Power hungry

Power hungry

Heavy goods vehicles are changing with the times, and Clarios intends to keep up. Here, the company discusses how HGV batteries have to be increasingly powerful in order to keep the vehicle and all of its electrical components running.

Heavy goods vehicles are increasingly power hungry. In the last 10 years, the number of electrical consumers and energy demands placed on commercial vehicles are on the up. The cabin of many new trucks is used as an office away from home or a hotel on wheels – sometimes up to seven nights per week! In addition, the number of devices being plugged in whilst the vehicle is parked up is far more than ever before; often a smart phone, tablet or laptop is plugged in overnight. A recent study found that younger drivers’ habits over long haul trips are changing; they are more likely to spend time in the cabin streaming TV shows and films as opposed to doing recreational activities. This places an increasingly high energy drain on batteries. Parking Coolers (air conditioning units that function when the vehicle is parked for long periods of time) are also more commonplace on new trucks, making the energy requirements higher than ever.

In the past, there was not much more than the ignition, the lighting and a heater. These days, batteries have to supply a large number of electrical components even when the truck isn’t moving. As a result of developments in vehicle technology, demands have greatly increased in all commercial vehicles – from trucks and buses, to construction vehicles.

Along with batteries being end of frame mounted and high vibration challenges, modern day HCV batteries need to change to accommodate HCV’s electrical demands, stringent environmental guidelines and emission restrictions.

The VARTA range is also changing

To answer these innovative changes in the commercial vehicle segment, VARTA is making changes to its ProMotive HCV range. Rather than a good, better, best approach, the range is now application driven, with certain technology types recommended for specific types of vehicle.

The recently launched VARTA ProMotive AGM truck battery is the flagship battery in terms of coping with electrical demands. If a truck is being used as a hotel function for five nights a week or more, or it has a parking cooler, then the AGM technology is the right battery to fit.

If a truck is used occasionally for overnight stays and has lots of electrical requirements, but does not have a parking cooler, the ProMotive EFB would be the correct technology to fit.

Traditional flooded batteries come in the Heavy Duty and Super Heavy Duty ranges. The Heavy Duty range is recommended as a starter battery for agricultural and construction applications, and the Super Heavy Duty range is recommended for delivery vehicles and trucks that are not used for overnights, such as removal vehicles.

The below application matrix highlights the range and what types of vehicles they fit.

Clarios batteries

Getting the most out of your battery

To get the best performance out of a vehicle’s battery, routine preventative maintenance is recommended. To avoid premature failure, visual and voltage checks can determine if any recharging is required.

Best practice maintenance:

  • Check battery voltage at least every four weeks
  • Recharge immediately if <12.5V
  • Keep record of battery maintenance history to ensure maintenance intervals are not missed
  • Check battery voltage after extraordinary events that might have caused a long standing time
  • Always charge or replace batteries as a pair, ideally from the same production batch – this helps balance the charge
  • Clean battery terminals – if damaged, replace the pair of batteries
  • Always fit the correct technology – Use the VARTA Truck Portal to correctly identify the right batteryClarios batteries

Varta Truck Portal

For more details on battery maintenance, click here, for VARTA’s online tool, which is easily accessible from any internet enabled device, such as a PC, tablet or smart phone. The portal also includes a Battery Finder and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculator:

Battery Finder

Based on the input, the Battery Finder will explain and recommend the best available technology option (AGM, EFB or Conventional Flooded) for maximum performance and TCO savings. It compares the driving habits with a vehicle’s electrical requirements to evaluate which VARTA ProMotive battery would be best suited for each vehicle. You simply select the type of vehicle, then input brand, model and engine side, and then the Battery Finder returns the correct technology type and part number details for that application.

Total Cost of Ownership calculator

The TCO calculator will help to understand the TCO saving potential of choosing the right battery technology. It shows the advantages of picking that technology by showing the cost benefits of owning a VARTA ProMotive battery. The TCO calculator asks for mileage information, if your fleet experiences regular breakdowns due to battery failure, and any other likely costs for the vehicle breaking down. Based on this, it shows the results of installing the correct VARTA battery verses downtime caused by the vehicle not running, so a fleet manager can easily see the benefit of installing the right battery, first time.

For more information, click here.

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