Battery Chargers – What are your Options?
Much like most things in life, there are different types of battery chargers depending on what you’re looking for. If you currently use any type of rechargeable battery such as Lithium Ion (Li-Ion), Nickel Cadmium (NiCad), or Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), you will of course, require a battery charger to repower the battery once it has become drained.
Usually, batteries become drained in two ways. This happens either during use or while idle. They can become drained while not being in use because all types of batteries release some of their power regardless of whether they’re in use or not. Many people don’t know that this is the case, so when they go to use a battery and find that it’s drained, it can come as a surprise.
What Are the Two Main Types of Battery Chargers?
While there are seemingly so many battery chargers on the market, there are, in fact, only two main types. And when we say types, we mean the charging processes that they operate with as opposed to what they charge.
The more common charging process is called timer-controlled charging. Newer to the market, the other process is called smart charging (also known as intelligent chargers in some cases. Of course, there is a difference in price between the two, but what’s more important is the significant difference in the way they each perform the task of charging batteries. Let’s look at these a little more in depth.
Timer Control Battery Chargers
As the name implies, timer control battery chargers operate with an automatic shut off timer that is predetermined and built-in during the manufacturing process. These times change depending on the charger and what their use is for. Some charge for four hours, while others can charge up to 24 hours. Regardless of how long your batteries charge for, the point is that they stop charging automatically at whatever time they are pre-set to do so. Timer control battery chargers have been on the market for years and are inexpensive.
Introduced to the battery charger market more recently, smart or intelligent chargers are indeed smart! They can charge each battery to the degree it requires. One battery might only be half full and need to be half replenished. Another battery in the charger might be entirely empty and would need and receive an entire charge. This technology is quite amazing, and while it costs more than a timer control charger, many agree that it’s worth the investment in the long run.
Testing Your Batteries
A handy little device that many people don’t often think about is a battery tester. Whether you use non-rechargeable batteries (also called single-use, throw-away or disposable) like Alkaline or Lithium, or use Rechargeable batteries, a battery tester can tell what state of charge your batteries are in which can be incredibly beneficial.
Wherever you choose to buy your batteries, battery chargers and even battery testers, it’s vital that you use a reputable company that offers high-quality and long-lasting products.