Gone are the days when dual battery systems are only found in RV’s and caravans. The installation of dual battery systems has become very popular in 4WD vehicles around the world, particularly in countries like Australia where most 4WD vehicles carry fridge freezers and rely on auxiliary batteries to power essential equipment when in remote areas.
On-board dual battery systems have a number of uses that include giving you access to power to run lights and other appliances at your campsite for a couple of days at a time and making your camping experience a much more enjoyable one. And with the advances in technology companies like the Swedish CTEK organisation they have been taking battery management to a whole new level.
So how does it work?,well basically the setup is simple; a second or third auxiliary(deep cycle batteries) is installed in addition to your starter battery.
The second auxiliary battery is then charged by your alternator when you are driving and when you stop and set up camp the dual battery system cleverly separates your starter battery from your deep cycle batteries giving you the power to run all of your onboard appliances without draining power from your starter battery.So what are the benefits of dual battery systems? well when you get used to having a system on board its very difficult to travel on extended trips without one.
First of all it’s great to be able to set up camp for a couple of days and be able to run a fridge freezer, camping lights and charge some of your gadgets without worrying about your starter battery going dead.
Dual battery systems are designed to ensure the deep-cycle battery is charged, without the chance of the vehicle’s starting battery being discharged. And if you plan on extending your camping trip you can now easily hook up a solar panel that can connect to your dual battery system allowing you to top up your deep cycle batteries when stationary and as a result keeping your drinks cold in the fridge freezer for an extra couple of days.
A leading global brand in the care and maintenance of vehicle batteries CTEK has recently launched two complete on-board charging systems, compatible with Smart Alternators. Designed to maximise the performance of leisure batteries and provide information about the state of battery charge, these easy to install solutions deliver piece of mind, leaving you free to get the most from your leisure time.
Available as a 20A Off Grid and an impressive 140A Off Road solution, these systems combine a powerful charge, together with a handy monitor that continually checks battery voltage and current. A very neat digital display unit advises the state of charge, together with the number of hours of power available, this CTEK monitor is a very useful addition as it will advise how much power you have left in your auxiliary battery. Drawing its energy from the vehicle alternator, the CTEK Off Grid charging system delivers a safe, powerful charge to the leisure battery, whilst on the move.
Developed for use with smart alternators meaning that the system won’t shut off even if the smart alternator does, the system also features a specific AGM charge voltage to enable a faster charge for AGM
A solar panel connector enables additional maintenance charging of both the leisure battery and starter battery when parked in daylight. Whilst offering the same functionality as the CTEK Off Grid system, the CTEK 140A Off Road charging system delivers a much more powerful (140A) charge and will also ensure critical devices such as emergency lighting always function.
When the voltage on the leisure battery is low, the Off Road charging system will protect the operation of critical appliances by disconnecting non-essential items until there is sufficient power to re-connect.
It also features CTEK’s unique Start Assistance function that uses power from your service battery to start your engine if your starter battery is flat.
This is also a great addition, we have all been there and there is nothing worse that after having a great couple of days camping finding out that after you have packed up and ready to hit the road that you find your starter battery in your vehicle is dead. This is a very reassuring improvement to a top quality dual battery system. Jerry Svedlund, Integrated Solutions Business Unit Manager, CTEK said “When going off-road and off-grid, and placing complete reliance on the leisure battery for power, it’s all about piece of mind.
The CTEK Off Grid and Off Road charging systems puts you firmly in control, providing a clear picture of current battery capacity and charging the leisure battery whilst on the move, it’s the perfect combination – owners can enjoy the good times, without the hassle of a flat battery!”
“With many charging systems lacking the sophistication required to charge batteries beyond 80%, owners are not using available battery power to the maximum – if you filled up your petrol tank or oil tank, you would take it up to 100% capacity, so why wouldn’t you do the same for the battery?
The CTEK range of chargers use patented technology to condition, 100% charge and maintain leisure batteries, thereby maximising performance and increasing the battery’s capacity.” The CTEK Off Grid and Off Road charging systems are fully automatic, require no specialist knowledge for installation or use and come with a two year warranty.