- Created: 18-01-22
- Last Login: 18-01-22
Let me start with a disclaimer: BatteryStuff.com does not sell inexpensive, off-the-shelf battery chargers often found at retail outlets and certain other online stores. We cater specifically to microprocessor-controlled chargers, also known as smart chargers. All the chargers we stock are reviewed, tested and selected based on function, reliability and durability.
This type of battery charger is designed to charge lead acid and other types of batteries based on computer-generated algorithms. Simply put, the charger collects information from the battery and adjusts the charge current and voltage based on this information. This allows the battery to be charged quickly, correctly, and completely when using a smart charger. All the chargers we sell can remain connected to a battery indefinitely and will not overcharge or damage it.
Simple steps to select the right battery charger for your needs.
Step 1: Choosing a Charger Based on Battery Type
Whether your battery is maintenance free, wet cell (flooded), AGM (absorbed glass mat), gel cell or VRLA (valve-regulated lead acid), one charger should work for all types except for gel cell. However, some of our gel cell chargers will work well with the other battery types.
Step 2: Determining Battery Size
We don’t mean physical size, but how many amp hours your battery stores. For example, a typical full-size auto battery is about 50 amp hours, so you would choose a 10 amp charger that would take about 6 hours to recharge it if the battery were completely dead. Another instance would be a marine deep cycle battery rated at 100 amp hours. It would take a 10 amp charger about 11 hours to recharge a dead battery to near 100% full charge. To calculate your total charge time for a battery, a good rule of thumb is to take the amp hour rating of the battery and divide by the charger rating (amps) and then add about 10% for the extra time to totally top off the battery.
Some folks wanting quick recharge should look for a charger with more amps, such as a golf cart charger. If you’re not in a hurry, you can select a smaller charger. The most important thing is to make sure you have enough charger power to do the job you require in the time you allocate.
Step 3: Choosing a Battery Charger Based on Desired Outcome
Some folks require a charger to keep their motorcycle, classic car, or aircraft battery charged during the offseason. In these cases, a simple low current charger will work fine. Others require a fast and powerful charger to quickly restore a trolling motor battery or a wheelchair battery set. Other types of chargers and the reasons you might need them:
MULTI VOLTAGE Input chargers for use when visiting a foreign country
Waterproof chargers for those times when you’re out in the elements
Chargers that double as power supplies for RV use
Multi-bank chargers for charging multiple batteries simultaneously
Hopefully, we’ve helped you figure out which is the best charger for your application. Use the link below to see our large selection of battery chargers and 12v/24v trickle chargers.
What Is a GaN Charger, and Why Will You Want One?
Gallium Nitride (GaN) chargers were everywhere at CES 2020. This modern alternative to silicon means smaller, more efficient chargers and power bricks are on the way. Here’s how it works.
The Advantages of a Gallium Nitride Charger
GaN chargers are physically smaller than current chargers. This is because gallium nitride chargers don’t require as many components as silicon chargers. The material is able to conduct far higher voltages over time than silicon.
GaN chargers are not only more efficient at transferring current, but this also means less energy is lost to heat. So, more energy goes to whatever you’re trying to charge. When components are more efficient at passing energy to your devices, you generally require less of them.
As a result, GaN power bricks and chargers will be noticeably smaller when the technology becomes more widespread. There are other benefits, too, such as a higher switching frequency that enables faster wireless power transfer, and bigger “air gaps” between the charger and device.
At present, GaN semiconductors generally cost more than the silicon kind. However, due to improved efficiency, there’s a reduced reliance on additional materials, like heatsinks, filters, and circuit elements. One manufacturer estimates cost savings of 10 to 20 percent in this area. This could improve even further once the economic benefit of large-scale production kicks in.
Wall chargers waste a considerable amount of electricity. When a wall charger steps down the high-energy power from the outlet to the low-energy power that the device uses, it radiates the unused power as heat. The charger keeps wasting this power as long as it is plugged into the wall, even if no device is connected. USB charging, on the other hand, is prone to less electrical energy waste as the computer is already converting the power from the wall outlet.
What is a Power Supply?
A power supply is an electrical device that converts the electric current that comes in from a power source, such as the power mains, to the voltage and current values necessary for powering a load, such as a motor or electronic device.
The objective of a power supply is to power the load with the proper voltage and current. The current must be supplied in a controlled manner — and with an accurate voltage — to a wide range of loads, sometimes simultaneously, all without letting changes in the input voltage or in other connected devices affect the output.
A power supply can be external, often seen in devices such as laptops and phone chargers, or internal, such as in larger devices such as desktop computers.
A power supply can either be regulated or unregulated. In a regulated power supply, the changes in the input voltage do not affect the output. On the other hand, in an unregulated power supply, the output depends on any changes in the input.
The one thing all power supplies have in common is that they take electric power from the source at the input, transform it in some way, and deliver it to the load at the output.
The power at the input and output can be either alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC):
Direct current (DC) occurs when the current flows in one constant direction. It usually comes from batteries, solar cells, or from AC/DC converters. DC is the preferred type of power for electronic devices.
Alternating current (AC) occurs when the electric current periodically inverts its direction. AC is the method used to deliver electricity through power transmission lines to homes and businesses
Therefore, if AC is the type of power delivered to your house and DC is the type of power you need to charge your phone, you are going to need a desktop power adapter in order to convert the AC voltage coming in from the power grid to the DC voltage needed to charge your mobile phone’s battery.
Here are the steps to figure out if you need an adapter or converter while traveling:
Verify the plug type that fits outlets at your destination.
Get the correct adapter plug for that outlet. This isn’t needed if you’re headed to a destination that has U.S.-compatible outlets.
Verify the voltage in the outlets at your destination.
Verify the voltage input on each of your devices. Look for this info on its cord, plug or somewhere on the device itself.
Get the correct voltage conversion accessory: This isn’t needed for dual-voltage devices (many are) or if your single-voltage device matches your destination’s voltage.
Before you go, check with your travel company or lodging providers:
Ask about specific electricity needs at your destination.
Ask if plugs (or voltages) used in nearby regions or businesses differ from the outlets at your lodging.
Ask if they provide appliances like hair dryers, which can be challenging.
our first challenge is to be sure that you can plug your device into the wall outlet. The good news is that more than 50 countries around the world have outlets that accept U.S.-style “A” plugs.
In places where the plug type differs, you’ll need an adapter plug that has the correct prong configuration for outlets at your destination.
According to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), there are 14 different plugs (Type A through Type N) used around the world.
To research the plug(s) you need for any destination worldwide, check out the IEC World Plugs List, which is broken down country by country. For countries that list multiple plug types, advice from your travel company or lodging provider can narrow your choices. Or you can play it safe and get adapter plugs for all the listed plug types for a country.
Universal outlets: Some hotels and other businesses have outlets designed to accept plugs from multiple countries. If your lodging has a universal outlet that’s compatible with your native plug, that can forgo your need for an adapter plug. If your itinerary takes you to a nearby business or another hotel that doesn’t have that type of outlet, though, you still need to get an adapter plug.