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Today's Battery Maintainer Is Yesterday's Trickle Charger

Today’s Battery Maintainer Is Yesterday’s Trickle Charger

Trickle chargers have been a staple of automotive repair and maintenance for decades. We still use them today, but there are some differences between modern devices and their older counterparts. Modern units are more powerful, more efficient, and come loaded with extra features. They also have an entirely new name: the battery maintainer.

That’s right. Today’s battery maintainer is yesterday’s trickle charger on steroids. We recommend that anyone with a significant amount of batteries in their life invest in a quality battery maintainer.

What a Battery Maintainer Does

A battery maintainer is an electrical device that keeps a battery fully charged during extended periods of non-use so that the battery’s health is maintained and it is ready for service when needed. That is where the original ‘trickle charger’ name came from. Its main purpose was to keep the battery fully charged at all times, using low and consistent voltage.

The design of a battery maintainer accounts for the fact that batteries lose charge even when they aren’t being used. Almost every kind of battery gradually discharges over time. Not only is this a problem in the sense that you don’t want dead batteries sitting on the shelf, but gradual discharge could also lead to internal damage that accelerates over time. Given how expensive commercial and industrial batteries are, battery maintenance is more important than ever before.

Clore Automotive battery maintainers do exactly what their name implies: maintains the charge of a battery for better battery health and longer life. But, we don’t “trickle” or “float” the battery like old-school trickle chargers and battery maintainers. Our PRO-LOGIX models bring a battery to full charge, then rest that battery, monitoring it to ensure it doesn’t excessively discharge. After the rest period, we then exercise the battery (simulating a starting event) and then start the entire charging cycle over again at the beginning of the process. We have found that this Enhanced Maintenance Mode methodology results in improved battery health, with increased reserve capacity restored, over traditional methods.

The Sulfation Problem

One of the things a battery maintainer is designed to prevent is sulfation accumulation in the serviced battery. Over time, lead acid batteries tend to develop sulfate crystals. These crystals, which form on interior plates, reduce both battery performance and capacity. That is problematic enough. But sulfation also puts added stress on lead acid batteries. This ultimately decreases a battery’s lifespan.

It stands to reason that preventing sulfation would reduce battery stress and extend life. That’s exactly the point of using a battery maintainer. Fully charged batteries are less likely to experience sulfation accumulation. By keeping a battery charged with a battery maintainer, you minimize the risk of sulfation while simultaneously extending the battery’s life.

As an added bonus during the winter months, fully charged batteries are less likely to freeze. Just by keeping a lead acid battery connected to a battery maintainer during cold weather, you promote longer battery life.

A Nice Selection of Features

Modern technology is such that battery maintainers now come with a nice selection of features. They are a far cry from first-generation trickle charges. That being said, we invite you to check out our battery maintainers to see what they offer. You’re bound to find something that meets your needs.

As a general rule, here are the most common features found in modern battery maintainers:

  • Voltage Options – A good battery maintainer offers multiple voltage options. For example, some units support both 6- and 12-volt batteries.
  • Polarity Protection – A battery maintainer with built-in reverse polarity protection prevents damage to the unit in the event that a user improperly connects it to a battery by reversing the cables.
  • Polarity Protection – A battery maintainer with built-in reverse polarity protection prevents damage to the unit in the event that a user improperly connects it to a battery by reversing the cables.
  • The Ability to Service Multiple Battery Types – Different battery types has different charging requirements. For instance, AGM batteries are very sensitive to voltage as compared to traditional flooded acid batteries. And, lithium batteries are even more sensitive to voltage. Dedicated charging routine for each battery type ensure that you can properly match your power delivery to the specific battery type being serviced.

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