Why are Fullriver Batteries the Go-to for Floor Scraping?

Floor Scraping equipment is one of the most challenging applications in floor-care. It requires a squat, heavy, ride-on type vehicle to rip up tile, wood, carpet, and other floor coverings. Typically, floor scraping is done on a big scale in some sort of commercial venue. Being almost exclusively performed in indoor settings, an electric vehicle is the more desirable for the work to keep down noise levels and eliminate harmful fumes from a gas engine.  For decades now Fullriver batteries have excelled in these applications, and our ability to meet the challenges is why Fullriver is chosen by most OEMs for this application. So, what is it about Fullriver DC Series batteries that complement this application so well?

Floor scraping often takes place in large spaces, whether it’s a mall, a conference center, school gym, or a retirement home, they usually must cover a lot of ground. This in turn means the batteries must be equipped to handle true deep cycle usage every time they show up to a job site. The equipment needs to run until every scrap of tile or fiber of carpet has been eliminated.  And don’t count on time for the batteries to be recharged, not if the operator wants to be profitable. Fortunately, Fullriver DC Series batteries are all designed for true deep-cycle applications. Built with some of the thickest plates with a proprietary active material formulation, and the longest curing process in the industry, these batteries can take a full-discharge and come back for more again and again.

Of course, removing hard flooring materials like tile ensures a fair amount of vibration, not to mention on the way to and from the job site in a trailer. Every battery that Fullriver produces accounts for vibration rich environments. Every battery cell is packed under compression for a snug fit, it’s one of the inherent benefits of AGM design. Fullriver takes this a step further when making the internal cell connections by going over the cell partitions instead of going through them. This is where most internal shorts occur in batteries because the cell group is constricted from floating in unison as it inevitably bangs into the partition.

These aforementioned features contribute to one of the most critical features of a any battery, long cycle life, but we don’t stop there. In addition to thick plates, a special paste formulation, and an industry leading curing process, Fullriver uses virgin lead with a high level of purity. Because of this, our batteries have very low internal resistance which reduces heat buildup during charging. Our final terminations are made with brass components, further reducing resistance and heat buildup, one of the biggest factors in early failures. Fullriver DC Series batteries typically have 20-25% longer cycle life than any of the major lead-acid battery manufacturers.

Finally, being maintenance free is a huge plus to this application, but really to any application. Being maintenance free means almost no upkeep to the machine, no deterioration from acid fumes, no cabling to replace, of course no watering to hassle with, and no spilled or overflowing acid during charging. Nobody wants a part time job maintaining flooded batteries, especially when you already have a full-time job doing flooring.

When we asked Brad Carlson, Engineer from National Flooring Equipment what he thought about Fullriver Batteries he said:

Fullriver Batteries are the batteries we trust in our equipment at National Flooring Equipment. Exceptional performance, durability, and longevity. They’re used in some of the harshest building and remodeling jobs and keep functioning at their best. They’re great at withstanding vibration and shock and are used in various climate extremes throughout the world. You get what you pay for and with Fullriver Battery that means excellence.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Full Throttle Presents: 24F and 24M

After a long research and design process, Full Throttle has just released two new models to our already huge offering of dual-purpose batteries. The all new 24F and 24M batteries bring our total to 35 fitments. Full Throttle has always striven to offer true OEM fitments whenever possible, and a lot of design effort was put into ensuring these new units would meet or exceed specifications. Using the same design principles as the rest of Full Throttle family, these batteries are built using 99.994% pure lead, over-the-partition cell connections, brass terminals, and epoxy sealed ABS cases to stand up to the rigors of harsh environments while continuing to provide peak performance day after day.

The 24F

The FT840-24F boasts 840 cold-cranking amps, a full 30% more than the BCI recommendation of 585. The reserve capacity is a more than ample with 163 minutes at 25A. The case incorporates side baffles for durability and heat mitigation. While incorporating hold-downs and cleating that conform to OEM design to ensure the battery stays put.

