Tech / Uncategorized

Tech: Battery Manager V Explained

Our Battery Manager V does more than sit there and trickle charge your battery, it employs multi-phase charging technology to also improve battery performance, longevity, and overall health. We have received questions about how to best set-up the manager and what all the lights on the unit represent. Here’s a quick explanation of the Battery Manager V’s capabilities, what its LED lights mean, and some tips and tricks on how to use it.

Battery Type

The Battery Manager V accommodates 6- and 12-volt batteries and can be used on a wide variety of battery types, including Conventional Flood, AGM, and LiFePO4 Lithium. To determine your battery type look on the battery’s label or perform a google search on the make and model of your battery.

Generally speaking a typical lead acid battery, be it maintenance free or not, is a flood type. They are also called wet cell in some instances. AGM or Absorbed Glass Mat batteries are more expensive than flood batteries, hold their charge longer, and discharge and recharge more efficiently. When it comes to lithium batteries it should be noted that the Battery Manager V will only charge Lithium Iron Phosphate or LiFePO4 batteries… there are different lithium battery compositions/chemistries and these should never be charged with a Battery Manager V.

Set Up

There are three ways to connect the Battery Manager V to your battery: alligator clip connectors, ring connectors with a quick-connect adapter, and the 12-volt outlet method.

The alligator clips are the most commonly used and allow quick and easy connecting to various batteries and vehicles. Thanks to their quick-connect adapter, ring connectors can be left on the battery and are great for vehicles that are driven semi-regularly and spend their downtime on the manager. The 12-volt outlet adapter allows you to maintain your battery through a constant power 12-volt power outlet, but to use that connection the outlet must have power without keys in the ignition.

Enlightenment

This is where the light show starts. Once the manager is plugged in and connected to your battery, settings must be selected to engage the charging process.

Lights within the red background are user controlled via the black buttons. First, select the voltage of your system by pressing the VOLTS button. Each press toggles back and forth between 6 volt and 12 volt. Virtually all modern vehicles are 12 volt. Next, select the battery type. Pressing the TYPE button will toggle between FLOOD, AGM, and LiFe. Once you’ve selected the correct battery type, hit the CHARGE button and the unit will begin charging. This button is like an on/off switch so if you push it again you will stop the charging process. Looking at the charge lights… The light on the left means charging is under way; the light on the right means charging is complete.

Beyond the power on/off indicator at the top that will flash when the unit is in standby mode and shine solid when the unit is on, the vertical array of lights in the gray field of color are system warning indicators. The R/M light refers to Recovery Mode, a feature in the Battery Manager V that will re-initiate charging automatically when the electricity comes back on after a power outage. A steady light means Recovery Mode is turned on, a blinking R/M light means Recovery Mode has been activated. The light will blink for 36 hours then turn off to preserve power.

 

The Error Indicator light illuminates when the Battery Manager V senses battery faults, short circuits, and over-voltage conditions. A Battery Fault is defined as a condition in which battery voltage does not rise by an appropriate amount during the charge or if the maximum charge time is exceeded. This is indicated when the Error and Charge LEDs are both flashing. A steady Error LED indicates short circuit protection has been activated and no electricity is being sent to the battery. This occurs when less than 1 volt is detected across the clamps. The bottom light is the Reverse Polarity Indicator. If this light is on it basically means the clamps are on the wrong battery terminal. In this mode the Battery Manager V will not send power to the battery.

Seamless Battery Charging Wizardry

The Battery Manager V uses a multi-phase charging process that includes an initial energizing mode in which the charger determines the best charging path for the connected battery. Then the unit seamlessly enters the Fast Charge stage unless the battery at hand is deeply discharged. For really dead batteries the manager goes into Soft Start Mode that eases the voltage up slower, which is safer and better for the battery from a longevity standpoint. If the unit detects sulfation (the buildup of sulfur molecules in the acid) it will switch to Reconditioning Mode and blink the charging indicator light. The unit then goes into an extended charge cycle to recondition the battery by reducing or eliminating sulfation.

As the battery approaches full charge the Full Charge Indicator light will come on and the Charging Indicator light will be blinking. At this point the battery is strong enough to be used. When a 100% state of charge is attained the Full Charge Indicator will slowly flash (the Charging Indicator light will be off).

The Battery Manager V is an easy-to-use, set-it-and-forget-it battery babysitter that delivers peace of mind and a battery that’s ready to fire your engine to life at the first key twist. This is one of most popular and long-running battery products (as its ‘V’ indicates the fifth generation) we’ve ever sold. Hopefully, these tips will make setting it up and tracking its progress easier. Happy charging.

BATTERY ACRONYMS EXPLAINED 

AGM – Absorbed Glass Mat

Absorbed Glass Mat is a sealed lead acid battery where the sulfuric acid is absorbed by a very fine fiberglass mat, making the battery spill-proof. They are lighter and more reliable that conventional lead-acid batteries. The plates can be made and used in a rectangular case or they can be wound into a cylindrical cell… these types of AGM batteries are known as Spiral Cell batteries.

CCA – Cold Cranking Amps

The number of amps a battery can deliver at 0°F for 30 seconds and not drop below 7.2 volts.

CA – Cranking Amps, MCA – Marine Cranking Amps

The number of amps a battery can deliver at 32°F

RC – Reserve Capacity

The number of minutes a fully charged battery at 80°F will discharge 25 amps until the battery drops below 10.5 volts.

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