Can a Car Alternator Charge a Deep Cycle Battery?

Many car owners with alternators also own boats or RVs that use deep-cycle batteries. People often wonder if they can use the alternator on their car to charge these batteries as well.

In this blog post, we’ll answer that question and provide some helpful tips on how to correctly charge a deep-cycle battery using an alternator.

Key Takeaway

  • Deep-cycle batteries are designed to hold a charge for extended periods of time.
  • An alternator could charge a deep-cycle battery but it will take longer because the output of the alternator is 12V and the deep-cycle batteries are 24V.
  • Jumper cables are not strong enough to charge a deep-cycle battery.
  • You can charge a deep-cycle battery while in use as long as the battery receives more power than giving away.
  • A high-quality deep-cycle battery can sit for up to two months without recharging.

What Are Deep-Cycle Batteries?

Can a Car Alternator Charge a Deep Cycle Battery

Deep-cycle batteries are lead-acid batteries designed to be regularly discharged and recharged. Unlike car batteries, which need only be discharged briefly, deep-cycle batteries can withstand long periods of discharging. As such, they’re commonly used in applications requiring constant power sources like boats, RVs, golf carts, and solar panels.

Batteries are an integral component of many electronic devices, from cell phones to cars. Most batteries provide a short burst of power before needing to be recharged; however, there are some which are designed for long-term usage.

Deep-cycle batteries, also known as deep-cycle batteries, are commonly found in boats and RVs, and solar energy systems. Deep-cycle batteries work by slowly releasing their stored energy over an extended period of time which enables them to be used for extended periods without needing frequent recharging.

Furthermore, deep-cycle batteries tend not to experience the “memory effect,” which can reduce performance over time for other types of batteries. As such, deep-cycle batteries make for a great option in applications requiring extended usage.

Deep-cycle batteries come in many different varieties. Lead acid batteries are the most affordable and long-lasting choice, though they’re quite heavy to transport. Lithium-ion batteries are another popular alternative as they’re much lighter than lead acid batteries and therefore easier to handle during transport.

However, they are more expensive and have a shorter lifespan. Another alternative is the nickel-cadmium battery, which has similar physical characteristics to lithium-ion batteries in terms of weight and cost; however, it has a shorter lifespan and may be harder to recycle.

Can a Car Alternator Charge a Deep-Cycle Battery?

Can a Car Alternator Charge a Deep Cycle Battery

Car alternators can be used to quickly and effectively charge a deep-cycle battery, though their effectiveness and speed will depend on the voltage of the cell. Car alternators typically output between 13.8 to 14.3 volts, so they should have no trouble charging 12V deep cycle batteries quickly; however, 24V deep cycle batteries require longer timeframes but still be charged effectively and quickly with one of these.

On average, it takes six hours for an alternator to charge a 12V battery and up to twelve hours for 24V batteries.

However, the exact time will depend on the strength of your alternator; if it is significantly depleted, charging may take longer.

Likewise, weak or damaged alternators or electrical resistance in the charging system will result in slower charge times as well.

The alternator produces AC power that must be converted to DC for use in charging a battery. This is usually accomplished with the inclusion of a rectifier in the charging system. Once converted, the alternator can be utilized just like any other charger when charging deep-cycle batteries.

It is essential to monitor the charging process and ensure the battery doesn’t become overcharged. With proper management, a car alternator can effectively keep a deep-cycle battery charged and ready for use.

Can You Charge a Deep-Cycle Battery With Jumper Cables

Jumper cables are often associated with jump-starting a car when its battery has died, but they can actually serve other purposes too. For instance, you can use them to charge up a deep-cycle battery.

Jumper cables offer a rapid burst of power that’s ideal for jump-starting a car. However, deep-cycle batteries require a slower, steadier charge in order to reach full capacity; as such, jumper cables cannot fully recharge a deep-cycle battery; however, they are powerful enough to charge it at least halfway.

Here’s how to charge a deep-cycle battery using jumper cables: First, ensure the donor battery is of the same voltage as the deep-cycle battery.

Then, connect the positive terminal of the donor battery to the positive terminal of the deep cycle battery. Next, attach the negative terminal from your donor vehicle’s battery to that same negative terminal on the deep cycle battery.

Lastly, start up the engine of your donor vehicle and let it run for two hours; this will give the deep cycle battery time to charge fully. Remember to disconnect these cables in reverse order once complete!

Can You Charge a Deep-Cycle Battery While In Use?

Can a Car Alternator Charge a Deep Cycle Battery

Good news: you can charge a deep-cycle battery while it is in use. Just make sure the battery receives more power than it expels, meaning if your charger provides 12V output, make sure your battery spends less energy than that amount.

When your car battery dies, you can usually jumpstart it by connecting it to another battery. Unfortunately, deep-cycle batteries are different. They must be discharged and recharged slowly over time and cannot be jumpstarted as car batteries can. Therefore, if your deep-cycle battery dies, you will need to charge it before using it again.

Charging a deep-cycle battery while it is active can actually benefit the battery, helping to extend its lifespan and prevent sulfation. By regularly charging your deep-cycle battery, you help avoid this degradation and maximize its capacity.

A deep-cycle battery is an integral component of many electronic equipments such as RVs, boats, and golf carts. With proper care, these batteries can last for many years with proper discharge and recharge cycles. One important aspect of caring for a deep-cycle battery is making sure it has sufficient charge.

To properly charge a deep-cycle battery, you will need an adapter designed specifically for it. These chargers can typically be found at auto parts stores. Once you have your charger, simply follow the instructions that come with it to properly recharge your battery.

How Long Can a Deep-Cycle Battery Sit Without Charging?

Though the exact length of time a deep-cycle battery can go without charging depends on several factors, including temperature and manufacturing quality, most will start to show signs of discharge after around two months of inactivity.

A deep-cycle battery is designed to be discharged and recharged multiple times. However, if not used for an extended period of time, the battery will gradually lose its charge.

Uncharged deep-cycle batteries can become damaged and need replacement if left unused for too long. Therefore, it’s essential to regularly check on your battery’s status and give it a full charge at least once every six months in order to keep it functioning optimally.

Deep-cycle batteries are designed to deliver a slow, steady discharge of power over an extended period. In contrast, other types of batteries typically offer short bursts of high energy. Their name derives from their common usage in deep cycling applications like golf carts, RVs, and boats.

Discharging a deep-cycle battery requires gradual erosion by electrolytes. This process makes the batteries so long-lasting. But eventually, they must be replaced due to wear and tear on their electrodes.

Bob Semana

Hi there, I am a Mechanical Engineer that specializes in AC, Alternators, Batteries, Cooling systems, and Drive Train issues.

Recent Posts