In Electrathon Racing it is all about MAKING THAT HOUR
In Electrathon Racing it is all about the BATTERIES
This information is for the teams that are using sealed lead acid batteries. The information has been around for a while and is presented as a reminder/refresher.
First off, not just any battery charger will do the job you need for your batteries. The charger needs to have an AGM/GEL cell Cycle. A charger meant for a regular liquid lead acid battery has only one cycle to charge a battery. The charger for an AGM/Gel will have multiple cycles to properly charge them. It will also extend the life of the battery.
Charge rates are also important. If you charge the battery at to high of an amp rate you can damage them. The Optima Battery web site has some real good information on battery maintenance. A 12 volt battery should be around 13 volts when fully charged and ready to race.
Testing your batteries is a lot more than just checking the Voltage. I have tested batteries for teams that read 12.6 and only had 400Amps. They would not have made half the race. Each team should have a DIGITAL BATTERY TESTER. This type of a tester will give Voltage, AMPS and also detect a Bad Cell. A battery with a bad cell WILL NOT charge properly and will leave you dead on the track.
Digital Battery Testers are available from most auto parts store and they can be expensive. I have seen them on line for $50 – $80.
Another tool that can come in handy is an Infrared Tachometer. Do you want to know how fast a given gear ratio will move your car? You need to know the motor RPM. The number of teeth on the motor gear, the gear on the drive wheel, the circumference of the drive wheel AND the motor shaft speed will give you the max possible speed for each gear set. You can tailor the gear ratio for the individual track. gokartracing.org has a calculator that you can input the information and get MPH for any combo of gears and wheels.
The proper battery charger, a Digital Battery Tester, an Infrared Tachometer. These will help keep those batteries in top shape and your car on the track.
Remember it’s all about the batteries.
See you in September