If you have access to the grid, you can use a battery charger to quickly charge your car or house battery and minimize the time at the plug and get on with the rest of your day, whether it is a camping trip or off to another errand.
You should use a charge rate suited to your battery type and chemistry.
With that in mind, what charge rate should you use with a 200 Ah battery? How quickly can you expect to charge it?
This post shares some guidelines on what charge rate you can use with a 200Ah battery and how fast you should expect to it safely affecting its lifespan.
Note: The information provided here is intended as a guide. Always consult the manufacturer’s battery specifications and charger settings.
Read This First before using the Battery Charger
Always confirm that the charger setting selected matches your battery type – AGM, GEL, or LiFePO4 for optimum charging of the battery.
Consult your battery’s owner manual for the recommended voltage settings to use if in doubt or if there is an option to manually select the bulk and float voltage settings.
Using the wrong type of battery settings can damage your battery.
Indicative bulk and float voltages settings for selected battery types (Always check your charger settings and battery specifications)
|No.||Battery Type||Estimated Bulk Voltage (V) at 77 °F||Estimated Float Voltage (V) at 77 °F|
|1||AGM||14.6 – 14.8||13.6 – 13.8|
|2||GEL||14.2 – 14.5||13.4 -13.6|
What Charge Rate to Use with the Battery?
The charge rate (amps) usually varies according to the battery chemistry and temperature.
If it is a lead-acid AGM battery, the recommended rate is usually 20 amps (0.1C).
LiFePO4 can handle higher charge rates of usually up to 100 amps (0.5C). Note, that the recommended charge rate can be lower at 40 amps (0.2C).
Always consult the manufacturer specifications in the battery owner manual.
Why you should avoid using higher than Recommended charging currents
If you use a higher charging current, you risk damaging the battery. The battery can overheat, bulge, or even explode causing serious injury or even a fire.
How Fast Can You Charge a 200 Ah Battery?
This depends on the charge rate and the battery chemistry and how deeply discharged it is.
A 200 Ah, 12V LiFEPO4 can be charged in at least 2 hours at 100A plus the additional time to top up the charge at the end, assuming it has been discharged to 80% of its capacity.
On the other hand, Lead-acid batteries should be charged slower and can be charged in at least 10 hours at 20A plus the additional time to top up the charge at the end, assuming it has been discharged to 80% of its capacity.
If the battery is partially discharged then it will take less time to fully charge.
Should You Leave the Battery Charger on all the Time?
No, you shouldn’t unless the charger has auto-shutoff feature. Chargers without the auto-shut-off feature continue charging the battery even when the battery is full which degrades the battery and shortens its lifespan.
Alternative Ways of Charging a 200 Ah Battery
Other ways you can charge the battery include:
- Using a ground-mounted or roof-mounted solar panel with a charge controller
- An inverter generator
The charge rate for a 200Ah, 12V battery depends on its chemistry. For a LiFEPO4 battery, you may be able to use a maximum of 100 amps and it’ll charge in a minimum of 2 hours plus some charge time to top up at the end.
While AGM lead acid batteries should be charged at the lower 20 amps. Expect a minimum charging time of about 10 hours if the battery has been deeply discharged.