Friday, July 12, 2019

Battery Saver Designed to Preserve Life in Cold Chain and Temperature Sensitive Trucks

Hardy Unit Aims to Prevent Discharge and Maintenance Problems
Shipping News Feature
US – Never has the humble battery been elevated to the status it now has as a variety of cell types control aircraft, power cars and trucks and provide a means to communicate worldwide. Now an Arkansas based company, Purkeys, has come up with a device to preserve the life of batteries used in the cold chain by monitoring and maintaining an optimal charge level in accessory batteries serving trailer refrigeration and heating units.

Battery maintenance and repair costs have a significant impact on the bottom line of fleets and owner-operators alike, particularly those operating refrigerated or heated trailers. Inactive batteries naturally discharge over time and can drain a temperature-controlled vehicle’s accessory battery during seasonal periods when its dependent engine is not in service. Additionally, the parasitic current draw from built-in telematics technology in many heating and cooling units can completely drain their starter battery within just a few days of sitting idle, and the downtime and service cost of jumping or replacing dead batteries can add up fast.

Purkeys latest product, the SteadyCharge Accessory Battery Charger maintains accessory batteries during months of non-use without overcharging them, and is operational whenever the tractor is connected to the trailer. It eliminates the need for extra charging cables and automatically charges using the trailer’s existing 7-way cable, and it won’t interfere with other devices on the auxiliary circuit, such as the trailer’s ABS system. Jimmy Fielding, Northeast account representative for Purkeys, explains:

“Many large fleets spend millions of dollars on battery maintenance and replacement annually, and that’s not including asset downtime. Not only will the SteadyCharge significantly reduce battery maintenance and repair costs, it will keep vehicles and drivers on the road by extending the lifespan of existing batteries by up to 500%. It will be a game-changer for those in cold-chain transportation, and for those hauling liquids like beverages and paints that must be kept from freezing in cold weather.

“Accessory batteries may not respond when called upon to start refrigeration and heating units that have been dormant, or they may die while the vehicle is in the field, requiring a service run or even a replacement vehicle deployment. Unfortunately, many fleets and owner-operators think of battery-related maintenance expenditures as just part of the cost of doing business. [Additionally such] units are usually mounted high on the nose of the trailer, and a standard Group 31 battery generally weighs in the neighbourhood of 65 to 75 pounds.”

This of course makes for safety concerns, with such awkward access when attempting to maintain or replace the batteries. Weighing in at 10 pounds the SteadyCharge is engineered to meet SAE J1455 testing criteria and is IP66 rated for exterior mounting on the trailer body. The charging system’s logic controller includes a low voltage disconnect (LVD), which protects tractor batteries and is programmable to any LVD setpoint. Convenient LED status indicators assure users of proper functioning and alert them of any issues.

The SteadyCharge also features temperature-compensated charging that automatically optimizes its charging characteristics to match its operating climate and the unit is built to handle the harshest road conditions and comes with a three-year warranty.

By constantly replenishing a battery’s charge, users can avoid depletion, even when vehicles have been inactive for months. Battery-related removal and replacement costs and time-consuming workflow interruptions can be minimised, as can the fuel cost to run climate-control units during off-season duty cycles. By maintaining only a shallow depth of battery discharge, the SteadyCharge helps battery life spans transition from months to years.