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Milenco Optimate battery charger


armstrongpiper

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My Campervan Battery (145 A/hr) is starting to look tired and is very expensive to replace. There is an advertisement in the Caravan Club Magazine for the Milenco Optimate chargers which de-sulphate and revive tired batteries. There is a range of three types. If they do as claimed, one of these would be a better bet than buying a new battery.

Has anyone any experience of using one of these devices? Any comments would be welcome.

 

Thanks, Neil Baker

 

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A lot depends on whether your battery is a bit tired or getting towards knackered and given the type of use and abuse that the average motorhome battery gets over time I suspect the latter, in which case no ammount of electronic gizmos or posh chargers will help it?

 

The type of use you want is also a factor and if you use sites and EHU a lot then the battery is less important than if you never use ehu?

 

 

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I think one could say my battery is a lttle bit tired. Starting from fully charged, sitting disconnected, it loses charge towards 12v in 3 to 4 weeks, which it didn't used to do 3 years ago. The Milenco website info claims to resurrect batteries 'from as little as 2v output'. If these Milenco chargers do as they say, it may be a good move to get one to treat my current battery, and maybe future ones too.

I would like to hear from anyone who has experience of these chargers.

 

Neil B

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Neil,

 

I haven't tried an Optimate but do have a CTEK with the 'Recondition' mode and have to say it has never worked for me!

 

The charger is excellent but as for rejuvenating a tired battery, forget it!

 

My view is you will have to replace the battery shortly anyway, whether you have tried to rejuvenate it or not, so save your money from the charger and put it towards a new battery now.

 

Question then is do you need another 145 Ah battery or would something like the Varta 90 Ah Powerframe be sufficient?

 

Keith.

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If a battery drops from fully charged to 12.0 volts in 3 to 4 weeks I think it is fairly safe to say that unless there is something draining it, it is well and truly knackered and you need a new battery!

 

I too have a Ctek charger which has the reconditioning cycle and whilst it may help stop a battery deteriorating I doubt it can work miracles and rescue any battery once it gets beyond a certain point in the dying process.

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The battery chargers that have a desulphation program, which usually works by putting an extra high charge into a battery that is already fully charged, will only help if the battery is Sulphated.

Additionally the Sulphation should be 'soft' Sulphation and the de-sulphation charge program is applied soon (within weeks) after the Sulphation forms.

 

Obviously a desulphation program can, and usually does, create more degradation than it resolves because putting an extra high charge into an already fully charged battery isn't a good idea.

 

Many of the battery experts have their doubts that there is any beneficial effect at all.

However, they all seem to be in agreement that there will be negative side effects.

 

 

Most of the big battery manufacturers say it shouldn't be carried out. Ever.

 

 

In fact the only ones who seem to 'sell it as a significant benefit' are some battery charger manufacturers.

 

 

In this particular instance with this 145Ah battery, I am pretty sure the end result of a desulphation exercise will be additional damage as the battery seems to have 'structural' damage, not soft sulphation?

if the battery is losing charge the issue is not Sulphation, as a Sulphated battery can still hold charge.

 

The battery is most likely suffering from either Antimony poisoning or the Paste has been shed and is partially shorting the plates. Either condition will probably worsen if an attempt at 'desulphation' is made.

 

Applying a desulphation program to a battery in such a condition is likely to lead to serious gassing, so if you do try it, don't leave the battery unattended.

 

Never try to disulphate a VRLA, Gel or AGM, battery in poor condition. If you do, have a fire extinguisher handy and be prepared to clean up a lot of mess after the explosion.

 

 

 

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Sorry, I forgot to say that 'desulphating' should always be carried out with the battery isolated from the vehicle by removing the battery clamps.

On the 10amp 'Millenco 20' it can deliberately 'overcharge' at up to 22v, which obviously isn't ideal if it gets into the Habitation 12v wiring.

 

The Millenco 20 is a 10a charger (note this is a peak rating not continuous as the output is 'thermally adjusted) and the text states -

"Charge time on a flat but otherwise undamaged battery: a 100Ah 12V should take no more than about 12 hours to progress to the self-discharge check. Deep-discharged batteries may take significantly longer, a full charge may not be achieved within the 72 hour charge safety limit".

 

 

For a Deep discharged 100Ah battery to take over 72 hours (that is a lot of days to charge a 100Ah battery) doesn't seem to match it's description as a "Hi Amp professional charger"?

 

 

Suggest you carefully consider the ambitious marketing before you buy one.

 

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Is this your current battery?

 

https://www.leadingedgepower.com/platinum-agm-battery-145ah-12v-987560.html

 

If it is, as your IH motorhome has still yet to reach 3 years of age, it does make one wonder about the advertised claim that "The pure plate material in the Platinum range results in an AGM battery that will last 5-times longer than standard deep-cycle (leisure) batteries..."

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Derek, I am told that my Battery is a Platinum brand, though whether it is as pictured, I don't know as I haven't yet seen it! One has to remove a panel in the boot area to gain access and I haven't got around to this yet. I think I will have a word with iH about the Battery and any warranty issues.

 

Thanks

 

Neil B

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