Rechargeable battery packs for robotics are an investment and a good one. They provide a lot more power than traditional batteries plunked into a battery holder and can be recharged for hundreds of uses, which makes them more cost effective in the long run.
To get the full advantage of these batteries, however, you must properly care for them. Pitsco has created care instructions to help you understand how to properly care for your TETRIX® MAX rechargeable battery pack.
But first, what happens if you don’t care for them?
They can die an early death, that’s what. Robotics Application Specialist Tim Lankford says that the robotics classroom has drawbacks when it comes to battery maintenance.
“If it’s in the classroom, you think about it for the six months or so out of the year that you’re in school and you deal with it then. But you forget over the summer months, and the batteries have been in the closet all summer with extra humidity and no AC.”
Tim says the same problem occurs in competitive robotics.
“Teams have a season, and they use the batteries during the season and often let the batteries sit for the rest of the year. And in FTC®, that can be six months or maybe longer before they pick them up again, and they wonder why they were good one year and then not the next year.
“But that’s just typical battery use. If you take any kind of battery and store it and don’t regularly charge it and don’t regularly discharge it so it maintains that life cycle, it’s not going to have a life cycle long.”
As the care instructions point out, you must charge the batteries – and discharge them – several times before the battery pack will run at full capacity. And as Tim already noted, not storing them properly or not using them for months at a time could reduce their life span. So, it pays to take out all the battery packs at least once a month and charge and use them to keep them running their best.