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What Are the Chargers for NiMH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) Batteries?
What Are the
Chargers for NiMH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) Batteries?
There are three main types of Ni-MH battery chargers. Manual -- slow chargers, controlled by integrated
timer; "fast" chargers and microprocessor-controlled
"ultra-fast" smart chargers.
These chargers use a really low current. In fact,
these chargers need 36 hours to charge a 2000mAH Ni-MH battery. With this
type of charger, the user must manually turn them off when the charging process
is over. This implies a slight guesswork about loading time. However, they remain
cheap and efficient.
Integrated Timer "Fast" Chargers
This type of charger loads quickly for a certain time period and then they automatically switch to a mode called "trickle
charge". These “fast chargers” will charge your battery for
less than half of the aforementioned “manual
chargers”. The greatest advantage is
that you don’t have to worry when to turn them off.
However, timer-controlled chargers can’t determine your current battery status - whether it is fully or partially charged. The charger will attempt to charge your battery to the full extent of the time set. Please note these chargers aren’t suitable for the so-called "refreshing charging". However, high-quality timer-controlled chargers include sensors that stop the fast charging process if they detect a recharge (this is called "overcharging protection").
This ultra-fast, intelligent charger is the latest type and is fully automated. They continuously monitor either the voltage or temperature of your batteries and are able to accurately determine when to stop the fast charging process. Subsequently, when required it will switch to the “trickle charge” mode.
Ni-MH batteries in any condition can be fully charged for less than 3 hours without the risk of recharging. The best chargers in this class independently monitor and charge each cell (this is also called "individual observation").
Which Charger Do I Need?
Manual - slow
chargers are cheap and efficient, but charging
times are long and imply guesswork. However, if you don’t find it necessary
for your Ni-MH batteries to be fully charged at all times, this slow charger type is a suitable choice for you.
Controlled by integrated timer "fast" chargers have some level of automation. But they are not suitable for a "refreshing charging" because the timer will charge them for the optimum time. However, most consumers prefer to use their Ni-MH batteries instead of scrapping or replacing them with new ones instead. Refreshing charge is only needed when you want your batteries to reach their peak capacity. Hence, a high-quality, timer-controlled charger is appropriate and is excellent for the price.
If you want to be sure that your batteries
have maximum capacity, a microprocessor charger with delta V or delta T control
is the solution. The process is fully automated, and the batteries can be refreshed.This
is the only charger that delivers
battery power to its maximum power.
I already have a manual
charger for Ni-MH batteries - is it suitable for 2200mAh rechargeable
It is appropriate though you need to
set the charging time for 2200mAh by
adding 20% to the normal charging time
of 1800mAh batteries (Add 10% for 2000mAh batteries).
How long do I need to
charge N-MH batteries in my handheld charger?
Always follow the instructions for your charger.
The disadvantage is that you have to manually calculate the approximate
charging. It is calculated by dividing the battery capacity of the charging
current, i.e. 1600mAh battery charged with 160 mA current will take 10 hours. Many
experts recommend adding more time (up to 40%) to make charging effective, but this is true if the battery is completely discharged. It is recommended that you discharge the batteries before charging them, so you don’t recharge them. The alternative is to invest in an automatic charger.
Note: Don’t charge different capacity batteries in the manual charger, as there is a risk of recharging the battery with a lower capacity.
"delta V” control mean?
Delta V Control is an advanced method for detecting
fully charged Ni-MH batteries. By
continuously monitoring the battery voltage while charging, the delta V controlled chargers can accurately detects when to stop
the charging process and to switch to trickle
charging. Due to their refinement,
the delta V (and delta T) controlled
chargers are able to refresh partially diluted batteries without the risk of overcharging.
Full microprocessor control is required.
"delta T” control mean?
This is the alternative to delta V control. When fully charged Ni-MH, batteries heat up faster. Chargers that use delta T control and monitor battery temperature, determine when to stop the charging process before significant
temperature changes begin to take place. Full microprocessor control is required.
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