In this edition of Deep Dive, we are putting battery charging Temperature Compensation under the microscope. What does it mean, how does it impact the charging process and what is the real world benefit that it brings to technicians and vehicle owners. On our website and in our emails, we address this feature a lot when talking about our PRO-LOGIX product offering, but what benefit does it bring to our customers and the batteries they service? The answer is, “Quite a lot.”
Temperature compensation, in the context of our PRO-LOGIX chargers, means that we adapt our charging process based on the ambient temperature existent when the charging process takes place. As most of our readers are aware, our PRO-LOGIX battery chargers deploy an advanced multi-phase charging algorithm each time a new charging sequence is started. Many factors influence the way the charger progresses, or transitions, through those phases. One of those factors is temperature.
Batteries accept charging energy easier the warmer they are and are more resistant to charging energy the colder they are. So, when we build temperature compensation into our charging products, we adjust the charging process to account for (or compensate for) this fact. This means we are pushing more and more energy into a battery as the mercury dives and less and less energy as the mercury rises. The beauty in our PRO-LOGIX process is that it is fully automated and requires no extra steps on the part of the operator.
So, now we have defined temperature compensation and how it impacts the charging process in PRO-LOGIX chargers. Next up is, what does this mean for the batteries serviced. With PRO-LOGIX, we dial in the charging process exactly as needed for each battery being charged, based on the battery type indicated, the way the battery is accepting energy (does it appear to be sulfated?, etc.), the ambient temperature and more. So, temperature is just one factor of our individualized approach to charging, but it is an important one. When using your PRO-LOGIX charger to charge in hot environments, we will drive the charging energy differently (read lower) than we will in cold environments (read higher). This ensures that when the battery charger reaches CHARGE COMPLETE and goes to rest mode, the connected battery is actually at full charge (not over- or under-charged).
Both conditions (over-charge and under-charge) can be detrimental to your batteries. Over-charge events create pressures within the battery greater than recommended, which creates problems for all batteries serviced, but is especially harmful to sealed lead acid (SLA) battery types like AGM, Spiral Wound and Gel Cell Batteries. Under-charge events result in short charging, which can lead to premature sufation build-up, which will hasten the demise of your battery. In honesty, as a one or two time event, non-temperature compensated charges probably wouldn’t materially impact the longevity of your battery(ies). But, if you are using the charger over and over again on the same battery or charging a battery in long term storage, the impact could be significant. Whether you are using a charger for occasional top off charges, as a preventive maintenance tool or for long term battery maintenance, temperature compensation is a charging feature with very real benefits for battery health.
Every PRO-LOGIX battery charger/maintainer product features temperature compensation. It’s just one of the many advanced aspects of our PRO-LOGIX technology, all of which are designed to deliver beneficial service to each battery charged, increasing battery longevity and enhancing battery reserve capacity with each charge cycle.