Battery Charging

Simplistically, battery charging works by applying a higher voltage across the terminals of the battery. The higher the voltage compared to the battery voltage the higher the charge rate.
Alternators will charger batteries to around 80% capacity, as this is all that is needed to start the engine.
To make most effective use of your battery, they need to be charged using a multi-stage charger.
A 3 stage charging process is Boost, Absorbtion and Float.

Boost


Charges at the highest rate feasible based on battery and charger. Typically 20-25% of battery capacity. Takes the battery up to around 70-75% of battery capacity.

Absorption


Charge rate typically around 10-15% of battery capacity. This allows charge to be evenly distributed on plates.

Float


Maintains the battery at over 95% charge without overcharging.

Battery Chargers


Batteries can be charged from the vehicle alternator or from a 240v source such as the home power or generator.
A good multi-stage charger should always be used to ensure that the battery is charged to the maxi,u, possible, and the battery life is not reduced unnecessarily.

240v Chargers


Batteries can be charged from a 240v supply using a multi-stage charger. 240v sources include home supply, generator, caravan parks.

DC-DC Chargers


Batteries can be charged from the vehicle alternator via a DC-DC multi-stage charger.

Solar


Batteries can be charged from solar panels via a suitable solar regulator.

Portable 12 Chargers


Another option is using a portable petrol powered 12v charger. This uses an alternator to provide the 12v power for charging.
One example is the Christie’s Battery Charger.

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