A Battery charger is a device designed to put energy into a secondary cell to recharge your chargeable batteries.
Why should I use a rechargeable battery?
A typical rechargeable battery can be charged many times and typically they last 3-4 years. Battery chargers are a genius way of keeping our Planet green and will definitely save you a substantial amount of money.
Technology increases battery life and power, but how well your battery performs depends on how they are used and how long they were charged for. Having this in mind, a decent battery charger is as important as the batteries we put into it. However, one battery charger may not be suitable for a different rechargeable battery.
Different types of rechargeable batteries respond best to different types of charging, therefore being able to pick a charger suitable for one type of battery may not work well with another. In other words, we should not charge a mobile phone with a car battery charger, but neither should we charge Ni-MH batteries with a nicad charger. Many modern rechargeable applications, such as laptops or MP3 players come with their own charger, therefore there is no need to be worried about matching the charger to the battery.
Guidelines when buying a battery charger
- Use a compatible charger – the battery voltage needs to agree with the battery charger
- A lead-acid charger should switch to float charge when fully saturated; a nickel-based charger must switch to trickle charge when full. Li-ion cannot absorb overcharge and receives no trickle charge.
- The Ah rating of a battery can be marginally different than specified, we should not charge if the Ah rating deviates more than 25%
- Chargers should have a temperature override to end charge on a faulty battery.
- Battery chargers should be supervised in use and if warm, the battery should be removed
- The best results can be achieved charging at room temperature as charge acceptance drops when cold
Benefits of using a rechargeable battery
- Better performance than standard non-rechargeable batteries
- Eco-friendly for the environment
- Charge several chemistries including lithium-ion, NiCd, Ni-MH
- Fast charging times
- Multi battery capacity