Gardena Lithium Battery

County Battery Services   have started to rebuild the Gardena Lithium Battery as you are probably aware lithium rebuilding can cause some difficulties however as you can see in the picture Stuart at our Nuthall Depot is an expert. If you need help with one of these or any other lithium battery pack please let me know. I can be contacted at County Battery Services

County Battery Services   use Panasonic cells for their power tool rebuilds the quality is second to none!

100 Amp Fuller Leisure Battery

What are battery Ampere Hours?

Ampere hour or Ah is the amount of energy a battery can supply.

A typical leisure battery for the caravan market in the UK would be 110 ah at the 20 hour rate This means that the battery will supply 110 amps at a usable voltage over 20 hours (In this case we take a usable voltage to mean at load above 10.5 volts). To understand this further take 110 and divide by 20 the battery should be able to provide 5.5 amps continuously for 20 hours.

If you take a battery and the Ah value is measured over a different time period then the value will change because a 110 ah battery over 10 hours should be able to provide 11 amps continuously over 10 hours. It is very important that the hours rate is used when sizing any battery for this type of application.

The performance of a lead acid battery will decrease the faster the power is drawn from it.In a business like County Battery Services one of the most common mistakes people believe is that the 110 ah battery will deliver 110 amps for 1 hour this is NOT the case unless the battery is specified 100 ah at 1 hour rate

Beware some manufactures misquote their Ah capacity or do not give an hourly rating with it.A good indication of the battery quality is the weight. The main component part and the most expensive is the lead if you can remove some of the lead you save money.



Don’t Get Stuck In The Cold

We in the automotive battery industry have noticed quite a decline in sales compared with previous years. This has been mainly due to the warm weather we have experienced over the past few months.

Lead acid batteries convert chemical energy into electrical energy and heat is the catalyst. If you increase the temperature of the lead acid battery it will accept and store more power but the longevity will decrease. If you cool a battery it will store less power  and the longevity will increase.

Why do batteries fail in winter? Partly to do with the information above so when the battery is cold it delivers less power this added to the fact it is more difficult to turn a cold engine because the cold temperature thickens the oil.

We are finding that most of the batteries we are taking into our depots at County Battery Services have not failed because of dead cells or weakness in their manufacture but they fail because they are worn out.

As a battery is used the active material is shed from the positive plate lowering the cold start performance. Whilst the weather is is warm less strain is on the battery which may be so tired it will not start in the cold. so as soon as there is a drop in temperature cars fail to start without giving a warning

If you don’t want to get caught flat in the cold have your battery checked every year. Lots of companies provide this service for free.


Image courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat at

The Charge of the BMW i3

My i3 came with two charge leads a type 2 to three pin, and a type 2 (Mennekes) to type 2,

Type 2 to three pin, the three pin refers to a standard three pin plug (yes you can plug into a standard house socket).The type 2 is the attachment to the car! This connection is the slowest charge and would generally take over night dependent on how flat the battery is it is a 13 amp charge which equates about three electrical units which if you need 27 kwh should take about  9 hours however I would expect that the chargers work at different stages bulk charging upto 80% and then trickling in for the last 20% at a slower rate so the battery does not overcharge over heat and go into thermal runaway (more about this later)

The other lead is a type 2 to type 2 this is normally the type used in public charging and the type you would possibly have fitted at home or at your office. It is suggested that it should charge in 3 hours I think the figure may be four especially if the battery is totally discharged.

There are a growing number of charge points all over the country. BMW themselves recommend Chargemaster they issue you with a swipe card that is free to use for the first six months. The most popular app for finding charge points appears to be Zap Map this seems to have the most comprehensive list of charge points.Zap Map also will tell you if the point is in use what type of charge connection there is and the speed of charge plus much more. Your i3 does have the charge points on the sat nav but I have found Zap Map better.

Charge points connectors  are another point of interest you can have tethered or untethered the former means that the charge lead is connected to the charger the later the opposite so with an untethered charger you would carry the lead with you.

Once you have had your charger fitted at home you will want to know how much the cost of charging at home is. This obviously depends on how much you flatten your battery the BMW battery is a 94ah 360 volts making a 33kWh battery with the battery extender taking over at 6.5% battery capacity that gives a useable capacity of about 27 kWh (or 27 electrical units) From here it is quite simple to work out the cost of the charge. At home I pay just under 12p per unit so the cost to charge a flat battery would be 27 x 12p £3.24 we do however have economy 7 at home the cost of this is 6.5p per unit the same sum adds up to £1.75. One of the things I have learnt at County Battery Services is that chargers and batteries are never 100% efficient and the faster they are charged the less efficient they become I would assume the lithium battery in the i3  at the low rate of charge 95% efficient but there seems to be little data published.

There are a multitude of different chargers with government grants available as long as you are prepared to share your charge data with the bureaucrats. I decided not to bother as it was cheaper to have a charger with no meter than it was to get the grant and share the information, I also have an issue with bureaucracy. It is worthwhile to note that there are grants available of £300 for both home and business metering. I have ordered a basic model from Rolec for work at a cost of about £360 inc vat just need a friendly electrician (Ross Stoneman) to fit it! There are quite a few adverts on the web for home chargers but I am quite happy to use the three pin plug.

Just whilst we are on the charging of the batteries I guess we should look at that side of the car. There are numerous types of Lithium batteries used in electric vehicles for this article I will only look at the three marques I consider to be market leaders which in my opinion are are the Tesla  and the BMW i3. Each manufacturer uses a different technique and battery type to get the range it requires for the job.

