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Load shedding and battery backup

Load shedding and battery backup
Battery backup

Load shedding will drastically reduce the lifespan of a battery backup system on your garage door motor, gate motor, alarm system and electric fence energizer if care is not taken to preserve the battery’s state of charge. Remember, these built in battery backup systems are not designed for regular, long duration power outages.

Currently all batteries supplied with garage door motors, gate motors, alarm systems and electric fence energizers are sealed lead acid batteries with varying voltage of 12V or 24V depending on the equipment’s design. For this explanation I’ll stick to batteries we know as 12V sealed lead acid batteries.

Battery basics

These batteries should not be discharged to a voltage lower than 10.5V. Discharging lead acid batteries below 10.5V will severely damage the battery. It will be better for the battery if the charge level is kept as close to full capacity as possible.

When a lead acid battery is discharged it should be recharge to full charge state immediately otherwise damage will be caused to the battery.

Lead acid batteries can only be cycled (discharge and fully charged again) so many times in their life. How many cycles depend on the quality of the battery, battery temperature, how deep it is discharged and how long before the battery was returned to its full charged state. There are many factors that I did not include in this explanation. The reason is I think the above are the most important factors that are relevant to load shedding.

The problem
  • Batteries are cycled (discharge and charged again) much more often during load shedding, thus shortening the life span of the battery.
  • Batteries are not getting to fully charge state fast enough after being discharged.
  • Batteries are being discharged to deep.
  • Time between load shedding sessions is not always long enough for the batteries to reach full charge state before power goes off again.
some suggestions

Using your backup system more sparingly is one of the options that will help prolong the life of your battery backup system.

Knowing what is drawing power from your gate motor is also important because equipment like keypads, IR safety beams, intercom systems, CCTV cameras and sometimes electric locks also draws power from the same battery that runs your gate motor.

Install a bigger battery

Installing bigger batteries or a second battery will definitely extend the duration you can use your equipment but remember, it also takes longer to get to fully charged state again due to the size of the built in battery chargers of the , gate motor, alarm system or electric fence energizer.

Second battery in parallel

Adding a second battery will also help to have battery backup for longer, but again, the built-in battery chargers in your equipment will take longer to charge two batteries of same capacity.

Other option is to install a solar system onto your security equipment to keep all batteries charged, this will also reduce your usage of grid supplied electricity.

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