Commo BatteriesPosted: 2012/26/10
What Will You Do With This Power?
Without batteries to power them, many of your radios and electronics are just lifeless heaps of metal, plastic and wire. That’s why it pays to be battery smart. Here are a few points to ponder:
o Don’t hoard batteries. If you’re the kind who usually stockpiles supplies, change your ways: Set a limit to the number of batteries you order. Have enough on hand to fill your unit’s battery needs—no more, no less.
You see, batteries need to be used in equipment. Left lying around too long, they begin to lose their power. So, rotate your stock. First in, first out.
o Determine your unit’s battery needs. Use CECOM-LCMC’s Power Optimizer for the Warfighter’s Energy Requirements (POWER). It’s a Microsoft® Excel-based application that helps you manage battery supplies. Here’s what POWER can do:
✓ present battery options for your equipment
✓ figure out a battery’s run time based on surrounding temperature
✓ estimate how many batteries you need to support your mission
Get POWER by emailing Ari Herman at CECOM-LCMC:
o Stay out of the heat. High temperatures drain the life out of batteries. They cause the loss of capacity. Capacity is the amount of energy a battery can deliver in a single discharge (normally expressed in ampere hours).
Most commo batteries can withstand 110oF for a few days without harm. But when the temperature reaches 130oF for more than a few days, any battery can be seriously degraded.
So, keep batteries cool during storage to preserve their shelf-life.
Never store them in direct sunlight during hot weather. Never store them in a closed, unventilated shelter, CONEX or MILVAN in the summer. That’s when temperatures soar inside these containers.
For ideas on how to keep batteries cool, read SB 11-6, Communications-Electronics Batteries Supply and Management Data (Feb 10). You’ll find it on the USAMC Logistics Support Activity (LOGSA) Electronic Technical Manuals Online website:
o Keep batteries in their original packaging while in storage. The packaging:
✓ identifies batteries by stock number, lot number, manufacturer and type
✓ helps prevent damage from high humidity or dryness
✓ protects against crushing, puncturing and shorting
✓ contains battery leaks
Take rechargeable batteries out of their original packaging and charge them. Return them to their original packaging for long-term storage. Charge the batteries once a year from then on.
o Report battery failures—cracks, stains, bulges, odors or leaks—on a SF 368, Product Quality Deficiency Report.
o Before you go on mission, make sure your batteries work. Test them with a simple tester. Or run a radio/equipment check like your TM says. If you have large quantities of the same battery with the same date codes, test a small sample to make sure your batteries have power.
Here’s a tester in the Army supply system that tests a variety of batteries:
MBT-MIL Multi-Battery Tester™, NSN 6625-01-494-9163, part # MBT-MIL.
Here’s what it tests:
3.6V lithium-ion (Li-Ion) rechargeable— RCR123A, 18500, 17650, 18650
1.5V button cell—S76, A76, A625, A640, LR44, 357, 303
1.2V nickel-metal hydride/nickel-cadmium (NiMH/NiCd) rechargeable—AA, AAA, C, D
1.5V lithium—AA L91, AAA L92
3V lithium coin—CR1616, CR1620, CR2016, CR2025, CR2320, CR2032, CR2430, CR2450, 58L, 1/3N
3V lithium cylindrical—CR123, CR2, CRV3
1.5V alkaline—AA, AAA, C, D, N
9V alkaline & carbon zinc