Over the years we have conducted service and have had direct contact with the following robotic lawn mower customers and their respective brands: Clipper 1200, Meec, G-force, and Yardforce. One factor that can determine if the robotic lawn mower works season after season is proper care of the battery. However, If proper steps are not taken, the cells can be negatively influenced and cause the robotic mower to have bad discharge rates or not work at all. In the following post we will go over some scenarios and provide solutions on how to keep your mower in good working order.
The most common scenario that leads to cells losing balance is when the customer after using the mower throughout the season, stores their mower in their garage or storage space with the power on button still engaged. This allows the battery to discharge over a long period of time without a charge and therefore effect the cells. Usually the battery voltage “low threshold” is affected and the battery cells need to be boosted. This is done by applying a small charging current using a DC regulator or a specially designed transformer with low charging current.
We at RobotGarden recommend sending in or leaving the battery that is in a dead state so our service staff can try to awaken the battery. At the same time we use a discharge device to check if the battery is still in good working order. We also check to see if all the cells are balanced so they all have the same voltage. The emphasis though, is that the mower must be turned off once in storage!
Another situation that can affect the battery is not charging the battery every 3 months over winter. Once the robotic lawn mower is in a garage/storage over winter, it is easy to forget to re-charge the mower in order to keep the battery voltage in the healthy threshold spectrum. Another element that is important is that the environment has the right temperature so that the the battery is not charged when the room temperature is below 0 celsius. Charging the battery in cold temperature can be difficult and the battery can have trouble taking charge afterwards as the internal components get damaged due to internal electroplating. It’s important to charge at least once every winter or leave the robotic lawn mower and charging station at a service center/dealer for professional care. The advantage of leaving the robotic mower for winter service is it allows the customer to have a robot in full working condition by spring time. Winter service also increases the life span of the mower translating to long term value. It can be easy to forget to charge the battery every 3 months and RobotGarden sends out a email to all registered members to not forget this step over winter.
The best steps to take once the robotic lawnmower is done cutting for the season:
1) When the temperatures start to drop in fall and temps are on average no higher than 8 degrees celsius (grass does not grow on average below 8 degrees), store the robotic lawn mower in a controlled environment between temperatures of 0 – 30 degrees celsius.
2) Once the robotic lawnmower is in storage, make sure the battery is fully charged and its very important that the power on button is switched off. This way like discussed above, will not allow the battery to keep discharging and effect the low battery threshold.
3) Approximately every 3 months, place the mower in the charging station with the charging station turned on. Proceed to turn on the mower by engaging the power on switch. Once the display is activated, press home button so the robotic mower starts to charge. Make sure not to close the hatch or sliding door as the robot does not need to cut. If the hatch or door is activated, the robot could potentially go out of the charging station thinking it needs to cut once the battery is full. When the robot is fully charged, turn off by disengaging the power button to off mode. unplug the charging station.
Follow these steps and your robotic mower will be happy for the kind treatment!