Ambulance Battery System

The patient area module of an ambulance is powered by a separate bank of ‘auxiliary’ batteries, which will be deep-cycled regularly. The battery system powers lighting, blower fans, radio, 12V outlets, warning system and other equipment, including inverters. The alternator charges the batteries in addition to, but after the starter batteries have been charged. The house battery system is also recharged by plugging a battery charger (or inverter-charger) into shorepower. House batteries need to support the surge current of the inverter during load startup. State of Charge (SOC) monitoring will be beneficial to ambulance drivers.

The starting batteries for an ambulance must be able to deliver high cold cranking amps consistently, operate in high and low temperatures and withstand road vibration. With the engine off, high-cycle reserve capacity is required to support dashboard electronics and GPS. The alternator is the sole charging source for the starting batteries.

Lead-acid battery failure is most commonly caused by acid stratification, extreme temperatures and destructive vibration. Acid stratification naturally occurs in flooded lead-acid batteries and leads to a decline in capacity and charge acceptance. AGM and acid mixing technology for flooded lead-acid starting batteries will mitigate acid stratification. AGM technology, or equalization charging by the charger for flooded lead-acid deep-cycle batteries, will mitigate acid stratification.