20th January, 2015

You can spend hundreds of dollars on high quality batteries for your touring set up, but even the most expensive battery won’t per form or last very long if it is not charged correctly.

There is a heap of information out there about vehicle alternators and their ability to recharge a flat battery. As 4WDers and tourers, our area of interest is the ability of the vehicle’s alternator to recharge our auxiliary battery after we have been using the lights and fridge all night.

The vehicle alternator has been relied on for many years to not only recover the power in the start battery, but also recharge auxiliary batteries in the vehicle and camper or caravan. Most alternators generally put out about 14V, and some modern alternators even vary their output to be even less. Problems arise when a battery needs to be charged at a higher voltage (for example a lead acid battery requiring approximately 14V-15V), resulting in the battery not getting enough charge. Additionally, the alternator has no ability to limit the current to the battery at the correct level for the specific battery type.

So what is the solution? Advancements in electronics design by innovative companies like Redarc has given us the ability to apply a specifically designed charging profile to your batteries via in-vehicle chargers to achieve optimum charging at all times.

Multi-stage DC to DC smart battery charging is the latest way to successfully charge and condition an automotive auxiliary battery at 100%. Smart multi-stage charging is quite simply filling your batteries in a controlled manner, ensuring maximum power back into your batteries.

A good way to explain the theory is to think of your battery as an empty beer glass and your alternator as a full jug of beer. There is more than enough beer in the jug to fill the glass, however it’s the manner in which we pour the beer that can drastically affect the end result. For example, if we pour the beer in too fast we run the risk of too much froth. We may have filled the glass but only a small percentage is drinkable. We can overcome this by carefully pouring the beer into the glass, increasing the percentage of drinkable beer.

Smart multi-stage type chargers can be found in the Redarc in-vehicle battery charger family, with specific battery type settings to suit the required charge voltage of the four major automotive batteries, gel, AGM, standard lead acid, and calcium content. Redarc has a range of DC to DC chargers to suit the battery bank you have, ranging from 6 to 40 amps.

To ensure you get the expected performance and value for money from your batteries, make sure you refer to the battery manufacturers’ data sheet and visit www.redarc.com.au to select your battery charging solution and make sure you stay in charge.

Redarc’s complete range of in-vehicle battery chargers are available at all ARB stores.

Contact ARB for part numbers and pricing.