Marine Electric Charger are typically designed for a ‘marine’ environment but, their design may be little different from non-marine chargers. The key factor in your choice of a marine battery charger is its planned usage or application. Marine batteries are usually not much different from non-marine batteries except that they may be more likely to be deep cycle, deep cycle and starting, lead acid, or sealed lead acid. They also may constructed with materials which resist corrosion and have vibration dampening materials between the plates. Marine battery chargers don’t care about their environment, rather they are designed to distinguish between battery chemistry (flooded, gel cel, AGM – absorbed glass mat).
Here are the most important considerations when choosing a marine environment battery charger:
If your boat is open and exposed to the elements, you should choose a charger with a waterproof housing. When considering waterproofing, a specification to look for is ingress protection rating. An ingress protection rating of IP68 would be totally dust tight and provide protection against prolonged effects of immersion in water under pressure. These units are usually fully seal, safe to store onboard year round, and can permanently left in a damp environment. They may describe as fully pot which means that the electronics are encapsulate in resin.
Your boat application may not require a waterproof housing. If your boat is large with an enclosed cabin, where you can insure no direct contact with water, you may choose a battery charger that is not waterproof.
If your battery’s environment experiences prolonged, significant vibration. You should look for a vibration proof specification for the any unit you are considering. Vibration can handled through a rugged case or through vibration dampening materials used in construction.
If your environment experiences frequent or severe temperature changes, you should choose a battery charger that compensates for temperature changes. This is important to insure the proper charging and maintenance of your battery.