The 24M

While we were designing the 24F it made sense to offer it in a marine variation. The FT840-24M offers all the power and performance of the 24F, but instead of the standard SAE terminals utilizes our beautiful brass dual-terminal setup combining SAE and threaded stud terminals in a left-hand positive configuration.  The FT840-24M has all the cranking and reserve capacity for peace of mind no matter what the conditions are like.

Distributors can contact Fullriver directly or use our dealer locator to purchase locally.

What is a dual-purpose Battery? 

What’s a Dual-Purpose Battery, and Why Should I Care?

What’s a dual-purpose battery you say? Well, it’s only one of the most important types of batteries in existence! A dual-purpose battery fills a very important application niche, without it, life for boaters, off-roaders, car audio enthusiasts, and many others would just be a lot less fun. And of course, emergency services and first responders would be sad too, when they can’t rely on their equipment, the results can potentially be tragic. But it isn’t just boats and firetrucks that need a resilient battery, today even standard cars with multiple computers need a more robust battery to keep up.   

It all ‘Started’ with an Engine

Visualize the earliest automobiles, more closely related to a horse-drawn carriage than a modern automobile.  The earliest automobiles had to be cranked by hand to start them, and often used kerosene lanterns for light (sort of scary). As the story goes, technology advanced quickly to incorporate a starting motor and electric lights, which of course required a battery. This battery only needed to get the car started and handle the lighting for a short amount of time before it could simply be recharged. The starting battery was born and is still relied on by gazillions of vehicles around the world. It is well suited to do its simple task, start the engine.

As time went on, technology has been added to our technology. Our vehicles, whether on water or land, whether for pleasure or commercial purpose, have become something much more than engine-based propulsion. Extra lighting, computers, comfort controls, visual displays, accessory charging, the power demands have made it so the starting battery is no longer enough, not nearly. Ok, so we have large electrical loads, why not just use a deep-cycle battery like a golf cart would use? That is possible, but not ideal as we’ll see.

Go with a deep-cycle and call it good.

Ah, yes, now we’re getting into the weeds, the really special side to our beloved Dual-Service battery comes out when we compare it to a true deep cycle battery. A deep-cycle battery’s core competency is running electrical loads for long periods of time. It is less capable when it comes to starting an engine, because it wasn’t designed with this purpose in mind. The thick plates inside a deep cycle battery don’t have the surface area to provide the large amp draw that cranking requires as efficiently as a starting battery. And there’s another drawback to using a deep-cycle battery, the thick plates take much longer to recharge. Once the engine is fired up and sending current to the battery, the uptake of energy is slower because of those thick plates.      

Solution: Full Throttle

At this point the direction we’re headed in should be more obvious. The battery needs to be a hybrid of sorts. The sponge lead starting battery is out, it just can’t take the cycling or keep up with higher power demands. The thick plates in a deep-cycle battery are great for a golf cart or solar, but they’re also out, they aren’t great for cranking and take too long to charge. Fullriver’s solution to the problem is Full Throttle. Bear in mind, not all dual-purpose batteries are created equal. Many manufacturers’ solution to the problem is simply a stripped down deep-cycle battery. Full Throttle is built for beast level cranking, outdoing most standard starting batteries, while offering resilient cyclic capability, and excellent charge acceptance. Of course, like all Fullriver batteries, Full Throttle is also built to handle the rigors of outdoor environs.   

Brass Tacks

What makes a superior dual-purpose battery? Of course, any battery should be purpose built for the application it’s serving. In the case of Full Throttle, we accomplish the needs of a dual-purpose battery (cranking and cycling) by using specially designed plates, and the materials they are constructed with, and top it all off with a tough ABS case, cells packed under compression, and over-the-partition cell connections to mitigate vibration.

Cranking

Full Throttle batteries use TPPL (Thin-Plate, Pure Lead) plates, picture lots of strands of the purest lead running through the whole battery. This allows huge amounts of current to flow easily out from the battery. Unlike a deep-cycle battery, with its thick plates, which can take quite a bit longer to charge, TPPL allows for ease of charge acceptance due its very low resistance.

