With the growing need for batteries, there is a continuous search for safer, smarter and longer lasting battery charging techniques. Let’s have a look at some of the important features that make a battery charger more reliable, while enhancing the life of the battery
By Shruti Mishra
A well-designed battery charger should maximise the life cycle of a battery and boost its durability. For any industry, the battery acts as the heart of the electrical system. According to research done by The Fredonia Group that analysed the US$ 83 billion world battery industry, global demand is forecast to rise 7.7 per cent per year to US$ 120 billion in 2019.
And in the Indian market, the demand for batteries is projected to grow at a CAGR of 16.5 per cent till 2020. Also, the government’s Make in India initiative is helping many budding electrical and electronic industries to spread their wings, which will, in turn, lead to a spike in the demand for hi-tech batteries. So, the massive boom expected in the coming years will ultimately increase the need for more user friendly, advanced and high performance battery chargers.
In general, users always take extra care about the specifications and performance of a battery, prior to making a purchase. But somehow, not much thought is given to what kind of charger should be bought. Many of us ignore the fact that the longevity and performance of a battery entirely depends on the use of the right kind of charger.
Currently, the market is flooded with a wide array of battery chargers – predominantly, smart chargers and trickle chargers. These days, manufacturers are working as hard on new charging methods based on the latest technology, as they are on new batteries. Here is a list of some of the new varieties of battery chargers that have incorporated the latest technology.
Products available in the market
Model: EHI series industrial chargers, Manufacturer: Exide
The EHI series of battery chargers is based on an architecture that enables high efficiency and unity power factor. These products offer the latest in software-defined charging profiles to control the optimal charging current for flat plate and tubular motive power batteries. The Exide EHI series consists of six industrial battery chargers. All of them are CEC-compliant, show efficiency of more than 92 per cent and meet the stringent energy-saving requirements as defined by the California Energy Commission (USA).
- AC line voltages: Single-phase: 85V – 265V AC (auto-detect)
1. Three-phase: 208V, 240V, 480V and 600V AC ±10 per cent
2. Frequency: 50Hz/60Hz ± 5Hz
- Efficiency: >92 per cent
- Power factor: Single-phase models: > 90 per cent
1. Three-phase models: > 97 per cent
- DC output voltages: Nominal battery voltages from 24V to 80V DC
- DC output current: From 50 amps to 320 amps
- Charging profile: Completely programmable, can support batteries of any type, voltage and capacity; can be programmed on a weekly basis to monitor equalisation and to operate in maintenance mode; are also programmable to operate during non-peak hours
Model: Revolution series, Manufacturer: Power Designers
The Revolution series is a combination of cutting-edge charging and energy management technologies, with a smaller footprint, lower acquisition costs and easy maintenance. These chargers are based on the latest generation MOSFET power conversion technology. All of these chargers deliver efficiencies greater than 90 per cent throughout the entire charge cycle. As the charge cycle progresses and the output current tapers down, the charger will turn off unneeded modules, allowing the remaining modules to operate at peak efficiency.
- Modular architecture that is scalable and reliable
- Small footprint and lightweight with wall, post or rack mounting options
- PowerTrac battery data logger option allows the Revolution charger to have multi-voltage (24/36/48) capabilities, and the ability to automatically adapt to the battery voltage and Ah capacity
- The PowerCharge.NET monitoring system option collects and analyses fleet utilisation information from a single location, optimising your cost savings
- Plug-and-play utility makes expansion easy and inexpensive
Model: Microcontroller based SMPS battery chargers for e-rickshaws, Manufacturer: Electro Service India (ESI)
The new ESI microcontroller SMPS battery charger adds extra life to e-rickshaw batteries, the company claims. It is a compact, high efficiency charger that enhances battery life, retains its efficiency and prevents the early death of the battery. It follows a pre-programmed multi-stage charging profile that reduces the risk of overheating. Twin fan cooling and a generous compact layout ensure easy airflow.
- Compact and high efficiency charger
- Twin fan cooling
- Thermal shutdown
- Depth of charge status displayed by multiple LEDs
- Easy replacement of motherboard ensures quick on-the-spot servicing
- Battery input: 4V x 12V tubular 88/100Ah
- Input voltage: 170V-270V, 1Ph, 50Hz
- Input current: < 3.5A AC (true RMS)
- Charging current: 3-stage charging with maximum current of 12A
- Charging voltage: 64V
- Charging sequence:
1. Initiation with a small delay and soft start
2. Pulse charging for de-sulphation
3. @12A CC up to 50 per cent charge
4. @10A CC up to 80 per cent charge
5. @9A up to 95 per cent charge
6. Absorption charge at CV mode
7. Float charging at low current
- Line and load regulation: ± 1 per cent
- Ripple voltage with resistive load: < 0.5 per cent, peak to peak
- Efficiency: Better than 85 per cent
Model: LifePlus TC3 (high frequency smart charger), Manufacturer: Hawker
The LifePlus TC3 belongs to the latest generation of high frequency smart chargers. It is an advanced and energy-efficient charger that reduces battery recharge costs and water consumption, apart from battery maintenance and repair costs.
The LifePlus TC3 has its own IP address, allowing remote access to and programming of the charger through a local network. It also maintains a databank of 13 different charge parameters from the last 100 operating cycles for easy analysis and optimisation.
- Plug-and-play flexibility
- Temperature adjustment
- Built-in real-time clock
- Programmable delay start, either a period of time after being plugged-in or at a specific time of day
- Auto equalisation setting utilises the real-time clock
- Adjustable cable length setting
- Adjustable cable gauge setting
- Generates less heat
- Extends the life of the battery fleet by a minimum of 20 per cent