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How to Prolong Rechargeable Battery Life?

If you have remote controls, MP3 players, iPods, digital clocks and digital cameras in your home, you will know the difference between rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries. You may have used many different types of batteries including rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries, alkaline and oxide batteries, Energizer and Duracell, etc.

In this article I would like to share some tips on how to extend battery life. There are many rumors about extending battery life and some of them are true. You can also click here for more info about rechargeable batteries.

First of all, you should know that the most commonly used rechargeable batteries are NiMH (nickel metal hydride cells) and NiCd (nickel cadmium). The abbreviation NiCd comes from nickel (Ni) and cadmium (Cd). NiMH batteries use a hydrogen absorbent alloy instead of cadmium.

If you recently purchased a NiMH or NiCd, it must be completely discharged and charged three times before use. This extends its lifespan, otherwise the battery may lose capacity over time, which is known as the "memory effect". Second, you should know that NiMH and NiCd batteries self-discharge much faster than alkaline batteries.

It is estimated that NiMH and NiCd self-dilute at room temperature at a rate of a few percent per day, whereas alkalis self-dilute at a rate of less than 2% per year.  So keeping the lye in the freezer doesn't help much, but it might help if you do this with NiMH and NiCd batteries.