Simple Solar Battery Charger Circuits
Simple solar charger are small devices which allow you to charge a battery quickly and cheaply, through solar energy.
A simple solar charger must have 3 basic features built-in:
- It should be low cost.
- Layman friendly, and easy to build.
- Must be efficient enough to satisfy the fundamental battery charging needs.
The post comprehensively explains nine best yet simple solar battery charger circuits using the IC LM338, transistors, MOSFET, buck converter, etc which can be built and installed even by a layman for charging all types of batteries and operating other related equipment
Solar panels are not new to us and today it’s being employed extensively in all sectors. The main property of this device to convert solar energy to electrical energy has made it very popular and now it’s being strongly considered as the future solution for all electrical power crisis or shortages.
Solar energy may be used directly for powering an electrical equipment or simply stored in an appropriate storage device for later use.
Normally there’s only one efficient way of storing electrical power, and it’s by using rechargeable batteries.
Rechargeable batteries are probably the best and the most efficient way of collecting or storing electrical energy for later usage.
The energy from a solar cell or a solar panel can also be effectively stored so that it can be used as per ones own preference, normally after the sun has set or when it’s dark and when the stored power becomes much needed for operating the lights.
Though it might look quite simple, charging a battery from a solar panel is never easy, because of two reasons:
The voltage from a solar panel can vary hugely, depending upon the incident sun rays, and
The current also varies due to the same above reasons.
The above two reason can make the charging parameters of a typical rechargeable battery very unpredictable and dangerous.
Before delving into the following concepts you can probably try this super easy solar battery charger which will ensure safe and guaranteed charging of a small 12V 7 Ah battery through a small solar panel:
- Solar Panel. 20V, 1 amp
- IC 7812. 1no
- 1N4007 Diodes. 3nos
- 2k2 1/4 watt resistor. 1no
That looks cool isn’t it. In fact the IC and the diodes could already resting in your electronic junk box, so need of buying them. Now let’s see how these can be configured for the final outcome.
As we know the IC 7812 will produce a fixed 12V at the output which cannot be used for charging a 12V battery. The 3 diodes connected at its ground (GND) terminals is introduced specifically to counter this problem, and to upgrade the IC output to about 12 0.7 0.7 0.7 V = 14.1 V, which is exactly what is required for charging a 12 V battery fully.
The drop of 0.7 V across each diodes raises the grounding threshold of the IC by stipulated level forcing the IC to regulate the output at 14.1 V instead of 12 V. The 2k2 resistor is used to activate or bias the diodes so that it can conduct and enforce the intended 2.1 V total drop.
Making it Even Simpler
If you are looking for an even simpler solar charger, then probably there cannot be anything more straightforward than connecting an appropriately rated solar panel directly with the matching battery via a blocking diode, as shown below:
Although, the above design does not incorporate a regulator, it will still work since the panel current output is nominal, and this value will only show a deterioration as the sun changes its position.
However, for a battery that is not fully discharged, the above simple set up may cause some harm to the battery, since the battery will tend to get charged quickly, and will continue to get charged to unsafe levels and for longer periods of time.
You may also like this Highly Efficient 0-50V Solar Charger Circuit
) Using LM338 as Solar Controller
But thanks to the modern highly versatile chips like the LM 338 and LM 317, which can handle the above situations very effectively, making the charging process of all rechargeable batteries through a solar panel very safe and desirable.
The circuit of a simple LM338 solar battery charger is shown below, using the IC LM338:
The circuit diagram shows a simple set up using the IC LM 338 which has been configured in its standard regulated power supply mode.
Using a Current Control Feature
The specialty of the design is that it incorporates a current control feature also.
It means that, if the current tends to increase at the input, which might normally take place when the sun ray intensity increases proportionately, the voltage of the charger drops proportionately, pulling down the current back to the specified rating.
As we can see in the diagram, the collector/emitter of the transistor BC547 is connected across the ADJ and the ground, it becomes responsible for initiating the current control actions.
As the input current rises, the battery starts drawing more current, this build up a voltage across R3 which is translated into a corresponding base drive for the transistor.
The transistor conducts and corrects the voltage via the C LM338, so that the current rate gets adjusted as per the safe requirements of the battery.
Current Limit Formula:
R3 may be calculated with the following formula
PCB Design for the above explained simple solar battery charger circuit is given below:
The meter and the input diode are not included in the PCB.
) 1 Solar Battery Charger Circuit
The second design explains a cheap yet effective, less than 1 cheap yet effective solar charger circuit, which can be built even by a layman for harnessing efficient solar battery charging.
You will need just a solar panel panel, a selector switch and some diodes for getting a reasonably effective solar charger set up.
What is Maximum Power Point Solar Tracking?
For a layman this would be something too complex and sophisticated to grasp and a system involving extreme electronics.
In a way it may be true and surely MPPTs are sophisticated high end devices which are meant for optimizing the charging of the battery without altering the solar panel V/I curve.
In simple words an MPPT tracks the instantaneous maximum available voltage from the solar panel and adjusts the charging rate of the battery such that the panel voltage remains unaffected or away from loading.
Put simply, a solar panel would work most efficiently if its maximum instantaneous voltage is not dragged down close to the connected battery voltage, which is being charged.
For example, if the open circuit voltage of your solar panel is 20V and the battery to be charged is rated at 12V, and if you connect the two directly would cause the panel voltage to drop to the battery voltage, which would make things too inefficient.
Conversely if you could keep the panel voltage unaltered yet extract the best possible charging option from it, would make the system work with MPPT principle.
So it’s all about charging the battery optimally without affecting or dropping the panel voltage.
There’s one simple and zero cost method of implementing the above conditions.
Choose a solar panel whose open circuit voltage matches the battery charging voltage. Meaning for a 12V battery you may choose a panel with 15V and that would produce maximum optimization of both the parameters.
However practically the above conditions could be difficult to achieve because solar panels never produce constant outputs, and tend to generate deteriorating power levels in response to varying sun ray positions.
That’s why always a much higher rated solar panel is recommended so that even under worse day time conditions it keeps the battery charging.
Having said that, by no means it is necessary to go for expensive MPPT systems, you can get similar results by spending a few bucks for it. The following discussion will make the procedures clear.
How the Circuit Works
As discussed above, in order to avoid unnecessary loading of the panel we need to have conditions ideally matching the PV voltage with the battery voltage.
This can be done by using a few diodes, a cheap voltmeter or your existing multimeter and a rotary switch. Ofcourse at around 1 you cannot expect it to be automatic, you may have to work with the switch quite a few times each day.
We know that a rectifier diode’s forward voltage drop is around 0.6 volts, so by adding many diodes in series it can be possible to isolate the panel from getting dragged to the connected battery voltage.
Referring to the circuit digaram given below, a cool little MPPT charger can be arranged using the shown cheap components.
Let’s assume in the diagram, the panel open circuit voltage to be 20V and the battery to be rated at 12V.
Connecting them directly would drag the panel voltage to the battery level making things inappropriate.
By adding 9 diodes in series we effectively isolate the panel from getting loaded and dragged to the battery voltage and yet extract the Maximum charging current from it.
The total forward drop of the combined diodes would be around 5V, plus battery charging voltage 14.4V gives around 20V, meaning once connected with all the diodes in series during peak sunshine, the panel voltage would drop marginally to may be around 19V resulting an efficient charging of the battery.
