Batteries of Different Volts and Amps
Batteries of Different Volts and Amps

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Selecting the correct battery for a power wheelchair means you need to take a serious look at how you use your chair. Then take a look at the characteristics of the different batteries now on the market. An incorrect selection can leave you stranded either because the battery power was depleted or because the battery was unable to provide the power required to navigate over rough terrain.

The battery is one of the major limiting factors in power wheelchair performance. Manufacturers must design much of the wheelchair around the battery package because of the package’s immense weight and volume.

Batteries will last longer, weigh less and take up less space when battery performance is improved through increased battery life (the number of times the battery can be recharged) and battery capacity (the amount of energy the battery can hold on a single charge). Only then will manufacturers have more options in designing wheelchairs. In turn, this will provide you with a more reliable wheelchair, which has lower maintenance requirements and an extended range.

Manufacturers design power wheelchairs for use with deep-cycle lead-acid batteries. They typically use two deep-cycle lead-acid batteries in series, each producing 12 volts (V), for a total of 24 volts (V). The voltage a battery is able to produce describes the electrical force available to drive the motors. Lead-acid batteries are used because they are readily available, inexpensive, rechargeable and available in sizes appropriate for the power requirements and range requirements of power wheelchairs.