Tips for Keeping your Batteries Charged while Off-Grid
Maintaining sufficient 12-volt power
If you are wanting to travel off-grid for a longer trip, you will want to ensure you have the right charging methods to keep your auxiliary batteries charged, your lights on and your fridge cold.
You are going to use a certain amount of power every day, depending on what electrical accessories you want to run. To maintain healthy batteries, you must be able to replace the power you’ve drawn. Starting with fully charged batteries after your drive to camp will help here but being conscious of your power draw throughout the day is essential to avoid killing your batteries.
But how do you ensure you keep your batteries charged while off grid?
Fixed, blankets, or flexible! There are plenty to choose from. The main thing to consider in how many amps your solar will produce. You want to be putting in more amps than what you are drawing out. Because weather conditions can change, you’ll want a secondary charging option.
DC-DC charging gives you more control and flexibility when charging and maintaining auxiliary batteries. Equipped with selectable charge voltages for a variety of batteries, including AGM and Lithium – you have more flexibility with the batteries you use in your set up. Although a DC-DC system comes with a higher price tag than traditional VCR Alternator charging, a DC-DC charger pays for itself in the long term, extending your battery life by correctly charging and maintaining your batteries.
Upgrade to lithium batteries that provide more usable power than lead-acid batteries and charge faster.
Lithium batteries are becoming increasingly popular across 4WD, Marine, and Caravan industries. The Baintech Lithium batteries deliver at least 6 times more usable amp hours over their lifetime compared to lead acid batteries. This reduces the cost of replacement, installation and inconvenience every 3 years, which leads to long term cost savings.
Lithium batteries can be safely discharged to 80% DOD compared to typically 50% DOD for lead acid batteries. This means for a 100Ah battery you have 80Ah available to use with a lithium battery and only 50Ah with a lead acid. Not only do you save on space and weight, you’ll save on money in the long term.
New to the market, the Baintech Slimline 110Ah Batteries are perfect for the 4WDer who wants to save on space and weight. The battery can be mounted in any orientation, under false floors, behind seats, or in rear wings of the fourbie.
Charging Lithium Batteries
With the advancement of Lithium technology, and the increase in the uptake of Lithium Batteries, we’re seeing an increase in Lithium compatible 12 V chargers and accessories.
The NEW DC-DC Charger (D250SE) from CTEK now includes a lithium charging profile. The D250SE is a fully automatic, 5 step charger that supplies up to 20A of power to any 12V lead-acid or lithium* service battery from 40–300Ah. It has selectable charge algorithms for AGM and lithium* batteries and can use power through its dual input from alternator, solar panel and wind power. When the service battery is fully charged, the D250SE will automatically redirect maintenance charge power to the starter battery. The D250SE can maintain a stable output up to 20A to vehicles fitted with smart ECU controlled alternators and also has a temperature sensor for optimised charging, regardless of weather conditions. *) 12V lithium batteries (LiFePO4, Li-Fe, Li-iron, LFP)
Pre Charge your Batteries with a VICTRON AC Charger
To charge and maintain your batteries pre and post trip. The VICTRON range have a charged suited to any battery type. The seven-step charging algorithm gets the best out of your battery. The charger gives the battery the power it needs, maintains its health, ensures better performance... and a longer life.
Recovery of deeply-discharged 'dead' batteries
The VICTRON Blue Smart IP65 Charger will attempt to recharge a deeply-discharged battery by force-feeding it with a low current. Normal charging will then be resumed as soon as there is sufficient voltage across the battery terminals. Perfect for charging up batteries after your camping trip.
What about a Portable Dual Battery Set Up?
From the worksite to the campsite. The PowerTop does it all. Acting as a portable dual battery system (without the permanent wiring in) so you can run your lights and charge phones at the campsite, or power your fridge at your jobsite.
Plug and Play design, makes the PowerTop so simple to use. Via three Grey Anderson plugs, you can charge and power 12volt equipment on the go. The PowerTop can be charged from 2 sources at the same time as long as the 50A total limit is not exceeded. The grey Anderson plugs are bi-directional and can handle loads or charging to a maximum of 50A.
So whether you’re a weekend warrior, preparing for the big lap, or just need some off-grid power for your worksite, there’s an option for you.