Now suppose the sun begins dipping, causing the panel voltage to drop below the rated voltage, this can be monitored across the connected voltmeter, and a few diodes skipped until the battery is restored with receiving optimal power.
The arrow symbol shown connected with the panel voltage positive can be replaced with a rotary switched for the recommended selection of the diodes in series.
With the above situation implemented, a clear MPPT charging conditions can be simulated effectively without employing costly devices. You can do this for all types of panels and batteries just by including more number of diodes in series.
) Solar Charger and Driver Circuit for 10W/20W/30W/50W White High Power SMD LED
The 3rd idea teaches us how to build a simple solar LED with battery charger circuit for illuminating high power LED (SMD) lights in the order of 10 watt to 50 watt. The SMD LEDs are fully safeguarded thermally and from over current using an inexpensive LM 338 current limiter stage. The idea was requested by Mr. Sarfraz Ahmad.
Basically I am a certified mechanical engineer from Germany 35 years ago and worked overseas for many years and left many years ago due to personal problems back home.Sorry to bother you but I know about your capabilities and expertise in electronics and sincerity to help and guide the beginnings like me.I have seen this circuit some where for 12 vdc.
I have attached to SMD ,12v 10 watt, cap 1000uf,16 volt and a bridge rectifier you can see the part number on that.When I turn the lights on the rectifier starts to heat up and the both SMDs as well. I am afraid if these lights are left on for a long time it may damage the SMDs and rectifier. I don not know where the problem is. You may help me.
I have a light in car porch which turns on at disk and off at dawn. Unfortunately due to load shedding when there is no electricity this light remains off till the electricity is back.
I want to install at least two SMD (12 volt) with LDR so as soon the light turns off the SMD lights will turn on. I want to additional two similar light elsewhere in the car porch to keep the entire are lighted.I think that if I connect all these four SMD lights with 12 volt power supply which will get the power from UPS circuit.
Of course it will put additional load on UPS battery which is hardly fully charged due to frequent load shedding. The other best solution is to install 12 volt solar panel and attach all these four SMD lights with it. It will charge the battery and will turn the lights On/OFF.
This solar panel should be capable to keeps these lights all the night and will turn OFF at dawn.Please also help me and give details about this circuit/project.
You may take your time to figure out how to do that.I am writing to you as unfortunately no electronics or solar product seller in our local market is willing to give me any help, None of them seems to be technical qualified and they just want to sell their parts.
In the shown 10 watt to 50 watt SMD solar LED light circuit with automatic charger above, we see the following stages:
- A solar panel
- A couple of current controlled LM338 regulator circuits
- A changeover relay
- A rechargeable battery
- and a 40 watt LED SMD module
The above stages are integrated in the following explained manner:
The two LM 338 stages are configured in standard current regulator modes with using the respective current sensing resistances for ensuring a current controlled output for the relevant connected load.
The load for the left LM338 is the battery which is charged from this LM338 stage and a solar panel input source. The resistor Rx is calculated such that the battery receives the stipulated amount of current and is not over driven or over charged.
The right side LM 338 is loaded with the LED module and here too the Ry makes sure that module is supplied with the correct specified amount of current in order to safeguard the devices from a thermal runaway situation.
The solar panel voltage specs may be anywhere between 18V and 24V.
A relay is introduced in the circuit and is wired with the LED module such that it’s switched ON only during the night or when it’s dark below threshold for the solar panel to generate the required any power.
As long as the solar voltage is available, the relay stays energized isolating the LED module from the battery and ensuring that the 40 watt LED module remains shut off during day time and while the battery is being charged.
After dusk, when the solar voltage becomes sufficiently low, the relay is no longer able to hold its N/O position and flips to the N/C changeover, connecting the battery with the LED module, and illuminating the array through the available fully charged battery power.
The LED module can be seen attached with a heatsink which must be sufficiently large in order to achieve an optimal outcome from the module and for ensuring longer life and brightness from the device.
Calculating the Resistor Values
The indicated limiting resistors may be calculated from the given formulas:
Rx = 1.25/battery charging current
Ry = 1.25/LED current rating.
Assuming the battery to be a 40 AH lead acid battery, the preferred charging current should be 4 amps.
therefore Rx = 1.25/4 = 0.31 ohms
wattage = 1.25 x 4 = 5 watts
The LED current can be found by dividing its total wattage by the voltage rating, that is 40/12 = 3.3amps
therefore Ry = 1.25/3 = 0.4 ohms
wattage = 1.25 x 3 = 3.75 watts or 4 watts.
Limiting resistors are not employed for the 10 watt LEDs since the input voltage from the battery is on par with the specified 12V limit of the LED module and therefore cannot exceed the safe limits.
The above explanation reveals how the IC LM338 can be simply used for making an useful solar LED light circuit with an automatic charger.
) Automatic Solar Light Circuit using a Relay
In our 4rth automatic solar light circuit we incorporate a single relay as a switch for charging a battery during day time or as long as the solar panel is generating electricity, and for illuminating a connected LED while the panel is not active.
Upgrading to a Relay Changeover
In one of my previous article which explained a simple solar garden light circuit, we employed a single transistor for the switching operation.
One disadvantage of the earlier circuit is, it does not provide a regulated charging for the battery, although it not might be strictly essential since the battery is never charged to its full potential, this aspect might require an improvement.
Another associated disadvantage of the earlier circuit is its low power spec which restricts it from using high power batteries and LEDs.
The following circuit effectively solves both the above two issues, with the help of a relay and a emitter follower transistor stage.
How it Works
During optimal sun shine, the relay gets sufficient power from the panel and remains switched ON with its N/O contacts activated.
This enables the battery to get the charging voltage through a transistor emitter follower voltage regulator.
The emitter follower design is configured using a TIP122, a resistor and a zener diode. The resistor provides the necessary biasing for the transistor to conduct, while the zener diode value clamps the emitter voltage is controlled at just below the zener voltage value.
The zener value is therefore appropriately chosen to match the charging voltage of the connected battery.
For a 6V battery the zener voltage could be selected as 7.5V, for 12V battery the zener voltage could be around 15V and so on.
The emitter follower also makes sure that the battery is never allowed to get overcharged above the allocated charging limit.
During evening, when a substantial drop in sunlight is detected, the relay is inhibited from the required minimum holding voltage, causing it to shift from its N/O to N/C contact.
The above relay changeover instantly reverts the battery from charging mode to the LED mode, illuminating the LED through the battery voltage.
Parts list for a 6V/4AH automatic solar light circuit using a relay changeover
- Solar Panel = 9V, 1amp
- Relay = 6V/200mA
- Rx = 10 ohm/2 watt
- zener diode = 7.5V, 1/2 watt
) Transistorized Solar Charger Controller Circuit
The fifth idea presented below details a simple solar charger circuit with automatic cut-off using transistors only. The idea was requested by Mr. Mubarak Idris.
Circuit Objectives and Requirements
- Please sir can you make me a 12v, 28.8AH lithium ion battery,automatic charge controller using solar panel as a supply, which is 17v at 4.5A at max sun light.
- The charge controller should be able to have over charge protection and low battery cut off and the circuit should be simple to do for beginner without ic or micro controller.
