Custom Lithium ion Battery Pack

Onboard Battery Charger-How They Work Introduction and Working Introduction

APR 30, 2021   Pageview:94

Batteries are a vital component of any motor vehicle, be it a marine vehicle, airplane, cars or even stationary heavy industrial machine. In motor vehicles, battery provides the necessary power for virtually all electrical-consuming devices in it. It is such a vital component that if it dies unexpectedly may make one stranded in the middle of nowhere.

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There are several types of Battery Chargers. We have the onboard battery chargers and offboard battery chargers. This article, however, focuses on onboard battery chargers. These battery chargers find severe applications in marine vehicles and modern electric vehicles.

Onboard battery chargers are connected to the power source in your machines ( in the case of marine vehicles)  so that it derives power from the vehicle and convert into the form the battery requires. It allows you to use your car battery as it gets charged. It is also a fast charger that pumps voltages quickly into your battery, giving you excellent services. 

One of the essential things that concern an individual having a battery is life. With onboard batteries, there's no worry. These batteries are equipped with intelligent software capable of monitoring the charging process and immediately stops when it's complete.

What are onboard battery chargers?

Well, the question can be answered in many ways. To begin with, An onboard charger is simply a charger that is mounted in the vehicle itself and only requires a wire and plug to charge the vehicle. The onboard charger does convert AC power, which is available virtually everywhere, into the much-needed DC power required to  charge the battery. 

Since direct current (DC) power is not universally available, either every charging station would have to be equipped essentially with AC/DC converter, which would increase the cost. The vehicle would be designed with a converter to do the power conversion. Of course, for convenience, vehicle designers preferred to build the converters on the vehicle. This will enable the battery to be charged virtually everywhere where ac currents are available, and it is just required to plug in the inbuilt onboard charger.

The main advantage of onboard chargers is that you can bring your brand new electric vehicle home and plug it into a standard electrical outlet. It will charge, or for the case of hybrid marine vehicles, you need to tap AC power from the car's internal combustion engine to charge your battery. You don't need to buy any other equipment at all.

In simple terms, we can define onboard chargers as devices that convert ac power from any ac producing source into the highly needed and convenient to use dc form. The other thing worth mentioning about the most onboard charger is that they are computer-controlled. It is equipped with software that can monitor the charging rate. The charge rate adjusts as the car battery is charged. The battery then goes into a floating maintenance mode that protects batteries from spoiling due to overcharging.

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How onboard battery chargers do works?

As cited earlier in the introduction, this is a fast-charging system fitted or embedded into the battery with just slots to plug into any ac power source. So, how do onboard battery chargers work? An onboard battery charger comprises one up to four battery chargers housed in a single casing. A boat or marine vehicle does not bear an alternator, and it cannot charge like what outboard motors do. It has its own inbuilt current conversion mechanisms; it, therefore, does not require any external current conversion system. 

It is then plugged into an ac power source, and we are good to go. The AC obtained is quickly converted to the helpful form, i.e., dc currents. Its computerized system monitors the amount of charge in the battery, in case the voltage drops significantly in the battery, it signals this charger to start charging. It goes overboard also to monitor the charging rate to prevent any potential damage to the battery.

Where does the onboard battery charger go?

This question can be interpreted to mean how do we install onboard Battery chargers? Before installing the onboard charger, we must first decide on where to mount the charger. Ideally, the closer the batteries, the better; however, it's not an excellent idea to mount the charger directly above the batteries, where gas escaping can compromise it. Wire runs must always be kept as short as possible, and the correct gauge should be used to prevent a drop in voltage. The instructions from the manufacturer that come with the charger should be given further guidance on how to do the installation. Mount the charger using self-tapping screws or, better yet, stainless-steel nuts and bolts in a dry, well-ventilated location

Typically, the charger is mounted using self-tapping screws or stainless-steel nuts and bolts in a dry, well-ventilated location. Next, you select the correct fuse according to current demand and mount it in the correct position. Hanging cables should then be adequately supported using special clips, e.g., plastic clips, to prevent any short-circuiting, and finally, we have fixed the charger.

 As long as the manufacturer's guidance is followed, one will be in a position to fix it adequately as required by set standards. Once this is done, the charger can be easily plugged into any power source to charge the battery.


Onboard battery chargers are used for marine vehicles or modern hybrid or all-electric vehicles. It is an essential component of running and making the motor vehicle, e.g., boats, work. The whole electrical system and ignition switch depend upon the battery power. Therefore, an onboard battery charger will help get the sufficient energy load needed for the functioning mentioned above.

This system deviates from the traditional one, which slow, charges faster, and is capable of monitoring itself as it charges. They charge faster and are capable of monitoring itself as it charges using it's highly complex and sophisticated computerized software. 

As a comparison between onboard and off board charging systems, this system has far much move advantages compared with its counterpart. It is therefore finds its numerous application in marine vehicles and the modern electric vehicles which required to charged.


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