mobility scooters

Wheelchair Batteries…Give Yourself the Power To Move! – by Ron Rougeaux

0 Comments 07 June 2010

You must have observed the growing use of electric wheelchairs, powerchairs and mobility scooters by people who have in the past been using the manual wheelchair. If you’re still using a manual wheelchair maybe it’s because you’re not so sure about the safety of the wheelchair batteries used to power these electric wheelchairs. Let’s take a closer look.
Wheel chair batteries come in many different types and models. They’re all designed to meet the varying demands of different powered wheelchairs in one way or another. You’ll find many manufacturers of wheelchair batteries, for all types of wheelchairs, powerchairs and mobility scooters. No matter who makes the battery, they all basically fall into 3 different types of batteries available.
Let’s look at the features you’ll want in you’re battery to give you the longest, most trouble-free service.
Wheel Chair Battery Features…what to look for:
Although they’re the least expensive of all the different types of wheelchair batteries, ordinary wet type (lead acid) batteries are not recommended for most uses in power mobility devices. Not only for the maintenance inconvenience they have, but mostly for the possibility of an acid leak if the wheelchair, power chair or mobility scooter should tip over. These lead/acid type batteries are seen less and less in today’s mobility devices.
A wheelchair battery can come in various sizes and power ratings. The higher the amperage rating of the battery the more potential power it has to power you around in your chair. The ideal battery would be one that is compact, with a high power-to-weight ratio (Low battery weight vs. high amperage).
The lighter the battery the better. However, you should be careful not to compromise power just to save a few pounds of weight.
So, what are the basic types of wheelchair batteries?
* Gel type: Advantages… can’t leak if tipped over…approved for airline travel…no maintenance required
* AGM (Glass mat type…most expensive): Advantages…can’t spill or leak…approved for airline travel…no maintenance required…low self-discharge rate (3% per month)
* Wet type (lead/acid): Advantage: cheapest of all types
As with most purchases, determine how you’ll be using your powered device. A prime consideration should be safety…and, if safety is the highest concern than that would most likely eliminate the wet (lead/acid) type of wheelchair battery. That leaves the gel and AGM types.
If cost is the main concern, then the wet (lead/acid) type would be your first choice. Hope this helps.

Owner of AssistiveLivingMobility.com Mr. Rougeaux has written numerous articles about wheelchairs, mobility scooters, adjustable beds, quad canes, walkers, rollators, power chairs, mobility equipment and assistive living.

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