Southlake, TX — JUNE 2015
With heavy duty trucks using two to four batteries connected in parallel to power 12V and 24V electrical systems, daily battery maintenance is a prime operational consideration.
With the common parallel battery hookup for heavy duty trucks, voltage remains the same as a single battery with a substantial increase in amperage. Larger diesel engines, for example, require 1800 CCA or more, so it is common to employ four 12V batteries, which each having a minimum of 625 CCA.
With so many heavy duty trucks spending the majority of their time on the highways, land power sources to operate plug and play battery maintenance systems aren't always practical and available.
Not only does poorly or inefficiently managed battery maintenance lead to early failure and unnecessary replacement costs but can also lead to "emergency" and expensive jump starts or tows. Downtime is money lost and premature battery replacements—especially for commercial fleets— are a budget breaker.
So, a growing number of truckers are opting to harness the power of sunshine with the installation of solar panels for regular and routine battery maintenance. Many of today's solar panels, which utilize UV rays, are so efficient they typically require only a couple of hours of sunlight.
It's important to choose the right solar panel for the amount of power needed and the size and place of the mounting location. In the past, users had to struggle with panels that were too big, too bulky and too fragile. It's equally important to find solar products that have the capability to desulfate and maintain all types of 12V and 24V lead-acid battery systems, including conventional flooded, AGM and VRLA types.
Recommended is a solar system utilizing higher efficiency, higher quality crystalline silicon cells that pack more power per square inch than standard amorphous "thin film" solar cells. Typically "crystalline" solar cells have a footprint that is 50% smaller than the amorphous cells that are commonly used.
Today's solar products can be found for any 12V or 24V battery and typically come in 2, 5, 6 and 25-watt versions. The better systems are protected with a clear, polyurethane plastic coating mounted on a laminated aluminum substrate to make them virtually indestructible and impervious to weather, aging and damage from bumps and knocks.
A popular choice is the SP-5 manufactured by PulseTech® Products Corp., a commercially-rated solar panel which provides a full 5-Watts of power. It offers clean, renewable energy for trucks and larger public transportation vehicles. Half the size of comparable solar chargers with multiple installation options (including an ability to maintain up to 4 12V batteries connected in parallel), the SP-5 replaces the power loss from electrical accessories that occurs even when the ignition is turned off and its patented Pulse Technology removes damaging sulfate crystals from the battery plates.
As a battery ages through use or sits unused for periods of time, lead sulfate crystals can enlarge and build-up excessively to the point where they create a physical barrier across the surface of the battery plates. Before long, this build-up can become so dense that a battery is no longer able to accept or release energy
PulseTech's exclusive, patented Pulse Technology cleans (desulfates) the plates and brings the battery to a like-new state capable of holding a full charge. Pulse Technology has proven to extend lead acid battery life up to five times what is typical (most consumer batteries have 24-30 month warranties on a pro rata basis).