Car batteries are critical electronic devices in vehicles because they provide the electrical energy that is required to support the various power demands of the car. Battery cells are used as stores of electrical energy. Their sizes usually vary depending on the size of the vehicle, application of the vehicle, the weight of the vehicle, and level of power demand of the vehicle among many other factors. Although car alternators usually charge batteries, they tend to run out of charge frequently during winter when the maximum amount of current is drawn from them for lighting, warming, and starting the car engines. Under such circumstances, the battery should be charged so that the car can continue moving. The points below explain how battery charger works.
1. The Transformer Section
The battery charger has a small transformer inside it. The transformer is used to reduce the voltage level from a higher level to a lower level that can be utilized by the battery. The voltage reduction process is very vital because batteries would explode if they were to be charged directly by the voltage from the socket. Therefore, the role of the transformer is to step down the voltage to a level that is safe for the battery.
2. The Voltage Conversion Section
The conversion stage is the second section of the battery charger that is equally essential in the charging process. A battery charger has a converter which is used to transform AC power from the mains to DC power which is required to charge the batteries. AC power cannot be used to charge batteries because batteries store energy in DC form,
3. The Voltage Rectification Section
The rectification stage is the third section of the charger that is composed of rectifier circuits. The rectifier circuit is used to smoother the DC output of the converter. It is in this section that a capacitor is found. The capacitor is used to smoother the DC output power of the converter further. The rectification circuit is generally used to transform the DC power to a more stable and constant DC.
4. The Voltage Regulation Section
The voltage regulation section is used to ensure that there are no fluctuations in the DC power that comes from the battery charger. Therefore, this section ensures that the voltage that goes to the battery is as constant as possible. The constant voltage is very vital for the charging process because it does not subject the battery cells to unnecessary electrical stress.
5. The Automatic Voltage Regulation Section
In most modern battery chargers, automatic voltage regulators are integrated in the batteries to ensure that the charger switches off automatically when the battery is fully charged. A cell is said to be fully charged when its voltage level is similar to the voltage level of the charger. In other words, a battery is supposed to be fully charged when its voltage level reaches its maximum voltage rating. The chargers have voltage sensors which trigger them to switch off when the battery reaches its optimum level.
In conclusion, a battery charger is merely a single compartment with the transformation, conversion, rectification, and regulation sections integrated to achieve a common objective which to charge a battery. Therefore, understanding how battery charger works is important because the knowledge can be used to troubleshoot the charger in case it develops an electrical problem.