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
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
4. Push in the roll-out tray assembly and install the
quick-release pins (fig. 3-3).
The manufacturers 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,
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
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.
A mixture of hydrogen and air can be
dangerously explosive. No smoking, electric
sparks, or open flames should be permitted near
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.