Owning a portable power system can come with some unexpected complications. At Battle Born, we want consumers to be able to perform battery troubleshooting. Being able to measure the output of your Battle Born Batteries is essential to working out any issues with your system. Battle Born Batteries are smarter than the average lead-acid battery thanks to our internal Battery Management System (BMS). However, if you aren’t aware of how some of the BMS’s safety features work, you might not get the best performance out of your batteries.
Knowledge is power, and in the battery industry, we mean that literally. So, let’s power up our battery knowledge so you can get out there and stay out there longer.
How to Use a Clamp-On Ammeter for Battery Troubleshooting
An ammeter is a critical tool used for battery troubleshooting. In this video, our CEO Denis uses a Klein clamp-on ammeter to demonstrates how to measure the direct current flowing through the cables of a 24V system of 14 BB10012 batteries.
When using a clamp-on ammeter, you don’t have to disconnect any wires, or even touch them with the device– you just need to clamp it around the cable or wires to get a reading. Here, we have the ammeter set to measure AC/DC current.
In this bank, we have seven pairs of 12V batteries connected in series (positive-to-negative to bring the systems voltage up to 24V), and then those pairs are connected in parallel (positive-to-positive and negative-to-negative to increase the system’s amperage).
Denis measured about 188 amps coming from the end of the negative string of the bank, meaning 188 amps should also be measured at the end of the positive side. At the beginning of the positive string of cables, Denis measured about 30 amps coming from the first battery. Each subsequent battery should be adding about 30 amps to the system, though cable resistance and other factors naturally reduce the total amperage.
It’s important to make sure that each battery is contributing about the same current to the system, but the amperage doesn’t have to be exactly the same. If the same current is being drawn from each of your batteries (or each pair in this case), you can be sure the load is being evenly drawn from your battery bank, and your system is working optimally.
Why is My Battery Registering Between 0 to 5 Volts?
Sometimes, after fully discharging a Battle Born Battery, a user won’t be able to get any more power out of the battery, even after charging it. To troubleshoot batteries, measure the battery’s voltage. A voltmeter will register a low voltage of between 0V to 5V, or maybe a little higher.
It may seem like the battery is malfunctioning or damaged, but actually, the battery has gone into low voltage disconnect. In this mode, the internal Battery Management System (BMS) is protecting the battery from falling below 10V and won’t allow a charge to be drawn from the battery, even to a voltmeter.
To get a battery out of low voltage disconnect mode, simply take the battery out of the system, connect it to another 12V source for about 5 to 10 minutes. This process is similar to jumping a dead car battery and will “awaken” the battery. After the battery receives a charge in this way, it should register above 10V and will be able to accept a charge from your normal charger.
The more you know, the better you can solve problems with your batteries! Go to our YouTube page to see more FAQ videos, get more information, and see how other people are using Battle Born Batteries. Or, head over to the FAQ page to learn all about our LiFePO4 batteries.
Have a question that isn’t answered on our website? Give us a call at 855-292-2831 or send us an email at [email protected].
Want To Learn More About Electrical Systems and Lithium Batteries?
We know that building or upgrading an electrical system can be overwhelming, so we’re here to help. Our Reno, Nevada-based sales and customer service team is standing by at (855) 292-2831 to take your questions!
Also, join us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to learn more about how lithium battery systems can power your lifestyle, see how others have built their systems, and gain the confidence to get out there and stay out there.