Everyone has dealt with a dead battery before. It never comes at a convenient time.
Driving to work or moving around in an alternative vehicle are now put on hold. Avoiding these situations is always the goal. You’ve probably heard of trickle chargers in the past. Do they really make a difference? Are they considered rapid chargers? Explore the details surrounding trickle chargers and how they can improve your car battery’s longevity.
The science behind car-battery charging
Before you can understand the best way to charge a battery, learning about the internal processes is important. Car batteries come with a mixture of metal plates and electrolyte solutions. A chemical reaction occurs during the battery’s use, including:
- Lead and lead dioxide plates come into contact with the electrolyte
- Electrons travel between these plates during battery use to create electricity
- The plates ultimately end up with lead sulfate on their surfaces, which indicates a dead battery
When you charge the battery after depleting this chemical process, the incoming power changes the lead sulfate into lead dioxide again. As a result, you have a battery that can be charged repeatedly.
What is a trickle charger?
If you’re considering an alternative power source for your car battery, a trickle charger is a smart investment. Most people understand that their car’s battery is constantly charged by the alternator, which is a main component in your vehicle’s electrical system. However, you don’t necessarily run the car every day.
That’s when trickle chargers come in handy. Attach the charger to your car battery when it’s parked, and you have a steady stream of power. Dealing with a dead battery isn’t part of your day anymore.
Learning about their functionality
These low-amperage chargers are perfectly designed for car batteries. Trickle chargers are aptly named because they only allow a tiny amount of current to enter your battery. In fact, you’ll normally see an amperage value of one or two amps on a given device. There’s not much power in these chargers, but charging slowly is the goal.
Giving the battery steady power means that it’s not being overcharged or overheated. Both of these scenarios make rapid charging a poor choice for any car battery. You want slow-and-low power for a long-lasting battery.
Should you use one?
You might park your car for 24 hours or more, and the battery seems fine when you turn over the engine. Should you purchase a trickle charger? It comes in handy when you have a busy lifestyle, such as juggling work and family. In fact, ensuring that your family always has a good battery is one of the main reasons to use trickle technology.
There are no worries about the charger being forgotten with today’s models. Hook up the charger, and there’s an automatic shut-off feature. Teach the kids about battery science so that they have a greater appreciation for the chemical processes within.
You may be sold on the science behind these batteries, but you’re wondering about the proper applications. Consider these situations that might call for trickle charging, such as:
- Long-term vehicle storage
- Freezing temperatures
- Reviving a dead battery
- “Topping off” a good battery’s charge
Any other charger with a faster, charging rate might damage the battery otherwise. Although chemical processes can be sped up to a certain degree, their molecular changes still take some time. Trickle charges simply offer those premium conditions where batteries stand the test of time.
Because trickle chargers remain attached to the battery for long time periods, follow a few safety tips before using them. These steps include:
- Choose a well-ventilated area that’s protected from rain
- Be sure to shut off the engine
- Deactivate the charger before it’s attached to the battery
- Connect the charger’s ground wire to the vehicle’s frame
With these steps completed, connect the live wire on the charger to your battery. Activate the charger, and allow it to do its work.
If you’re still curious about trickle energy and battery life, contact Northeast Battery with your questions. Our team is proud to serve your power needs during any season. With the proper system charging your car batteries, fewer surprises are in your future. Reliable power is always a welcome sight.