Selecting the Right Battery Charger: The Top Tips you should know
A battery charger is a specially designed technology used to charge lead-acid and other batteries based on its composition and structure. A user needs to simply put the batteries in the charger, and it will reverse the chemical reaction to charge the batteries. However, there have been several considerations regarding the type of charger you should buy for your batteries so that they can match its chemical build up. The widely acclaimed notion is to charge the batteries of a brand with the charger of the same brand. In case you cannot find a charger of the same brand as the battery, look for battery chargers that do not overcharge or damage the batteries.
Furthermore, there a few considerations that need to be taken care of when hunting for a battery charger. These include:
The type of battery you want to charge
There have been immensely useful innovations in the domain of battery technologies. For the same, there are several batteries in the market. These include lead-acid, lithium-ion, nickel-cadmium, and nickel-metal hydride batteries. All these batteries have different characteristics, and thus, need different chargers. So, you need to be mindful of the type of battery you want to charge. It is better to select the charger only if it supports the chemical composition of the battery. For example, the Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries should be charged with a compatible charger only. Lithium-based batteries are sensitive to overvoltage.
Ampere-hour rating of the battery
Another important thing you must consider during battery charger selection is the ampere-hour rating of the battery. The Ampere-hour rating of a battery entails its storage charge of the battery. If the battery is large and has a 10-ampere hour power, then you need to buy a charger that has supports 1A charge. Even if you do so, then it will take around 10 hours for your battery to be completely charged. An ideal battery charging time is 1-2 hours. So, you need to buy a battery charger with a good ampere-hour rating to reduce the charging time.
This voltage rating is the maximum floating voltage of the charger. The max voltage must be within the maximum voltage rating of the battery. For instance, if your battery is a lithium-ion one with a 3.7 rated voltage, your charge must not exceed this level otherwise the battery might get damaged too soon or explode during one of its recharge cycles.
Maximum charging current
Another aspect to consider when charging a battery is the maximum charging current. It refers to the maximum current that can be supplied by a charger despite its current capacity. When a battery is near to full charge, the charging current will slowly decrease and ultimately decline. A battery receives maximum charging current when it nearly about to discharge or when the battery has no charge left. If the battery is too big, you shouldn’t buy a charger with a small charging current. It will take a very long time for the battery to get fully charged. Read the battery manual before plugging them into the battery charging socket. Target the time of 1-2 hours or less to completely charge your battery. Give the size of the battery, you can compute the current that your charger must possess.
Features you want
The deciding factor to consider when buying a battery charger is the specific features that you want in it. However, the more feature-packed a battery is, the more expensive it will be. After you have tested the voltage, current protection, and safety features of the battery, you can look at the high-end features. If you have a low budget, then buying a simple battery charger that suffices basic functionalities will work.
The grid voltage is the voltage you receive from the wall outlet. Nowadays, chargers accept a wide range of voltages, anything ranging from 90-264V. However, for security reasons, check the charger input and see if it’s compatible with the voltage supplied by the wall outlet. Consider the country of manufacturing for a charger, like a US charger, will require 110V and not 220V, unlike the Indian charger. Take all the precautions you can when buying a battery charger.
Other mechanical aspects
This is another thing you must include in the battery selection process. Consider the termination of the charger, and see if it’s compatible with the battery. Also, see if the charger is handy. Check its compatibility with the wall outlet. Review if the batteries can fit in the charger slot perfectly.
Only the cost is not a satisfactory consideration to judge whether a battery charger is a good purchase or not. Consider all these points as well to secure your investment, your batteries, and people who’ll be using them.