Expectations for power wheelchair batteries run high when it comes to long-lasting convenience. Whether you are a new power wheelchair owner or a well established one, the length of time a battery lasts is always on the mind. The following information will help explain how long power wheelchair batteries last and steps you can take to get the best use from a battery.
How long do wheelchair batteries last?
Fully charged power wheelchair batteries last for at least 8 hours and can be expected to achieve arange of around 10 miles, though if you've got a good one, you might be able to expect closer to 20miles.However, factors such as battery health and the weight of the user will influence the time anddistance you can travel on one charge.
lf your battery is more than a year-and-a-half old, you can expect the range it allows you to travel onone charge to dwindle, and you should think about getting it replaced.Battery type also influencestravel range, and sealed, lead-acid batteries are generally the preferable kind.
The Lifespan of a Power Wheelchair Battery
The lifetime of a power wheelchair battery ranges from six months to two years. A specific time frame is difficult to determine since there are many factors involved. The factors include activity, length, and frequency of use, weight, and correct charging habits.
What’s the best way to power a wheelchair battery?
Since correct charging habits are directly related to the lifespan of the battery it’s essential to do it right. An active wheelchair user charges the battery daily which is the best way to charge a battery. A daily charged battery optimizes battery life.
The following are a few tips to help keep the battery in mint condition:
Fully charge the battery daily
Charge the battery to at least 50% before going out
Avoid allowing the battery to reach 0% charge
Charge the battery overnight since most batteries require eight hours to achieve a full charge.
Avoid allowing the battery to charge for more than 24 hours
Disconnect the battery if you don’t plan to use the wheelchair for two weeks or longer.
Allow enough time for the battery to fully recharge each day
One common issue with wheelchair/scooter battery maintenance is that users do not actually fully recharge it daily. An 8 hour overnight charge is usually not enough to return the battery to fully charged. Each day they take the battery to a lower State of Charge dramatically reducing its cycle life due to sulfation (a crystal build up on the plates) or acid stratification (acid settling at the bottom of the battery case). Both occur in batteries which spend a great deal of time ‘partly charged’.
This has been noted in real life situations. Golf Carts which use a similar design to electric wheelchairs and scooters are known for using the same batteries, but achieving total life spans up to twice as long. Much of this has been put down to the longer periods of time they spend on charge each day.
Should you find that in practice there is never enough time to fully recharge the battery before the electric wheelchair/scooter is needed again, then investing in a second battery or battery pack can make a great deal of financial sense in the long term.
Use a quality charger
The exact time a battery needs to fully recharge depends on use, battery age, the ambient temperature of the room and the charger itself. For this reason investing in a quality charger that will display the State of Charge will help you see when your battery is truly fully charged.
The most basic battery charger will simply pass a constant charge over your unit, but has the following disadvantages:
It’s slower because it misses the opportunity to apply a greater charge when possible
It has the potential to overcharge and damage the battery unless disconnected at the right moment
It can misinterpret a completely discharged battery as a dead battery.
If you have more questions about this, please feel free to contact FreedomChair.