Not every battery is the same, and we carry a large range of battery chargers for a reason. Below we outline different kinds of chargers and their typical applications. This is our first entry in our series about battery chargers and types of batteries.

1. Simple chargers

Battery Chargers & Accessories

MAC AFRIC 8A 6V/12V Battery Charger

R 395.00
SKU: GCHARG-008

Battery Chargers & Accessories

MAC AFRIC 6A 6V/12V Battery Charger

R 325.00
SKU: GCHARG-006

Battery Chargers & Accessories

MAC AFRIC CD 430 12/24V Battery Booster/Charger

R 2,095.00
SKU: GCHARG-400

Battery Chargers & Accessories

MAC-AFRIC CD 330 12/24 V Battery Booster/Charger

R 1,995.00
SKU: GCHARG-321

Battery Chargers & Accessories

MAC-AFRIC CD 630 12/24 V Battery Booster/Charger

R 2,695.00
SKU: GCHARG-600

A simple charger works by supplying a constant DC or pulsed DC power source to a battery being charged. A simple charger typically does not alter its output based on charging time or the charge on the battery. This simplicity means that a simple charger is inexpensive, but there are tradeoffs.

Typically, a carefully designed simple charger takes longer to charge a battery because it is set to use a lower charging rate to prevent damage. Even so, many batteries left on a simple charger for too long will be weakened or destroyed due to over-charging. These chargers also vary in that they can supply either a constant voltage or a constant current, to the battery. Simple AC-powered battery chargers usually have much higher ripple current and ripple voltage than other kinds of battery chargers because they are inexpensively designed and built.

Generally, when the ripple current is within a battery’s manufacturer recommended level, the ripple voltage will also be well within the recommended level. The maximum ripple current for a typical 12 V 100 Ah VRLA lead-acid battery is 5 amps. As long as the ripple current is not excessive (more than 3 to 4 times the battery manufacturer-recommended level), the expected life of a ripple-charged VRLA battery will be within 3% of the life of a constant DC-charged battery.

2. Intelligent chargers

R 645.00
SKU: GCHARG-104

Battery Chargers & Accessories

MAC AFRIC DC 12V/15A Intelligent Battery Charger

R 1,895.00
SKU: GCHARG-126

Battery Chargers & Accessories

C-TEK MXS 5.0

R 1,995.00
SKU: GCHARG-305

Battery Chargers & Accessories

C-TEK MXS 3.8

R 1,695.00
SKU: GCHARG-306

A “smart charger” should not be confused with a “smart battery”. A smart battery is generally defined as one containing some sort of electronic device or “chip” that can communicate with a smart charger about battery characteristics and condition. A smart battery generally requires a smart charger it can communicate with (see Smart Battery Data). A smart charger is defined as a charger that can respond to the condition of a battery, and modify its charging actions accordingly.

Some smart chargers are designed to charge:

  • “smart” batteries.
  • “dumb” batteries, which lack any internal electronic circuitry.

The output current of a smart charger depends upon the battery’s state. An intelligent charger may monitor the battery’s voltage, temperature or time under charge to determine the optimum charge current and to terminate charging.

For Ni-Cd and NiMH batteries, the voltage across the battery increases slowly during the charging process, until the battery is fully charged. After that, the voltage decreases, which indicates to an intelligent charger that the battery is fully charged. Such chargers are often labeled as a ΔV, “delta-V,” or sometimes “delta peak”, charger, indicating that they monitor the voltage change.

The problem is, the magnitude of “delta-V” can become very small or even non-existent if (very) high[quantify] capacity rechargeable batteries are recharged.[citation needed] This can cause even an intelligent battery charger to not sense that the batteries are actually already fully charged, and continue charging. Overcharging of the batteries will result in some cases. However, many so-called intelligent chargers employ a combination of cut off systems, which are intended to prevent overcharging in the vast majority of cases.

A typical intelligent charger fast-charges a battery up to about 85% of its maximum capacity in less than an hour, then switches to trickle charging, which takes several hours to top off the battery to its full capacity.

3. Pulse chargers

R 1,295.00
SKU: GCHARG-115
SKU: GCHARG-125

Some chargers use pulse technology in which a series of voltage or current pulses are fed to the battery. The DC pulses have a strictly controlled rise time, pulse width, pulse repetition rate (frequency) and amplitude. This technology is said to work with any size, voltage, capacity or chemistry of batteries, including automotive and valve-regulated batteries. With pulse charging, high instantaneous voltages can be applied without overheating the battery. In a Lead–acid battery, this breaks down lead-sulfate crystals, thus greatly extending the battery service life.

Some chargers use pulses to check the current battery state when the charger is first connected, then use constant current charging during fast charging, then use pulse charging as a kind of trickle charging to maintain the charge.

Some chargers use “negative pulse charging”, also called “reflex charging” or “burp charging”. Such chargers use both positive and brief negative current pulses. There is no significant evidence, however, that negative pulse charging is more effective than ordinary pulse charging.

Conclusion:

Thank you for reading our introduction to types of battery chargers we will follow up on more information on all the various kinds of batteries you may encounter. We also discuss how these above chargers are to be used correctly and safely. Feel free to share on facebook and interact with us either here in the comments or on our facebook page.

