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Factors that affect the charging speed of a battery and how to decide which mAh to buy?

Auth Anushka Agarwal | Aug 05,2020
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Since we started using more batteries, there has been a rise in the reputation of battery chargers as well. It reiterates the fact, when there is a need for a product, the sales and revenue figures complement it. Batteries, especially rechargeable ones, are the future of human existence on this planet. There will be a time when the resources will deplete, and our need for energy will increase, considering the rise world population. This gap in energy can be fulfilled by rechargeable batteries, therefore, their need and stardom. 

Simple battery chargers supply constant DC to a battery when charging them. The charging and discharging rates are denoted as C or C-rate. It measures the rate at which a battery is charged or discharged relative to its capacity. However, C-rate does not provide the right information, only a rough idea. 

It is generally believed that a battery charger with high charging rates is a perfect buy. However, such rates are not recommended for normal batteries as they might be damaged due to overheating or even catch fire. Poor battery chemistries might even explode. Put simply, charging rates depends on the battery and its type.

Several factors can affect its charging speed.

This includes:

1. The charger’s output current: different chargers come with different outputs. For example, smartphone chargers need 5V and 1A supply, while tablet chargers need 2A or more current. A higher current from the charging device can speed the charging process, but it can also damage the device. So, you need to be careful about the same. 

2. Battery temperature: most people forget to put any thought in the battery temperature. Whenever you charge anything, its temperature increases. Temperature behaves like a necessary enemy of batteries. High battery temperature slows down charging and reduces its lifetime. Most of the batteries are charged in the temperatures ranging from 5 degrees Celsius to 45 degrees Celsius. However, battery temperature should never be over 30 degrees Celsius. Also, the ability to recombine oxygen and hydrogen is lost when the battery temperature goes below 5 degrees Celsius. So, both the extreme temperature figures are not recommended. 

3. Output quality: good chargers do not relay any noisy outputs, and that is why they charger faster and better than others. Cheap chargers, on the other hand, come forth with a noisy output, which heats it often and reduces its charging rate. 

Rechargeable batteries used in a smartphone or household purposes can store power (electric current) for some amount of time (in hours). The capacity of a rechargeable battery is defined as mAh. The higher the mAh rating, the longer a battery can provide current before discharging. As the battery capacity decreases so does the rate of discharge. Furthermore, a battery can be charged with the current, which is 10% of the battery capacity. This details the right amount of current to be used for charging your battery using a battery charger. 

The charging current = battery capacity/charging time

Therefore, find a battery charger that is either of the same brand as your battery, or it is versatile enough to charge batteries of any kind. It is better to buy rechargeable batteries and its charger from the same company. 

The external electrical factors

The following are the external system electrical factors that play a role in the charging of a battery through a battery charger. 

Input AC voltage range: what is the operating voltage of the charger? Will it be charging ay 100VAC or 220VAC? This includes both the input ranges. 

The number of slots: how many batteries can you charge at the same time? It is possible to save costs by using a multi-bank charger as opposed to a single unit? Generally, battery chargers come forth with 4 slots to charge four batteries simultaneously. 

Do the banks share a common negative or are all banks isolated? You can save a lot of money if the batteries share a common negative.

The type of battery chemistry: Battery chargers are not compatible with charging batteries of different chemistries at the same time. Also, it is not recommended. Charge batteries of similar capacity and company together, and do not mix and match. 

Conclusion

Smartcell battery chargers are build using the latest Ni-mH technology and, therefore, are suitable for rechargeable batteries of any kind. 

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