Should you need to, or be presented with the opportunity to transport auto deep cycle batteries, there are a handful of things you should know ahead of time.
Deep cycle batteries come in a couple of types. There are lithium iron phosphate batteries and valve regulated lead acid batteries (VRLA). Both can be transported safely, but certain precautions should be taken. Additionally, if the batteries are damaged in any way, transport should be avoided.
Lithium iron phosphate batteries: Via air, sea, and road, these are safe to transport. Particular safety considerations do apply, however. Without a proper battery management system (BMS), if damaged or overheated, these batteries are prone to exploding or igniting.
Valve regulated lead acid batteries: These are easy to handle and safe. You should always adhere to general safety measures, however. The contents, which include sulfuric acid and lead, can leak out if, during transport, the battery is damaged. To anyone in the vicinity, this poses the risk of harm if they are exposed.
Deep Cycle Battery Packaging
Here are some basic packaging tips to ensure safe transportation of your deep cycle batteries:
- Consider their weight. To prevent back injury, remember that these batteries are heavy. Palletize them to help prevent damage and mishandling.
- When transporting this type of battery via air transport, have easy access to their MSDS. Not every airline will allow this type of battery to be transported on their planes. Touch base with the airline prior to check-in.
- For technology specific transportation requirements, check the MSDS.
- A 30% (or so) charge is recommended for the shipment of lithium batteries.
- In a thickly sided cardboard carton, enclose the battery for transport. This can help prevent potential acid leaks and will better protect the battery against damage.
- To prevent short-circuiting, cover all terminals.
Before Transportation, Know This
IATA – Regarding battery compliance with the IATA (International Air Transport Association): always check the MSDS (material safety data sheet) or with the supplier of the battery when you’re taking these kinds of batteries on board an airplane.
MSDS – Is the battery you are transporting considered “dangerous goods”? If you’re unsure, check with the battery supplier’s SDS (safety data sheet) or MSDS.
Type of technology – There are distinct types of technologies for lithium and lead acid batteries. Different safety transport regulations apply because, having varied individual characteristics, each technology differs.
For instance, falling under the category of “dangerous goods”, special transport must be executed in the case of a wet cell lead acid battery. Automotive batteries fall under this category.
In the case of VRLA batteries, because the battery’s electrolyte is immobilized, they are considered “sealed” or “dry”. They are classified as non-dangerous goods and can be shipped/handled accordingly.
Remember, proper packaging is essential (see earlier information above).
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