DUAL BATTERY FACTS & FABLES
If your auxiliary battery isn’t plugged in to a National Luna Intelligent Maintenance Charger, it might let you down when you’re far from home…
National Luna is a 30-year-old South African company that produces the world’s largest selection of commercially available 12 V fridges/freezers. They’re the preferred supplier to most major off-road trailer and caravan manufacturers, and a global distributor of more than 200 outdoor products and accessories.
Arecent survey revealed that most people with a dual-battery system in their vehicle believe that driving for a few hours will restore power to their auxiliary battery. It seems many people think that the long drive home will be more than enough to top up power. False! This is a common misconception and one that raises several other questions regarding dual-battery systems…
HERE ARE THE FACTS
All batteries need time to recharge. There are no short cuts or special systems that can make the recharge process any faster than the battery can handle. In most cases, a DC-DC dual-battery system can even slow down the recharge rate within the first few hours of driving. If left unattended, a partially discharged battery will start to degrade, thereby reducing its lifespan. Similarly, a fully recharged battery cannot store energy indefinitely. It will discharge slowly over time. All batteries require a maintenance charge to ensure maximum performance and life. This can be achieved using an intelligent maintenance charger.
You might be wondering if the term “maintenance charger” somehow relates to a “trickle charger”. This is a bit of a grey area because most conventional trickle chargers cause more damage to a battery than good. Many of us are familiar with – and perhaps even own – a low-cost 220 V battery charger, commonly sold by automotive stores. What you might not know is that these chargers are not self-regulating and don’t have the required charge stages. The trouble isn’t necessarily with the charger itself, but rather with the AC supply – be it from the mains or from a generator. A non-regulated charger typically features a fixed step-down ratio that can’t make allowances for fluctuations in the supply voltage. As a result, the voltage applied to the battery could be higher than what the battery can handle. Over time, constant high voltage can damage the battery or even cause it to overheat and leak. It’s difficult to know which chargers are regulated and which are not, which is why National Luna recently launched a self-regulating intelligent charger that will automatically diagnose, recover and charge all lead-acid battery types, including flooded (wet cell), MF, VRLA, AGM, GEL and calcium batteries. Best of all, the charger can be permanently connected to your battery and you never need to worry about it!