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How long do Battery Chargers Last?

23rd May 2019

How Does a Battery Charger Work?

Isn’t a battery charger truly remarkable? Gone are the days of worrying about finding a plug while out and about to charge up your all-important devices.

With battery chargers, all you need to do is charge it up before you head out and plug it in while on the go. Battery chargers are also fantastic for recharging other batteries that you can use again and again.

A typical, high-quality, rechargeable battery can be charged hundreds of times and can last up to three years to a decade (or more depending on the quality, of course). But how exactly does a battery charger work?

The Ins and Outs of Battery Chargers

All battery chargers work by feeding an electric current through batteries to recharge them, giving them an extra surge of life to be used again. However, for your battery charger to work to the best of its ability, you must treat it with care.

There is always a risk of overcharging a battery if left on for too long, but if you take the charger off too soon, it won’t be charged enough which means it’s likely to run flat more quickly.

There are many types of battery chargers, with a laptop battery, for example, charging and discharging involves shifting lithium ions (these are atoms that are missing electrons) back and forth, from one electrode to another.

As the charge starts to build up, it can become more difficult to pack more charge in, making the later stages of charging more challenging and often slower than at the start.

How Long Should You Charge Your Batteries for?

As you would expect, a larger capacity battery has more chemicals inside it to store more energy which then means it can be released for longer. They also tend to have more cells inside them so they can produce a higher voltage and current to power bigger devices such as electronics and large flashlights.

The more energy that you expect to get from a rechargeable battery, the longer you’ll need to charge it but bear in mind that the basic law of physics known as ‘the conservation of energy’ means that you can’t get more energy out of a battery than you put into it – makes sense, right?

Avoid Overcharging

Overcharging is generally more damaging than undercharging. If batteries are charged fully, and you don’t turn off the charger, the charger pack will have to get rid of the extra energy that’s being fed into it. This is done by heating up and building up pressure inside, which can actually make them rupture, leak chemicals, and even explode in extreme cases.

However, in this modern-day world we live in, there are slightly more sophisticated chargers that come with built-in timers and switch themselves off after a certain period of time.

However, while this is fantastic, it doesn’t necessarily prevent overcharging or undercharging because the ideal charging time varies depending on requirements and device or battery.

To complicate matters further, different types of rechargeable batteries respond to different types of charging, so a charger suitable for one type of battery might not work well with another. If you’re wanting a safe powerbank for your phone make sure you choose one which restricts overcharging.

The most important way to effectively charge your batteries or devices by using a battery charger is to read the instructions and get to know its capabilities. The last thing you want is to do serious and irreversible damage to a battery because you don’t understand how the charger works.