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Subject: RE: Trickle Charging
From: Justin (jaf60_at_it.canterbury.ac.nz)
Date: 2002-12-10


I suspect there is an additional advantage here to continuous
low-current trickle charging over a pulse top-up charging based on
voltage - the batteries are in series, and are charged in series. This
means that when one gets slightly out of whack with the rest (in terms
of charge), it's a downward spiral - the charger no-longer charges any
of the batteries well, and things get worse and worse.

Now I suspect a trickle charge, on the other hand _will_ charge
batteries in series correctly even when one of them is out of whack -
the normal batteries reach full charge, and because the current is low
enough that a fully charged battery just dissipates it as heat rather
than over-charge, the trickle charging simply continues after the normal
batteries are full, and thus eventually brings any rogue batteries up to
full charge also, so the batteries are once again all equally charged,
and the normal pulse charger can do its thing without fear of
exacebating any battery charge differences.

Battery charging ain't my forte, so I reserve the right to be wrong
here. It seems intuitive that due to the problems of the batteries being
in series, an occasional trickle-charge could keep the them healthy for
the pulse charging, but battery charging is not known for being
intuitive :-)

>I''m not saying you are wrong, but this is what greenbatteries.com say:

>"Many battery manufacturers do not recommend long term ( months at a time)
>trickle charging. If trickle charging is used then the charge rate should
>be very low or only intermittent. The best smart chargers will only send
>an occasional pulse charge to the battery once it is charged. They do not
>apply a continuous low rate of charge."



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