The Cold weather is here which means some of your toys are being stored for the winter.
Removing your battery from your vehicle or disconnecting your battery may seem like the logical solution to preventing a dead battery. However, even a battery not in use and not connected will lose significant battery capacity/storage each day. This loss is significant enough to keep your battery from firing up from one weekend to the next.
With smart charging solutions you simply connect your battery charger and walk away leaving the maintenance up to us! All Battery Tender® branded chargers will fully charge and automatically switch into a maintenance mode. Battery Tender’s® will never over charge or discharge your battery.
Battery Tender® Chargers are not to be confused with a “trickle Charger.” What is the difference you may ask?
The Battery Tender® battery charger has microprocessor controlled power electronic circuitry which enables it to preform and safely control a number of sophisticated charging functions, well beyond the capability of inexpensive trickle chargers. Some legacy marketing literature refers to the Battery Tender® as a “Trickle Charger with a Brain”. That description was based in context on two parts, first the relatively low output current, and second, the reduced level of charge control sophistication on earlier Battery Tender® models.
After connecting the Battery Tender® to a battery and then applying AC power, it first conducts a number of checks during Initialization Mode to ensure that the battery is functioning normally. Then it will deliver its full charge at a constant rate of the rated amperage. This is called the Bulk Charge Mode. The battery voltage will rise and when it reaches a predetermined level the Battery Tender® will hold the battery charge voltage constant at that level, allowing the charge current amplitude to drop. This is the Absorption Charge Mode. The Absorption Charge Mode is complete when the battery charge current drops below a very low value, usually below 1/8 ampere. Some Battery Tender® models have timers to limit the duration of the Absorption Charge Mode.
After the current drops or the allotted time expires (typically several hours), the Battery Tender® automatically switches to a Float / Maintenance Charge Mode. The purpose of the Float / Maintenance Charge Mode is to maintain the battery voltage just slightly (typically between 1/10 and ½ volt) above where it would be if it were fully charged and sitting at rest. This keeps the battery topped off at voltages well below the gassing voltage of a lead acid battery.
Based on price alone, trickle chargers often appear to be a better economic choice for the typical consumer, but trickle chargers do not have the advantage of sophisticated electronic control. Therefore, as they allow the value of charge current to trickle down to what appears to be safe levels, the output voltage of the charger may very well rise to an unacceptably high level, sometimes even going higher than 16 VDC depending on the charger type and the battery that is connected to it. This magnitude of voltage is far above the gassing voltage of a lead acid battery. If the battery remains connected to this high level of voltage for an extended period of time, extreme damage may be done to the battery. Without Battery Tender® type electronic safety controls, what appears to be an initial cost savings for the charger may actually cost several times the charger price in replacement batteries.
So before you connect a charger to your stored vehicles for the winter, make sure you are using a Battery Tender® branded charger for all your safe maintenance needs! For more information on all of our battery chargers go to: Battery Tender® Chargers