Look For These Features When Buying a 18650 Battery Charger
You will find a truly diverse range of products when buying a 18650 battery charger. While some seem relatively simple and just do the promised job of keeping your lithium-ion cells all juiced up, while others boast of a myriad of features. The greaterthe number of features, the higher the price tag will be.
Now, some of these features can best be called frills; yes, they help but they aren’t necessary. On the other hand, there are a few mandatory features that you simply cannot ignore because they impact both functionality and safety. So, here are the importantfeatures of a 18650 battery charger that you should never compromise on:
Fast charge: Depending on the power that the charger is putting out, the time taken to charge the battery will vary significantly. For instance, pick a cheap charger that offers no more than a 200-300 mA charging current and it can take 10 hours or more to get yourdead battery up and running. On the other hand, a charger that provides a charging current of 500 mA will be able to juice up the same battery in only 5-6 hours.
But, who has that kind of time? So, super-fast charging is one of the features to consider. However, you need to remember that the faster the battery is charged, the greater isthe increase in temperature while that cell is being charged. Ideally, you get the best performance from a charger that offers 50% of the cell capacity as the charge current.
So, if you have a 2200 mA battery, a 18650 charger that delivers 1000 mA of charging current will give you the fastest and safest charging performance. The ZR1 from Brightex Technologies is one of few charger kits that we found to actually give you both a real 2200 mA lithium battery and a fast 1000 mA charger (most chargers actually give only around 500mA). So, it comes as no surprise that you get peak performance from this product.
Trickle charge: When the battery is at 70-80%, a good and safe charger will shift to the trickle charge mode. This is the slow charging mode which is included in the design to prevent over charging yet stillensure that the battery is charged to it’s full 100% capacity. The trickle charge feature is crucial from the point of safety and performance.
Smart charge: Two things happen when a lithium battery is overcharged. One, the risk of the battery heating up to the point where the electrolyte in it catches fire increases rapidly. Two, even if the battery does not explode on you, by overcharging it, you’re subjecting the cell to undue stress, which reduces its usable life. With a smart charger, like the ZR1 from Brightex Technologies, you eliminate this risk because the intuitive gadget is designed to automatically shut off when the battery is fully charged.
Apart from these considerations, a UL rating is also one of the features that you should be looking for. After all, when a product is certifiedto comply with the American Safety Standards by an independent entity, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), you can be absolutely sure that it will work the way the manufacturer claims it will.
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