Battery Maintenance and Pulse
Technology Conditioning with Solar can Double your Battery Life.
Batteries keep us
rolling and give us conveniences in our trucks and horse trailers. But
if you don’t maintain them, you’ll be stranded and surprised. I run a
lot of toys from my eight 12 volt outlets in my truck from my cooler to
my motion detector in the trailer. Diesel trucks use two 12 volt
batteries for extra power to start a diesel engine. This also gives you
reserve power going down the road. Living Quarter horse trailers usually
have two deep cell batteries that can be drawn down and last a long
time. With 4 batteries between your truck and trailer, proper
maintenance is as important as checking our trucks oil level. There's new
technology that can do most of the work for you.
Sulfation builds up on
battery plates naturally when chemicals in the battery acid discharge to
the point where they crystallize and coat the lead plates. The more the
plates are coated, the less charging they hold. High-frequency pulse technology works to actually reduce
the buildup of sulfation on the battery plates. SolarPulse Industrial
Solar Charging System is a product that
reenergizes the sulfates, removes them from the lead plates back into
the acid where they have a purpose in cycling. Sulfation of the lead
plates is the largest cause of battery
SolarPulse emits a DC current into the battery. The microprocessor
(black box above)
charges the battery with one circuit and conditions the battery with
another circuit low-voltage high-frequency pulse,
continuously desulfating your
batteries. SolarPulse keeps your batteries charged and conditions them for
longer life. 5-times longer according to SolarPulse from Premium Supply.
And all with free power from it's solar panel.
For my horse trailer I
was trying to decide between solar and wind. Wind generation puts out more power
but is noisy, more expensive and has to be set up each time to use. The 5-Watt SolarPulse I
installed has a compact solar panel 8.8" X 8.7" which is flat on a piece
of aluminum instead of framed like other panels I use. With eyelets on
each corner, was easy to mount anywhere. Comes with 17 ft of cable, the
microprocessor box is weatherproof and has a LED that flashes for low
charge in cloudy weather and solid light for full charge.
Best of both worlds,
charging and conditioning batteries for longer battery life. Trickle
charging is better for batteries than a high charge you might do to
prepare your trailer to use after it has set all winter.
SolarPulse solar panels, instead of glass, are
protected with a clear polyurethane plastic coating. This I need, my
trailer seams to run into tree branches and hail storms.
Commercial grade single-crystalline
silicon solar cells from SolarPulse is as good as it gets.
Charging and conditioning batteries
is ideal for LQ horse trailers and can come in handy with hydraulic
dumper trailers, car trailers with winches and vehicles that sit for
months at at time. Good enough for the military. SolarPulse works with
all battery types, wet cell, gel cell, AGM and dual battery setup like a
LQ horse trailer uses.
If your trailer has
electric over hydraulic brakes, it has an actuator electric motor that
supplies the brake boost. This system needs a battery. If your trailer
is a Living Quarters, then the LQ batteries are shared with the
electric/hydraulic brake actuator. This makes batteries even more
important to be putting out at their max voltage to give you the best
brake power from your trailer.
|I used a piece of 1/4 inch scrap
aluminum to attach the solar panel to my hay rack
||Commercial grade crystalline
silicon photo-voltaic cell encapsulated in polyurethane
||Mounted the solar panel on the
side of my hay rack for less wind resistance
Pictures ( diesels have
two truck batteries)
In the last couple
of decades, battery manufactures came out with “maintenance free”
batteries that supposedly don’t need water added. Well maybe not
as often, but they still need water added from time to time; it’s just
harder to take the cell caps off. The truck battery pictured above is
“maintenance free” but you still have to stick a straight edge screw
drive in the slot and pop the hidden caps off to check the water level.
Lead-acid batteries normally use up some of the water in their dilute
sulfuric acid electrolyte during a normal charge-discharge cycle. If
your battery stays charged, it won't use much water, but if you over
charge or run the battery down often, you will want to check the water
Only the “gel”
batteries like Optima don’t need water added. Back in my farm days, I would
replace two batteries on my diesel tractors with one Optima gel battery.
Gel batteries don’t corrode their terminals, which is a big benefit on a
diesel truck and a Living Quarters horse trailer with all the accessory
electric leads anchored to the battery terminals. Most LQ horse trailers
are wired to trickle charge from the truck going down the road. Solar
panels are becoming popular for keeping Living Quarter trailer batteries
Picture (left and right
batteries on my trailer. Some batteries are in a box and others are
exposed to road grime. Lots of wires for trailer hydraulic jack, AC
inverter, internal lights) Deep cell
batteries have thicker lead plates for greater
long-term energy delivery, and can survive a number of discharge cycles.
The Lead Acid battery is made up of plates,
lead, and lead oxide with a 35% sulfuric acid and 65% water solution.
This solution is called electrolyte, which causes a chemical reaction
that produce electricity. When you test a battery with a hydrometer, you
are measuring the amount of sulfuric acid in the electrolyte.
Before you add any water, suck enough electrolyte out of one cell into
the hydrometer to float the bulb. Squirt the liquid back and repeat with
the next cell. All six cells should have readings within 0.050, or
you've got a bad cell. These readings very with temperature. Most modern batteries have a built in
hydrometer eye, that's green when
Had this discussion with my teenage daughter about keeping her car
battery cleaned. She explained to me that all she had to do was clean
the top of the battery terminals. Two weeks later, her car wouldn’t
start. The basics with batteries are keeping the water level at the fill
line. Distilled water is the ideal water to add to your battery, tap
water usually has minerals which can corrode the battery lead plates.
Don’t over fill the batteries with water as it is acid that’s inside the
battery and you don’t need that running over and on your trucks metal parts.
Pour warm water on your battery posts to start the cleaning. Good ole
baking soda mixed with water is the best thing to use to getting rid of
corrosion. Use a wrench to take the battery cable terminal clamp off the
battery post. Negative side first, it is electricity, be safe and unhook
the ground first. Mix baking soda and water in a used soup can, dipping
the batter cable terminal in the soup can, will take the green stuff
off. Pour what’s left of the baking soda in the can on the battery
posts. Use a battery cleaning tool (pictures below) to scrub the posts
and inside the terminals. After you re-clamp the terminals to the
battery posts, hose the battery off with water and apply grease to the
terminals or a battery terminal sealant.
There is a cleaning brush for GM side terminals.
In an emergency, you
can use a bottle of Coke or Pepsi to eat some of the corrosion off the
battery terminals.Keep your batteries
clean and serviced, and you’ll forget what booster cables are for.
Thanks to www.Premium-Supply.com
for the 5 watt SolarPulse