Taking Care of Batteries

23rd Jun 2014

Top 10 Things Everyone Should Know About Batteries

Having a reliable rechargeable or disposable battery is not enough. You have to take good care of your batteries and maintain them regularly in order to extend their effective life span and enhance their performance. Here is a list of 10 simple things that can help you maintain your battery.

Different Battery Types

1. Charge and Discharge Cycles

A number of people don’t know about the sulfation problem which prevents rechargeable batteries from getting fully charged. By maintaining a good balance between charge and discharge cycles, you can get rid of the sulfation problem (if it’s temporary) and improve the charge storage capacity of batteries. All you have to do is to charge the battery to its maximum capacity and discharge it completely, repeating the same process multiple times. This can break the depletion layer that hinders the movement of charges from one electrode to another, present in the battery.

2. What is Memory Effect?

Memory effect is a common technical issue that occurs in rechargeable batteries and reduces their effective life span. The problem is particularly common in older variants of Nickel Cadmium batteries. Memory effect occurs when a Nickel Cadmium battery is recharged frequently (without being completely discharged). It forms a barrier that prevents the battery from getting completely charged. The battery forgets its maximum charge storage capacity and therefore the issue is called memory effect. So if you have a Nickel Cadmium battery, avoid charging it frequently.

3. Monitoring Charge Level

Some batteries are intelligent and can monitor the level of stored charge. But if the battery does not have monitors, you can determine the remaining charge by using a voltmeter and examining the voltage exerted by the battery.

4. Store Batteries at Room Temperature

Many of you might have heard of the fallacy that keeping the batteries at low temperature can increase their effective life span. Well, the myth is extremely misleading. In actuality, extremely cold temperature can seize the chemical activities of the battery cells, thus impacting the performance of the battery.

5. Prevent Batteries from Heat

It is also important to prevent batteries from direct exposure to heat. Rechargeable batteries often contain flammable chemicals, and excessive heat can result in explosion. So keep the battery at room temperature.

6. Make your Batteries Environment Friendly

Disposable batteries are alkaline in nature therefore draining them is not harmful for the environment. But rechargeable batteries contain corrosive and hazardous chemicals, therefore these batteries should not be disposed. The chemical in the battery, however, can be recycled, to make the old batteries as good as new.

7. Every Device Has Batteries

As most devices these days are battery operated (rechargeable or disposable), therefore you must understand the power requirement and VA ratings of your device and select the appropriate battery.

8. Save Energy- Don’t Overcharge Batteries

It’s good to keep a battery charged but overcharging can impact its lifespan and performance. Moreover, it might also permanently burn the internal circuitry of the battery, thus damaging it beyond repair.

9. Condition Regularly

Proper conditioning of the battery is essential. You must keep track of the electrolyte levels in the battery.

10. Use Stabilizers

Instead of charging the battery through a direct power source, use a stabilizer. This will reduce the risk of voltage fluctuations and unwanted current surges.