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Charging & maintenance methods for nickel-hydrogen batteries – Semco University


Nickel Hydrogen Batteries can be deep discharged and accept diverse charge methods. Nickel-Hydrogen Batteries recharging characteristics are generally similar to those of sealed Nickel-cadmium batteries. They can be easily charged by the I charge method. During the first step, nickel-hydrogen batteries can accept from 60 to 80% charge within 15 minutes. In this article we will be discuss about the Charging & Maintenance Methods for Nickel-Hydrogen Batteries.

1. Memory effect of nickel-hydrogen batteries,

Nickel-hydrogen batteries have the same memory effect as nickel-cadmium batteries, but they are much smaller than nickel-cadmium batteries. There‐ fore, it is not necessary to discharge every charge (because improper operation will damage the battery), and it only takes three months to fully charge and discharge to mitigate the memory effect.

2. Self-discharge rate of nickel-hydrogen batteries,

Nickel-hydrogen batteries are 25-35% (months), nickel-cadmium batteries are 15-30% (months), and lithium batteries are 2-5% (months). The self-discharge rate of nickel-hydrogen batteries is the largest, while the dis‐ charge rate of lithium batteries is extremely low compared with the other two types of batteries


3. How to charge nickel-hydrogen batteries,

The nickel-hydrogen battery is the best way to stop charging when the charging voltage reaches the highest. Lithium batteries are best charged by fixed current and voltage. If charged in the charger-DV control mode of nickel-cadmium batteries, it will affect the service life of nickel-hydrogen batteries and lithium batteries

4. The higher the capacity of nickel-hydrogen batteries, the better.

The higher the capacity of different models of batteries, the longer they will last. Regardless of the volume and weight factors, of course, the higher the capacity, the better.

However, the nominal capacity of the same battery model (such as 600mAh) is the same, and the actual initial capacity measured is different: for example, one is 660mAh and the other is 605mAh, so is 660mAh better than 605mAh?

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The actual situation may be that the high capacity is due to the addition of things in the electrode material that increase the initial capacity and the reduction of the electrode stability. The result is that after dozens of reuse times, the capacity of high-capacity batteries quickly depletes, while lowcapacity batteries are still strong. Many domestic cell manufacturers often obtain high-capacity batteries in this way. However, the standby time of the user is very poor after half a year of use.

The same is true for the AA nickel-hydrogen batteries (i.e., 5 batteries) for civilian use, which are generally 1400mAh, but also have ultra-high capacity (1600mAh)

How to Charge Nickel-Hydrogen Batteries?

  • Standard charging is charged with a constant current for a limited time. The timer should be adjusted to stop charging when it reaches 150-160% capacity input to prevent overcharge for a long time. The applicable temperature range of this charging method is 0-45°C, the maximum charging current is 0.1C, and the charging time of the battery cannot exceed 1,000 hours at room temperature.
  • Accelerate charging. Another way to charge a complete nickel-hydro‐ gen battery in a short time is to charge with a constant current of 0.3C for a limited time. The timer should be set to terminate charging after 4 hours, when the charging capacity is equivalent to 120% of the battery capacity. The applicable temperature range of this charging method is 10-45°C.
  • The large use of trickle charging requires the battery to remain fully charged. In order to compensate for the power loss caused by the battery self-discharge, it is recommended to use a current of 0.01-0.03C for trickle charging. The appropriate temperature range for trickle charging is 10-35°C. Trickle charging can be charged later using the above charging method.

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Precautions for Charging Nickel-Hydrogen Batteries:

The nickel-hydrogen battery uses the PICK CUT control mode of constant current charging. When the charging voltage reaches the highest, it is the best way to continue charging. This is also the charging method of nickel-hydrogen batteries from lithium-ion batteries and lead-acid batteries.

