What Is Reverse Polarity Protection?

Posted by Michael Lucarelli on

What Is Reverse Polarity Protection?

If you have an electronic device, you may have made this simple but damaging mistake at some point: reversing the polarity of your device’s power supply. It’s as easy as connecting the terminals and cables incorrectly. When you change the polarity of your device’s power supply, things can start to go awry. Reversing the polarity of a battery can discharge it, which, in rare cases, can lead to the battery exploding and spewing out molten plastic and acid. It can also damage the charger and other electrical components. In order to shield against the dangers of reversed polarity, some devices have reverse polarity protection. But what is reverse polarity protection? Let’s find out.

What’s Polarity?

When a device or object exhibits opposing physical properties at different points, it has polarity. When an electric current is produced between these two poles or points, one of the poles has a greater number of electrons, and the other one has fewer. The pole with more electrons has a negative polarity, and the one with fewer electrons has a positive polarity. You might recognize these as the “+” and “-” symbols printed on batteries and devices that use batteries as their primary power source.

When you connect the two poles with a conductor, the electrons will flow from the negative terminal to the positive one. Then the electrical current, which flows in the opposite direction of the electrons, switches from the positive terminal to the negative one. But if any connecting devices, such as terminals and cables, are incorrectly connected, the current will flow in the wrong direction. It can shock anyone who touches the device and even cause damage to the device itself.

What’s Reverse Polarity Protection?

Now that you know what polarity is, you’re probably wondering what reverse polarity protection is. Luckily, you can avoid the dangers of reverse polarity by getting a device equipped with reverse polarity protection. This protection consists of an internal circuit that protects the device against damage when the power supply’s polarity reverses. To do this, it cuts off power to vulnerable electronic circuits in the transmitter or transducer.

If you need a safe and reliable charger, come check out Search and Recovery Engineering’s selection of Nitecore chargers. Our chargers come equipped with multiple changing safeguards that protect against reverse polarity, overcharging, and more.

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