AND SCARCITY OF SAKO
Buying and using may not be a problem in , the problem is what happens once the charger gets damaged. Electric bikes, solar inverters, and almost all the new devices using rechargeable have in it. Therefore the areas it has become applicable are numerous especially within the country.
THE CHALLENGE OF USING
The continued use of the can be traced to the higher advantages offered against the . A lot has changed over the years in rechargeable energy especially on types and their application. Lithium type has made a great name and still stand as the most sort after in the market. Besides its ability to tolerate low current/ voltage circuit without much damage, it has proven to possess a long time of power discharging arrangement. The features made it possible for technicians to manipulate the and use it in their UPS or made fixed rechargeable room lights that can give the room or entire illumination whenever there is a power outage.
Despite the patronage, the issue of charging the remains a major challenge in the country. The charging is a challenge not because it cannot be charged rather because getting a replacement for the charger can be very difficult.
The most used category lithium in is the 12volts and the 14.6 volts types. These types can be found in most inverters and electric bikes, etc. and they usually come with SAKO charger according to their voltage & current ratings. However, due to the durability nature of the lithium-ion batteries, they last longer than their charger. In other words, the charger can get spoilt or damaged while handling it while the remains untampered in its function. The issue of getting the exact back may become a horse-chase.
Though may be available in other countries for the replacement purpose, its presence in the Nigerian market for the same purpose is very rare.
The need has made the users seek for alternative ways of charging the battery other than the specific and follow-come charger. Meanwhile, using any kind of charger for the battery has been said to possibly lender the battery damaged. Based on the fear, lots of online questions have been released in that regard.
CAN CHARGER CHARGE LITHIUM ?
One of the questions is “Can I use a charger to charge Lithium ?”
In response to that, an expert in the field of manufacturing has this to say
“Lithium batteries are not like and not all are the same. A 12Volts lithium LifePO4 fully charged to 100% will hold voltage around 13.3-13.4V, while the lead-acid type is within 12.6V-12.7V.
A lithium at 20% capacity will hold voltage within 13V and the same capacity of the will be 11.8V, therefore it is all about playing with a very narrow window of voltage less than 0.5V over 80% capacity.
A lithium charger is a voltage-limiting device similar to the charger of the . However, the differences between the two chargers are voltage per cell, tighter voltage tolerances and the absence of trickle or float charge at full charge.
Lithium chargers are based on CV/CC i.e. constant voltage/ constant current charge algorithm. The charger limits the amount of current to a preset level until the becomes fully charged. This system allows fast charging without the risk of overcharging and that is suitable for the lithium batteries.”
The explanation offered revealed a clear difference in operation for the two distinctive chargers. the have specific charge algorithms to suit flooded/AGM/Gel batteries which generally requires a 3 stage charge process which are; bulk, Absorption, and float. When the charger is in a bulk stage, it will charge the at full current to about 80% capacity and then it will move to the absorption stage.
In the absorption stage, the charger holds the maximum voltage for a chosen and charge it with reduced current as the internal resistance of the cannot accept the charger current at the maximum output. When the current drops to a percentage greater than 10% of the charger total output, it will move to the float stage. Meanwhile, such transmission from absorption to float stage could be time-based. In other words, if the charger stays at the absorption stage it will move to the float in about 4 hours or more.
Almost all the charger has the transmission stages and is sometimes automatically controlled based on time-frame.
Ion the other hand, lithium batteries do not need such equalization stages during their charging. For instance, using an equalization of 15V and above to a lithium can cause a serious damage to its cells, according to expert response.
The charger has a ‘return to bulk’ voltage function. Meaning that a 100 percent full of the is approximately 12.7V when it enters into the float stage, it will maintain the at a pre-set voltage and also support any loads running at the time. In the case of running load that caused the voltage in the float stage to reduce, the charger will start a new charge cycle and start re-charging the . Normally 12.5V-12.7V is the charger’s ‘return to bulk’ basic setting which is very low for a .
Lithium charger‘s ‘return to bulk’ setting is between 13.1V – 13.2V. that is a basic reason the charger cannot be suitable for the lithium . Because the lithium can hold voltage above 13V, some charger may see it as a fully charged and enter into the float mode. Meanwhile, special charger without mode transmission may access the lithium by pinging technic to determine the voltage and resistance level and use it to reset itself in order to supply the required voltage.
Therefore using the lead acid battery charger for lithium battery can be possible based on the following conditions:
- That the charger does not have stage transmission and if it does, it should be possible to turn it off since the lithium will not require such charging method.
- The charger can be set to charge at a voltage higher than 14.6V under regular charging mode and must be disconnected immediately the lithium is fully charged.
- Ensure someone is available to monitor the until it is full. Allowing it with the charger longer than it is supposed can damage the cells.
ALTERNATIVE WAY OF CHARGING LITHIUM
Another way of charging the lithium is to take the ratings of the voltage and current of the charger and look for an adapter of the same rating. Change the connecting ports of the adapter to that of the charger. The disadvantage aspect of this is that some of the adapters may not give the full charging, that makes it discharge in less durable time. Meanwhile, when the exact matching adapter is used, the can still perform as though the original charger was used in charging it.
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