InnoFES Energy's Guide to Choosing a Battery Charger
How to choose a Battery Charger
Before choosing a Battery or Battery Charger for your needs, we recommend you read the notes which follow and the definitions explained. This will help you understand why certain Battery Chargers cost more and others less. These definitions can apply to all makes of Battery Chargers whether they are supplied by us or not.
What are battery chargers?
Industrial battery chargers, as the name implies, are used for charging rechargeable batteries. Charging is the process of returning a discharged battery to a state in which it can be used again. There are four methods commonly used for recharging batteries: constant-current, constant potential (or voltage), float, pulse, ripple, taper, and trickle. Industrial battery chargers are found in all manner of industries from simple chargers to larger, yet portable models for cars, boats, and forklifts; to battery charging systems used to charge large banks of station batteries in an industrial setting.
When using industrial battery chargers, there are three important issues to keep in mind. First, a drained battery should be recharged as soon as possible. The longer a battery sits in the uncharged state, the greater the chance of the battery sulphating. This will affect performance and longevity. If allowed to sit too long, the battery may be irrevocably damaged, and need to be replaced.
Secondly, it is important to observe proper polarity when charging the battery. If the battery, or battery bank, are reverse connected, they risk being damaged, or even worse, exploding.
Thirdly, always check each individual battery before charging to make sure that it has not been damaged during operation. Damaged batteries are susceptible to release of hydrogen gas or battery acid while being recharged. In such cases, the resulting damage can be disastrous for personnel and equipment.
Why should I buy a good quality battery charger?
A battery represents an expensive investment. Up to 85% of the 70 million new batteries sold each year will die before their 5+/-year design life is up. The main reasons for this are:
Whether you have good or bad service from your battery will first and most importantly depend on choosing the right battery for the right job. A business specializing in batteries is your best bet. Remember that it's not what you pay for the battery, but how long it will give you good performance that determines the real cost of the battery. Think long term when buying a battery. Each battery has its strengths and weaknesses. No battery is the perfect solution to any application. Reducing the "negatives" of each battery type for your particular need is the process we will help you with.
Choosing the right battery for the job is only half the story. Now you need to choose the right device to properly charge, maintain and recondition them, once they start showing signs of aging.
Buying a low cost charger with limited charging capabilities will shorten the life of the batteries rather than prolong them. All the chargers we supply are professional level equipment guaranteed to extend battery life.
Avoid battery chargers that do not have an "end of charge control" too much output current can ruin a battery in just a few hours.
What size battery charger must I use?
Sinetech stocks many different sizes, and several brands of battery chargers for solar and commercial use.
The battery charger size you choose depends on the charging current required to restore the battery to full charge. Battery capacity C, is expressed in Amp Hours and is a figure of merit used to work out battery life between charges. Battery current is described in units of C-Rate. For example, a 100Ah battery has a “C-Rate” of 100Amps. Thus to fully recharge a 12V 100Ah battery using a 12V/10A charger will take a nominal 10 hours if the battery is fully discharged.