Smart Car Battery Chargers....Keepower?
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Thread: Smart Car Battery Chargers....Keepower?

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Smart Car Battery Chargers....Keepower?

    Hi all,

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    It's been quite a while since I was last on here ...this forum has been helpful in the past so I thought I'd create a thread about Smart Car Battery Chargers.

    I used to own a Ctek MXS 5 smart charger however after having used this charger on a flat battery and fully charging overnight (on Reconditioning mode) and then refitting 'charged' battery in the vehicle I was left stranded 2 hrs later as the battery was dead already!
    Yes I know I should have load tested the battery after charging but I didn't have a tester for this and foolishly assumed that the Ctek charger would pick up a fault in the battery in the Testing stage
    So in a fit of rage I returned the Ctek charger for a full refund convinced it should have indicated an error in the battery before I was left stranded!!!

    So now I'm looking to purchase another smart charger ..all the reviews you hear about are mainly on Ctek's but I've stumbled across another brand called Keepower by Inelco ...quite popular in Europe...the very useful thing with these smart chargers is they'll detect and charge a battery with a voltage as low as 0.4v something Ctek chargers are not capable of atm...Ctek's will only detect +4v so I'm told.
    All the talk is on Ctek's but has anyone had any experience with these Keepower chargers?
    Any input would be greatly appreciated!
    Last edited by raver; 11th April 2017 at 12:38 PM.

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    the famous 18E pug206gti's Avatar
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    G'day,
    Aldi occasionally have on on sale, mine seems to works OK.
    regards,
    Les W.


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by pug206gti View Post
    G'day,
    Aldi occasionally have on on sale, mine seems to works OK.
    Keepower chargers?

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    I've never seen one in the flesh, but they are expensive. I use a 50 years old dumb charger if needed to get a smart charger functional (ie dead dead flat) and switch to my Genius smart charger. If the battery is utterly extinct, it won't hold a charge.

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    1000+ Posts REN TIN TIN's Avatar
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    If an automotive starting battery of the flooded lead-acid type is run to dead flat then it's likely to be past saving anyway and no charger, regardless of how 'smart' it is will restore the battery. Anything less than about 75% charge (around 12.4V) for more than a few days is usually fatal and causes irreparable damage. Recharging the battery and it might hold a charge for bit after recharging but will self-discharge relatively quickly when taken off charge.

    If the battery is down to 0.4V it's most likely beyond saving, even 4 volts would be too far gone so having a charger go down to these levels will be of no use. Anything below about 12V in a car battery and it's considered flat.
    VRLA and standby batteries can go lower than a starting battery.
    There are some starting batteries (e,g, Varta) that could go lower than a flooded battery but they're very expensive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by REN TIN TIN View Post
    If the battery is down to 0.4V it's most likely beyond saving, even 4 volts would be too far gone so having a charger go down to these levels will be of no use. Anything below about 12V in a car battery and it's considered flat.
    According to the manufacturers of Ctek's and the like they can perform 'miracles' even desulphate virtually dead batteries...you may not ever need to buy a new battery again!

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    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    Irreversible death voltage is approx. 1.86V per cell, or 11.2V. A flat battery is 11.5V but you can usually still start a car and the reason why 12V fridges have 11.5V cut outs.

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    The thing about batteries, is prevention is far more effective than trying to cure. And no matter what, you can't prevent for ever.

    That's why chargers like ctek exist, to keep it topped up all the time, not really to try and fix dead batteries.
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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    And when a battery is stuffed, everything you do in the way of "rejuvenation", "restore" or similar doesn't alter that fact.

    And it's time to start saving up for a new battery in the not too distant future.

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Okay.

    Here's my two cents which will probably go ignored.

    The best in battery management you can buy is based on Radio control chargers.

    They are expensive.

    Because they do all that stuff you wanted your Ctek to do, only these things actually do it. You can also program cycles, see a log of the charging process with a nice little graph that measures current vs voltage and so on.

    You can do all sorts of load tests on it, and it will show (large display) and log the process for you from beginning to end in graph and data form.

    It can also test electric motors of all kinds (as long as they're electric, duh) under all sorts of programable conditions and it will show you all the crucial parameters that can help you decide if the motor is toast or not.

    I have one such charger which is on duty for all my batteries (it does lead acid, Lipo, Nicd, NiMh, LiFe, etc) when push comes to shove.

    You still need a DC power source capable of some grunt (the charger itself handles continuous loads of up to about 30-50 Amps, which is no mean feat).

    You can have temperature monitoring (sensor included), balancing of power cells, etc.

    Look for Supernova Competition and that'll be the last charger you buy.

    If you're lucky to still find one (I know where one is in the shop in Perth - 300$+ it is).

    PS. here's a cheaper one (S/H):

    https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/kamb...ply/1143276087
    Last edited by schlitzaugen; 10th April 2017 at 06:06 PM.
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    I disagree with some of the above about flat batteries being unsavable. After having my R10 stand for 3 months while I was in AUS., the battery was completely flat (not even 1 volt on the volt meter) I "pumped it up" with my $12 Chinese charger and now a year later, it's fine, even though I only use the car about one day a week. It's a Marshall lead/acid battery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by raver View Post
    Keepower chargers?
    G'day,
    ?? Aldi branded.