- The circuit should use relay or bjt transistors as a switch and zener for voltage reference thanks sir hope to hear from you soon!
PCB Design (Component Side)
Referring to the above simple solar charger circuit using transistors, the automatic cut off for the full charge charge level and the lower level is done through a couple of BJTs configured as comparators.
Recall the earlier low battery indicator circuit using transistors, where the low battery level was indicated using just two transistors and a few other passive components.
Here we employ an identical design for the sensing of the battery levels and for enforcing the required switching of the battery across the solar panel and the connected load.
Let’s assume initially we have a partially discharged battery which causes the first BC547 from left to stop conducting (this is set by adjusting the base preset to this threshold limit), and allows the next BC547 to conduct.
When this BC547 conducts it enable the TIP127 to switch ON, which in turn allows the solar panel voltage to reach the battery and begin charging it.
The above situation conversely keeps the TIP122 switched OFF so that the load is unable to operate.
As the battery begins getting charged, the voltage across the supply rails also begin rising until a point where the left side BC547 is just able to conduct, causing the right side BC547 to stop conducting any further.
As soon as this happens, the TIP127 is inhibited from the negative base signals and it gradually stops conducting such that the battery gradually gets cut off from the solar panel voltage.
However, the above situation permits the TIP122 to slowly receive a base biasing trigger and it begins conducting. which ensures that the load now is able to get the required supply for its operations.
The above explained solar charger circuit using transistors and with auto cut-offs can be used for any small scale solar controller applications such as for charging cellphone batteries or other forms of Li-ion batteries safely.
For getting a Regulated Charging Supply
The following design shows how to convert or upgrade the above circuit diagram into a regulated charger, so that the battery is supplied with a fixed and a stabilized output regardless of a rising voltage from the solar panel.
The above designs can be further simplified, as shown in the following over-charge, over-discharge solar battery controller circuit:
Here, the zener ZX decides the full charge battery cut off, and can be calculated using the following formula:
ZX = Battery full charge value 0.6
For example, if the full-charge battery level is 14.2V, then the ZX can be 14 0.6 = 14.6V zener which can be built by adding a few zener diodes in series, along with a few 1N4148 diodes, if required.
The zener diode ZY decides the battery over-discharge cut off point, and can be simply equal to the value of the desired low battery value.
For example if the minimum low battery level is 11V, then the ZY can be selected to be a 11V zener.
The above design can be also integrated with an LM338 charger circuit as shown below:
) Solar LED Light Circuit
The sixth design here explains a simple low cost solar LED light circuit which could be used by the needy and, underprivileged section of the society for illuminating their houses at night cheaply.
The idea was requested by Mr. R.K. Rao
Circuit Objectives and Requirements
- I want to make a SOLAR LED light using a 9cm x 5cm x 3cm transparent plastic box [available in the market for Rs.3/-] using a one watt LED/20mA LEDS powered by a 4v 1A rechargeable sealed lead-acid battery [SUNCA/VICTARI] also with a provision for charging with a cell phone charger [where grid current is available].
- The battery should be replaceable when dead after use for 2/3 years/prescribed life by the rural/tribal user.
- This is meant for use by tribal/rural children to light up a book; there are better led lights in the market for around Rs.500 [d.light],for Rs.200 [Thrive].
- These lights are good except that they have a mini solar panel and a bright LED with a life of ten years if not more ,but with a rechargeable battery without a provision for its replacement when dead after two or three years of use.It is a waste of resource and unethical.
- The project i am envisaging is one in which the battery can be replaced. be locally available at low cost. The price of the light should not exceed Rs.100/150.
- It will be marketed on not for profit basis through NGOs in tribal areas and ultimately supply kits to tribal/rural youth to make them in the village.
- I along with a colleague have made some lights with 7V EW high power batteries and 2x20mA pirahna Leds and tested them-they lasted for over 30 hours of continuous lighting adequate to light up a book from half-meter distance; and another with a 4v sunce battery and 1watt 350A LED giving enough light for cooking in a hut.
- Can you suggest a circuit with a one AA/AAA rechargeable battery,mini solar panel to fit on the box cover of 9x5cm and a DC-DC booster and 20mA leds. If you want me to come over to your place for discussions i can.
- You can see the lights we have made in google photos at https://goo.gl/photos/QyYU1v5Kaag8T1WWA Thanking you,
As per the request the solar LED light circuits needs to be compact, work with a single 1.5AAA cell using a DC-DC converter and equipped with a self regulating solar charger circuit.
The circuit diagram shown below probably satisfies all the above specifications and yet stays within the affordable limit.
The design is a basic joule thief circuit using a single penlight cell, a BJT and an inductor for powering any standard 3.3V LED.
In the design a 1 watt LeD is shown although a smaller 30mA high bright LED could be used.
The solar LED circuit is capable squeezing out the last drop of joule or the charge from the cell and hence the name joule thief, which also implies that the LED would keep illuminated until there’s virtually nothing left inside the cell. However the cell here being a rechargeable type is not recommended to be discharged below 1V.
The 1.5V battery charger in the design is built using another low power BJT configured in its emitter follower configuration, which allows it to produce an emitter voltage output that’s exactly equal to the potential at its base, set by the 1K preset. This must be precisely set such that the emitter produces not more than 1.8V with a DC input of above 3V.
The DC input source is a solar panel which may be capable of producing an excess of 3V during optimal sunlight, and allow the charger to charge the battery with a maximum of 1.8V output.
Once this level is reached the emitter follower simply inhibits any further charging of the cell thus preventing any possibility of an over charge.
The inductor for the solar LED light circuit consists of a small ferrite ring transformer having 20:20 turns which could be appropriately altered and optimized for enabling the most favorable voltage for the connected LED which may last even until the voltage has fallen below 1.2V.
) Simple Solar Charger for Street Lights
The seventh solar charger discussed here is best suited as a solar LED street light system is specifically designed for the new hobbyist who can build it simply by referring to the pictorial schematic presented here.
Due to its straightforward and relatively cheaper design the system can be suitably used for village street lighting or in other similar remote areas, nonetheless this by no means restricts it from being used in cities also.
Main Features of this system are:
1) Voltage controlled Charging
2) Current Controlled LED Operation
3) No Relays used, all Solid-State Design
4) Low Critical Voltage Load Cut-off
5) Low Voltage and Critical Voltage Indicators
6) Full Charge cut-off is not included for simplicity sake and because the charging is restricted to a controlled level which will never allow the battery to over-charge.
7) Use of popular ICs like LM338 and transistors like BC547 ensure hassle free procurement
8) Day night sensing stage ensuring automatic switch OFF at dusk and switch ON at dawn.
The entire circuit design of the proposed simple LED street light system is illustrated below:
The circuit stage comprising T1, T2, and P1 are configured into a simple low battery sensor, indicator circuit
An exactly identical stage can also be seen just below, using T3, T4 and the associated parts, which form another low voltage detector stage.
The T1, T2 stage detects the battery voltage when it drops to 13V by illuminating the attached LED at the collector of T2, while the T3, T4 stage detects the battery voltage when it reaches below 11V, and indicates the situation by illuminating the LED associated with the collector of T4.
P1 is used for adjusting the T1/T2 stage such that the T2 LED just illuminates at 12V, similarly P2 is adjusted to make the T4 LED begin illuminating at voltages below 11V.
