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The importance of charge acceptance for truck batteries

The importance of charge acceptance for truck batteries

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Do not underestimate charge acceptance

The importance of a good cold start value (CCA) and a high usable capacity (C20) for truck batteries is now common knowledge. Most fleet operators know that only truck batteries with a high cold start potential and adequate capacity can ensure reliable fleet operation.

Modern hoteling functions need power

For some time, truck batteries have been subjected to greater demands. In the past they were mainly used for starting and were charged by the generator while driving. This situation has changed considerably over the past decade. A large amount of electronic equipment which assists in the safety, environment and driver comfort all contributes to the increased load on the truck battery. As well as this: Driver loyalty is becoming increasingly important, because fleet operators face a shortage of 35,000 truck drivers. Companies cannot afford to make savings with equipment if they do not want to lose drivers to their competitors. The large number of consumers in the truck have an effect on the requirements of fleet operators for the batteries. A truck battery is a component which is too important to be neglected.

Charging times are reducing, but power demands are growing

When the engine is off, the battery is discharged faster and more deeply due to the large number of electrical consumers. Therefore it must be charged with greater current and more frequently. Although the battery is charged by the generator while driving, it has to share a large proportion of the power which is supplied by the generator with the electrical consumers. If the light, the refrigerator and the radio have to be supplied in the truck, the amount of power to charge the battery is reduced.

Many modern trucks are equipped with functions which help to save fuel and improve efficiency. About 35% of total fleet costs result from fuel consumption. To improve fuel efficiency downhill travel and braking are used to charge the battery. On the other hand when traveling uphill and accelerating the engine should operate with the highest possible efficiency. This is achieved by decoupling the alternator, known as passive boost. When coasting, the sailing function switches off the engine and decouples it from the drive train. This not only means that the time which is available for charging the battery is reduced, but also that in these phases the battery has to supply all of the electrical consumers. 

Charge acceptance – a critical factor for older batteries 

With older batteries, the charge acceptance is often inhibited. An essential reason for the gradual deterioration of charge acceptance is sulfating, which reduces the active surface of the plates in the battery cells. The usual driving time of the truck is therefore no longer sufficient to ensure complete recharging of the battery. However, during the next few overnight stays, the battery should once again provide sufficient energy for lighting, the refrigerator and the coffee machine. Premature failure of a comfort function such as TV or the kettle may only be annoying, but if the truck fails to start the next morning, this often has negative consequences for scheduling and customers.

On the safe side with VARTA® truck batteries

The innovative features of the new generation of VARTA truck batteries are designed to meet the increased demands in a modern truck and ensure a permanently high charge acceptance. With the patented PowerFrame® technology and use of glass fleece separators in VARTA AGM batteries, fleet operators are in an ideal position to cope with the increased demand for electrical power in everyday logistics. In the VARTA EFB battery, the patented mixing element ensures high charge acceptance and a long service life.