The heavier the vehicle is, the more energy will be needed to drive it. Different manufacturers handled this is different ways. Tesla has an aluminum body (heavier) with Panasonic high-energy 18650 cell of  nickel cobalt aluminium these cells are virtually the same as you might find in and electric drill or laptop computer only in the Tesla there are 7000. I am not sure that there is much chance of improving the battery capacity with these as they are already high energy and in my opinion a battery with 7000 cells is far too complicated . The BMW i3 has a very light body being made of carbon fiber, but  a lower energy-density cell. The battery consists of eight modules of 12 batteries. When BMW wanted to increase the range Samsung the battery manufacturer increased the energy density of the battery and the capacity increased by 50% I am sure it will not stop there!

There is still more to come please follow me to find out more about the BMW i3







Happy Chinese New Year

Today is the start of the Chinese New Year Holiday. Each year is represented by one of twelve different animals which form the Chinese Zodiac the main difference is that in the European Zodiac it lasts for a month the Chinese lasts for a year. This year is the Year of the Rooster which lasts from 28th January 2017 to 15th February 2018

For all of our Chinese suppliers and colleagues at County Battery Services we wish you Happy New Year 新年快乐

The Chinese say people born in the year of the Rooster are energetic, intelligent, hard-working and confident, they are also very talkative and gregarious which makes them very popular. They are happy when in company especially when the centre of attention. On the negative side it is said that they are arrogant and have a tendency to brag about their success

lucky numbers are 5,7,8

What year were you born? (I got this information from the Telegraph)

Rat: 2008.1996.1984.1972 Intelligent, adaptable, quick-witted, charming, artistic

Ox: 2009.1997.1984.1973 Loyal, reliable, thorough, strong, reasonable, steady,

Tiger: 2010.1998.1986.1974.1962 Enthusiastic, courageous, ambitious, leader, 

Rabbit:2011.1999.1987.1975.1963 Trustworthy, empathic, modest, diplomatic, sincere

Dragon:2012.2000.1988.1976.1964 Lucky, flexible, eccentric, imaginative, artistic, spiritual

Snake:2013.2001.1989.1977.1965 Philosophical, organized, intelligent, intuitive, elegant

Horse:2014.2002.1990.1978.1966 Adaptable, loyal, courageous, ambitious, intelligent,

Sheep:2015.2003.1991.1979.1967 Tasteful, crafty, warm, elegant, charming, intuitive,

Monkey:2016.2004.1991.1980.1968 Quick-witted, charming, lucky, adaptable, bright

Rooster;2017;2005.1993.1981.1969  Honest, energetic, intelligent, flamboyant, flexible,

Dog:2018.2006.1994.1982.1970 Loyal, sociable, courageous, diligent, steady, lively, 

Pig:2019.2007.1995.1983.1971 Honorable, philanthropic, determined, optimistic, sincere,

Image courtesy of Tanya3597 at

Golden Week

Chinese National Day is celebrated on October 1st every year to commemorate the founding of the Peoples Republic of China. On that day lots of large scale activities are held nationally.  People use this time to take annual holidays and the seven day holiday is called Golden Week

Golden Week is from the 1st to 7th October and lots of Chinese people take vacations around China which makes traveling and booking hotels in China very difficult.

We at County Battery Services have traded with China for quite a long period of time and know how difficult it is to have any dealings during this week

We wish all our Chinese suppliers and customers a happy holiday for the forthcoming week

You Have To Be Mad Not To Do It!

On Tuesday 19th July two of my daughters graduated from Nottingham Trent University with First Class Honours Degrees, how proud this has made me I cannot begin to explain.

County Battery Services were also due to receive for the second year the Green Award (bronze silver and Green) from Investors in the Environment. Could I make it to both? Fortunately yes! I love this organisation not only because it is staffed by really nice and helpful people, (Ella organises great functions) but for what it stands for, after all if we don’t invest in our environment there may not be much of a future for any  of our children. The ethos of the Standard fits in very well with our lean culture at County Battery Services

Imagine my surprise when after all the Awards had been handed out to well deserved companies they announce a further award for Investors in The Environment Champion and it was for the Little Fat Guy from Mansfield (they didn’t call me that). I was told that it was because I had promoted the Standard to lots of people and other business’.

The award works to reduce waste, so when we first looked at it we had some help  from students from Nottingham Trent University who helped us to evaluate where we were; that is how much water electricity gas and diesel  we were using along with  how much waste we were producing in other areas such as packaging and general rubbish. The students then put a  proposal together to help us lower our carbon footprint.

Some of the ideas were simple some were more technical. We purchased an industrial shredder for the paper and cardboard that was going to landfill, we than used those shreddings for packing parcels for mailorder customers. The shredder cost £3000 the cost of polystyrene chips at the time was costing us £50 per week the shredder return on investment was just over a year. We installed new energy efficient lighting in all the offices again the savings we so that the ROI was about a year. There are lots more initiatives that we have made and are continuing to make as the carbon footprint gets smaller then so do the bills.

  •  less environmental damage
  • saving the world for our children
  • saving money
  • creating a good feeling in and about your company
  • corporate social responsibility

You Have To Be Mad Not To Do It!

If you would like to find out more about IIE look on their website

www.Investors in The Environment 

Telephone 0115 985 3005