You will notice at the end of the cooling period that the level of the electrolyte has dropped because of the electrolyte soaking into the plates and separators. Before placing the battery in service, restore the electrolyte to its proper level. Remove any electrolyte spilled on the battery, using a cloth dampened with a solution of bicarbonate of soda and water.
Although you can place the battery in service 1 hour after filling it with electrolyte, do so only in an emergency. If at all possible, give the battery an initial light charge.
After the battery has been charged, connect the battery into the starting system of the prime mover, as shown in figure 3-2. Always connect the negative cable last.
4. Push in the roll-out tray assembly and install the quick-release pins (fig. 3-3).
The manufacturer's manual may specify charging procedures for the type of battery you are to charge. If so, follow those procedures.
There are several types of battery charges, but you will generally use a normal charge, an equalizing charge, or a fast charge. We will discuss these three types of charges briefly. For more information on storage or dry-cell batteries and battery charging, refer to the Navy Electricity and Electronics Training Series (NEETS), NAVEDTRA 172-01-00-88 (Module 1).
NORMAL CHARGE. - A normal charge is a routine charge that is given according to the battery nameplate data during the ordinary cycle of operation to restore the battery to its charged condition,
EQUALIZING CHARGE. - An equalizing charge is a special extended normal charge that is given periodically to batteries as part of a maintenance routine. It ensures that all the sulfate is driven from the plates and that all the cells are restored to a condition of maximum specific gravity. The equalizing charge is continued until the specific gravity of all cells, corrected for temperature, shows no change for a 4-hour period.
FAST CHARGE. - A fast charge is used when a battery must be recharged in the shortest possible time. The charge starts at a much higher rate than is normally used for charging. It should be used only in an emergency, as this type of charge may be harmful to the battery.
CHARGING RATE. - Normally, the charging rate of Navy storage batteries is given on the battery nameplate. If the available charging equipment does not have the desired charging rates, the nearest available rates should be used; however, the rate should never be so high that violent gassing occurs.
CHARGING TIME. - The charge must be continued until the battery is fully charged. Frequent readings of specific gravity should be taken during the charge and compared with the reading taken before the battery was placed on charge.
GASSING. - When a battery is being charged, a portion of the energy breaks down the water in the electrolyte. Hydrogen is released at the negative plates and oxygen at the positive plates. These gases bubble up through the electrolyte and collect in the air space at the top of the cell. If violent gassing occurs when the battery is first placed on charge, the charging rate is too high. If the rate is not too high, steady gassing develops as the charging proceeds, indicating that the battery is nearing a fully charged condition.
WARNING A mixture of hydrogen and air can be dangerously explosive. No smoking, electric sparks, or open flames should be permitted near charging batteries.
CHARGING PROCEDURE. - If the instruction manual for the generator set is not available or if it does not give the battery a charging procedure, proceed as follows: Connect the positive battery charger terminal to the positive battery terminal and the negative charger terminal to the negative battery terminal.
Charge the battery at a low rate (about 5 amperes) until the voltage and specific gravity, corrected to 80°F (27°C) remains constant for at least 4 hours. If the temperature of the electrolyte reaches 110°F (43°C), reduce the charging rate or stop the charge until the battery cools. NEVER PERMIT THE TEMPERA- TURE TO EXCEED 115°F (46°C). During the charging, replenish any water lost by evaporation.Continue Reading