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Battery chargers are made with varying voltages. Some battery chargers are designed to charge AA or AAA batteries, while other chargers are made to charge only C or D cell batteries. Universal battery chargers are designed to charge batteries of many sizes that power various devices. Some battery chargers are designed solely for NiCD batteries, while others are only for NiMH types. Auto battery chargers charge an automobile battery.
A type of battery charger that powers a cell phone from a car is typically known as an emergency charger. This device doubles as an power source and recharges during use. It is typically plugged into a socket of the car's cigarette lighter.
Automobile chargers are designed to recharge a car's battery, and some are designed to jump start a car without the need for another vehicle. This high-powered device is often referred to as a portable power station. The automobile batter charger and power station is typically made with a very long cord. As with many battery chargers, it may include a battery charge status indicator light.
A speed charger is a bulky type of battery charger for charging 12-volt batteries. This type of charger is sometimes referred to as a smart charger, because of its capabilities. It is typically designed for batteries that charge jet skis, motorcycles, and lawnmowers.
Very large battery chargers may be too heavy to be portable, and these are often transported on wheels. Often referred to as manual wheeled chargers, these will typically recharge batteries that power vehicles or other machinery. Some of the wheeled chargers also come with a built-in cooling fan that may help increase the life of the charger.
Some battery chargers are small and compact and are typically designed for charging batteries that power small devices, such as a radio or remote controller. This type of charger may charge four or six AA or AAA batteries simultaneously. The plug on this charger will typically connect directly to a wall outlet, without the need for an electrical cord. Battery charging stations are also self contained and may be plugged directly into a wall outlet without a cord. These chargers are made for devices such as electric shavers and handheld gaming systems.
Many battery chargers feature multiple modes. Most will include a discharge mode that is necessary before recharging the batteries. Some chargers also include an testing option, which tests the battery life and status.