The Baintech PowerTop is a neat, portable 12V 100 Amp Hours Gel battery powerhouse with a sleek anodized aluminum top. It fits well into current camping power needs which demand an easy to manage second battery with serious grunt. As many popular contemporary 4WD’s, Utes and SUV designs do not have room in the engine bay for a second battery a solution like the PowerTop works. It comes with a 12 month warranty.

In controlled GoSeeAustralia evaluations the PowerTop has reached 70 hours before the Flat Battery alarm kicks in.

GSA plans for best results with our varied fridges in caravans, campers and tow vehicles. Everything in the fridge is pre-cooled before we start. This is the normal process for GSA before we go on the road with any of our diverse Recreational Vehicles. The night before a trip the householder/caravan park fridge cools or freezes everything we plan to take.

In this case a well packed small (about 30litres) WAECO fridge in the Jeep is run overnight on mains power to bring it down to optimum cool levels.

Optimum does not mean freezer levels in the food section.

Your correspondent’s test of cool requires that lettuce and tomatoes in a sealed container will be crisp and firm when required.

BaintechPowerTopInstallPic1

 

The PowerTop is a particularly happy fit in GSA1 the company Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Because of the Jeep’s seating and cargo space design it is as if the partnership with the PowerTop was always planned. The PowerTop straps down and locks in behind the smaller split back passenger seat on the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s driver’s side. Drop the seat back down and the 32kg, 100 Ah Gel battery and five socket outlets are easily accessible.

 

That’s right-five socket outlets: Universal USB, Engel, LockOn and two Ciga sockets, all protected by a 20A thermal self-resettable breaker. The maximum load across all sockets is 200W.PowerTop Sockets

A big red battery isolator switch powers down the unit. It must be switched on as well as the battery power switch to charge the PowerTop. This is information is mentioned under the Load Connection heading in the User Operation Manual.

The PowerTop has a built-in 5A AC connected battery charger. There is also a built-in electronics (VCR) to accept charge from the vehicle’s system input, for voltages above 13.2V. The LCD volt meter has an audio low volt alarm buzzer which gives a heads up as the voltage drops to about 11V.

There are three Anderson plug points mounted in the PowerTop and three different Anderson plugs are needed for the PowerTop.
PowerTop Anderson

They are the familiar load connection Grey Anderson. It is used for regulated output, from the vehicle for example. The Grey Anderson is the major output connection from the PowerTop Gel battery.

Work from right to left and the next Anderson in the trio is the Blue vehicle charge input.

Next is the Red Anderson solar/external (12V solar panel input can be unregulated). A pack of Red, Blue and Grey Anderson plugs will cost $29.90.

For home DYI crimping cables is fine to set-up the Anderson plugs.

BaintechPowerTopInstallPic3

BaintechPowerTopInstallPic4But GSA prefers a professional heavy duty approach to electrics so our resident electrical engineer, our MD Graham Wallace (yes, he is qualified) soldered two Grey Andersons to about three metres of heavy duty cable. Then we made up a short cable section with a Grey Anderson mated to a Blue Anderson vehicle connection.

Three metres of heavy duty cable is not overkill in this case. For charging the PowerTop from the Jeep’s external Anderson plug mounted to the right of the Jeep’s towing shank three metres is needed as the cable passes to the right of the Jeep’s WAECO fridge and across to the grey Anderson connection on the PowerTop.

GSA tow vehicles are fitted with Anderson plugs to handle really heavy electrical loads. In the GSA1 Jeep’s case this includes the ability to power a heavy duty boat retrieval winch.

LED01The PowerTop has six LED indicators which light up as required for Flat battery, Mains power, Boost, Float, Solar/external and Vehicle.

To connect an unregulated DC source, for example a 12V PV panel (36 cell) it must be connected to the Red Anderson connector which is helpfully labeled Solar/External Charge. The PowerTop has a built-in regulator which stops the Gel battery being overcharged.

Baintech recommends that a 20A (maximum) charger, suited to Gel batteries, be used for fast charging. Recommended voltage set points are: Bulk 14.8V and Float 13.7V. The external charger should be connected to the Grey Anderson connector which is labeled 50A battery output.

The battery isolator switch must be on for load connections.

BaintechPowerTopInstallPic2

The Grey Anderson plug is protected by a 50A self-resettable thermal breaker. Maximum recommended load, as a guide, is under 500W, dependent on ambient temperature.

New Lockon002

Loads can also be connected to the LockOn, max load/socket 10A. The LockOn socket is designed to make sure gear stays connected. For example keeping the fridge connected in rough going.

Other load sockets are: Engel max load/socket 10A. Ciga x 2 max load/socket 10A. USB max load/socket 2.3A. The sockets output are protected by a 20A self-resettable thermal breaker. The maximum recommended load across all sockets as a guide is 200W, dependent on ambient temperature, Baintech says.

 

Important operating points:

The PowerTop has a recommended retail price of $682.

Including a packet of Red, Blue and Grey Anderson plugs.

This article originally appeard on the GoSeeAustralia Website

2 Responses

  1. i am running a duel battery system in my 08 hilux cab chassis,i would like to run a third battery in back of the tray,would this system be ok connected with a anderson plug to my second battery,i would like to be able to charge both batteries when driving and also with a solar panel

  2. Hi, apologies for the delay we had some system errors and your message has only just shown up.
    The Powertop will normally be connected into its blue Anderson socket if you have a standard alternator in your vehicle. The other end of the that same cable from the blue Anderson plug runs back to the battery under the bonnet.
    HOWEVER – if you have an electronic smart alternator in your car (check with vehicle manufacturer ) – you wire the battery under the bonnet into the GREY Anderson socket on the Powertop via a CTEK D250S Dual Dc-Dc charger. The dual will also need an ignition relay as well connected in. The Powertop and DC-Dc will not flatten the crank battery as its voltage cut-off threshold is high enough to prevent this from happening. The relay wired to the ignition also aids in preventing this.
    I can send you some diagrams if you would like, please let me know. Thanks

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