Battery is an indispensable source of energy, empowering most kinds of electronic devices like cell phones, watches, remote controls, key fobs, and some electric vehicles, including electric bikes, electric cars, personal watercraft and golf carts.
It’s hard to imagine how our days would become without the presence of batteries.
Due to the battery’s crucial part in life, you need to employ effective methods to supply it with sufficient power to keep the possibility of it getting drained while you are still in need of it.
This is especially true in-vehicle batteries since it lasts longer and works effectively with a constant boost of energy.
A charger is a must-have companion, directly impacting the longevity and performance of any rechargeable battery and making the engine start.
In general, battery chargers are classified according to their operation and speed. In terms of function, there are three main types of battery chargers, namely smart charger, trickle charger, and simple charger.
Among those three variants, the first one shows a superior feature in which it can stop during the battery charging process when the battery is fully charged.
When it comes to speed, battery chargers come in another three types: slow chargers, rapid chargers, and fast chargers.
Each class shows a different charging speed and working effectiveness.
So what are the differences between those various battery charger types? What are the tips for buying a suitable battery charger?
How to make full use of a charger? Keep reading our article on battery charger to find out the answers!
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All Should Know About Battery Charger
Battery chargers or rechargers are electric tools, designed to pump energy and power into the second or rechargeable batteries like a lead-acid battery through an electric current.
They come at various sizes, shapes, and prices, suitable for each device and customers’ budgets.
Usually, a battery charger comprises the following main parts: a control circuit, tifier circuit, power circuit, ripple monitoring, short circuits and a specific type of circuit in charge of detecting flaws.
Here is some more detailed information about battery chargers that you can refer to when planning to charge your car, for instance.
Battery charger types
As mentioned above, battery chargers are divided into various categories, each of which meets the several demands for energy of customers.
Among all, classification by operation types is more popular than the rest.
Items falling under this include smart chargers, trickle chargers and simple chargers.
Smart chargers are the most expensive ones.
Yet, it is, more often than not, the most in-demand since it provides impressive performance.
These automatic battery chargers are designed to automatically switch on and off the charging mode when needed without your interference.
This is the best choice for batteries, as it keeps rechargeable batteries in good condition by helping you avoid overcharging.
Trickle chargers seem to be overshadowed by the former ones in both performance and speed.
They slowly pump the electric current through the batteries for a long period until they are fully charged.
Sadly, these battery chargers cannot prevent overcharging or undercharging, as they don’t switch automatically or have a timer.
The last one, simple charger, functions just the way people name it: in a straightforward, non-complex manner.
It continuously pumps the power through the battery until you unplug it.
Although this type of battery charger is cheaper than the other two, it may damage your battery due to overcharging.
Excess energy can make batteries get hot, but undercharging will make them flat faster.
Thus, it would help if you disconnected the charger when the led indicator is on.
When it comes to speed, battery chargers come in two main types: fast chargers and low chargers.
The former can claim batteries in under one hour, ensuring you fast charging, and automatically switch off.
However, they are more expensive than other types.
By contrast, the latter can charge the battery more slowly and take more time.
Normally, you need to plug it in overnight until your battery is fully charged.
Of course, their price is just somewhere on the average level and anyone can afford them.
The latest battery chargers are both fixed and portable solar chargers, designed to convert light and sunlight into low voltage DC and then electricity.
The power is still harnessed on a cloudy day, so solar chargers are increasingly popular due to their environmental friendliness.
Solar panels and portable solar chargers are prime examples of this type of charger.
How does a charger work
All battery chargers have one thing in common: Their target is to send a continuous power flow to the batteries to make them full and ready to use.
However, how a charger works depends greatly on its type and the unique chemical reactions happening during operation.
For example, in sealed lead-acid batteries used to power vehicles like cars, motorcycles, or motorboats, a constant charge current is pumped around ¾ of the charging time, before a topping charge and a floating charge, which prevent self-discharge and overcharging.
This process is backed up by additional features and safety features like temperature compensation, reducing energy loss and ensuring the charger’s health.
Battery Charger Buying Guide
So how can you buy the most suitable charger to buy for your devices? Here are our useful tips that may help you sometimes:
Decide the right charger type based on your battery
Maintaining and charging must go together if you want your batteries to last longer and work effectively.
One of the best maintenance methods is to connect the right charger to the battery.
A car charger should not always be an air compressor charger.
As mentioned above, there are three frequently used amp ratings suitable for different devices.
Two amps are used to power electronic devices like smartphones, remote controls, baby monitors or LCD screens.
In comparison, two to eight amps are suited to vehicles like electric bikes, electric motorcycles and more.
Over eight amps like 12v batteries should be pumped to four-wheel or big vehicles like cars, trucks, personal watercraft, and golf carts.
