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BATTERIES

n

What

NOT

to do with Gel, AGM and Lithium Ion

batteries

n

Incorrect charge voltage. Too low a voltage means that

the battery cannot charge to 100 % - the sulphate then

hardens on the plates and the battery loses its capacity.

Excessive voltage causes the batteries to generate gas,

leading to water loss and drying out.

n

Excessive discharging. Discharging a battery further than

its capacity shortens its lifespan.

n

Too large ripple on the charge voltage. Cheap and old-

fashioned chargers often have a significant voltage ripple

(voltage variation) in the output voltage.

n

The use of an alternator without 3-step regulator, a high

ambient temperature or charging without temperature

compensation.

n

The MLI battery should not be charged without measures

such as a safety relay.

n

Can I keep my batteries connected during winter?

This is no problem for any Mastervolt battery, and can even

be a benefit as the lower temperature extends battery life

considerably. The batteries should be fully charged, however,

and disconnected from any consumers.

Make sure to consider hidden consumers such as voltmeters,

clocks and the car radio memory. If the battery is connected to

a Mastervolt battery charger with 3-stage+ charge characteristic,

the battery is recharged every 12 days to ensure it stays in

optimal condition. If you disconnect the battery we recommend

disconnecting all consumers and connecting the power once

every two to three weeks to ensure the batteries are recharged.

If you don’t have access to power in winter, we recommend fully

charging the batteries and disconnecting the battery terminals

to ensure they are not discharged by small devices. We also

recommend fully charging your batteries every two months

and before they are reused. Wet batteries should be recharged

regularly to prevent them from freezing.

n

How should I maintain gel, AGM and Lithium Ion

batteries?

Gel, AGM and Lithium Ion batteries as opposed to traditional

open batteries do not need maintenance, which means they can

be installed anywhere. However, we recommend checking all

the connections once a year to make sure that they are properly

attached, and to clean the top surfaces with a slightly moist cloth.

The batteries also need to be completely charged every time for

a maximum lifespan.

The Gel battery

With flooded lead-acid batteries, which use a liquid electrolyte of

water and sulphuric acid, the water is separated into hydrogen

and oxygen during charging, mostly at the end of the charging

cycle. These gases subsequently escape through the filler cap.

This means water is used and distilled (battery) water needs to

be added. The electrolyte in a Gel battery is a gel that binds the

water with the acid. While the batteries are being filled, the gel

is heated and liquefies.After the battery has been filled with the

liquefied gel, the gel cools and solidifies. This process results in

tiny hairline cracks in the gel between the plates.

During the charging process, oxygen O

2

is generated on the

positive plate and hydrogen H

2

on the negative plate. The cracks

in the gel let the gases combine to create water. The gel then

absorbs the water so that no water disappears from the system

and no gases are produced.

Gel batteries are not a new technology and have been in use

since the late 1950s. The most important applications are in

emergency power systems, telecommunications systems, power

supply and, for the last 20-25 years, as service batteries in

various systems. Gel batteries come in two different versions.

The 12-volt design is appropriate for regular use and available in

capacities up to 200 Ah.

n

Which battery is suitable for my application?

Mastervolt offers various types of maintenance-free batteries,

each with its own specific characteristics. More information

hereafter about the properties of gel, AGM and Lithium Ion

batteries.

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