Solartalkers.com does not sell inexpensive, off-the-shelf chargers often found at retail outlets and certain other online stores. We cater specifically to microprocessor-controlled chargers, also known as smart chargers. All the chargers we stock are reviewed, tested and selected based on function, reliability, and durability.
These chargers are designed to charge lead acid and other types of batteries based on computer-generated algorithms. Simply put, the charger collects information from the battery and adjusts the charge current and voltage based on this information. This allows the battery to be charged quickly, correctly, and completely when using a smart charger. All the chargers we sell can remain connected to a battery indefinitely and will not overcharge or damage it.
Choosing an Inverter Battery Charger
Choosing a battery charger for your inverter that can be more complicated than choosing other electronics because there are additional factors to consider when charging batteries. The following factors will affect what charger you should choose for your particular Inverter batteries and needs.
- Charging takes place under a variety of environmental conditions.
- Charging is done under electrical conditions with an imperfect sine wave.
- There is always a risk of overcharging the battery with the wrong charger.
- The configuration of the battery bank during charging.
All of the above factors should be carefully considered when choosing an Inverter battery charger for your needs.Determine Your Battery Type
In order to select the right charger, you need to know the specifications of the battery that you want to charge. Determine your input voltage, battery type, and amp-hour capacity.
- Input voltage for Inverter batteries chargers is usually 230 VAC.
- Battery type is typically either gel, flooded, or AGM.
- Battery capacity is listed on the battery as "Ah".
Choose a Charger That Won't Overcharge
One of the fastest ways to degrade a battery is choosing a charger that either overcharges or undercharges the battery. Overcharging can overheat the battery, it can cause excessive water loss in flooded batteries, and in general, you run the risk of damaging your batteries. The correct rate of charging is based on the battery capacity, which you determine from the "Ah" rating listed on the battery. A safe charging rate is accepted within the battery industry as about 20 percent of the Ah capacity of your battery. This means that a 100 Ah battery would ideally be charged at a 20 Adc rate.
Using a Battery Bank
It is common practice by many mariners to connect battery banks of various capacity batteries to the charger. While the ideal condition would be to run the same capacity batteries on the same bank, sometimes this isn't realistic. You can connect different capacity batteries to the same bank as long as you choose a battery charger that is sized based on the capacity of the smallest battery bank. This will protect the potential of overcharging and overheating any of the batteries with the smallest capacity. However, you may still experience longer charge times for the larger banks. If this becomes a problem, it would be a good idea to invest in a new charger that's more closely rated for the larger banks in your system.
Typical Charging Times
The table below displays the typical charging time for the three standard battery sizes.
Choosing an Inverter Battery Charger: Time to Purchase
A well-rated battery charger will ensure that your batteries last longer and that you get more use out of them. There is nothing quite as convenient as a quality onboard battery charger. It brings you peace of mind so that you can enjoy the activities that you need the inverters for.