Are you fully equipped for winter servicing?

We recently featured in Commercial Vehicle Workshop Magazine with our MPL battery charger range, offering our advice on winter servicing for garages.

During long winter months, vehicle batteries have a lot to deal with. When the temperature drops, along with it can go the battery’s power output, its ability to accept a charge, and the load increases due to the increased use of lights and internal heating.

Battery failure is a common problem for many vehicles during the winter, and for commercial vehicles that could create a huge business disruption. During the winter month’s it’s essential to look after vehicle batteries, and this time of year offers workshops an opportunity for plenty of business.

Looking after a battery is not just about re-charging a vehicle’s battery from time to time. By using a Traction MPL Battery Charger you can actually condition a vehicle's battery – increasing its life expectancy and reducing the risk of these winter issues – through its patented de-sulphation process.

What is sulphation? 

When a battery is left in a discharged condition, continually undercharged, or the electrolyte level is below the top of the plates, some of the soft lead sulphate re-crystallizes into hard lead sulphate. The hard lead sulphate cannot be reconverted during subsequent recharging process. This creation of hard crystals is commonly called permanent "sulphation". It accounts for approximately 85% of the lead-acid battery failures that are not used weekly. The longer period over which sulphation occurs, the larger and harder the lead sulphate crystals become. These crystals lessen a battery's power capacity and ability to be recharged. Batteries naturally self-discharge 1% to 60% per month while not in use and sulphation will begin occurring when the State-of-Charge (SoC) drops below 100%. 

How does the Traction MPL battery charger help?

Most chargers need to "see" more than eight volts in the battery when connected to recognize that a battery is present and to start the charging process but the MPL will recognize a battery with only one volt. This means that the MPL charger will attempt to recover and charge a battery that is completely flat whereas other chargers would not be able to start charging at all. At the start of each charge, the MPL charger tests the battery to determine if it is deeply discharged or if sulphation has occurred, and the correct recovery algorithm is automatically applied.

After the deep discharge test, the constant current charge provides the fastest possible return of energy to the battery. Even deeply discharged batteries can be recovered in this way. After the completion of charging, the MPL charger switches to the standby or float mode, which compensates for self-discharge and holds the battery at peak charge, ready for use.

Using the MPL can dramatically improve the performance of batteries that have been stored, helping customers to reducing warranty costs, and improving customer satisfaction with garage servicing.

Which MPL charger is correct for your garage?

There are a few different types of battery technology fitted to vehicles: Wet cell/Flooded, Calcium/Calcium or Calcium/Silver types are mainly used as a general purpose starter battery. AGM or Absorbed Glass Matt is a higher spec battery that is commonly used on start/stop systems and higher spec vehicles, it is able to supply higher cranking currents and more start cycles.

These battery types require different charging methods if they are to be correctly charged. Putting high current into a Wet cell/Flooded/Calcium battery can damage it and be potentially dangerous, where an AGM type is more able to accept a higher charge. Each one of our charger models carries a description of the battery types it is suitable for.

The MPL is suitable for use on AGM, GEL, Calcium and Lead Acid battery types. The battery charger is OEM approved, and used by some of the world's leading vehicle and battery manufacturers.

The MPL battery charger range is available in 12V, 10A, 20A, 50A and 24V 10A and 20A versions to meet the charging requirements of most battery sizes. It also features: Short Circuit shutdown without blown fuse, Reverse Polarity Protection, Soft start current control, 3 stage charging (CI-CV-Float), Proportional timing with minimal gas emission, Constant voltage float/standby and many other features. It is fully flexible to match almost any battery specification. Although it features sophisticated charging methods, it is very simple and safe to use, and batteries can be left connected indefinitely at the end of charging. All Traction MPL chargers are sourced and manufactured in the UK, ensuring exceptional quality in every unit.

Find a battery charger that’s suitable to your vehicles here, and keep your business on the road this winter.