Since heavy-duty trucks use two to four batteries connected in parallel to power 12- and 24-volt electrical systems, daily battery maintenance is a prime consideration.
Using the common parallel battery hookup for heavy-duty trucks, voltage remains the same as a single battery with a substantial increase in amperage. Larger diesel engines, for example, require 1800 CCA (cold-cranking amps) or more, so it is common to use four 12-volt batteries, each with a minimum of 625 CCA.
With so many heavy-duty trucks on highways, land power sources to operate plug-and-play battery maintenance systems aren’t always practical and available.
Not only does poorly or inefficiently managed battery maintenance lead to early failure and unnecessary replacement costs, but it can also lead to jump-starts or tows.
A growing number of truckers are opting to harness the power of sunshine with installation of solar panels for regular and routine battery maintenance. Many of today’s solar panels, which use ultraviolet (UV) rays, are so efficient they typically require only a couple of hours of sunlight.
It’s important to choose the right solar panel for the amount of power needed, as well as size and place of the mounting location. In the past, users had to struggle with panels that were too big, bulky, and fragile. It’s equally important to find solar products that can desulfate and maintain all types of 12- and 24-volt lead acid battery systems, including conventional flooded, AGM, and VRLA types.
Recommended is a solar system employing higher-efficiency, higher-quality crystalline silicon cells that pack more power per square inch than standard amorphous “thin film” solar cells. Typically, “crystalline” solar cells have a footprint that is 50% smaller than amorphous cells.
Solar products can be found for any 12- or 24-volt battery and typically come in 2-, 5-, 6-, and 25-watt versions. The better systems are protected with a clear, polyurethane plastic coating mounted on a laminated aluminum substrate to make them virtually indestructible and impervious to weather, aging, and damage from bumps and knocks.
One choice is the SP-5 manufactured by PulseTech Products Corp, a commercially rated solar panel that provides a full 5 watts of power. It offers clean, renewable energy for trucks and larger public transportation vehicles. Half the size of comparable solar chargers, the SP-5 offers multiple installation options, including ability to maintain up to four 12-volt batteries connected in parallel. It replaces power loss from electrical accessories that occurs even when the ignition is turned off, and its patented Pulse Technology removes damaging sulfate crystals from battery plates.
As a battery ages through use or sits unused, lead sulfate crystals can enlarge and accumulate to the point where they create a physical barrier across the surface of battery plates. Before long, this build-up can become so dense that a battery no longer can accept or release energy.
PulseTech’s exclusive, patented Pulse Technology cleans (desulfates) the plates and brings the battery to a like-new state capable of holding a full charge. This technology has proven to extend lead acid battery life up to  five times what is typical (most consumer batteries have 24- to 30-month warranties on a pro rata basis).
Access www.pulsetech.net or phone 800-580-7554 for further information.