If you regularly use batteries, whether it’s in vehicles or your equipment and supplies, you’ll understand why keeping them charged and in good condition is crucial. Batteries that lie dormant for a long period of time can become unusable, so it’s important you charge them regularly. You can do this in two ways, with battery chargers or battery maintainers.
Although they both have the same purpose – to charge your batteries – there are some key differences. Battery maintainers are much more complex, and they’re designed to work efficiently to keep your battery charged for use at any time. On the other hand, battery chargers are slower working and are useful for charging batteries that have hit their low points to create a full re-charge.
Here’s a more extensive run-down.
What Are Battery Chargers?
Battery chargers give batteries the power they need to keep working. It does this by running an electric current through it, turning stored chemical energy into electrical power. When the electrolyte in the battery runs out, it needs recharging, which is what the charger is designed to do.
Battery chargers are ideal if you want to charge your battery for immediate use.
- Charge the battery to its full capacity
- Ideal for regular use (including multiple times a day)
- Charges at a constant rate
- Suitable for a range of battery types
- Versatile – use varies, from car battery chargers to AAA battery chargers
What Are Battery Maintainers?
Battery maintainers differ in that they don’t send a large amount of electricity to the battery all at once. Instead, it gives the battery a steady flow of electrical current, which can keep your battery in better shape. With a battery maintainer, your battery is less likely to overheat, and it provides an automatic start and stop for the charge. Maintainers are also more energy efficient, consuming less power to operate.
There are three types of battery maintainer: single bank battery maintainers which are designed for use on one battery; multiple bank battery maintainers suitable to use on a number of batteries concurrently; and hybrid battery maintainers which is more of a battery booster, recharging and maintaining the battery.
- Are more advanced than a charger
- Provide faster charging
- Can be left connected to the battery
- Extend the life of your battery
- Restore tired batteries
- Are usually smaller and more affordable
The Key Difference
Essentially, there’s one key difference between the two. A battery charger charges at a constant rate, regardless of if the battery needs charging. This can put batteries at risk of overcharging. Battery maintainers can sense how much charge a battery needs, then deliver only the required amount as a slow trickle. It stops charging once the battery is full.
Essentially, both battery chargers and maintainers do the same thing – they charge your batteries. Which one you choose depends on the results you want. When choosing, look at the charging capacity, the output and input, the efficiency and safety features of the product. Combine that with the information above and you’ll be able to make the right choice for your business needs.