In battery technology, float voltage is the constant voltage that is applied continuously to a voltaic cell under float operation. The voltage could be held constant for the entire duration of the cell's operation (such as in the SLI battery) or could be held for a particular phase of charging by the charger. The appropriate float voltage varies significantly with the chemistry and construction of the battery, and ambient temperature. With the appropriate voltage for the battery type and with proper temperature compensation, a float charger may be kept connected indefinitely without damaging the battery.
Accepted float voltages for lead–acid battery at 25 °C can be found in following table.
|Lead-acid battery type||single cell (2V)||3 cell (6V)||6 cell (12V)|
Example 1. A 12 V (6 cell) battery at 30 °C (+5 °C change):
-3.9 mV × 6 cells × 5 °C change = -117 mV
13.4 (flooded battery float) + (−117 mV) = 13.28 V (rounded to nearest 10 mV)
Example 2. A 12 V (6 cell) battery at 20 °C (−5 °C change):
-3.9 mV × 6 cells × -5 °C change = +117 mV
13.4 (flooded battery float) + (117 mV) = 13.52 V (rounded to nearest 10 mV)
Not compensating for temperature will shorten battery life by over or under charging.
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