42 thoughts on “3 Types of Battery Chargers and their Applications

  1. Ayodeji says:

    Good day, i trust this meets you well. i will like to purchase a pulse charger. Do you sell or can you advice me on how and where to get a pulse charger of high quality. I will like to use it for domestic purpose

    Thank you

  2. Vusi says:

    Good day,

    Kindly advise quote for the folowing:

    1. 110V DC Panel with Nicard Batteries, dual Parallel chargers and DC
    load Circuit breaker-Qty -1(refer to attached technical Schedule)

    2. 175 AH DC Panel with Nicards batteries , Dual parallel chargers, and
    DC Loads MCB’s-Qty-1(refer to attached technical schedule)

    3. Power supply 48V DC panel with Nicard batteries for RTU-Qty 1

    Please provide technical specifications, drawings, scht diagrams to share with
    client.

    Separately, Please quote for the below as well

    * Boost- Float Battery Charger – 02 nos

    (a) 24 VDC , Float Cum Boost Charger for Indoor VCBs Panel
    (b) 110 VDC , Float Cum Boost Charger for Outdoor VCBs Panel

    Thank you
    Hopstein Engineering
    vusi.forklifts@hopsteineng.co.za
    Tel1: 011 622 2087 Tel2: 011 615 5904 VAT No 4300171115 Reg No CK9739953/23
    Vusi Ndlovu – 082 263 5944
    90 Stanhope Rd, Wychwood, Germiston

    • Francois Landsberg says:

      Hi there we do not stock or trade in batteries. We would not be able to assist in this manner, unfortunately.

    • Francois Landsberg says:

      We cant give you a correct figure. It depends on how long you are willing to wait and the size of the batter. Potentially as many as you need to but the time will be longer. The total amperage output would be divided amongst all the batteries. A 2A charge will fill up most batteries over 15 hours. 2A per battery should be the lowest you should use.

  3. Thabang says:

    It’s funny how I see that you guys have battery chargers yet yesterday I was in Woodmead outdoor warehouse bought 105 deep cycle battery then past it one of your branches I’m Boksburg the guys there said you don’t keep chargers and inverters

    • Francois Landsberg says:

      Hi, we keep normal battery chargers used for smaller car batteries. Perhaps our staff was not sure about the battery you are planning on charging. It seems these batteries are for solar use. Our chargers don’t have the kind of duty cycle for charging large batteries like these with a good duty cycle. We advertise and source battery charges used in the automotive industry or applications like smaller batteries used on boats and generators.

  4. Mulambo says:

    Hello, I bought a CD 430 booster charger, and it doesn’t charge any of my batteries, I’ve followed the user manual, I don’t know what else to do.

    • Francois Landsberg says:

      If you think it’s faulty please return it. But maybe take another look to ensure the batteries are not faulty.

  5. Miguel Silva says:

    Hi Francois, Apologies, maybe you did not understand my question. As per the manual switch 4 has a MINMAX button. What is the function of this switch? For example: selecting switch 4 to MIN position what does it do? Same when selecting it to MAX what does it do?

  6. D Olivier says:

    I want to charge small 7 Ah batteries
    Can i use my normal car battery charger ? or is the amps to much
    What is a trickle charger Can i buy one
    Thanx

    • Francois Landsberg says:

      We think a trickle charger would be best as they can charge at a very low current and are safer for a smaller battery. For any kind of battery that is used in handheld appliances its better to use conventional home use battery chargers.

  7. Mel says:

    A Defa 4A Smart Charger has been recommended for my domestic use. Do you have stock in any of your Durban shops, & would you recommend this over the Mac-Afric alternative (a lot cheaper!!)

    • Sewes le Roux says:

      Good day Mel. As MAC-ARIC is our brand, we would highly recommend it. Both of the chargers offer the same features. It will just be your personal preference on which one you wish to purchase. It also shows that our branch in 192 Umbilo Rd, Bulwer, Durban has stock available. Our Durban North branch currently has no stock.

  8. Albert says:

    Good day,
    I am looking for a power supply (220 Vac – 12 Vdc – 90 Watt output, 7A approximately). This is for an medical oxygen machine. Do you pehaps has such a power supply or can I use a battery charger without a battery as a power supply. The device can operate from a car lighter.
    Thank you

    • Francois Landsberg says:

      We do not recommend them for other applications that are not for charging conventional 12V batteries. Our jump-starts however are fitted with the normal 12V supply and provides a higher current than the chargers. Charger are only for slowly charging a battery over time. The only other thing we have that might work for this are the jump starts.

  9. tony costa says:

    Good day Francois, I just bought a CD630 Booster Charger. The instruction manual is not clear. There are 2 knobs, one reading 0-60 which i’m assuming is the timer and the other 0-6-0 START with 4,5 and 6 setting having a clock type sign above the numbers. The manual is not clear as how to charge a battery or how the trickle charge function works. Also no clear instructions on the booster function. Can you assist.

    • Francois Landsberg says:

      Hi firstly this is NOT a trickle charger so please consider if this is the right machine for you. The button on the right is to change between starting & charging. The two left buttons is to allow for 4 different power settings for speed of charge.

  10. Andrew says:

    Good Francois
    I am looking for a good battery charger to charge a 12/24v deep cycle battery and a normal car battery. Which one of your products do you recommend

    • Francois Landsberg says:

      Honestly any of our chargers, But the trickle automatic chargers will be the best to keep them topped of and will keep the battery’s in a better condition over time.

  11. Phot says:

    Hello Adendorf team
    I want to charge several 12V batteries paralel, while we have electricity to increase amp capacity
    Someone told me I will kill the first batery in the set-up and the “last” battery will never get the proper charge. Theoretically, and by the laws of physics, this makes no sense to me, however practice and theory often differ. I will have about 3-5 50AH batteries. 1) is it true that I might cook the first battery and 2) what charger would you recommend

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