IC1 LM338 is configured as a simple regulated voltage power supply for regulating the solar panel voltage to a precise 14V, this is done by adjusting the preset P3 appropriately.
This output from IC1 is used for charging the street lamp battery during day time and peak sunshine.
IC2 is another LM338 IC, wired in a current controller mode, its input pin is connected with the battery positive while the output is connected with the LED module.
IC2 restricts the current level from the battery and supplies the right amount of current to the LED module so that it is able operate safely during night time back up mode.
T5 is a power transistor which acts like a switch and is triggered by the critical low battery stage, whenever the battery voltage tends to reach the critical level.
Whenever this happens the base of T5 is instantly grounded by T4, shutting it off instantly. With T5 shut off, the LED module is enable to illuminate and therefore it is also shut off.
This condition prevents and safeguards the battery from getting overly discharged and damaged. In such situations the battery might need an external charging from mains using a 24V, power supply applied across the solar panel supply lines, across the cathode of D1 and ground.
The current from this supply could be specified at around 20% of battery AH, and the battery may be charged until both the LEDs stop glowing.
The T6 transistor along with its base resistors is positioned to detect the supply from the solar panel and ensure that the LED module remains disabled as long as a reasonable amount of supply is available from the panel, or in other words T6 keeps the LED module shut off until its dark enough for the LED module and then is switched ON. The opposite happen at dawn when the LED module is automatically switched OFF. R12, R13 should be carefully adjusted or selected to determine the desired thresholds for the LED module’s ON/OFF cycles
How to Build
To complete this simple street light system successfully, the explained stages must be built separately and verified separately before integrating them together.
First assemble the T1, T2 stage along with R1, R2, R3, R4, P1 and the LED.
Next, using a variable power supply, apply a precise 13V to this T1, T2 stage, and adjust P1 such that the LED just illuminates, increase the supply a bit to say 13.5V and the LED should shut off. This test will confirm the correct working of this low voltage indicator stage.
Identically make the T3/T4 stage and set P2 in a similar fashion to enable the LED to glow at 11V which becomes the critical level setting for the stage.
After this you can go ahead with the IC1 stage, and adjust the voltage across its body and ground to 14V by adjusting P3 to the correct extent. This should be again done by feeding a 20V or 24V supply across its input pin and ground line.
The IC2 stage can be built as shown and will not require any setting up procedure except the selection of R11 which may be done using the formula as expressed in this universal current limiter article
- R1, R2, R3 R4, R5, R6, R7 R8, R9, R12 = 10k, 1/4 WATT
- P1, P2, P3 = 10K PRESETS
- R10 = 240 OHMS 1/4 WATT
- R13 = 22K
- D1, D3 = 6A4 DIODE
- D2, D4 = 1N4007
- T1, T2, T3, T4 = BC547
- T5 = TIP142
- R11 = SEE TEXT
- IC1, IC2 = LM338 IC TO3 package
- LED Module = Made by connecting 24nos 1 WATT LEDs in series and parallel connections
- Battery = 12V SMF, 40 AH
- Solar Panel = 20/24V, 7 Amp
Making th 24 watt LED Module
The 24 watt LED module for the above simple solar street light system could be built simply by joining 24 nos 1 watt LEDs as shown in the following image:
) Solar Panel Buck Converter Circuit with Over Load Protection
The 8th solar concept discussed below talks about a simple solar panel buck converter circuit which can be used to obtain any desired low bucked voltage from 40 to 60V inputs. The circuit ensures a very efficient voltage conversions. The idea was requested by Mr. Deepak.
I am looking for DC. DC buck converter with following features.
Input voltage = 40 to 60 VDC
Output voltage = Regulated 12, 18 and 24 VDC (multiple output from the same circuit is not required. Separate circuit for each o/p voltage is also fine)
Output current capacity = 5-10A
Protection at output = Over current, short circuits etc.
Small LED indicator for unit operation would be an advantage.
Appreciate if you could help me designing the circuit.
Best regards, Deepak
The proposed 60V to 12V, 24V buck converter circuit is shown in the figure below, the details may be understood as explained below:
The configuration could be divided into stages, viz. the astable multivibrator stage and the mosfet controlled buck converter stage.
BJT T1, T2 along with its associated parts forms a standard AMV circuit wired to generate a frequency at the rate of about 20 to 50kHz.
Mosfet Q1 along with L1 and D1 forms a standard buck converter topology for implementing the required buck voltage across C4.
The AMV is operated by the input 40V and the generated frequency is fed to the gate of the attached mosfet which instantly begins oscillating at the available current from the input driving L1, D1 network.
The above action generates the required bucked voltage across C4,
D2 makes sure that this voltage never exceeds the rated mark which may be fixed 30V.
This 30V max limit bucked voltage is further fed to a LM396 voltage regulator which may be set for getting the final desired voltage at the output at the rate of 10amps maximum.
The output may be used for charging the intended battery.
Parts List for the above 60V input, 12V, 24V output buck converter solar for the panels.
- R1-R5 = 10K
- R6 = 240 OHMS
- R7 = 10K POT
- C1, C2 = 2nF
- C3 = 100uF/100V
- C4 = 100uF/50V
- Q1 = ANY 100V, 20AMP P-channel MOSFET
- T1,T2 = BC546
- D1 = ANY 10AMP FAST RECOVERY DIODE
- D2 = 30V ZENER 1 WATT
- D3 = 1N4007
- L1 = 30 turns of 21 SWG super enameled copper wire wound over a 10mm dia ferrite rod.
) Home Solar Electricity Set up for an Off-the-grid Living
The ninth unique design explained here illustrates a simple calculated configuration which may be used for implementing any desired sized solar panel electricity set up for remotely located houses or for achieving an off the grid electricity system from solar panels.
I am very sure you must have this kind of circuit diagram ready. While going through your blog I got lost and could not really choose one best fitting to my requirements.
I am just trying to put my requirement here and make sure I understood it correctly.
(This is a pilot project for me to venture into this field. You can count me to be a big zero in electrical knowledge. )
My basic goal is to maximize use of Solar power and reduce my electrical bill to minimum. ( I stay at Thane. So, you can imagine electricity bills. ) So you can consider as if I am completely making a solar powered lighting system for my home.
Whenever there is enough sunlight, I do not need any artificial light.2. Whenever intensity of sunlight drops below acceptable norms, I wish my lights will turn on automatically.
I would like to switch them off during bedtime, though.3. My current lighting system (which I wish to illuminate) consists of two regular bright light Tube lights ( 36W/880 8000K ) and four 8W CFLs.
Would like to replicate the whole setup with Solar-powered LED based lighting.
As I said, I am a big zero in field of electricity. So, please help me with the expected setup cost also.
36 watts x 2 plus 8 watt gives a total of around 80 watts which is the total required consumption level here.
Now since the lights are specified to work at mains voltage levels which is 220 V in India, an inverter becomes necessary for converting the solar panel voltage to the required specs for the lights to illuminate.
Also since the inverter needs a battery to operate which can be assumed to be a 12 V battery, all the parameters essential for the set up may be calculated in the following manner:
Total intended consumption is = 80 watts.
The above power may be consumed from 6 am to 6 pm which becomes the maximum period one can estimate, and that’s approximately 12 hours.