Cycling

In addition to plates constructed of 99.994% pure lead, Full Throttle uses a proprietary blend of metals it applies to the grids inside the battery that allow it to stand up to deep discharges without being compromised the way a typical starting battery would be by the wear and tear of taking more energy out of the battery before recharging it. This “plating” process comes with added cost but assures longer life for the battery. The final product is a battery that performs both of its functions with ease.  

And that is what makes a true dual-purpose battery. A reliable battery that can keep up with the workload and abuse, whether it’s being used for a fire engine, police cruiser, or in a UTV for a weekend of shredding at the dunes. 

Do I need a special charger for an AGM battery? 

Special: noun: one that is used for a special service or occasion. Adjective: designed for a particular purpose or occasion.

Going by Meriam Webster’s definition, a special charger is called for when charging any battery type. In the early days of AGM batteries, when almost all the existing chargers ran on hand wound timers, and could go on charging indefinitely, you very much needed a special charger. When you plugged a battery into one of those dinosaurs, it was constant current, constant voltage, until the electrolyte had a good boil!


Fortunately, there’s a huge offering of various types of chargers in the marketplace today, some better, some worse. We’ll do a quick review of what to look for when choosing the right charger.

AGM Charge Profile (Algorithm)

First, look for a charger that has a specific setting for AGM.  It’s best to avoid chargers that claim to charge any battery with one algorithm.  Most “one size fits all” products typically only do a mediocre job at best when they try to account for everything under one umbrella.

Amp Output

Second, you need to right-size the charger to go with the capacity of your battery bank. The rule here is a minimum of 10%, but Fullriver recommends 25% of rated capacity in amps for circuits in parallel.  For example, if you’re using our DC55-12, this battery has a capacity of 55Ah.  You will want to find a charger that puts out at least 5.5 amps, but ideally 13-14 amps. If you have 2, DC55-12’s in a parallel string (12V, 110Ah) you’ll need at least 11 amps, but better if you have 22 amps. Conversely, you don’t want to throw too many amps at the battery, or you’ll run the risk of an early failure. While 25% of rated capacity is ideal, we don’t recommend more than 30% if you need to charge a bit faster. Why? It has a lot to do with surface area.  Imagine trying to fill a tea pot with a fire hose.      

Phased Charging

Third, if it’s a reputable charger, it will charge the battery in phases to ensure the battery is fully and efficiently charged every time.  A prominent example of a single-phase charger would be the alternator in car or truck.  An alternator was primarily designed to top-off the vehicle battery after it fulfilled its primary task of starting the vehicle.  A car’s alternator lacks the distinctive phases of absorb and finish/float that ensure a battery is balanced and fully charged, especially important in charging a deep-cycle battery.  The charger should have at least 3 phases of charging, Bulk, Absorb, and Finish/Float.  Some chargers will have a recovery phase in case the battery is inadvertently over-discharged and showing very low voltage. 

Voltage Parameter

Finally, attention should be given to the voltage of a given charger at each phase of the charging cycle.  AGM in general, and Fullriver AGM in particular takes a bit higher voltage range in the first two phases of charging (Bulk and Absorb) than a gel type battery but needs a lower float/finish voltage.  Most charger makers readily share their voltage for each phase of charging.  If you don’t see it anywhere obvious, a simple email to the manufacturer will usually do the trick. 

The table below shows Fullriver’s acceptable voltage range, with the numbers in bold being our recommended voltage:

In summary, we have seen that pairing the right sized charger and battery can make a great difference in charging a battery as

The impact of these voltages will have less of an impact in lighter applications like RV and will be more critical in heavy use applications like golf/ev.

Fullriver Can Help

Fullriver offers a wide range of chargers with verified algorithms to ensure great charging results.  If you’re having trouble finding the right charger for your application, please contact us and we will point you in the right direction.

