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12V input, 12V battery charger

2016-05-10 19:21  
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12V input, 12V battery charger
Some of you might wonder why a charger is needed at all, to charge a 12 Volt battery from a 12 Volt source! Well, firstly the 12 Volt source will typically vary anywhere from 11 Volt to 15 Volt, and then a battery needs acontrolled charge current and voltage, which cannot result from connecting it directly to a voltage source. The charger described here is intended for charging small 12 Volt lead acid batteries, such as the gelled or AGM batteries of capacities between about 2 and 10 Ah, using a car's electrical system as power source, regardless of whether the car engine is running or not. I built this charger many years ago, I think I was still in school back then. On request of a reader of my web site, I'm publishing it now, despite being a rather crude circuit. It works, it is uncritical to build, and uses only easy-to-find parts, so it has something in its favor. The downside is mainly the low efficiency: This charger wastes about as much power as it puts into the battery.