We Know: All About Car Battery Chargers


What is a Car Battery Charger?
In any version of car battery in common use today, the battery is a chemically-based system that uses positive and negative ions in chemical reactions to provide a charge for the car's use. A car battery recharger uses electricity from its own battery source or from an AC electrical outlet to recharge the car's battery.

How Does Battery Charging Work?
To understand how a car battery charger works, you should understand how batteries work. Batteries provide electricity because electrons collect at the negative post due to electrochemical reactions taking place in that part of the battery, and when a wire or other conduit attaches the two posts, the electrons run quickly from the negative to the positive post. An electrical device attached to the conduit between the posts picks up enough energy from the flow of electrons to work.

When you are getting energy from a battery in this way, you're using direct current, or DC power. The electricity that comes from your house, on the other hand, is alternating current, or AC power; the difference is that while DC power is a steady stream of electrons, AC power is power that is strobed or cycled in a pattern. An electrical device that is designed for AC power but plugged into DC power will catch on fire or explode, and vice versa.


What are the 2 type of Car Batteries that can be Charged?
Car batteries use two basic types of battery. The battery in a standard gas automobile is a lead-acid battery, and is completely rechargeable. The battery in an electric vehicle is a metal-chloride battery, and is also rechargeable.

How Do I use a Car Battery Charger?
A car battery charger reverses the normal current in the battery, moving the electrons from the positive terminal to the negative terminal. This takes more energy than the normal downstream motion of the electrons, but it replaces the potential energy in the negative terminal.

If you're using a car battery charger, you should choose it carefully. You want a smart charger, which will deliver full current until the battery's power grows close to maximum potential. At this point, it switches to half or lower power until the battery registers as fully charged to the battery charger. Most chargers at this point have an LED display that will flash green. A good intelligent charger will also tell you if the battery is currently charged, which can help you determine whether the battery or something else is the real problem.

The power for more car battery chargers comes from electrical wall sockets. Because batteries need direct current and not alternating current to charge, this means your battery charger must also invert the power type, or convert it from AC to DC, in the process of charging the battery.


What should I be careful about?
Car battery chargers are safe to use provided you follow directions, but you should never charge a battery in an unventilated area or with it resting on anything that acid can damage. A charging battery, particularly one that has reached the end of its life, can leak, and the fumes are poisonous.

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