Solar Power Battery Charger

There are many kinds of solar power battery chargers available on the market. What is the key is choosing the one that best suits your needs. In order to do that, there are a few things you may need to know about batteries and battery chargers.

The first thing is to confirm what kind of batteries you have. There are different kinds and telling them apart may get confusing for a newbie.

The most common battery is a flooded one, and that's what you usually have in your car. Liquid electrolytes move around the cells and conduct the charge. A typical way the flooded battery is constructed is sealed, although this applies to other types of batteries as well. This just means that there is enough fluid in the battery for it to operate without needing to open it to top it off with distilled water.

A variant that uses sealed battery construction is the VRLA or Valve Regulated Lead Acid Battery. It allows hydrogen and oxygen to escape when charging takes place.

Then there is the AGM or Absorbed Glass Matt construction. In this battery, the electrolyte fluid is suspended close to the plates, improving the discharge and recharge rates. This is also made with sealed construction and is considered a more advanced design than the others.

Then you have the gel cell, which is considered a dry battery since the electrolytes are combined with silica that makes it set. This is considered a delicate battery when it comes to recharging and overcharging and should probably only be recharged with very deep cycled battery chargers. An incorrect charge may lead to inferior performance and a shortened life span.

Double check what your battery is since Gel has since become a generic term that is used for all sealed batteries and many people say that they have a Gel battery when it's really a sealed and maintenance free AGM or VRLA battery.

Next, you must compute how many hours of power your battery can store. That will affect the size of your charger so your battery can be charged in the amount of time you need. A good way to estimate the size of the charger you need is to divide the amp hour rating the battery carries and divide it by the amps or charge rating of your charger. Add approximately 10% to that in extra time so you can top off your battery.

Third, what are you using the battery for? If you are using the charger for your summer toys (like a boat or jetski) during the winter, then you just need a low current charger. If the battery is in use, like that on a wheelchair or ATV, then you need a fast, powerful charger.

Also figure out where you'll be using it. Are you bringing it abroad for travel? Should it be waterproof, like when you're camping or boating? Do you have more than one battery to charge? Answering these questions will help you find the type of solar power battery charger you need.

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