7 Tips To Take Better Care Of Your Rechargeable Batteries

Do you have those rechargeable batteries? Do you want to know how to get the most out of them? Then, you have come to the right place!

I will tell you how to prolong the useful lifespan of your rechargeable batteries, specifically nickel metal hydride (NiMH). One example of a rechargeable battery with NiMH technology is Energizer rechargeable batteries.

Some properties about NiMH batteries first:
– NiMH has high self-discharge rate and loses about 20 percent of its capacity within the first 24 hours, and 10 percent per month thereafter. (Some brands claim that their batteries can slow down this self-discharge rate)
– Low internal resistance (as compared to normal alkaline batteries). This makes them suitable for high current drain applications.

Here are some tips to take better care of your NiMH batteries:

1) Once every few months, discharge the NiMH battery fully and recharge them again.
Reason: This will prevent the battery from forming crystals in the area that has not been discharged. Crystal formation in battery = a very bad thing!
What should you do: Take your NiMH batteries out for an exercise once every few months. They need to exercise to keep fit.

2) Use them!
Reason: If you leave them alone for a long time, crystals will form in the battery. The crystals will impede the battery’s ability to retain charge.
What should you do: Refrain from leaving the batteries unattended for long periods of time. The loss of capacity due to crystal formation may be permanent.
Note: To break up the crystals in the batteries, discharge and charge the batteries a few times. (Try at your own risk. Stop charging if the batteries become unbearably hot to the touch.)

3) Refrain from using ultra fast chargers
Ultra fast chargers = those chargers that offer a 1 hour charge. Normally, ultra fast chargers only charge batteries to 70% charge level. They are unable to bring the batteries to 100% charge level as the process takes a long time.
Reason: Normal chargers apply a trickle charge after the initial charge to 100%. It is this trickle charge that ultra fast chargers lack. Hence, ultra fast chargers will damage your batteries. (Even though the manufacturers will not tell you this piece of information)
What should you do: Use a normal smart charger to charge your batteries. If you care about convenience, then just use the fast chargers.

4) Do not charge at high or low temperatures
Charging at room temperature (15 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius) is the best.

5) It is not necessary to discharge the battery fully before charging them
If you do so, you are exposing your batteries to undue stresses which will affect their performance.

6) Do not charge batteries of different charge level in the same charger
Reason: More charge will flow into the weak battery, causing the weak batteries to become hot. This may cause the battery to explode if the pressure inside the battery reaches critical levels.
What should you do: Only place NiMH batteries of approximately the same charge level into a NiMH charger. It is also advisable that you only charge the same brand of rechargeable batteries in the same charger.
Note: You can charge different brands of rechargeable batteries with a single charger. (Meaning: You can charge sanyo rechargeable batteries with energizer smart charger). BUT, you have to ensure that the rechargeable batteries and charger are of the “same type”. (NiMH batteries with NiMH charger, NiCd batteries with NiCd charger.)

7) Storage: If you have to store them, store them at a cool place with a moderate level of charge. (~40%)
Reason: Performance degrade whenever they are stored at elevated temperature.