Multiplying 80 by 12 gives = 960 watt hour.
It implies that the solar panel will need to produce this much watt hour for the desired period of 12 hours during the entire day.
However since we don’t expect to receive optimum sunlight through the year, we can assume the average period of optimum daylight to be around 8 hours.
Dividing 960 by 8 gives = 120 watts, meaning the required solar panel will need to be at least 120 watt rated.
If the panel voltage is selected to be around 18 V, the current specs would be 120/18 = 6.66 amps or simply 7 amps.
Now let’s calculate the battery size which may be employed for the inverter and which may be required to be charged with the above solar panel.
Again since the total watt hour fr the entire day is calculated to be around 960 watts, dividing this with the battery voltage (which is assumed to be 12 V) we get 960/12 = 80, that’s around 80 or simply 100 AH, therefore the required battery needs to be rated at 12 V, 100 AH for getting an an optimal performance throughout the day (12 hours period).
We’ll also need a solar charge controller for charging the battery, and since the battery would be charged for the period of around 8 hours, the charging rate will need to be around 8% of the rated AH, that amounts to 80 x 8% = 6.4 amps, therefore the charge controller will need to be specified to handle at least 7 amp comfortably for the required safe charging of the battery.
That concludes the entire solar panel, battery, inverter calculations which could be successfully implemented for any similar kind of set up intended for an off the grid living purpose in rural areas or other remote area.
For other V, I specs, the figures may be changed in the above explained calculation for achieving the appropriate results.
In case the battery is felt unnecessary and the solar panel could also be directly used for operating inverter.
A simple solar panel voltage regulator circuit may be witnessed in the following diagram, the given switch may be used for selecting a battery charging option or directly driving the inverter through the panel.
In the above case, the regulator needs to produce around 7 to 10amps of current therefore an LM396 or LM196 must be used in the charger stage.
The above solar panel regulator may be configured with the following simple inverter circuit which will be quite adequate for powering the requested lamps through the connected solar panel or the battery.
Parts list for the above inverter circuit: R1, R2 = 100 ohm, 10 watt
T1, T2 = TIP35 on heatsinks
The last line in the request suggests an LED version to be designed for replacing and upgrading the existing CFL fluorescent lamps. The same may be implemented by simply eliminating the battery and the inverter and integrating the LEDs with the solar regulator output, as shown below:
The negative of the adapter must be connected and made common with the negative of the solar panel
So friends these were 9 basic solar battery charger designs, which were hand picked from this website.
You will find many more such enhanced solar based designs in the blog for further reading. And yes, if you have any additional idea you may definitely submit it to me, I’ll make sure to introduce it here for the reading pleasure of our viewers.
Feedback from one of the Avid Readers
I have come across your site and find your work very inspiring. I am currently working on a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program for year 4-5 students in Australia. The project focuses on increasing children’s curiosity about science and how it connects to real-world applications.
The program also introduces empathy in the engineering design process where young learners are introduced to a real project (context) and engages with their fellow school peers to solve a worldly problem. For the next three years, our FOCUS is on introducing children to the science behind electricity and the real-world application of electrical engineering. An introduction to how engineers solve real-world problems for the greater good of society.
I am currently working on online content for the program, which will FOCUS on young learners(Grade 4-6) learning the basics of electricity, in particular, renewable energy, i.e. solar in this instance. Through a self-directed learning program, children learn and explore about electricity and energy, as they are introduced to a real-world project, i.e. providing lighting to children sheltered in the refugee camps around the world. On completion of a five-week program, children are grouped in teams to construct solar lights, which are then sent to the disadvantaged children around the world.
As a not 4 profit educational foundation we are seeking your assistance to layout a simple circuit diagram, which could be used for the construction of a 1 watt solar light as practical activity in class. We have also procured 800 solar light kits from a manufacturer, which the children will assemble, however, we need someone to simplify the circuit diagram of these light kits, which will be used for simple lessons on electricity, circuits, and calculation of power, volts, current and conversion of solar energy to electrical energy.
I look forward to hearing from you and keep on with your inspiring work.
Solving the Request
I appreciate your interest and your sincerely efforts to enlighten the new generation regarding solar energy.I have attached the most simple yet efficient LED driver circuit which can be used for illuminating a 1 watt LED from a solar panel safely with minimum parts.Make sure to attach a heatsink on the LED, otherwise it may burn quickly due to overheating.The circuit is voltage controlled and current controlled for ensuring optimum safety to the LED.Let me know if you have any further doubts.
Request from one of the avid readers of this blog:
Hi, thank you for everything you do to help people out! My son would like to create a science fair experiment where he can show an electric car running on a solar panel only during the day while charging a battery and running on battery only during the night. For this, we planned to have a small solar panel connected to a battery and motor in parallel (see the attached drawing).
- Will this work?
- Can you recommend a size of solar panel, battery and motor?
- As to not overcharge the battery, should a resistor be added? What size would you recommend?
- Should a diode be added? What size would you recommend?
- yes, it will work.
- Use a 6 to 8V 1-amp solar panel.
- The switch in series with the battery is not required. The remaining two switches are fine. This switch can be replaced with a 4 ohm 2 watt, or simply a 6 V flashlight bulb.
- This bulb will illuminate while charging and will slowly shut off as the battery gets fully charged.
- You can add a diode in series with the positive wire of the solar panel. It can be a 1N5402 diode
- The battery can be any 3.7V 1200mAh Li-ion battery.
- Motor can be any 3.7V DC motor.
Couple more questions, I cannot find a solar panel with those specs, do you think you could send me one on the internet so I can find something similar? Great idea on the flashlight bulb, I assume this would need to be an incandescent light? Do you think this would properly protect the battery or would an additional resistor be needed?
For the solar panel, you can search for a 6V 5 watt solar panel.Yes, the flashlight bulb will need to be an incandescent type, so that the filament can be used to control the current.The bulb should be enough to control the current, no additional resistor will be required.Please find the attached diagram for the detailed schematic.
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Best AA AAA Solar Battery Chargers [C, D, NIMH, NICD]
There are tons of battery chargers out there, do you know which ones are solar capable? In this guide, let’s check out the 6 best AA solar battery chargers including ones that can charge AAA, C, D and other battery types.
Solar battery chargers provide an environmentally friendly, budget-conscious way to reboot an already semi-renewable resource. It sounds techy, but it’s really a simple application that can come in handy for most consumers.
Best Solar AA Battery Chargers
Sunway Solar AA AAA Rechargeable Batteries Charger
- 7-Bay Battery Charger: This charger can charge up to 7 batteries at once. It has six slots for 1.2V batteries including AA/AAA, and a 9V battery slot.
- 2-Watt Solar Array Lid: The charger has a solar array built right into the lid with the capability of producing up to 2 watts of solar energy. This high wattage allows for fast charging. The panel can even be adjusted to an ideal angle for sunlight absorption by using the handle as a support to tilt the charger.
- LED Indicators: Sunway has built in LED indicators to alert the user when the battery is fully charged. It also alerts the user if the panel is placed under direct sunlight without a battery in the charger.
- Durable Construction: Everything about the build of this solar charger leads to increased durability. There are built-in diodes to prevent reverse charging in order to protect the electrical mechanisms of the device. It is also designed with rugged material included strong ABS plastic housing. Users remark that this product is thick, sturdy, and one of the more durable solar chargers on the market.
