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What is a Smart Charger?

Article Details
  • Written By: Keith Koons
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 27 October 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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A smart charger is a device that is used to restore the battery power within several different types of electronic or mechanical devices. What makes a smart charger unique when compared to other types of chargers is that it can regulate the amount of power applied to the batteries so that they charge as quickly and efficiently as possible. They are also programmed to recognize when the battery has reached its maximum charge to avoid shortening the overall lifespan of the storage cells. These innovations allow a smart charger to provide a long-term solution for automatic charging of almost any lead or acid battery type.

Conventional chargers are very simplistic in nature; they carry a steady charge from a power outlet to whatever is hooked into them. Although these types of devices can charge a battery over time, the delivery method is inefficient and much of the electrical current that travels to the battery iss wasted. Smart chargers revolutionized this process because their internal transformers can regulate the flow of electricity to the battery in a way that drastically speeds up the entire process. Not only are batteries charged quicker and more efficiently with a smart charger, but the internal cells are also protected from damage as well.

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The largest benefit from using a smart charger is its ability to monitor the health of the battery and how much total power it can hold. Older models would simply continue to distribute power into a fully charged battery, which could shorten the overall lifespan. That is why electronics like cellular phones need to have batteries replaced so frequently; every time they are plugged in to charge, it reduces the battery life by a small percentage. Smart chargers correct this problem by shutting off once the battery is full.

There are smart chargers available for many different battery types, ranging from small AAA and 9 volt batteries all the way up to the larger models used in automobiles and tractors. Many consumers will purchase two sets of household batteries so that they can have some constantly charging while others are in use. This method also works well for seasonal equipment like lawnmowers and snow plows because the battery will be optimized throughout its downtime. Some smart charger variations also have output terminals that will allow users to power devices that would not normally work with standard batteries, such as universal serial bus (USB) ports, cellular phones, and power tools.

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