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Celebrating the independent kiwi spirit of invention.


Research Topic: Which Battery Will Do?

 
Last updated:  

Overview & Terms
8 March 2012
Single Use
7 January 2016
Rechargeable
1 September 2013
Battery Analyser
21 November 2017
Battery Shopping
12 May 2018

Recommended Batteries
for Particular Uses

16 May 2014

 

Original article by Ian Mander, 22 July 2002

Single Use Test
6 November 2007
Rechargeable Test
15 November 2018
Test Procedure
4 June 2011
Button and Coin Cell Shopping
12 October 2018
More Info & Links
29 February 2012
  LSD Shootout
7 January 2016
When Battery Testing
Goes Bad –
Consumer Magazine

2 October 2017
Battery Holder Shopping
3 December 2017

On this page: Testing Procedure | Start/Finish Times Chart

Rechargeable (Secondary) Battery Test Procedure

Proposed testing procedure is as follows, designed to produce reasonably relevant results for real-world uses such as digital cameras.

  1. New cells only: Discharge at 0.2C to determine maximum off-the-shelf capacity (for Eneloop cells) and prepare all cells for breaking in. The 0.2C rate is used here because it will provide a direct comparison with the 0.2C discharge used in the break in (step 3).
     
  2. Used cells only: Fast charge (0.5C rounded up to nearest 100mA), then discharge at 0.2C to determine initial condition.
     
  3. Both new and used cells are broken in (or "formed"), using the claimed capacity entered into the MH-C9000 for it to determine charge and discharge rates. As per the MH-C9000 regime (from an IEC specification, apparently), cells are charged at 0.1C for 16 hours, rested for one hour, discharged at 0.2C, rested for one hour, charged at 0.1C for another 16 hours.
     
  4. Rest then discharge AA cells at 1 amp, AAA cells at 400mA.
     
  5. Fast charge (0.5C rounded up to nearest 100mA), rest, then discharge at 1 amp (AA) or 400mA (AAA).
     
  6. For Eneloop AA cells: Charge at 2 amp for 1.1 hour, rest, discharge at 1 amp.
    For Eneloop AAA cells: Charge at 800mA for 1.1 hour, rest, discharge at 400mA.

All charge and discharge rates are nominal; the MH-C9000 integrates the total mAh based on the actual current. It terminates discharge at 0.90V, avoiding a possibly damaging deep discharge. 500mA is the analyser's default discharge rate but at present it seems like too much work to include it in the test regime, and it's the same as the 0.2C test for 2500mAh cells anyway. 1 amp is a very common discharge test, since digital cameras often use about that much current.

Resting the cells after charging gives more realistic capacities than using them "hot off the charger".

All testing done at room temperature, whatever that may have been at the time.

Break-in Start/Finish Completion Times Chart

The whole break in process takes at least 39 hours - more than a day and a half. See the table below for start and finish times.

Light grey for the day after commencing, darker grey for the day after that.

Start 1st Charge
(16 hours)
Rest
(1 hour)
Discharge
(0.2C, ~5.5 hours)
Rest
(1 hour)
2nd Charge
(16 hours)
Midnight 4pm 5pm 10:30pm 11:30pm 3:30pm
1am 5pm 6pm 11:30pm 12:30am 4:30pm

2am

6pm 7pm 12:30am 1:30am 5:30pm
3am 7pm 8pm 1:30am 2:30am 6:30pm
4am 8pm 9pm 2:30am 3:30am 7:30pm
5am 9pm 10pm 3:30am 4:30am 8:30pm
6am 10pm 11pm 4:30am 5:30am 9:30pm
7am 11pm Midnight 5:30am 6:30am 10:30pm
8am Midnight 1am 6:30am 7:30am 11:30pm
9am 1am 2am 7:30am 8:30am 12:30am
10am 2am 3am 8:30am 9:30am 1:30am
11am 3am 4am 9:30am 10:30am 2:30am
Midday 4am 5am 10:30am 11:30am 3:30am
1pm 5am 6am 11:30am 12:30pm 4:30am
2pm 6am 7am 12:30pm 1:30pm 5:30am
3pm 7am 8am 1:30pm 2:30pm 6:30am
4pm 8am 9am 2:30pm 3:30pm 7:30am
5pm 9am 10am 3:30pm 4:30pm 8:30am
6pm 10am 11am 4:30pm 5:30pm 9:30am
7pm 11am Midday 5:30pm 6:30pm 10:30am
8pm Midday 1pm 6:30pm 7:30pm 11:30am
9pm 1pm 2pm 7:30pm 8:30pm 12:30pm
10pm 2pm 3pm 8:30pm 9:30pm 1:30pm
11pm 3pm 4pm 9:30pm 10:30pm 2:30pm

 


A few battery shoot-outs are mentioned on the More Info & Links page, or get information on the charger/analyser I use.

Read on for suitable uses for particular battery types.

 
Last updated:  

Overview & Terms
8 March 2012
Single Use
7 January 2016
Rechargeable
1 September 2013
Battery Analyser
21 November 2017
Battery Shopping
12 May 2018

Recommended Batteries
for Particular Uses

16 May 2014

 

Original article by Ian Mander, 22 July 2002

Single Use Test
6 November 2007
Rechargeable Test
15 November 2018
Test Procedure
4 June 2011
Button and Coin Cell Shopping
12 October 2018
More Info & Links
29 February 2012
  LSD Shootout
7 January 2016
When Battery Testing
Goes Bad –
Consumer Magazine

2 October 2017
Battery Holder Shopping
3 December 2017


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