Looking after a battery is about more than simply re-charging. By using a Traction MPL Battery Charger, the company says the battery can be conditioned, increasing its life expectancy and reducing the risk of winter issues – through its de-sulphation process.
Winter can be a tough time for automotive batteries. Low temperatures can affect a battery’s ability to charge, its power output and available amperage. Cold weather can push a weak battery over the edge.
Preventing battery sulphation
Batteries have a finite life and cannot be expected to last forever, however it is possible to increase the life expectancy of the battery by following a few simple rules.
■ Physically inspect for leakage or damaged cases, remove any corrosion, clean and dry the tops of the batteries to remove possible discharge paths from dried battery electrolyte, and clean the terminals.
■ If the battery is in a vehicle, remove the negative connection from the battery to eliminate the additional parasitic (key off) discharge.
■ If the battery has filler caps, check the electrolyte (battery acid) level in each cell. If required, add only distilled, deionised or demineralised water to the recommended level, but do not overfill.
■Fully charge and equalise levels in wet (flooded) batteries, if required, and recheck the electrolyte levels when the battery cools.
■ Store a battery in a cold dry place, but not so that it will freeze, and where it can be easily recharged. The freezing point of a battery is determined by the SoC and the higher it is, the lower the freezing temperature.
■ Do not use a cheap, unregulated ‘trickle’ charger or a manual two-stage charger that was not designed for ‘float’ charging or you will overcharge your battery. A less desirable alternative to float the charging would be to periodically test the State-of-Charge.When it is 80% or below, recharge. The frequency of testing and recharging will depend on the ambient storage temperature.
How the MPL battery charger can help
Commonly, a charger will need to ‘see’ more than eight volts in the battery when connected to recognise that a battery is present and to start the charging process but the MPL will recognise a battery with only one volt. At the start of each charge the MPL charger tests the battery to determine if it is deeply discharged or if sulphation has occurred and the correct recovery algorithm is automatically applied. After the deep discharge test, the constant current charge provides the fastest possible return of energy to the battery. Even deeply discharged batteries can be recovered, in this way. After the completion of charging, the MPL switches to the standby or float mode, which compensates for self-discharge and holds the battery at peak charge ready for use. The company claims that using the MPL can dramatically improve the performance of batteries that have been stored.