Battery Charger vs Battery Maintainer: Difference and Comparison

Charging and maintaining batteries is often a concern among people who use them regularly. Keeping the batteries charged prevents them from damage and increases the longevity of the battery.


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Batteries can be charged in two ways: by battery charger or by battery maintainer. Both seem similar but have distinct differences.

Key Takeaways

  1. A battery charger provides a high current to quickly charge a battery, while a battery maintainer provides a low current to maintain the battery charge.
  2. A battery charger is used to recharge a discharged battery, while a battery maintainer is used to maintain the charge of a fully charged battery.
  3. A battery charger can overcharge a battery if left connected for too long, while a battery maintainer prevents overcharging by monitoring the battery charge level.

Battery Charger vs Battery Maintainer

The difference between battery chargers and battery maintainers is that they have simple, clean, and easy circuitry, while battery maintainers have complex and advanced circuitry. Battery chargers are a traditional way of charging batteries, while battery maintainers are the modern form of charging batteries.

Battery Charger vs Battery Maintainer

Battery chargers are best for users on a budget. They do not check if the battery needs a charge. They require manual start and stop before and after charging. It does not have any automation and hence can damage the battery if left for overcharging.

On the other hand, battery maintainers are best for users who are ready to splurge some extra bucks. They routinely check if the battery needs a charge.

They are automated models and can automatically start and stop charging depending upon the need of the battery. There is no risk of damage since the current is regulated.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonBattery ChargerBattery Maintainer
Type of circuit SimpleComplex
RiskThe battery can get overcharged and damaged if the battery charger is left connected after the full charge The battery cannot get overcharged or damaged even if the battery maintainer is left connected
AutomationIt provides a manual start and stops facility of charging It provides an automatic start and stops facility of charging
Time for complete charge Takes longer time Takes shorter time
Type of charging Charges at a constant rate The current is regulated constantly

What is Battery Charger?

The battery charger is also known as a recharger. The charging protocol, which includes how much voltage or current duration and the step after charging is complete, depends on the size, circuit, and type of battery being charged.

The amp amount in a battery charger can be set and that can control the amount of pulse going through the battery.

Battery charger functions on the mechanism of converting power from the battery bank or wall, which is converted into a pulse, and that goes into the battery for charging.

The pulse produced further causes damage to the sulfur (built upon the plates in the battery), and it chips off. This returns to the electrolyte which is present inside the battery. This is the mechanism of restoring the charge.

Circuitry plays a vital role in any model of the battery charger. The circuitry can detect the charge level present in a battery and further evaluate the charge needed by the battery.

The layout of the circuit affects the charging capability of the battery charger. Most of the battery chargers apply a small amount of voltage to the battery and charge at a slower rate so that the battery is not overcharged or damaged.

The circuit of the battery determines the rating of the battery. Battery chargers can charge the battery at a constant rate. Most battery chargers take up to 10 hours or even more to charge a battery.

Batteries tend to be charged overnight to prevent them from overcharging. Overcharging can even cause the bursting of the battery, which can be fatal.

battery charger

What is Battery Maintainer?

Battery maintainers are advanced models. They have complex circuitry. The circuitry in battery maintainers is complex and advanced. It has a self-regulatory model which helps in charging the battery at a higher rate than most other battery chargers.

It can regulate the current flowing inside the battery charging. The regulation prevents the battery from getting overcharged. The regulation factor in battery maintainers helps in charging batteries within a few hours.

The battery maintainer does not need to be disconnected manually after the battery has been changed since the regulation factor will not allow the battery to get overcharged or damaged. The maintainer automatically turns off once the battery is full.

Battery maintainers automatically start charging if the battery has lost charge below a certain amount. Most users prefer the automatic start and stop facility provided by battery maintainers, which keeps the hassle of manual work aside.

Apart from the large battery maintainers that charge batteries, small battery maintainers are available. Such maintainers are not designed to charge a discharged battery.

They can effectively maintain a battery while the battery is in storage. Small battery maintainers can restrict the parameter of various capabilities provided in larger ones but are much cheaper than most larger maintainers and even various battery chargers.

The small maintainers are more power-efficient and consume less power.

Main Differences Between Battery Charger and Battery Maintainer

  1. Battery chargers have the potential to charge the batteries comparatively slower, while battery maintainers can charge the battery comparatively faster.
  2. Battery chargers are a traditional way of charging batteries, while battery maintainers are the modern form of charging batteries.
  3. The circuit of battery chargers is simple, while the circuit of battery maintainers is complex.
  4. Battery chargers are cheaper, while battery maintainers are expensive.
  5. Battery chargers have to be disconnected after charging, while battery maintainers may or may not be removed after charging, as it does not cause overcharging.
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