C.Crane 11-in-1 Solar Battery Charger
- 11-Bay Battery Charger: The C.Crane charger is capable of charging 11 different NiCd and NiMH battery sizes including AAA, AA, C, D, and 7 GUM sizes. It can charge up to six batteries at once, but only two of each kind at a time. It is also important to note that charging slows with each additional battery in bay. Users have noted that while this charger is capable of charging in array of battery sizes, it works most efficiently when charging AA and AAA batteries.
- Adjustable Solar Array Lid: The battery charger has a 150 mAh solar array built into the lid. The lid is adjustable, and the charger comes equipped with a kickstand to allow for optimal sun exposure. The low amperage of this device means slow charging; however the diverse charging capabilities and many battery bays make this a great choice for charging backup battery sets, especially during an emergency situation.
- Built-in Meter: A built-in meter tells the user the current strength of the sun, the current out-put from the solar panel, and the time required to charge different types of batteries.
- Weather Resistant: A polycarbonate transparent cover makes this device durable and weather resistant.
GoldMaster Solar Powered Battery Charger
- 4-Bay Battery Charger: The GoldMaster solar battery charger can charge four batteries at a time- AA, AAA, C, or D.
- Adjustable Solar Array Lid: This product comes with solar cells built into the lid. The lid can be tilted for optimal light absorption. The manufacturer does not provide the wattage of the panel. While official product reviews state that it can charge four batteries of the same types in about five hours, consumer reviews state that this device is more akin to a trickle charger than a standard battery charger and report longer charge times.
- USB and Various Charging Plugs: This solar panel can do more than power up your AA batteries, it can also directly charge your devices. The built-in USB charging port is compatible with most cell phones and cameras. The device also has various other charging plugs for charging a variety of electronics and devices.
- Indoor/Outdoor Use: This panel is built with weather resistant housing to allow for safe outdoor use. But unlike many other solar battery chargers, it can also be used indoors. Bright sunlight is not necessary for this panel to work, and it can still produce adequate energy when placed indoors at a south-facing window.
UltraLast Green AA Solar Powered Battery Charger
- Built in Solar Array: This solar charger comes equipped with a built in 2100 mAh solar array to allow for fast battery charging of two included batteries.
- Portability: The rugged, compact cover and ultra-light weight make this solar battery charger great for portability. The device weighs only 1 pound, about half that of the competing chargers on this list. It comes with a clip to attach to backpacks, tents, or clothing and a kickstand to help with angling the panel for optimal light absorption.
- Multi-Use USB Port: Option to charge batteries via USB port when sunlight is not accessible. The port can also be used to charge external electronic devices off the fully charged batteries.
- LED Indicator: LED lights tell you charging direction (battery receiving power from solar or USB/ electronic device receiving power from solar/USB).
- BONUS! Eco-Friendly Packaging: Packaging includes post-consumer recycled cardboard and recyclable PET plastic.
Best Solar Compatible AA Battery Chargers
These USB battery chargers do not have solar panels built in, but are capable of being powered by a solar panel. This gives not only gives you multiple charging options, but also gives you the ability to pull from a higher wattage solar panel.
EBL iQuick Smart Battery Charger
- 4-Bay Battery Charger: the iQuick Charger has 4 individual bays for charging 1/2/3/4 AA/AAA Ni-MH batteries.
- Smart Charger Safety Assurance: An advanced MCU control system enables automatic cut-off charging to prevent over charging batteries, automatic trickle charging mode, and over-current and over-heat protection.
- Includes High-Performance Batteries: This charger comes with 4- AA 2300mAh batteries. These are low self-discharge batteries which reserve 85% power when left sitting for up to one year. These batteries can be fully recharged in the Smart charger in 40 minutes.
- Solar-Compatible: While this product does not have a solar array built in, it is solar capable. There USB port where the wall charger plugs in can be used to attach a solar panel of your choosing.
Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Recharger
- 4-Bay Battery Charger: The Goal Zero Guide 10 has the ability to charge 4-AA or 4-AAA batteries at once.
- Multi-Use USB Port: A USB port allows for external wall charging. It also allows the user to connect external devices for charging. According to Goal Zero, with four fully charged batteries inserted, the device can recharge your Smart phone 1-3 times.
- Compact and Light-Weight: This device weighs only 6.3 ounces and is sized at 3.94 X 2.52 X.75 in. This makes it the smallest device reviewed today. It is important to remember, however, that this does not include the solar array.
- Solar Kit Available: Goal Zero also sells this charger in a solar kit which includes the solar charger, the 2300 mAh Nomad 7 Solar panel, 4-AA batteries, a AAA battery insert, and a removable pouch and kickstand.
What can you use rechargeable batteries for, and why should you use a solar charger to reboot them? We take an in depth look at these common questions below.
How Does It Work?
Using photovoltaic rays from the sun, the PV glass converts light into energy. This is then transferred into your AA, AAA, C, D, and other batteries to be used in your favorite devices. Simply put the batteries in the charging bay and place the device somewhere sunny. Within mere hours, your batteries will be good as new again.
Types Of Rechargeable Batteries
- Primary cell batteries. Alkaline disposable batteries
- Secondary cell batteries. Rechargeable batteries
Rechargeable batteries include:
- NIMH (AAA AA). Better choice for general purpose use
- NICD (AAA AA). Good for high temperature applications
They come in a variety of sizes including AA, AAA, C, D. These batteries have the capability to restore their energy capacity with the aid of an electrical current provided by a charger.
Rechargeable batteries are used in every day applications spanning from your cell phone to your automobile. They can last up to 200 charging cycles, making them both convenient for the user and responsible for the environment.
Why Use a Solar Charger?
The main reason people are drawn to solar chargers is location freedom. The ability to use the sun as a power source means you don’t have to be tied to the power grid. This is great for remote homes and worksites as well as nature enthusiasts including those that enjoy hiking, camping, and boating.
There are other less obvious scenarios where on the go charging may come handy too. For example, students can benefit from solar charging by attaching a solar panel to their backpack. While walking to class or lounging in the quad between classes, battery powered devices can be rebooting.
Another reason to choose a solar device to power up your rechargeable batteries is the application’s decreased impact on our current environmental crises. Solar cells generate no emissions, waste, or byproducts during use. Many people may not realize the implications that come with using modern day electricity.
The act of plugging a charger into the wall seems like such a small and harmless act. However, in a study done in 2018 it was found that 6.4 megatons of greenhouse gases were emitted in a single year from cell phone charging alone, and that number is growing immensely year by year.
By 2040, it is predicted that 14% of our global footprint will come from societal communications and information technology such as our laptops, Smart phones, and tablets.
Who Can Benefit from Using a Solar Charger for AA, AAA, D Cell, NIMH, NICD Batteries?
Anyone that uses a device charged by a secondary cell battery can benefit from investing in solar battery charger.
Devices that use the batteries listed above include flashlights and other light sources, portable radios, walkies, toys, shavers, torches, remote controls, cameras, wireless keyboards, and other digital devices.
I personally use rechargeable batteries for a portable keyboard so that I can play music in the park and while camping!
If you are interested in using rechargeable batteries for light sources, check out our article on the best AA Batteries for Solar Light for more information.
