Sophisticated and electronically controlled, CTEK battery chargers provide superior battery-charging performance. However, because CTEK offers several models, each with many specifications, choosing the right charger can be confusing. Our reference table, below, compares features across models to help you select the charger that is best suited to your needs.
The following information also explains the functions of the different batteries and how CTEK chargers can help you get the most out of yours.
Almost every gas- or diesel-powered machine uses a lead-acid battery for starting the engine. These include:
Starter batteries supply a high output for a short time - the few seconds needed to start an engine.
Batteries can be used as a power source to run electrical devices. These include:
Batteries used as a power source are designed to supply a lower output for a sustained period of time. Known as deep-cycle batteries, they typically charge and discharge at a slower rate than starter batteries.
A lead-acid battery consists of lead plates suspended in a solution of acid and water. When the battery delivers power for some use, a chemical process occurs between the acid solution and the lead plates. This process deposits a material called "sulfate" on the lead plates. When the battery is charged, the sulfate is dissolved back into the acid solution.
The sulfate that collects on the lead plates of a battery can shorten its life. If the sulfate stays on the lead plates it may crystallize. This process is called "sulfation." Once crystallized, the sulfate won't easily go back into solution. The crystallized sulfate then interferes with the normal functioning of the battery, preventing it from charging fully.
A lead-acid battery will last longest and perform best if it is kept fully charged. If not kept fully charged, a battery is subject to problems such as the following:
Vehicles that are used only periodically or seasonally (like motorcycles, snowmobiles, boats, yard equipment and farm vehicles) are especially prone to battery problems because their batteries are often left for a long time without being charged.
When prepping a vehicle for longer term storage, such as during a military deployment, be sure to keep the battery charged. For longer periods of storage, it's a good idea for someone to occasionally check on the charger and battery.
To recharge a battery, an old-style battery charger or trickle charger simply supplies a set electrical current. The charger runs until you turn it off, leaving you to guess whether the battery is fully charged. And if you don't guess correctly, you run the risk of overcharging or undercharging. Undercharging a battery allows it to sulfate and overcharging it can lead to overheating and consequent damage.
CTEK battery chargers make it easier than ever to keep a 12V lead-acid battery charged and ready for work. The internal electronics in CTEK chargers get the best possible charge out of each individual battery, eliminating guesswork. Each CTEK charger features:
Other features that CTEK battery chargers offer include:
A CTEK charger goes through a multi-step cycle. By monitoring the battery's state, it can start and stop each stage at just the right time.
If you wish, you can get extra connect cables with either eyelets or clamps to connect to battery terminals. The eyelets are available in several different sizes. Some models of cables come with built-in battery health indicators that make it easy for you to monitor the state of your battery. See the table below to compare available cables.
Cigarette plug connect cable (CTEK56263) - With this cable, you can charge your battery through your cigarette lighter or power plug (which must be active even when ignition is off). The cable connects to your cigarette lighter or 12-Volt power supply at one end and to the Comfort Connect lead of your charger at the other.
Dash-mounted charger connection and battery health indicator (CTEK56380) - With the in-dash monitor and connector installed permanently in your dash, you can easily stay informed of your battery's condition. And when your battery needs a charge, just connect your CTEK charger through the monitor's panel box right there on your dash. You won't even have to open your hood to charge your battery. The cables on this monitor connect to your battery with 8.4mm eyelets.
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