What happens if you charge a lithium battery with a regular charger?

Most, if not all, lead-acid chargers have an equalization mode. On some chargers, this mode can be automatic and cannot be turned off.

Lithium batteries

do not require any type of equalization. Applying an equalization charge of more than 15 V to a lithium battery will damage the cells beyond repair.

So can you use lithium in an SLA charger? Yes, as long as that charger doesn't have a desulfation mode or a dead battery detector. For reference, the desulfation function of SLA chargers is to recover an overdischarged SLA battery by using low amperes and high-voltage pulses. This desulfation mode can cause the BMS of a lithium battery to turn off the battery or even damage it due to the high-voltage pulse. In addition, the dead battery detector may interpret a lithium battery that has gone into protection mode as a dead battery and may not be able to unprotect the lithium battery.

Do you have to? This question deserves a detailed explanation. If you try to charge a lithium battery with a regular charger, the lithium battery will be charged. However, the lithium battery will charge at a slower rate. This is because standard chargers, as designed, use a lower voltage.

Keep in mind that if the operating voltage range of the batteries is not significantly limited, the batteries will overheat, leading to a fire or explosion. However, there is a more detailed explanation scheme in the present document. If you are not going to use the battery often and it spends a lot of time floating, it would be best to disconnect the battery from the charger before storing it. Lithium batteries, which offer maximum power and a constant voltage even with a higher load, do not experience such a voltage drop.

This is not right for a lithium battery, as it affects the chemistry of the lithium battery and reduces its lifespan. At the higher end of the voltage range, used in most AGM batteries, the lithium battery will be 100% charged. In addition, lithium batteries do not need to be kept on floating charges due to the lower self-discharge rate of the battery. Lithium batteries for computers have these controls integrated into the charger or laptop, and they only need to have the exact correct charging voltage.

It's also possible that you won't reach the maximum capacity of the lithium battery with the SLA charger (a 20 Ah lithium battery may not reach 20 amperes on an SLA charger, for example). A lithium iron phosphate battery charger is programmed with the correct voltage limits for a lithium battery to work with the battery. As you can see in the graphic below, this means that the lithium battery continues to charge in less time than it would take for an equivalent SLA battery to charge in an SLA profile. Therefore, it is important to charge a lithium-ion battery correctly and use the best methods, as it directly affects the life and performance of the battery.

It's important to understand the voltage range in which a normal battery, such as a lead-acid battery and a lithium battery, operates. In larger SLA batteries, extended charging time may require the use of additional batteries while some batteries are being charged. But, in short, you can use a regular SLA charger (without desulfation mode) to charge a lithium battery.