Is Using a Solar Battery Charger for AA Batteries Really Necessary?
It isn’t necessary to use a solar battery charger for AA batteries. Plugging into a wall charger is an easy alternative.
However this does come with the standard drawbacks of tying into the power grid. These drawbacks include high costs, location restrictions, susceptibility to outages, and negative environmental impacts.
As with any new venture, it is best to be well informed before getting started. While recharging batteries is a simple hands-off process, there are still a few safety precautions you should keep in mind.
What to Be Aware of When Charging These Batteries
Rechargeable batteries can be easily damaged if they are not charged properly. Always make sure to use a cord and charger compatible with the battery. Additionally, make sure the battery is compatible with device you wish to power.
To avoid overheating and prevent fire hazards during charging, place the battery charger on a non-flammable surface with good air circulation around the device.
It is also imperative to be sure that a battery is in fact rechargeable before trying to recharge it. Charging a disposable battery can lead to a break in the battery seal causing the battery to leak severely hazardous chemicals or even explode or burst into flames.
Lastly, safety measures should continue even after the battery has reached the end of its final lifecycle. Batteries are not biodegradable and can be quite toxic.
It is important to properly recycle your used batteries so that they do not end up in a landfill. Most towns have centers that will accept used batteries for recycling.
How to Tell If a Battery Is Made to Be Recharged?
One way to tell if a battery is rechargeable is to check the voltage. A standard disposable battery has a voltage of 1.5.
In comparison, a typical rechargeable battery has a voltage of 1.2. However, this test is not fool proof. A standard battery loses efficiency over time. At first use it will carry a voltage of 1.5V, reducing to about 1.0V by the end of its lifetime.
A reading of 1.2V in the middle stages of a disposable battery’s life cycle is possible, therefore this test should be administered at first use to ensure accuracy.
As shown above, different solar chargers work better for different needs. Features include number and type of battery bays, wattage of built-in solar arrays, durability, and more.
All of the solar battery chargers detailed above will work great for emergency kits, hiking equipment, or a fun-filled day at the park.
Have you tried one of these devices? Be sure to reach out and share your experience with us!
BU-408: Charging Nickel-metal-hydride
The charge algorithm for NiMH is similar to NiCd with the exception that NiMH is more complex. Negative Delta V to detect full charge is faint, especially when charging at less than 0.5C. A mismatched or hot pack reduces the symptoms further.
NDV in a NiMH charger should respond to a voltage drop of 5mV per cell or less. This requires electronic filtering to compensate for noise and voltage fluctuations induced by the battery and the charger. Well-designed NiMH chargers include NDV, voltage plateau, delta temperature (dT/dt), temperature threshold and time-out timers into the full-charge detection algorithm. These “or-gates” utilize whatever comes first. Many chargers include a 30-minute topping charge of 0.1C to boost the capacity by a few percentage points.
Some advanced chargers apply an initial fast charge of 1C. When reaching a certain voltage threshold, a rest of a few minutes is added, allowing the battery to cool down. The charge continues at a lower current and then applies further current reductions as the charge progresses. This scheme continues until the battery is fully charged. Known as the “step-differential charge,” this method works well for all nickel-based batteries.
Chargers utilizing the step-differential or other aggressive charge methods achieve a capacity gain of about 6 percent over a more basic charger. Although a higher capacity is desirable, filling the battery to the brim adds stress and shortens the overall battery life. Rather than achieving the expected 350–400 service cycles, the aggressive charger might exhaust the pack after 300 cycles.
NiMH dislikes overcharge, and the trickle charge is set to around 0.05C. NiCd is better at absorbing overcharge and the original NiCd chargers had a trickle charge of 0.1C. The differences in trickle charge current and the need for more sensitive full-charge detection render the original NiCd charger unsuitable for NiMH batteries. A NiMH in a NiCd charger would overheat, but a NiCd in a NiMH charger functions well. Modern chargers accommodate both battery systems.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to slow charge a NiMH battery. At a C rate of 0.1C to 0.3C, the voltage and temperature profiles do not exhibit defined characteristics to trigger full-charge detection, and the charger must depend on a timer. Harmful overcharge can occur when charging partially or fully charged batteries, even if the battery remains cold.
The same scenario occurs if the battery has lost capacity and can only hold half the charge. In essence, this battery has shrunk to half the size while the fixed timer is programmed to apply a 100 percent charge without regard for battery condition.
Many battery users complain about shorter than expected service life and the fault might lie in the charger. Low-priced consumer chargers are prone to incorrect charging. If you want to improve battery performance with a low-cost charger, estimate the battery state-of-charge and set the charge time accordingly. Remove the batteries when presumed full.
If your charger charges at a high charge rate, do a temperature check. Lukewarm indicates that the batteries may be full. It is better to remove the batteries early and recharge before each use than to leave them in the charger for eventual use.
Simple Guidelines for Charging Nickel-based Batteries
- The charge efficiency of nickel-based is close to 100 percent up to 70 percent charge. The pack remains cool but it begins to warm up with decreased efficiency towards full charge.
- Nickel-based batteries must cool down on trickle charge. If warm, trickle charge is too high.
- Consumer chargers do not always terminate the charge correctly. Remove the batteries when warm to the touch. Discontinue using a charger that “cooks” batteries.
- Charge at room temperature. Do not charge when hot or at freezing temperatures. (See BU-410: Charging at High and Low Temperatures)
- Nickel-based batteries are best fast charged; a lingering slow charge causes “memory”
- Nickel- and lithium-based batteries require different charge algorithms. A NiMH charger can also charge NiCd; a NiCd charger would overcharge NiMH.
- Do not leave a nickel-based battery in the charger for more than a few days. If possible, remove the packs and apply a brief charge before use.
The material on Battery University is based on the indispensable new 4th edition of Batteries in a Portable World. A Handbook on Rechargeable Batteries for Non-Engineers which is available for order through Amazon.com.
Комментарии и мнения владельцев
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Dock,As stated in the article;. You can charge NiCD in a NiMH charger. But it is NOT advised to charge NiMH in a NiCD charger.
Wondering what the author has to say about pulsed chargers, such as the Sirius, for nimh and nicads. I’ve been very pleased.
Andrew: Maybe it’s too late for an answer, but if money is tight I suggest charging the batteries and then discharging them to 1.1 volts per cell. Do this several times. If you’re lucky, you’ll find that they still have enough capacity left. If money isn’t tight or they MUST be reliable, I think Ross’s suggestion of nicads is a good one. Just keep in mind that they are far more toxic than nimh and you should recycle them rather than throwing them away. Also, if you’re only using 150mAh per day, you can probably use smaller batteries. Finally, I wouldn’t be surprised if more sophisticated charging software was available for the Arduino, extending the battery’s life.
I have a 1.4V.240mAh charger that came with my NiCad glow-plug igniter, Can I use it to charge a 1.2V 3400mAh Ni-MH replacement battery?
Not all of the batteries will be bad. Contacts may be oxidized. Consider a project where you replace one battery set after cleaning the electrodes. If possible, replace damaged wiring with slightly larger gauge- it will survive longer. Take the old battery set home and test. Some cells may still be ok. reuse them.
