AGM battery is a type of battery that can handle higher charge and discharge rates than a regular battery. Unlike a standard battery, it contains an absorbed electrolyte instead of a liquid one.
It’s common to think that AGM batteries can be charged with the help of a regular charger. However, this is not actually true as it can lead to the battery damage and shorten its service life. Why? The AGM batteries are designed to be charged gradually which is not possible when you use a standard charger. In addition, they require low voltage.
So, as you can see, such a battery requires a special, AGM charger. If you want to know how to choose the right one, continue on reading the next paragraphs. You also can visit the Bestfordriver website to find the best agm battery charger among the top models on the modern market.
So, how to choose an AGM charger?
1. Possibility of setting the current
While it may seem an obvious function, some charges can’t offer this feature. However, if you want your battery to serve you for a long time, this function should be present in your AGM charger. A charging current must be equal to 10% of the nominal capacity of the battery. Charging with less current will just increase the charging time, while higher current will be dangerous for the battery.
2. Temperature compensation
Any rechargeable battery heats up during the charging process. Plus, the temperature in the room where you charge the battery also tends to change during the process. Thus, the temperature of the battery during charging may increase to excessively high levels. Therefore, a high-quality charger should have a temperature compensation function, preferably with an external temperature sensor (for max measurement accuracy).
3. Several charging stages
An AGM charger should have at least 3 charging stages: charging with a constant current, charging with a constant voltage, and maintaining the charging level with a reduced constant voltage. However, in the case if you don’t need the maintenance of 100% charge, a 2-stage model will be enough for you. Automatic AGM chargers usually have from 3 to 5 charging stages.
4. Adjustable fan speed
The AGM charges usually use a fan to cool down. If you use a charger with a cooling fan at your home, a variable fan speed can be important. It will minimize the noise during operation. There are also some models that automatically turn the fan off, providing a silent operation.
5. Temperature range
If the charger has a wide temperature operating range, it means that it can be used for professional use and also indicates its high quality. So, if you plan to charge an AGM battery in an unheated room, you should choose a model with a wide temperature operating range.
An AGM charger is a kind of device that requires careful use and treatment as it’s not completely safe. That is why you should choose a model with some additional safety features, like, for example, protection from inflammation or overcharging. There are also some chargers with the reverse-hookup protection, spark-proof connectors, or the reverse-polarity function that protects the battery from incorrect polarity. It’s also better to choose a model that comes in a housing, protected from UV rays and water.
7. Vehicle compatibility
Before choosing an AGM charger, make sure that it’s suitable for your type of vehicle. Usually, most models are compatible with ATVs, scooters/motorcycles, water transport, lawnmowers, etc. If you have more than one vehicle, it’s better to choose a model that can charge several batteries simultaneously.
8. Smart features
There are the models, equipped with some smart features that can ease the battery maintenance and charging routine. For example, some AGM charges have a special feature to detect the defective batteries.
If you want to store the charger in the glove box of your vehicle and transport it with you on a regular base, you don’t want a bulky and heavy model. Fortunately, there are some compact models that weigh just one pound. However, if you need a truly powerful and multifunctional device, able to charge many batteries simultaneously, you will have to deal with a non-portable model.