SOUTHLAKE, Texas — Not only can poorly or inefficiently managed battery maintenance lead to early failure and unnecessary replacement costs but can also lead to “emergency”repair efforts and take away from a mechanic¹s daily schedule and ability to perform other fleet maintenance tasks such as general troubleshooting and repair, ultimately affecting the fleet¹s overall sustainability and vehicle readiness.
PulseTech® Products Corporation headquartered near Dallas, TX has maximized battery performance while minimizing battery-related expenses for the military and emergency responders as well as private and public sector fleet customers since 1994.
Keeping lead-acid based batteries for commercial, government agency and military fleets performing long past expected life cycles and out of the waste stream, landfills and smelters has been the foundation of PulseTech¹s business operation, which today encompasses many battery maintenance and conditioning products including testers, battery charging, conditioning and maintenance solutions.
According to Robert “Smokey” White, PulseTech Vice President of Sales and Marketing, there are 8 major reasons for pre-mature fleet battery failure:
- Battery self discharge
- Key off parasitic drain
- Insufficient run time
- Corroded battery terminals and cables
- Intermixing of un-matched batteries
- Operator error
- Faulty electrical systems
- Physical damage
White said to keep those lead acid based batteries at peak performance while minimizing technicians time spent fleet managers should know that there is no single fix or “silver bullet.” They should employ a series of high tech smart tools, including analytical testers and charging systems such as PulseTech¹s Pro-12 battery stock maintainer, heavy duty rolling multiple battery or pallet chargers and the single station XCR-20 for seriously under maintained batteries. Along with its patented technology, White said the company recommends a scheduled routine “cradle to the grave” maintenance program that clearly defines procedures in handling and safety, preventative and corrective maintenance, testing and diagnostics, charging and ultimately battery replacement.
The program, which began and continues to grow with the military, is referred to as a Battery Manager Maintenance Program (BMMP) which incorporates PulseTech²s “smart” charger and conditioning and maintenance technology along with strong service and support.
One of the best examples of benefits through this collaboration between PulseTech and a client was the development of a MATES (Mobilization and Training Equipment Site) Battery Room guidebook covering new battery turn-in procedures, battery worksheets, constant charge maintenance, state of charge, types of equipment utilized, and hard to charge batteries.
Through this program when new batteries arrive they are placed on the SC-12 multi-station or pallet charger that cleans (desulfates) the plates and brings the batteries to a like-new state of charge. The batteries can then either be placed on the Pro-12 12 station battery maintainer for storage maintenance or put directly into use. Up to twelve batteries per station are kept charged at all times. When one is used, it is immediately replaced with another.
When a vehicle is brought into the shop, the batteries are tested to ensure they are holding a charge within 0.2 volts of each other. When this is achieved the 12V SC-12 Charger is hooked up to the vehicles. The SC-12 again returns the batteries to a like new state without having to remove the batteries from the vehicle. Once the batteries are charged they are checked for serviceability with an advanced battery analyzer (either the 390PT or 777P-PT). If a battery does not test to standard, it is replaced. That battery then starts the charging, and conditioning process over again.
Another case in point is to illustrate how fleet managers can eliminate waste is the rehabilitation and return to service of “bad” batteries that were once stockpiled in warehouses.
As a battery ages through use or sits unused for periods of time, lead sulfate crystals enlarge and can build up “excessively” to the point where they create a physical barrier across the surface of the plate. Before long, this buildup can become so dense that a battery is no longer able to accept or release energy‹hence a dead battery.
Preventive maintenance is the final phase of a complete BMMP, according to White.
As an example of “on-board” preventative maintenance, White said using the restorative power of the sun in partnership with a solar battery maintenance system has proved to work well in many commercial and military fleet applications.
“This is an excellent system, best accomplished by employment of one of the PulseTech Solar Pulse battery maintenance product options, he said. ³Anytime the sun is shining these durable solar-based products apply PulseTech¹s patented one two punch; a charge combined with its patented high frequency pulse technology, to maintain and condition your vehicle or equipment battery while in use or while sitting idle. They are to be applied according to the key off load demand of your vehicle battery.”
The Solar Pulse is designed for any 12-volt lead acid battery and comes in 2, 5, 6 and 25 Watt versions.
In the past these ³bad² batteries were stockpiled and discarded rather than re-evaluated and restored to service. Pulse Technology has changed the way we look at battery life cycles.
In dollars and cents, the retail figure for new batteries shipped annually amount to an estimated $4.8 billion while those batteries going out-of-service as alleged defective batteries and sent to the smelters are valued at an estimated $145 million.
Nearly $96 million of that $145 million are batteries that were abused or damaged and in large part capable of remaining in service through proper maintenance, charging and conditioning. As a result of sending these alleged defective batteries to the smelter prematurely, the environment and consumers pay dearly. Wasted natural resources carry a large cost today and into the future.
“We have learned how to recover or bring back batteries that will not accept and hold a charge using old conventional methods and equipment by using new high tech battery charging and maintenance systems utilizing unique and patented Pulse Technology,” said White. Since most of our products are fully automatic we have also eliminated most of the battery “baby sitting” that comes with the use of many conventional battery charging products. This increases shop efficiency.
According to White, what makes this technology so unique and effective is the application of a distinct pulse waveform. This waveform has a strictly controlled rise time, pulse-width, frequency and amplitude of current and voltage pulse. No other known battery charging or maintenance system has these specific characteristics. Pulse Technology, developed by PulseTech and patented in 1989, removes and prevents the buildup of damaging lead-sulfate deposits on battery plates in a non-harmful way, so a battery can accept, store and release maximum power all the time. Sulfation damage is the cause for over 80% of battery failure.
According to PulseTech¹s findings, if used properly the inventory of battery testing, charging and maintenance products, could reduce fleet battery consumption by 70 percent or more.
In one recent fleet maintenance case study, the client spent $9,000 on the purchase of Pulsetech¹s multi-station conditioning chargers, maintainers and battery testers to run diagnostics and maintenance on 616 batteries that were thought unusable. Through PulseTech¹s program 359 of those batteries of those batteries were recovered and kept in service, representing a cost savings of just over $40,000.
³PulseTech¹s service and support has proven to be one of the most impressive parts of this program,² said one fleet manager. ³ When our expectations of the equipment do not meet our observed results, all I do is make a call to the company liaison. This on-going consultancy has continued to fine-tune and improve our results. ³
For more information on the PulseTech fleet maintenance program or product availability call Mike Donaldson or Rick Gregory at 1-800-580-7554. For product information please go to www.xtremecharge.com.
About PulseTech® Products Corporation
Maximizing battery performance while minimizing battery-related expenses for individuals, companies, fleets and military forces since 1994, PulseTech offers a full line of products that will help protect the environment from the hazards of lead waste from discarded lead-acid batteries.