Single point battery watering systems are growing rapidly in popularity due to the ease in which they allow the user to fill multiple batteries quickly. They are also commonly referred to battery filling systems.
In a nutshell, as the name implies, single point battery watering systems are a network of tubes, caps and valves which allow the user to fill multiple batteries simultaneously via a single connection point. Prior to these types of battery watering systems, the only option was to remove the caps from each cell of your battery bank, and fill each individually with a filler bottle or manually watering gun. That process is time consuming on one golf cart, much less if you have an entire fleet of carts to service.
There are several notable names in the battery watering systems industry including Battery Watering Technologies (formerly Battery Filling Systems), Flow Rite, and Trojan Hydrolink. All of these companies make quality comparable battery watering systems for a variety of applications.
Since a given battery bank of six 8V batteries can be configured spatially in numerous ways, these battery watering systems are specific to the battery bank arrangement. So, within our context of use for golf carts and electric vehicles, these systems would be specific to a brand, model, voltage, and battery bank configuration. All of this information would need to be known to order the proper pre-assembled kit for your application.
Likewise, there is not a pre-assembled battery watering system available for every possible application. For other applications such as solar and renewable energy applications, often an un-assembled kit is sold with the appropriate number of valves. The installer or customer must then cut the tubing to length to fit their application as well as install any needed supplemental pieces.
Let’s back up for a moment, and touch on some of the individual components of battery watering systems we’ve mentioned above. The valves caps are the most critical component to the entire system. Each cell of the battery bank gets a valve installed down into it. The valves typically have a float which rides in the electrolyte solution. There is an external indicator on each cell valve which moves according to that cell’s electrolyte level. This provides a quick visual indicator as to the level of your cells. The other function of the valves in battery watering systems is to close and stop the flow of water to that cell once it’s filled to a predetermined level based on float height.
A supplemental component to battery watering systems is the water delivery item. The valves, connectors, and tubing all resides with the battery bank and in this case stays with the golf cart or vehicle. The delivery items can vary by manufacturer, but are generally components that are external to the battery bank and allow water to be introduced into the system. Typical delivery items can include a squeeze pump, a gravity feed tank, or a fill gun.
The squeeze pump is designed for one end to insert into a bottle of distilled water while the other end connects to the battery watering system. Once connected, the user squeezes the pump by hand to cause the water to flow into the kit. The battery bank is full when the flow indicator stops moving or the pump gets hard to squeeze.
The gravity feed tank, typically in 2.5 or 5 gallon sizes, is by far the most popular option for most battery watering systems. This is an external tank which is left in your garage until needed. Fill the tank with distilled water. Sit the unit several feet above the battery bank, either on a shelf or the golf cart top. Since gravity powers this option, some left of drop is needed for the water to flow. Once watering is complete, the inline flow indicator stops moving and the tank can be disconnected.
The last common delivery item for battery watering systems is a filling gun. This option attaches to a water hose on one end and the watering system on the other. It is always preferred to use distilled water in flooded cell batteries because contaminants, chemicals and treatments in the water can damage the battery chemistry. But, for large golf course applications, time is often more valuable than new batteries. Thus, this method is employed by many clubs to water an entire fleet quickly.
Single point battering watering systems can be a great investment for your golf cart, electric vehicle or other application. Not only will you save lots of time in the watering process, but will also make you batteries last longer and save money as well.
By Michael Williams