Trojan Battery Interview – Part 1

We recently sat down with Jeff and Stacy from Trojan Battery Company to talk a little bit about the history and applications of Trojan Batteries.

Can you give me a little bit of history of Trojan Battery, where it is and how it got its start?

Trojan was started in 1925. We have multiple manufacturing facilities, both in California and Georgia. We have two facilities in California, with our corporate office in Santa Fe Springs. We also have a manufacturing facility in Lathonia, Georgia,, and then we have another facility, which is our newest flagship facility, in Sandersville, Georgia, which is kind of in the middle of nowhere. But awesome facility, it has the latest technology – very automated, so it’s a great, great facility.

So you make all of your batteries here in the United States?

Absolutely.

Can you give a general overview of the different product lines that you have?

We have gel batteries and AGM batteries that are considered maintenance free. And then the majority of our product line would be our flooded batteries. Everything we make is lead acid chemistry, and it the deep cycle technology.

Right, when we’re talking with some of the old time off-gridders, and that’s what they’ve had for decades and decades, they love their T-105s and their L-16s! So you’ve got both the sealed maintenance-free batteries, and the flooded batteries. What are some of the things that you need to consider when doing the flooded batteries, that do require some maintenance?

Well the main thing is that you’re going to have to check the water level. That’s the additional maintenance that is required. You know all batteries have to be charged properly, so that’s maintenance in a sense. But with the flooded batteries, it is important once a month, that you check the water level when the batteries are fully charged. And then if needed, you’re going to add distilled water to the batteries to bring it up to the proper level.

And so with the proper level, it’s basically, covering the plates, or down to the bottom of the plastic?

Well there’s a range, there’s a minimum and a maximum. As far as the minimum goes, you never want the plates to be exposed to air. And as far as the maximum level, if you look down inside the battery, we call it the fill well, and it extends about an inch into the battery. And the water should come to about 1/8 of an inch below that. As far as the maximum level.

Another step that people talk about with battery maintenance for flooded batteries is checking the specific gravity. How frequently should that be done?

Well you know specific gravity is the best indicator of state of charge and state of health for flooded batteries. You really can’t do it too frequently, it’s not a dangerous test or anything. But once a month is sufficient, if you check your battery when they are new, it will give you an idea of where every cell is, and then you know going forward, once a month, or even two or three times a year is good too.

So you would just keep track of that, and write that all down, so you would start to notice trends of if the specific gravity starts dropping, you’ll know that something’s going wrong with that particular cell?

That’s right, exactly. The batteries are designed to operate at around 1.277 specific gravity. So if you start to notice that your gravities are low, or if you have wide variation, say 30 points of variation, that would be a good chance to equalize the batteries, which is a special overcharge condition, and it just gives you a good idea of what’s going on with your batteries.

What are some of the applications that you mostly see your batteries being used in?

OK, in the RE (Renewable Energy) world, which is one of our many market segments, we have our flooded applications, and so we have our Signature Line and of course our RE Line. Typically used, and our focus is typically off-grid applications. So small cabin, large homes, that are completely off-grid. Obviously you can use them in grid-tie applications, but mostly our grid-tie applications kind of lend themselves to the AGM and gel products, so they can use them for battery backup, they can use it for critical load backup, so there’s multiple applications you can use the AGM and gel in.

And you’re the largest?

We are the largest lead acid deep cycle manufacturer in the world. We have worldwide distribution with partners all over the world. We have a technical support team that can provide you worldwide support.

Wonderful, because we have a very large international viewership! So that’s great to know that we can get these batteries all over the world. Well thank you so much for coming in. Amy from the altE Store here with Jeff and Stacy from Trojan Battery Company. Thanks again.

 

About Author

Amy Beaudet
Amy Beaudet has been in the solar industry at the altE Store since 2007. She’s been a sales rep, an instructor, and an all around solar evangelist, sharing her passion for solar around the world. When not at work, she’s either sailing or skiing, depending on the season, but odds are good she’s still talking about solar on the boat or on the slopes.

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