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A 12-volt battery charger is an indispensable tool that offers safety, the ability to plug and play, the capacity to combine desulfation with maintenance charging, and the capability to hold a full charge for a reasonable amount of time. Here is a brief introduction to 12V battery chargers.

12-volt battery charger technology

12-volt battery charger technology has kept pace with the microprocessor revolution, and so the current battery charging philosophy uses 3-stage (or 2- or 4-stage) microprocessor-regulated charging profiles. These are smart battery chargers. The three stages or steps of lead-acid battery chargers are bulk, absorption, and float (or completely shut off in some cases). Qualification or equalization is sometimes considered another stage. A 2-stage charging unit will have bulk and float stages. 12V battery chargers with solar panels also hit the market as a more high-tech and convenient choice. It is critical to follow the battery manufacturer's advice for charging procedures and Voltages or using a microprocessor-controlled charger to maintain battery capacity and service life.

12-volt battery charger sizes

Commonly-seen smart 12V battery chargers on the market are small-sized and easy to operate. These portable 12V battery chargers can be had from a low milliamp output (100, 200, 500 milliamps) up to 90 amps. Some of the smaller units are unregulated and have a fixed Voltage output. These 12V chargers tend to take longer to charge. Smaller amp capacities of battery chargers are appropriate for smaller batteries, like motorcycles, ATVs, etc. A medium amp output 12-volt battery charger would be in the 20 to 50 amp range and would be used for many applications requiring 100 amp hours or more of battery capacity or applications with a constant amp load. Larger units in 12-volt battery charger models produce 55 to 90 amps. These are used in high-ampere-hour battery banks or applications that require faster recharge times.