  1. Generally speaking, new nickel-hydrogen batteries have little power, and they need to be charged before using them after purchase. However, if the battery has a short time to leave the factory and the battery is sufficient, it is recommended to use it first and then charge it. New nickel-hydrogen batteries generally need to be charged and used 3-4 times to achieve optimal performance,
  2. Although the memory effect of nickel-hydrogen batteries is small, it is best to charge it every time after use it, and it is fully charged at one time. Don’t charge it for a while and then charge it. This is an important point of “prolonging life”,
  3. When charging, pay attention to the heat dissipation around the charger. Keep the battery clean when not in use, especially the contacts at both ends, and wipe it gently with a soft dry cloth if necessary. If it is not used for a long time, remove the battery from the battery compartment and put it in a dry environment,
  4. After a few months of storage, nickel-hydrogen batteries will enter a “dormers-nation” state, and the battery life will be greatly reduced. If the nickel-hydrogen battery has been placed for a long time, it is recommend‐ ed to charge it with slow charging first. Generally, the voltage of nickel-hydrogen batteries is below 1.2V before charging, and the normal voltage is about 1.4V after filling. This can tell whether the battery is fully charged.

First Charging Method for Nickel-Hydrogen Batteries:

The first charge of nickel-hydrogen batteries after leaving the factory includes two problems:

First, whether to charge before using it, and second, how long it is appropriate to charge. Generally speaking, new nickel-hydrogen batteries contain only a small amount of charge, which is closely related to the high self-discharge rate of nickel-hydrogen batteries. If the nickel-hydrogen battery leaves the factory with 40% charge, and when the monthly self-discharge rate is as high as 30%, the power will only 10% after a month. For a little longer time, some batteries will It will be in the discharge state (that is, there is no charging state), and another characteristic of the nickel-hydrogen battery is that the higher the capacity, the higher the self-discharge rate, so that even if the charge is higher when leaving the factory, the power is still very small after a certain period of time. There‐ fore, the new battery must be charged for the first time before use. However, another situation can also be used first and then charged. Low self-discharge nickel-hydrogen batteries were launched on the market in 2005. At present, some manufacturers in China also produce low self-discharge batteries. How‐ ever, due to the complex structure of low self-discharge nickel-hydrogen batteries, the cost is much higher than that of ordinary models, so the proportion of low self-discharge nickel-hydrogen batteries on the civil market is very small. If the ex-factory time of this kind of authentic brand battery is relatively short (for example, within a month), it is usually fully charged, because the rechargeable battery can be used normally if it is charged at more than 30%, so the nickel-hydrogen battery can be used before the first charge. Once the charging of nickel-hydrogen batteries begins, you should choose how to charge them. It is generally believed that the power of nickel-hydrogen batteries before the first charging is very small, so it is appropriate to charge with low cur‐rent and constant current. Most of them are charged at 0.1C for 12 to 14 hours. Low current charging has no negative impact on the battery, and it doesn’t matter much even if it is possible to overcharge a little. At the same time, it can also ensure that the battery can recover 100% of the battery capacity with‐ in the charging voltage range. The first charge must also be fully charged to maximize performance.

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The first thing to say is whether to charge or discharge before using a new battery, depending on what charger you use to charge. If you can charge it with slow charging, and the charging time can be longer than normal charging time, which is beneficial to activating the battery; but if you use fast charging (especially if you use other fast charging without protection de‐ vices such as overcharging and overheating protection), it is best not to charge first, or discharge first.

In order to simplify the operation, no matter how we charge it or the battery production date is far or near, we can discharge it before charging, which is beneficial to the battery. The so-called first discharge is also very simple. It doesn’t need any special method, but to put it in electrical appliances (such as DC, MP3, etc.) and charge it when the electrical appliances indicate that there is no power

When the first battery is used 3-5 times, it is best to charge the charging time slightly longer (of course not too long), which is beneficial to activating the battery. In the future, it is best to carry out a complete charging and discharge cycle for each use, that is, after being fully charged, it will be used until it is out of charge, which helps to reduce the memory effect of the battery and prolong the power. The life of the pool.


It is best to carry out a complete charging and discharge cycle every time, that is, after full charge, it will be used until it is out of charge, which will help reduce the memory effect of the battery and extend the life and maintain performance of the battery. In addition, avoid interruptions during charging. We usually have some bad habits, such as unplugging the charger during charging, seeing how hot the battery is, and then plugging the charger back. This usually causes an unstable charging cycle, and the battery restarts the full charging cycle, but the previous charging cycle has been completed. Unstable charging cycles reduce battery life.

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