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Battery Facts and Tips
Battery Types Battery Terms Battery Tips

BATTERY TYPES
NI-CD Nickel Cadmium. The most popular type of rechargeable batteries used in the marketplace. Can be affected by what is called the "Memory Effect", resulting from repeated charging and infrequent discharging.

NI-MH Nickel Metal Hydride. These batteries offer higher capacities (about 30% longer run time per charge) than nickel cadmium batteries of the same physical size. Less likely to be affected by the "Memory Effect".

LI-ION Lithium Ion. The newest rechargeable battery chemistry available. Lithium Ion can give the same capacity (run-time) as NI-MH in a smaller, lighter package. Lithium Ion is "Memory Free", and is more expensive. The first users are laptop and cellular phone manufacturers.

SMART BATTERY Nicad, NI-MH or LI-ION batteries that include electronic circuitry for serial number recognition, charging, and power management features. Smart batteries maximize run time and efficiency of a battery.

Sealed Lead Acid External batteries. Rechargeable battery pack designed to give extra hours of run time.

Thin Packs They are heavier and have a shorter cycle life than internal Nicad batteries.

BATTERY TERMS
Amp Hours Abbreviated as "Ah". The amount of energy a battery can hold. This measurement helps you determine how long the battery will power the equipment it is used in. Generally speaking, the more Amp Hours, the longer the run time.

Capacity Also refers to Amp Hours. Capacity is how much energy a battery can store.

Cell A single battery cannister. Usually cells are grouped together to form battery packs of different voltages and amperages. One nickel cadmium cell is equal to 1.2 volts, a ten pack makes a 12 volt battery. Lithium Ion cells are 3.6 volts, so four cells will make up a 12 volt battery.

Charge The act of putting energy into a battery.

Condition A process that utilizes a series of heavy discharges and recharges on a battery to assure optimum performance.

Cycle Life The amount of times a battery may be charged and discharged. Every time a battery is charged and discharged, it uses one cycle.

Discharge The release of energy by a battery.

Memory Term used to describe a batteries loss of capacity due to constant or repetitious charging and incomplete discharging.

Milliamps Abbreviated as "mah". Refers to capacity. A milliamp is 1/1000th of an amp or 1.0Ah=1000mah.

Rated Capacity Usually measured in either Amps or Milliamps, the rated capacity is determined by the cell manufacturer. This number is then used to determine run time and is also used for warranty purposes.

Self-Discharge The act of a battery releasing its energy without being used. This may happen by the battery just sitting on a shelf. Most batteries self-discharge about 1 to 2 percent a day.

Voltage A unit of measuring electrical pressure. All batteries are rated in volts DC (Direct Current).

BATTERY TIPS
Charging Be sure to fully charge your battery before using. Self discharging may occur while the battery is waiting to be sold. New batteries may require four to five charge/discharge cycles before they achieve their designated capacity.

Break-In To break in a new battery and enable them to reach their full rated capacity, first charge and then completely discharge 2-4 times.

Battery Life Is your rechargeable battery lasting as long as it used to? Probably not. NiCad batteries are good for about 700 charge/discharge cycles (one and a half years) and NiMH and LiIon last approximately 400 charge/discharge cycles (one year). If the time between recharging is getting shorter - it's time for a new battery.

Cleaning Clean battery terminals with a clean, soft, dry cloth. Dirty terminals are the biggest cause of charging problems. Remove the battery from the charger or powered unit when not in use.

Storage Store batteries in a cool, dry place. Do not short circuit the terminals or store on metal objects that may short the battery.

Battery Management Programs Battery management programs should be used when available to help maximize battery life.





   

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