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The Basics of a Car Battery Trickle Charger

By Edited Mar 12, 2014 0 0
Trickle Charging of Auto Battery
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/59328685@N06/6893361118/

Useful Tips About Trickle Chargers


Trickle chargers are designed so as to keep a battery fully charged even while the vehicle remains in storage. This takes away the need to disconnect the battery, leaving it ready for use should there be an emergency.



Trickle chargers function by delivering charge to the battery at a rate which is equal to the battery’s self-discharge rate. They make use of regulators to control the charging rate.  For this reason, trickle chargers as well are used to recharge batteries which have been depleted. The process of recharging a depleted battery at a much slower rate than the normal charger helps to prolong the life of the device. Furthermore, carrying out charging at a fast rate can make the charge to build up on the terminals and make the battery seem fully charged when it is actually not.



There are a lot of varieties of trickle chargers which come with different voltage and current ratings and a very good choice is the Schumacher SC-1200A/CA SpeedCharge 3/6/12 Amp Charger/Maintainer/Tester. When selecting a trickle charger, it is essential to get one that is able to deliver the same voltage and current rating as that of the vehicle’s battery. You can confirm the voltage by checking the vehicle owner’s manual and the amps rating can be found on the label on the body of the battery. Some of these devices come with factory-set outputs that cannot be altered, while others are equipped with dials or buttons for manual adjustments.



Before carrying out the connection of a trickle charger, it is vital to make sure that the area in which the vehicle is to be stored is very well ventilated. This is because the charging process generates hydrogen gas and that can result in an explosion in a poorly ventilated area. It is also essential to remove the key and any other devices which are connected to the car to lessen the risk of electrical fire. Before the connection of the vehicle battery to it, make sure that the trickle charger is grounded.  This can be done by connecting the power cable of the charger to a metal bolt located on the engine block or car’s chassis.  If the car does have a metal frame, this should also provide a sufficient grounding. Once the device has been well grounded, all that is left is to connect the alligator clips of the charger to the battery keeping in mind that the red clip goes to positive and black clip goes to negative. Then plug the device into an available power supply to commence the charging process.



They should not be left connected to batteries for an unlimited period of time. This is because they do not seize the charging process even after the full charge has been attained.  If a trickle charger is being utilized to recharge a battery, the trickle charger must be monitored regularly and removed anytime the indicator on the face indicates a full charge. Leaving the battery on the charger for too long can ruin it, or can even cause it to catch fire. Float chargers, in contrast, can be left connected to batteries for an indefinite period of time. Like trickle chargers, float chargers are able to deliver charge at a slow rate.  But unlike trickle chargers, float chargers are equipped with electronics that can sense when it has has been fully recharged and consequently stop delivering charge to the battery.  These devices are also able to sense when it has lost some of its charge and will start delivering charge once again. Float chargers are the devices that are better suited for use in vehicles that will stay in storage indefinitely because they do not need monitoring. Like mentioned earlier in this article, the Schumacher SC-1200A/CA SpeedCharge charger is a great option. The Schumacher SC-1200A/CA is actually a multipurpose device which can be used for a wide variety of applications.

Car Battery Trickle Chargers

Batteries which are left connected to circuits continuously gradually release charge into the circuit.  This is process is called self-discharge. Car batteries, for instance, can lose up to two percent of their charge in a day. Vehicles usually have an alternator which has the function of recharging the battery as the engine runs running. If the vehicle were to sit idly for too long, like for several months and with the battery connected, that battery will most likely be rendered useless. Disconnecting the battery entirely from a vehicle is a kind of solution to this problem. However, that means the vehicle will not be instantly available in the case of an emergency.

Trickle Charger
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/foot-slogger/4878320549

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