to wear out prematurely.
If you decide that opportunity charging is right for you, you need to add an equalizing charge once per week to your battery charging program. All NSS battery chargers have a built-in equalizing charge cycle that automatically starts if you follow the procedure outlined here.
How to equalize charge a battery pack
For machines with flooded batteries, follow this procedure weekly to equalize charge the battery pack:
Step 1. Fully charge the battery pack. This can take up to 16 hours. See our Definitive Guide to Battery Maintenance for the correct charging procedure.
Step 2. Unplug the battery charger from the wall. Let the battery charger power down for a few seconds. Plug the battery charge back into the wall.
Step 3. Wait for the battery charger to run through the battery charging cycle. This will take about two hours. Once the charging cycle is complete, the machine is ready to use.
If you have AGM batteries, just recharge the battery pack fully once per week. There is no need to do steps two or three listed above.
What does the equalizing charge do?
When opportunity charging a battery pack, sulfation occurs at a higher rate. Sulfation is the formation of sulfate crystals inside the battery. Those crystals can combine with the lead in the battery, which reduces the amount of lead available to power your cleaning equipment. The equalizing charge gets rid of some of the sulfate crystals, preventing the formation of the lead sulfate crystals and the reduction of the battery pack capacity.
Does equalizing my battery pack help if I follow a conventional charging procedure?
Yes. We recommend you do an equalizing charge every 30 days for cleaning machines charged by a conventional charging procedure. This will help extend your battery life.
So, feel free to opportunity charge if that helps you get the job done. Just be sure to remember to equalize charge once per week. As with any machine maintenance procedure, record-keeping is essential. To increase your chances of success, make a schedule for equalizing charging, and stick to it.