We want to hear from you.  Tell us your charging story.  Did you know so much went into charging a battery?

How long does a Fullriver AGM battery last?

Not all AGM batteries are created equal.  The difference between a Fullriver AGM and Brand X is often worlds apart.  From the purity of the lead, or the thickness of the plates, to the extra time invested in the plate curing process.  So, today we’ll talk about what we know on an intimate level, Fullriver premium AGM batteries. 

Context, Context, Context.

How long?  A question that humans have been asking seemingly since the beginning of time.  How long will I live?  How long until I can retire? And of course, the ubiquitous, “How long until we get there?” Questions like these are best answered by looking at the specifics of each situation.  How long will I live?  This largely depends on where and how you live and some good luck with your genetics.  How long does an AGM battery last?  While Fullriver batteries have a 10-year design life, this must be put into context with several factors.

Usage

First, let’s talk about usage of the battery.  Any battery has a finite amount of energy it can give over its lifetime. If every time the battery is used it is drained completely, the amount of time the battery will last is less than if the battery was used moderately and then recharged. 

Golf is a good example application to better understand the concept.  Batteries used to play two to three rounds of golf before being recharged will not last nearly as long as a set of batteries used to play one round of golf before being recharged. The amount of energy removed from a battery is known as Depth of Discharge (DoD).  Fullriver’s Cycle Life vs. DoD chart is a great reference for understanding the impact of battery usage:   

Graph Pictured for Fullriver DC Series Batteries

We can see from the above chart how widely cycle life can vary based on usage.  If every time the battery pack is used, it is discharged fully to 100%, we can expect ~450-500 cycles.  Conversely, if only half of the usable energy is discharged, the cycle life will be somewhere around 1000 cyc

We could further discuss the impact that the rate of discharge has on the batteries (i.e., how fast the energy is removed from the batteries), but let’s keep this at a 30,000-foot view.  Suffice it to say that the lower the energy demand on the battery, theoretically, the longer the usable life of the battery will be.

Charging

Charging is the fuel of a battery.  Just like automobiles, high quality fuel produces the best performance and longevity.  Charging batteries properly is perhaps the most important aspect of ensuring a set of batteries lasts as long as possible.  A reputable charger should be used that includes an actual AGM setting.  Avoid chargers that claim to charge any battery type using one generic algorithm.  Additionally, the charger should at a minimum put out at least 10% of the battery’s rated capacity in amperage, but ideally the output will be closer to 25% of the rated capacity.  Look for a charger that approximates our recommended voltage for each phase of charging.

A note about PSoC

It is critical that the batteries are not left discharged for long periods of time between usage, commonly referred to Partial State of Charge (PsoC). This does not mean that the second a battery has been discharged it must be recharged immediately, but it does mean that a battery should not sit for days until it is recharged.  If battery usage is light, a complete, uninterrupted charge once a week should be sufficient.  For heavier use applications, a complete charge cycle may be required daily.

Climate

Not too hot, not too cold, but just right.  Of all battery chemistries, AGM batteries are documented to perform the best in the cold. While all chemistries suffer temporary capacity loss in the cold, AGM seems to fair the best when compared to lithium, flooded, or gel batteries.  On the other end of the spectrum is, of course, heat.  For any lead-acid battery, heat degrades cycle life.  Specifically, every 12°C (22°F) over 25°C (77°F) can reduce battery life by as much as half. The Fullriver cycle life graph is based on cycling at a constant 25°C (77°F). In the real world, temperatures fluctuate by season, and even between night and day. 

The right tool for the right job

Just like using a screwdriver that is one gauge too small or large can create frustration, and a stripped screw head occasionally, batteries are designed to tackle specific needs.  Using an automotive starting battery to power a golf cart would be disastrous. But the design specification is even more tightly focused when it comes to deep-cycle and dual-purpose batteries. 

