For this Deep Dive, we are going to dive into what we mean when we say that our PRO-LOGIX chargers utilize an enhanced maintenance mode for optimal long term storage charging. We’ll identify how our approach is different from many competitive approaches and outline why we think that is a good thing for your batteries. Finally, we look at a few products that utilize this feature to great effect.
Of course, the first thing to note is that, before we reach maintenance mode, we use a microprocessor-controlled, multi-phase charging process to full charge, as seen in the graphic above. While there are many charging options in the marketplace that are similar, we believe that our specific charge routines by battery type combined with temperature compensation and a variety of other features, enable us to dial in a charging routine specific to each individual battery serviced. This means that each battery gets exactly what it wants and needs.
Once the battery reaches full charge, though, is when we really depart from much of the competition. Upon charge complete, we actually rest the battery for a set period. A known good battery will not self-discharge over the period of a few days. Once the rest period has ended, we then exercise the battery by placing a load on it (simulating the starting event) and follow that up with a new, full charge cycle. This process will repeat for as long as the charger remains connected to the battery.
This is very different from the traditional process, where a charger brings the battery to full charge and then uses a float routine to hold the battery at a preset level indefinitely. In our experience, this basic float process, while it does help to avoid sulfation, is inferior in two important ways. The first is that, over long periods, the float approach, while superficially keeping the battery’s voltage high (which is a good thing), never delivers a deep, full charge to the battery during that process. The second is that a basic float routine is more likely to result in dried out or otherwise damaged batteries in long term charging situations (more below).
What we have found in the nearly ten years of PRO-LOGIX chargers being in the lab and in the field is that our full charge/rest/exercise/full charge routine is highly beneficial for batteries under long term storage charging, which is what our product development research initially indicated. We see far fewer examples of dried out and/or damaged batteries using this method vs traditional approaches, even when batteries are left on the charging device for six or more months straight. Separately, we have also seen many examples of batteries being rejuvenated as a result of this full charge/rest/exercise/full charge process.
So, the next time you have a vehicle, implement or other piece of equipment that is going to sit idle for any period of time, we highly suggest that you connect a battery maintainer to it to keep your battery(ies) is good condition and avoid the dreaded sulfation that occurs when a battery sits unused and uncharged for a long (weeks or more) period of time. No matter what product you choose, you should use some sort of maintainer in these situations. If you want to give your battery(ies) the best conditioning during storage charging, deploy a PRO-LOGIX battery maintenance option. For a single battery application, the best choices are model PL2112 (for smaller batteries) and model PL2140 (for full size vehicle batteries). For multi-battery charging solutions, the best choices are model PL4020 (for small batteries) and model PL4050 (for full size vehicle batteries)