We offer industrial quality 12 volt battery chargers in amperages from 0.75 amps to 80 amps. Most are switch mode design, microprocessor controlled, which allows for smaller components, less heat generation (loss), and therefore fewer thermal management problems. Each 12 volt charger is a so called "smart" charger, utilizing multi stage charging, which provides efficient charging. The microprocessor takes information from the battery (voltage) and regulates the charge current to achieve maximum charge value without harming the battery, and ends the charge in a maintenance mode, suitable for long periods or storage. These features are considerable improvements over old battery charging technology, and eliminate undercharging or overcharging, both of which are detrimental to battery health. With an industrial quality 12 volt battery charger, you can attach and forget, and get maximum battery life and health. These are not the type of units you find in a department type store, and they may cost a little more, but the improvement in battery life, or proper operation of your prototype/production project more than pays the difference. There are some multi-purpose 6/12 volt and 12/24 volt units here as well.
The Schauer, Samlex, and some Quick Charge chargers are 3 stage units, providing up to the battery charger maximum output amperage(constant current), and monitoring of the charge voltage as it rises to the absorption set point. The absorption set point is generally between 14.1 volts DC and 14.7 volts DC in a 12 volt charger. The charger then maintains the absorption voltage (constant voltage) until the battery is fully charged (second stage). At this point, the charger drops the output voltage to the 3rd, or "float" stage, which is safe for long term battery maintenance. This float stage voltage is between 13.2 and 13.7 volts DC in a 12 volt battery charger.
The float stage in a microprocessor controlled battery charger is an excellent application of new technology in this computer age. Older 12 volt battery trickle chargers usually maintained a current level that was too high for long term maintenance, and overcharged batteries, thus requiring constant monitoring. The new chargers can be left connected for indeterminant periods, and the microprocessor only applies enough current (at the float voltage) to compensate for internal discharge.
Your 12 volt system can also be used to supply AC current, like you have in your house, with the addition of a marine approved inverter which will invert the DC current (normally obtained from your battery bank) to AC. For further amplification see section entitled "".