Deep-cycle batteries like the Fullriver DC or EGL Series are designed to run a purely electrical application until their energy is depleted and then be recharged.  They were designed to do this process on repeat, discharge, recharge, and so on. While they can start an engine reliably, this wasn’t part of their design intent.  Plus, they can be more expensive when the extra cost may not be warranted.

Dual-purpose batteries like Fullriver’s Full Throttle series are a hybrid in that they are very capable when starting an engine, but they have a specialized grid design (Thin-plate, pure-lead) that also allows them to do some cycling. Full Throttle excels in applications like marine where they serve to start the engine and also need extra capacity to keep instruments running, especially with the engine off for short periods.  For pure cyclic applications like mobility, they just won’t have as long of life as a true deep-cycle battery.

We can see that there are many factors to consider in predicting the life of a battery. Starting with the highest quality battery, and accounting for usage, charging, climate, and the needs of a specific application are all relevant to determining how long a battery is going to last.  With all of these factors optimized, we can expect battery life to go on long after the manufacturer’s warranty has expired.

We want to hear from you! What has your experience with battery life been? How are you maximizing battery life?

How fast can you charge an AGM Battery?

How long does it take to charge an AGM battery? First, the good news, of all lead acid batteries available (Flooded, Gel, AGM), AGM charges faster and more efficiently than the others.  However, there are a few important factors to consider before determining the answer to this question.  Once these questions are answered, then we can estimate the time it will take to charge an AGM battery.

Size Matters?

The old saying “size matters” is very true when it comes to charging batteries.  In AGM the physical size of the battery will typically indicate the amount of energy the battery can store.  The more energy stored; the more energy that will need to be put back into the battery after it’s been used.  For example, one of the smaller batteries from Fullriver is our DC35-12 (U1).  At 420W/35Ah of stored capacity, the DC35-12 is approximately the size of two bricks stacked on top of each other.  On the opposite end is our DC260-12 (8D), this beast holds 3,120W/260Ah, and is comparable in size to some laser jet printers.

The Red Cup

The next factor we must account for is the power output capability of the charger. Imagine it in terms of filling up a swimming pool with water and using a Solo Red Cup. But what if we were talking about a kiddie pool, nay a Barbie pool? Then the Red Cup might even be too big and harm the battery. Because we are returning energy to the battery, a 12V, 2A (24W) charge tender is going to take a lot longer to recharge a battery than a 12V, 25A (300W) charger, while at the same time using this 300W charger on the 420W DC35-12 is like filling the Barbie pool with a garden hose.  Charging is all relative like our Red Cup analogy notes. 

Goldilocks

And there’s one other thing to consider when choosing a charger, the Goldilocks principal.  We don’t want to go too small (undercharge) or too big (overcharge), but we want it to be “just right”.  Fullriver batteries can be charged with more amperage than a typical flooded or gel battery.  We advise at a minimum 10% of rated capacity but recommend 25% in amp output from the charger (e.g., 100Ah battery should be charged with a minimum of 10A, but we recommend using a 25A charger to achieve 25%). 

Are we there yet?

Finally, we can begin to answer the question that we started with using simple math.  To determine how long it will take to charge an AGM battery, simply divide the rated capacity of the battery at the 20hr. rate by the amp output of the charger, and then multiply by 1.33 to account for the balancing phase of the charging and the natural aging of the battery. 

Ah/A*1.33= ~Charge Time (H)

We’ll use our popular DC105-12, 12V, 105Ah battery, and assume it is discharged fully, recharging with a 25A charger:

100/25*1.33= ~5.58 or ~5hrs 30mins Of course, this accounts for a fully discharged battery, and gives a very good picture of how long recharging typically will take.  In the real world you can perform this same exercise and get pretty close to the actual time by referencing the open circuit voltage (OCV) of the battery to our chart below:  

In summary, we have seen that pairing the right sized charger and battery can make a great difference in charging a battery as quickly and efficiently as possible.  Determining how much time recharging will take is just some simple math and a bit of estimation. 

Did you already know this about recharging batteries?  We’d love to hear some of your experiences with recharging batteries!