Fast and slow charging

Proper charging is very important in order to maximize battery performance and life. What is the proper way to charge a golf cart battery?

  1. First, connect the AC charger plug to a 120v single phase wall outlet/receptacle.
  2. Second, connect the DC charger plug to the golf cart DC plug receptacle.
  3. The charger will start automatically and will indicate the output current on the charger’s ammeter. The initial charge current can vary depending on the condition and state of charge of the batteries. Monitor the ammeter to determine when the batteries have reached full charge. Ammeter should read "0" when the charger automatically terminates the charge cycle after a battery bank reaches full charge.
  4. It is ok to disconnect your charger from your golf cart while a charge cycle is in progress. It is best to disconnect the charger AC plug from the AC wall outlet/receptacle before disconnecting the charger DC plug from your cart to prematurely stop a charge cycle. This will prevent arcing and burning of the charger DC plug and receptacle connectors. After a charge cycle has completed and the charger has turned off, it is not necessary to disconnect the charger AC plug, only the DC plug, to use the cart.
  5. The necessary charge time is affected by numerous factors. The major factors affecting the required charge time are the battery amp-hour capacity, depth of discharge, temperature, age/usage of the batteries, amount of sulfation build up on the battery plates, and the chargers amp rated output.
  6. Once every six months, we recommend that hydrometer readings be taken of each of your battery’s cells. If any battery has a difference of .03 specific gravity between the lowest and highest cell, then the batteries should be "equalized". Equalizing is a controlled 5% overcharge which equalizes and balances the voltage and specific gravity in each cell, the effect of increasing the charge voltage. This can be accomplished with one of the modern smart chargers on the market today. If individual battery voltages in the battery bank do not stay equally matched, within only a few tenths of a volt per 12v battery, then the long term ability of the battery bank to deliver a significant percentage of it’s deep cycle design life will be dramatically reduced. Equalizing helps remove some of the sulfate crystals that have built up on the plates. Heavy gassing and bubbling will occur during this stage until the specific gravity values no longer rise. Many lead acid golf cart battery chargers will start with a bulk stage (current limiting) then go into an absorption stage (constant voltage) and then into a final charge stage called equalization (constant current).