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What is Intelligent Charging?

The Power Behind Bretford Charging Carts

by Michael Berding, Bretford Sale Executive, Education

As mobile devices become more prevalent in classrooms and work environments, a lot of time and consideration can go into what charging solutions will work best to keep your devices managed and secured. A simple search for charging carts will result in many options – some carts claim to be “smart” or “intelligent” while others say they have cycle, or digital, timers. Intelligent charging can seem like an overused buzz word when it comes to individual devices, but what can it mean for charging cart solutions? Are intelligent charging carts really that important?

Intelligent Charging – What Is It and Why Do You Need It?

Think about it: when asked about our strengths, we want to consider ourselves smart or intelligent, right? But what does it mean when a charging cart claims to be these things? 

While manufacturers have different definitions, ultimately it comes down to the type of charging provided by the cart.  Generally, a smart charging cart can sense which group or set of devices require the most power and can allocate power to those specific devices. This can be helpful in environments where devices are placed in a cart for a short amount of time before going back into use. Additionally, intelligent carts are a great option when more powerful devices are being used – which, without this type of charging, could cause the breaker to overheat and shut off.  

When determining if you need an intelligent charging cart, answer these questions:

  1. Do I need to charge devices in the middle of the day?

  2. Do I need devices to charge quickly?

  3. Will all the devices, when first plugged into the charging cart, be at different levels of battery charge?

  4. Are the devices needing to be charged powerful ones, like MacBooks or Chromebooks? During peak loads with many powerful devices this could be a strong indicator whether or not the breaker will trip. 


Other questions will arise as you determine the best solution for your organization, but these are a great starting point to determine if intelligent charging is right for your scenario.

Options for Charging – Intelligent, Cycle-Timer, Full Rate

Do these words seem a bit daunting? Below are some of the different solutions you will be presented with in the market. Bretford has been providing industry leading solutions for over 70 years and takes customer safety seriously – all its products are rigorously tested and pass UL certification. As a result, Bretford can offer multiple charging options to fit different customer situations.

Intelligent Charging – Bretford intelligent charging carts provide power to devices, through specific zones within the cart, based on which zone requires the most power. The cart continues to evaluate the power needs and cycles power to the next bank. Once the power demand reduces, the cart can potentially power to all devices at once. As previously noted, these carts are a great option for devices that are used all day and only have a limited amount of time to charge or for more powerful devices – 90+ Watt adapters.

Cycle-Timer – Bretford has a line of charging carts that provides power through a digital timer. With this method, the cart continuously shifts power, from one shelf to another, every 10 minutes. Chromebooks and other devices, with up to 65-Watt adapters, are a great fit for this type of cart, as it is a safe, effective, and affordable solution.

Full Rate – Bretford has cart and station options that provide power to all devices, simultaneously. These options can provide full rate charging because the devices have lower power requirements, such as iPads and Chromebooks.

It is possible to be inundated with manufacturers claiming that intelligent charging is not important. We are here to tell you that it is more important than ever as you navigate mobile devices in your workspace. No matter the situation, Bretford has a solution! Reach out to our team to discuss your specific situation and learn why Bretford is the leader in the Charging and Storage Industry.

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EVER Cart®

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