Golf Course Management

APR 2019

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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32 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 04.19 It's worth considering installing absorbent glass mat batteries in the equipment fleet. e switch will add cost but could save money by reducing downtime for equipment and staff. Compared to conventional "flooded cell" batteries, AGM batteries are much less likely to break down from vibration. ey were first developed in the 1980s for airplanes and have become the first choice for watercraft and motorcycles. AGMs use the same lead-acid chemistry that has been around for 150 years. e big difference is that the acid is held in a mat made of ultra-fine glass fibers positioned around and between the opposing (positive and negative) lead plates. is reinforces the lead plates and eliminates the need for liquid acid in the battery case. is structural change boosts electrochem - ical efficiency. An AGM can be a little smaller and lighter than an equal-power conventional flooded-cell battery. No acid leaks if the AGM case is broken, and the sealed battery can be installed in any position, even upside down. You can't check the liquid level in the battery and don't need to because virtually no fumes leave the battery. Corrosion at the battery ter - minals is rare, reducing that common battery problem. Experience confirms that AGMs hold a charge longer in cold weather and produce more starting power when cold. ey are no worse in tolerating hot weather, and some newer AGMs are specifically designed to survive extreme heat from weather and ma - chinery. You will pay about 10 percent more for an AGM battery that's in the size range used in cars and light trucks. Bigger batteries for large tractors carry a premium up to 50 percent or more, as do AGM batteries in the U1 size used on riding mowers. Prices should come down as the AGM design becomes more necessary in highly electronified cars and trucks and the flooded cell becomes obsolete. AGM batteries are a "drop in" replace - ment, compatible with virtually all alternators that recharge batteries in vehicles and equip - ment, since alternator regulators send a rela- tively low-amperage charge to refill a battery after the vehicle starts. During the charging process, lead-acid batteries produce small gas bubbles that simply rise up in a liquid cell but travel more slowly through the glass fiber mat. As a result, AGM batteries can be ruined if connected to a high-amperage booster with enough power to crank a large engine. It is OK to briefly jump-start an AGM off another bat - AGM: Better batteries (shop) Scott R. Nesbitt ORPguy@windstream.net tery, but in most cases recharging should be done with a battery charger that has an AGM setting that provides low-and-slow current controlled by a regulating circuit. If you are considering switching to AGM as batteries need replacing, check the vast pool of info at https://batteryuniversity.com . It's a remarkable site full of noncommercial knowl - edge about all types of batteries, from the old lead-acid to the batteries in cell phone, cord - less tools and electric vehicles — and even answers to, "Why does Pokémon Go rob so much battery power?" Scott R. Nesbitt is a freelance writer and former GCSAA staff member. He lives in Cleveland, Ga. Flipping the switch to the AGM position is one of the few extra duties imposed by adopting absorbent glass mat batteries for the course maintenance fleet. Photos by Scott Nesbitt Of two batteries with equal power ratings, the AGM battery on the left is slightly smaller and lighter than the flooded-cell unit on the right. The gray and brown lead plates are separated and supported by the yellow and white glass fiber mats that are saturated with sulfuric acid in the two separate cells of this 4-volt AGM battery. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:Opened_AGM_battery.jpg

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