    When I was younger than today, I was told that anything over 5 years was a bonus for a battery.
    regards,
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  13. #13
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Which is probably still true of any battery today.

    Henry, you were not necessary lucky, but perhaps a bit lucky. Your battery was flat, but not dead.

    That is because your car doesn't have a constant low drain when switched off, like say a computer (ECU), an alarm or some such. When your car is off, it's off. As in everything is cut off from power. The battery then only discharges through its internal resistance, with no outside load, which is perfectly normal, and will not drain the battery below the threshold (think of all the batteries sitting on shelves in shops - how long before they sell?). In a modern car today even the digital dash clock is a small little drain, just enough to discharge the battery below the point of no return (and small loads like that are more nefarious, because they manage to squeeze the last little drop of life out of the battery - a large drain kills the battery swiftly, if you catch on in time, you may have a chance of reviving it). Leave a modern car sitting for a year or so and your battery will be dead as the dodo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rubyalpine View Post
    I disagree with some of the above about flat batteries being unsavable.
    It's not that they're unsavable. You're just increasing the rate of decay if you let them go under 11.2V. Instead of lasting 4 years, it may only last 3.5 years. You'll never obviously ever know how much damage you've done.
    Last edited by PeterT; 10th April 2017 at 06:14 PM.

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    1000+ Posts driven's Avatar
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    Batteries also need some discharging as well.
    Continuous charging is not good either

    My lead acid sealed battery in my alarm system also automatically draws a load a well.
    Just changed it, lasted 11 years with this cycling

    Better go to Battery University

    As good as any How to Prolong and Restore Lead-acid Batteries - Battery University

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    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rubyalpine View Post
    I disagree with some of the above about flat batteries being unsavable. After having my R10 stand for 3 months while I was in AUS., the battery was completely flat (not even 1 volt on the volt meter) I "pumped it up" with my $12 Chinese charger and now a year later, it's fine, even though I only use the car about one day a week. It's a Marshall lead/acid battery.

    Henry
    Maybe you and I have different concepts of "stuffed".

    Totally discharged is not necessarily "stuffed" but if the can be depending on the particular battery.

    Intermittent use is hardly a definitive benchmark of a "rejuvenation".

    I'd suggest you will be "Hollering" for a new battery soon, especially if you let it discharge too many more times.

  17. #17
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by driven View Post
    Batteries also need some discharging as well.
    Continuous charging is not good either

    My lead acid sealed battery in my alarm system also automatically draws a load a well.
    Just changed it, lasted 11 years with this cycling

    Better go to Battery University

    As good as any How to Prolong and Restore Lead-acid Batteries - Battery University
    Sealed lead acid batteries (used in alarm systems) are different to wet cells. Most alarm panel manufacturers simply constant voltage float charge them at 13.6 to 13.8 volts. Fire alarm system sometimes use staged charging systems.

    After 20 years in the security industry working exclusively with SLA batteries. The average life is around 4-6 years for the name brand quality batteries. And less the 2 years for the $12 cheapies. After a few power failures and major discharge cycles they all reduce capacity.

    Hook your 11 year old "fully charged" 12v/7 amp hour SLA battery up to 350ma load and see it hold the load for around 15 -20 hours.
    I'll tell for sure it won't , regardless of brand. A new battery will hold it capacity at 20 hour discharge rate.

    The greatest eye opener about battery life was when Inner Range introduced the dynamic battery test to the industry.

    Once a month at a specific time the AC charger was turned off and the battery voltage monitored with the equipment load on the battery. If the battery voltage dropped to under 10.5v within 4 hours the alarm reported "failed battery test" to the control room and turned the charger back on.

    It was a great service generator.

    We never saw batteries pass this test if they were more that 6 years old. And on load testing is the only legitimate battery test method.
    Last edited by robmac; 10th April 2017 at 06:41 PM.

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    1000+ Posts alan moore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pug206gti View Post
    G'day,
    ?? Aldi branded.


    When I was younger than today, I was told that anything over 5 years was a bonus for a battery.
    I generally have had a good run with batteries. The original one in the Volvo XC90 D5 lasted 8 years, the one in my 09 Suzuki SV650S is still the original and working well. The megabuck small lightweight sealed batteries in both the 4CV and BMW 2002 went 10 and 13 years, with 4CV one only having its life shortened by an idiot (me) using it to move a non going wreck around the yard on the starter, having already used it to get up onto a trailer. For my special cars I have been buying SSB branded Lithium batteries that have amazing CCAs for such light batteries and have so far gone 3 years.

    I have had one of the Aldi (smart?) chargers for about 2 years, and it is proving to be a good buy for keeping my less used machines batteries charged. I like that they have a setting for motorbike batteries. I am guessing they are a copy of the CTech units, but are about 1/4 the price.
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