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Type of battery chargers & what can you do with them

Friday 17 September 2021

You may have heard of battery chargers or trickle chargers. But what is the difference between these two chargers, how does a battery charger work and what should you look for when buying battery chargers? We tell you all about it in this article.

What is a battery charger?

A battery charger, better known by some as a "battery charger", is used to charge a battery. The term "pure battery charger" is also being used more and more frequently. Among battery chargers, we can distinguish between linear and luxury battery chargers.

Linear battery chargers

A linear battery charger is the simplest version of a battery charger. It is a standard battery charger that charges without protection. Well-known applications of linear battery chargers are scooters, buses, boats, cars and other motorised vehicles.

Luxury battery chargers

A luxury battery charger differs from a linear battery charger in its protection features. A luxury battery charger automatically stops when the battery is fully charged. This protects your battery from dangers such as reverse polarity, overcharging and explosions.

Battery charger vs. trickle charger

But what is the difference between a regular battery charger and a trickle charger? As you have already read, a battery charger is a battery charger that charges your battery(ies) in one go. A trickle charger, on the other hand, takes a more gradual approach. A trickle charger is equipped with advanced technology and can determine itself whether and to what extent your battery should be charged. Once the battery is full, the trickle charger automatically switches to a so-called maintenance mode. The big advantage of a trickle charger compared to a battery charger is the extended life of your battery(ies). Although a trickle charger, with a little patience, can be perfectly used to charge low capacity batteries, in most cases it is used to maintain and repair batteries. For example, the battery of a vintage car that is only driven a few times a year or the restoration of sulphated batteries. A pure battery charger charges the battery(ies) much faster than a trickle charger but reduces the lifespan of the battery(ies) considerably.

How does a battery charger work?

When you buy a battery charger, it is important that you know exactly how to use it. Follow the steps below.


1) Buying a battery charger

When looking for a battery charger, there are a few points to bear in mind:

Choose a battery charger with the right voltage: do you have a 12V battery? Then you obviously need a 12V battery charger.
Choose a battery charger that can charge your type of battery. Some chargers can charge lead, AGM, gel and lithium batteries while others can only charge one type of battery. Make sure that your battery and charger are compatible.
Consider the application: battery chargers for boats are larger than battery chargers for scooters, for example.

2) Connecting the battery charger

Once you have purchased a battery, it is time to connect it properly. Attach the clamps and/or other connections from the red cable to the positive terminal and those from the black cable to the negative terminal. Make sure that the terminals and cables do not come into contact with metal to prevent short circuits.

3) Start charging

Switch on the battery charger and check the voltage and charge rate. Make sure that the charging current does not exceed 25% of the usable capacity of the battery. The charger will start charging automatically.

4) Charging process

Wait until your battery is fully charged. How long you have to wait depends on the capacity of your battery and the charging current of the battery charger. Bear in mind that the charging process with a trickle charger will take longer than if you had bought a pure battery charger.

5) Battery is charged

As soon as your battery is fully charged, you can switch off the battery charger. This way, you avoid the risk of explosion. Remove the clamps from the battery poles and store your battery charger safely. Your battery can now be used again.