Top tips from Mastervolt
Mastervolt, the Dutch-based supplier of premium quality marine batteries, has issued some advice to get the best out of your battery bank this season. Mastervolt has 31 batteries in its range, and is also the pioneer of the revolutionary light-weight Lithium Ion 12 and 24-volt models. Marc Persoon, Mastervolt’s Marketing Manager, says “The lifespan of a battery is closely related to the frequency of use, how deep it is being discharged, and how it is maintained. The quality of the battery charger is also a vital factor.”
To keep your batteries in peak condition all year round, here are Mastervolt’s top tips:
Watch the temperature: For optimal performance, try to keep the environmental temperature of the batteries between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius. Higher temperatures will decrease the lifespan dramatically. Lower temperatures will reduce the available capacity when required, and many older batteries may have been compromised by the recent cold snap. Battery boxes, and the thoughtful location of the bank, will help.
Keep them dry and clean: This will prevent current seeping between the terminals.
Avoid deep discharges: Regular discharges beyond 50% of the nominal capacity are not recommended. Never discharge below the final discharge voltage specified by the battery manufacturer. (Only Mastervolt’s Lithium-Ion batteries can withstand repeated near-exhaustion discharges.)
Recharge immediately: Always top the batteries back up again after a discharge. Incomplete charges may damage the batteries, so they must be charged to the full 100% capacity at least every month.
Don’t mix old and new: Batteries in series or parallel must be of the same brand, type, capacity and state of charge, otherwise the bank will lose significant power. Don’t combine new batteries with old ones, and check the installation recommendations if batteries must be connected in parallel or in series.
Check the terminals: Engine vibration and even the occasional knock with a misplaced foot can loosen a battery terminal just enough to cause problems, such as enough power for lights, but not enough to start an engine. Check them on a regular basis, at least once every three months
Charge when stored: When disconnected and in storage, batteries will self-discharge at a rate of approximately 2-3% per month at 20ºC, but this rate increases considerably at higher temperatures so keep them somewhere cool. The battery manufacturer will recommend how often certain types of battery should be recharged when stored.
Use a proper charger: A cheap, auto-type charger is a false economy, as it won’t charge the batteries in an intelligent way. Mastervolt chargers are specially engineered to guarantee fast-charging with optimal efficiency. Batteries should always be matched to a suitable charger. It will prolong the life of your battery, avoid overcharging damage, and ensure maximum capacity.
That’s it – enjoy the season!
For more information about the complete range of fully compatible power systems, including batteries, chargers, inverters and generators, go to www.mastervolt.com