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If you use battery draining digital devices, such as cameras, camcorders, TV remotes and portable radios, you know how quickly the life of your battery can expire. It can be very frustrating to have a battery reach the end of its life cycle when you need it the most.
Having quality battery chargers for rechargeable batteries is essential. Not only is it environmentally responsible to use a rechargeable battery instead of disposing of a non-rechargeable battery in a landfill, but it also makes economic sense for households with children’s toys and electronics. Keeping non-rechargeable batteries in supply at home can be a chore. Using a battery charger with rechargeable batteries can ensure that you have an unlimited supply wherever and whenever you need them. In order to get the best use from your rechargeable batteries, you need to choose the right battery charger for your needs.
Many of the best battery chargers on the market today recharge the common sizes of nickel metal hydride (NiMH) and nickel cadmium (NiCD) batteries (AA, AAA, C, D, and 9 volt cells). They are easy to use and there are a number of reasons why they are an important investment for anyone who owns electronics that run on a variety of battery types and sizes. Before purchasing your next charger, it’s important to know a few basic battery charger FAQs.
How do I know how long to charge my rechargeable batteries?
Follow the manufacturer’s charging instructions that come with your charger. Many universal battery chargers come equipped with LED lights. A red light indicates a battery charge in progress and a green light indicates that the charge is complete. Most universal battery chargers charge nickel cadmium batteries in 5 hours, nickel metal hydride batteries in 8 hours and 9 volt cells in 14 hours. However, the charge time will vary depending on the actual capacity of the battery.
My battery charger indicates a fast trickle charge status. What is a trickle charge?
A trickle charge is a charge rate that is high enough to keep a battery fully charged, but low enough to avoid overcharging. Although most battery manufacturers do not recommend that you leave a battery in the charger for long periods of time, many people leave their batteries in the charger on trickle charge for days or weeks at a time to keep their batteries ready to use. If you know the rate of trickle charge that your charger puts out and it is around 1/10th of the battery capacity or less, then you should be safe if you are only going to do this occasionally. However, it’s never a good idea to leave a battery charger plugged in unattended for long periods of time.
Can trickle charging be harmful to batteries?
Yes. Many battery manufacturers do not recommend long term trickle charging. If trickle charging is used, then the charge rate should either be very low or performed infrequently. Instead of leaving your batteries on trickle charge for long extended periods of time, the wiser option is to fully charge your batteries and then store them fully charged in a freezer.
What is a charge channel on a universal battery charger?
Many universal battery chargers have one or many charge channels, also known as charge circuits. Each charge channel can charge one or multiple batteries at the same time. For example, it is common for an AA and AAA battery charger to have 4 charge stations and 2 charge channels. This means that each charge channel charges 2 batteries in the same circuit. This is why you see lots of folks recommend that you keep your batteries in sets to optimize their charging. Mostly, this is because you are probably using a charger that has 2 batteries in each charge channel.
What is a charge station?
In a battery charger, the charge station is where you place the battery to recharge it. Universal battery chargers have charge stations that accommodate multiple kinds and sizes of batteries. For example, most AA chargers will also accept AAA batteries, and some universal chargers will accept other kinds as well in the same charge station, such as AA, AAA, C, D and 9 volt nickel metal hydride and nickel cadmium cells. Still other kinds have adapters that come included, or must be obtained separately, to use different kinds and sizes of batteries.
Never leave your batteries on trickle charge for extended periods of time and always follow the manufacturer’s charging instructions that come with your charger. By following the product information and also the maintenance and charging tips for battery chargers provided here, you will keep your rechargeable batteries in great condition and ensure a long healthy life. For more information or to find the best universal battery charger for your individual needs, visit our website at www.ZeusBatteryProducts.com or call us at 877-469-4255.