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Guide to Choosing a Battery Charger

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Guide to Choosing a Battery Charger

Like many other things you buy, you generally want to get the best bang for your buck. By the time you finish reading this article, we would have discussed some of the key features and shown you some popular brands so that you can make a well informed decision. 

Type of Vapester

There are generally 2 categories you can place yourself within; either you are a vaper who enjoys the pleasure of vaping and aims to keep things simple or you are a vaportech who loves to know all the little details. Either way here are a few things I taught were important.

Things to look for..

The different types of charging:

  • A Standard charger is considered to be a slow charger. It typically takes up to 12 hours to charge your battery. Generally not the best option.
  • A Rapid charger charges your battery typically in 1 to 3 hours. Once the battery is fully charged it will switch to a trickle charge mode so that it does not overcharge your battery. Most of today's Li-ion chargers are either a rapid charger or smart charger.
  • Smart chargers will typically charge at the same rate as a Rapid charger and they can also discharge, analyze and perform tests on your batteries. Smart chargers usually have more options in how you charge your batteries.

 Basically by buying a smart charger you are ensuring the safety of your battery and a speedy charge for not a lot more money.

Some words of caution:

Trickle charging can leave a battery in an excitable state, so try to always "rest" your batteries before  putting them in and slamming it.

"It is interesting to note that the nature of e-cigarette explosions has changed over the years. The FEMA document cited above suggests that approximately 80 percent of e-cigarette explosions happen during charging.

Charging capacity:

This is the rate at which the charger is capable of charging the battery so if you want to charge your battery quickly but safely you can match its capacity to its charge rate ie - 2500mah battery can be charged at 2.5Amps safely. Exceeding this can cause the battery to explode. Wanna know if this really makes a big difference? > Have a look at the graphs below by Efest that shows the charge time at various rates.

Efest Charge time test 0.5Amps

Efest Charge time test 1.0Amps

Efest Charge time test 2Amps

How Chargers Charge Your Batteries

 

Lithium-ion batteries are charged to 4.2v per cell.

A Charge cycle involves two main stages; constant current or CC, and voltage source or CV, but some chargers skip or add more stages.


Charging process:
Stage 1 – Automatic analyzing battery status
Stage 2 – Quick charge
Stage 3 – Slow charge
Stage 4 – Standby mode, trickle charge​
  • Most batteries are considered overdischarged or dead when their cell voltage is under 2.8-3v, but even in this situation, some cells can be charged again and be reused. To save them, a "conditioning" stage is done before charging; in this stage, the battery is charged with a 0.1C current limit until it reaches 3v
  • CC stage. This is the stage all the chargers use, and the only one for most fast chargers. During the constant current stage, the battery is basically connected to a current-limited power supply, usually limited to 0.5-0.7 times the nominal battery capacity (that's from 0.5 to 0.7C) it lasts until the cell voltage reaches 4.2v. At the end of this stage, the battery charge is around 70-80%.
  • CV stage or saturation charge. When the battery reaches 4.2v per cell, the charger acts as a voltage limited power supply, The battery voltage remains at 4.2v while the charge current drops gradually. When the charge current is between 3 and 10% of the labeled capacity, the battery is considered fully charged.
  • Topping charge, or "trickle charge". Depending on the charger and the self-discharge of the battery, a topping charge may be implemented. Typically, the charge kicks in when the open terminal voltage drops to 4.05V/cell and turns off when it reaches 4.20V/cell again.

LED Lights or LCD Screens:

The simpler charger offers only LED lights as indicators of the charging progress. The more advanced chargers offer a LCD screen that is more informative. Desirable yes, necessary no.

Portability:

Some chargers are portable so you can charge your batteries on the go giving you the flexibility to take your vaping anywhere.

 

My recommendations:

Nitecore S2 Smart Charger

Nitecore is a trusted brand with a reputation for building good charger. Their S2 charger does all the thinking and caring for you while packing a serious charging punch. Check these stats out:

  • Capable of charging 2 batteries at 1Amp per battery or 1 battery at 3Amps, yes that 3Amps so a 3000mah battery would take just 1.5 hours to charge!
  • Li-ion battery recovery
  • Overtime charging protection
  • USB Charging at 2.1Amps Max

I own one and absolutely love it, its not to bulky and so easy to use. I usually just leave it in intelligent mode. Consider getting one, you can buy them here -

 

 

 

Credits:

1) https://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/blog-entry/guide-to-choosing-a-battery-charger.7607/ - Thank you Author for the wisdom.

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  • Deveshoan Michael