Moreover, each battery is compatible with a specific type of charger.
Noco genius, battery tender plus, motor power MP00205A 12V 800MA, gel cell, AGM gel, battery tender junior charger, Schumacher SC1281, 612v fully automatic battery charger and any automatic 12volt battery chargers are battery maintainers, specifically used in a lead-acid battery, cars, trucks and four-wheeled vehicles.
On the other hand, other charger battery maintainers like black decker BC15BD, and black decker BM3B should be used in smartphones and small electronics.
Besides, if you are inexperienced in buying a suitable battery and charger to charge your car, a starter battery and starter charger will be some fitting choices.
Determine the charger size
Usually, the larger the battery is, the more amps and energy it can store.
Some are the same size as a cigarette lighter, a coin or a big box.
Therefore, depending on the size of your devices and the amp ratings needed to charge them, you should consider the most suitable chargers carefully to avoid damaging your electronic devices.
Choose chargers based on prices
A high cost doesn’t necessarily ensure you a high-quality product.
As long as the charger meets your energy demands and does good to your battery, it can come at any price.
Therefore, first and foremost, before actually heading out for one, your job is to determine the most compatible charger.
How To Use Battery Charger
Check the battery charger carefully before using
What you need to know before charging your battery are the input voltage and the settings.
If you failed to take the input voltage into account, you might run the risk of excessive or too low voltage.
Both can damage the inside components and the life span of the batteries.
Therefore, remember to make a voltage alternator check by looking at the charger label and adjust so that it is compatible with battery voltage.
Don’t mix batteries of different capacities or chemistry.
Each battery charger is designed to charge certain types of battery specifically.
Therefore, if you deliberately try to recharge different types together, you run a risk of damaging both batteries and chargers.
Incompatibility in the milliamp hours and amp ratings may cause reverse polarity, make chargers fail to work properly and make smart batteries reduce their shell life, if not worse, explode.
Don’t forget to maintain battery chargers.
Whether it is a smart car battery charger, jump starters or just simple ones, they need proper care and maintenance.
To fully exploit the chargers’ energy, you should use USB ports, alligator clips, ring terminals, jump starts or jumper cables to connect chargers and any battery types like boat battery, portable car battery.
After the charging process, you should keep those chargers in dry and clean places, away from the direct heating sunlight.
Still, the best way to maintain your battery chargers is to buy a charger maintainer to store it so if you can pay for one, do not hesitate to do so.
Junior chargers and maintainers should always go together.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long can I leave my charger connected to my battery?
Each type of battery and charger will show you a different answer.
However, generally, the charger should be disconnected from the battery as soon as the battery is fully charged.
This can be seen through the indicator light on the battery settings.
If you fail to disconnect the charger on time, your battery may face the danger of being overcharged and heated up.
As a consequence, the battery may have a reduced life span, or worse, unexpectedly explode and become a dead battery.
As most normal chargers don’t stop putting a current through the battery, you need to keep an eye on it to disconnect at the right time.
Automatic chargers and smart chargers can save you from this annoying job, as they are designed to stop charging when the battery is full automatically.
2. What’s in a multi-stage charging system?
The basic battery charger in the past had only a single-stage, requiring users to switch on and off when they need to recharge their batteries.
However, this annoying work can be accomplished by the multi-stage charging system.
Most multi-stage charging systems feature three main stages: float mode, boost mode and absorption.
While the first one converts the chargers into a trickle, keeping the battery in a full power state, the second mode puts the maximum current through the battery until it is fully charged.
The absorption mode is designed to reduce the damage done to batteries, as it slowly pumps and charges.
3. How many amps needed to charge a battery?
The amp rating is about the speed that a charger will finish charging, and each amp rate is suitable for different electronic devices and vehicles.
For example, less than two amps are often used to charge motorcycles, ATVs, and lawnmowers, while from two to eight amps are suitable for small and medium-size vehicles.
Over eight amps or 12v are the amp rate found in battery chargers for cars, motorcycles, trucks, and deep cycle batteries in air compressors.
Some popular chargers are Schumacher SC1281, Blackdecker BM3B, AGM gel, and gel cell with fast charging and safe operation.
Battery chargers seem to be an indispensable tool for battery-powered devices.
Besides, rechargers, without a shade of doubt, have such a direct impact on the performance and shelf life of any battery that you need to consider carefully before buying one charger.
An unsuitable charger may reduce the longevity of the battery, or worse, make your quality battery fail to work properly.
However, if you have gained enough experience and tips to choose a battery charger, then purchasing one is no longer challenging.
And we hope that our article on battery charger will be a great help when you need to find information about this crucial device.
Concerning all aspects of a battery and recharger, please purchase a smart battery charger.
Despite its high cost, this charger will provide you with unexpectedly wonderful results with automatic charging features!