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Choosing the Right Battery Charger

Choosing the Right Battery Charger

When you choose to buy rechargeable batteries, you will also need to decide which charger to use. The three types of battery chargers are: an AC charger (which plugs into a wall socket), a solar charger (which operates in the sun), and a 12-volt charger (which plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter or your home’s renewable energy system).


  • Solar Chargers
    The great benefit of solar battery chargers is that you don’t need an outlet to plug them into, you just need the sun! They can be used just about anywhere.However, these chargers work more slowly than plug-in types, and it may take
    several days to charge up a set of batteries. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you buy an extra set of batteries with your solar charger, so you can charge one set while using the other. An advantage of the smaller solar chargers is that you can leave the batteries installed without
    worrying about overcharging. Given time and patience (prerequisites for a prudent, sustainable life in any case), solar chargers are definitely the best way to go.

  • DC Chargers
    The 12-volt charger will recharge your batteries from a car, or from your home’s 12-volt renewable energy system (if you’re so blessed). Our 12-volt
    charger is the fastest charger we have found. It also provides a variable charge rate depending on battery size. Most AC chargers put the same amount of power into every battery, regardless of size. Even though the 12-volt charger is a fast charger, it will not drain your car battery, unless you
    forget and leave it charging for several days. This charger can overcharge batteries, however, so pay close attention to how long it takes to charge, and don’t leave them in there much longer than necessary. Leaving them in
    the 12-volt charger for one-and-a-half times the recommended duration will not harm the batteries.

  • AC Chargers
    The AC (plug in the wall) chargers are by far the most convenient for the conventional utility-powered house. Most of us are surrounded by AC outlets all day long and all we have to do is plug in the charger and let it go to work.

Read more: Home, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse

Excerpted from the Real Goods Solar Living Source Book, edited by Doug Pratt and executive editor John Schaeffer.Copyright (c) 1999, Real Goods. Reprinted by permsision of Chelsea Green Publishing Company and Real Goods.
Excerpted from Real Goods Solar Living Source Book,edited by Doug Pratt and executive editor John Schaeffer.

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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The Real Goods Solar Living Sourcebook

The Sourcebook remains the best introduction to energy-efficient technology for common folks.
-Whole Earth Review

From novices to pros, this book explains renewable energy and efficient building practices. Great reference to start design and cost estimation from each section. One of the best features of this book is the addition of the National Electric Code for RE systems. It's possible to pick a building material to build a house, design a solar electric system, decide on appliances, determine the use of a greywater system, and more from 562 pages. No more looking up pages on the net!buy now

7 comments

+ add your own
12:44AM PDT on May 31, 2011

Thanks for the article.

5:34AM PDT on Mar 22, 2011

Thanks for the info.

10:06PM PDT on Oct 1, 2010

Thanks for the good info on two batteries for solar chargers.

1:32AM PDT on May 6, 2010

Thanks.

12:24PM PDT on Apr 18, 2010

thank you

1:25AM PDT on Mar 20, 2010

thanks for post

12:26AM PST on Mar 12, 2010

Noted. TY

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