The MULTI XS 3600 is a switch mode charger with pulse maintenance for lead-acid batteries 1.2Ah to 120 Ah and is one of a series of professional chargers from CTEK. It represents state-of-the-art technology within battery charging. A MULTI XS 3600 will prolong the service life of your battery. This carries out the following charging operations :-

Bulk – Charging where 80% of the energy is returned. The charger delivers an almost constant current until the battery voltage reaches maximum level.

Absorption – Charging up to almost 100%. The charge current falls and the voltage is kept constant at the maximum level.

Pulse – Maintenance phase, where the charger delivers a pulse if the battery voltage drops. Charging varies between 95% and 100%. The battery receives a pulse when the voltage reduces keeping the battery in good condition when not in use.

Automatic Modes – This charger begins charging with an almost constant current (0.8A or 3.6 A) until maximum voltage (14.4 V or 14.7 V) is reached. The charger changes mode at this point. (Necessary for sealed batteries) It locks the voltage at maximum level and allows the current to drop. The MULTI XS3600 switches automatically to pulse maintenance charging when the current drops to 0.4 A. The charging cycle restarts if the battery voltage drops to 12.8 V or 12.9V.

If the charger lamp and the maintenance-charger lamp are flashing alternately, the reason for this is due to:

  1. An interruption during charging, due to a loose connection or because the battery has ceased to work.
  2. The battery has become sulphated. If the lamps flash for more than 30 minutes, this indicates that the battery is dead and needs to be replaced.
  3. If there is an interval of more than 10 seconds between the flashes, this indicates that the battery has a high self-discharge rate and may need to be replaced.

There is an additional feature incorporated, that on mains failure or unplugging, the C-Tek will ‘remember’ what it was doing and resume its settings when the mains power is restored.

From the above information, you can see why it is perhaps the best charger to have. Leaving this charger permanently connected could make your battery last for years. I have replaced the on board factory fitted charger with the C-Tek, and the battery is six years old.

From the above information, you can see why the C-Tek chargers are perhaps one of the best makes, and if you can afford it, buy the C-Tek MXS 7000 for about £80. This charger has a better performance specification than the 3600.

Please note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author.