Andrew: I think you might consider a Ni-Cad instead, due to their relative tolerance to trickle charging and overcharging. This may be a case where the earlier technology may be better suited. If the capacity is sufficient.
I am trickle charging 2Ah 4.8v NiMH in Africa to monitor hand pumped water Well output. They are charged by the sun at about 100mA for about 8 hrs/day. The equipment consumes 150mAh / day. There is sun for about 75% of the month. The solar cells are a nominal 6v 600mW. An Arduino stops charging the 4.8v pack at about 5.8v.I use RS Pro AA cells. They have been in use for two years but have been left in the office for the past year! They are now at 180mV each cell! Will they survive if placed in the sun again or is it time to ‘retire’ them? Sorry about this but the BatteryUni states never to trickle charge them for very long, certainly not two years but I can’t see an alternative? Any thoughts?
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I have a driveway monitor that detects the metal from a passing vehicle that rings a chime in the residence. I takes 2 C batteries to operate it. The batteries only last a few weeks before they go dead and changing them is difficult. I would like to install Nimh rechargeable batteries and use a 3 volt solar cell to maintain them. Will this work good enough to be a benefit. Will I have to modify the solar cell and if so, how. KS5KIP
Good day, thanks for your website I have just bought an rc glider, which has 4x AAA 1000 Nimh rechargeable batteries in series. The charger I have is a multi settable battery charger, (Vista Power 320W/ 80W x4 port Q6320AC) I’ve set it on Nimh, would 0,2a be best, or please let me know what setting would be best to charge them. Thank you have a great day. RobS
Re: my previous (incomplete) post, the question is: Does one of the thermistor leads get tied to the Black. lead?
I have a Dranetz PP1 Power Analyzer/Monitor which has a 12V 10 Cell Sub-C NiCD battery pack. It is dead and replacements are very hard to come by and most of them are used packs for 50-120. The pack has 3 leads: Red. Black., Red Thermistor. Inexpensive (~20) 12V 10 Cell Sub-C NiMH battery packs are available for several common products such as Neato Botvacs or Medtronic LifePaks. They all appear to have 4 leads: Red. Black., and 2 white or yellow Thermistor leads. What would likely be the proper way to deal with those leads when connecting to the Dranetz?
Thanks Terramir, That helps confirm what I’ve seen. Where did you learn this process for ‘Rejuvenating NiMh? Rosso
Hello, I am working on an arduino solar project and I have a TP8056 charging module. I know this module is designed for Lithium batteries but, what is the risk in case I use NiMh batteries? Are Lithium batteries adapted for solar projects where they can be exposed to temperatures above 40°C during charge as they are charged by exposed solar panel? What will be your choice for a solar project when only 3.2V/3.7V are required? thanks
I read here so much about charging. but there is only varied information out there and it’s contradictory in nature. My experience, NiMH cells that are AA or AAA 9V are best charged with a good regulated charger. dt/dv works in most cases. old NICD chargers are a bad idea. However when it comes to EV and hybrid batteries first fully charging them undercooling at a about C/20 rate till the rise in voltage stops around 1.41V per cell and then give it an extra 1-4 hrs to balance the pack fully (Make sure your cooling is good), and then discharging them to 1V per cell at a fast rate and then reducing the discharge load gradually first at a c/15-/C/10 rate to 0.8V and then at a rate that is lower than C/40 to 0.5v per cell may help large packs (i.e.) to balance and recover from memory effects, But understand there is always a risk of losing some modules /cells in the process even if it is minimal. going down to 0.1V per cell can renew cells even better but I would not exceed a discharge rate of C/60 if you want to go this low. terramir
I am working with some 95Ah NiMh Cells(95,000mAh) from a Gen1 Rav4-EV. Is it possible to rejuvenate NiMh by discharging to 1.0V at 0.5C or 1C(Normal Discharge), then to discharge at 0.05C to 0.8V and perhaps even down to 0.2V, followed by a 0.05C Charge back to 0.8V, then increasing Charge to 0.5C or more from 0.8V to Full Charge. Some Panasonic literature I have suggests this can be done safely, though it doesn’t call this “Rejuvenation”. I understand that when I do this I am discharging one Electrode (1.0V-0.8V), then the other (0.8V-0.2V). Might this process restore lost capacity in NiMh? I have been trying this but too early to tell. thanks!
Hello, I bought a pack of 2500mAh NiMh batteries. I want to know if I can charge it from 0 to 100 or 20 to 80? What is better for NiMh batteries? I have heard that laptops and phones are better to be charged from 20 to 100. Does this apply to NiMh batteries too? Thanks a lot.
You ask an age old question and you get to choose. Remember, heat is bad. High charge rates generate a high temperature depending on internal resistance. But you need a high charge rate to be able to use dV. All this is taught above. You’ll get false peaks at.1C, generally. I think low charge rates cause other issues and I’ve found that low rates have a tendency to cause batteries to lose capacity. No direct studies, just a feeling. I think you should charge batteries at the rate they are drained but again, no proof points to offer. The best method is to charge to the beak while monitoring temperature, voltage, current, charge rate, etc and then add extra charge to top it off, maybe as much as an extra.2C where C is Capacity of the battery. I think this gives the most charge but again, my own opinion. I built my own programable charges and played around with all the factors quite a bit but your mileage will vary. You must monitor temperature and current at all times. Jerry
Hi, I have a simple question about charging NiMH for which I haven’t found an answer for in the article. is it better to charge the batteries with low or high C rate? What I mean is that there is written in the NiCd charging article that they don’t mind high charge rates, but what about NiMH? I have a Smart charger that supports both.dV and dT/dt and I can sellect the charge current, but I don’t know what is best for the lifespan of the battery. Let’s say that I don’t care about how long will it take to charge it but only about the lifespan, what would you suggest? I also have an old NiCD overnight charger that charges at 120mA, would that actually be better for the battery than the Smart charger? I have a different capacity cells ranging from 1300. 2500mAh and the charger offers either 500, 1000, 1500 or 2000mA charge current (with.dV detection). Thank you for answers.
You erased my entire submittal just because I did not type the picture word correctly. Terribly rude!
I have a choice of two chargers for my 2700 ma NiMH AA batteries. One charger has a 1000 ma slow charge with a 2000 ma Rapid charge. The second charger has a 500 ma slow charge with a 1000 ma Rapid charge. The chargers each have a rejuvenate feature and both conduct this function with a 1000 ma charge rate. This function initially charges the batteries, deep discharges them, then recharges them. Four of these batteries are used in a receive only handheld at the same time. I have 5 sets to keep this radio operating for 14-16 hours per day. There are times when I do this day after day for a few days and times when I don’t discharge a pack in periods of 1-2 weeks. Which of these two chargers will extend battery life? Specifically, is the very slow rate of 500 ma beneficial to the life of these batteries?
Most solar path lights use NIMH batteries and they last pretty long, I have some that are years old and still working. I can’t imagine them having a complex circuit just to charge the battery. How come they last so long? They charge all day and discharge all night with no ill effects.
7-cell PP3, 200 mA.h, Lexel Battery (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd. 9V200, AA Portable Power Corp. MH-9V200, UL File # MH45040. Data sheet states (in part) Permanent charge 6 mA to 10 mA and Max. overcharge current 20 mA (up to 1 year). Application is to hold up the supply of a Raspberry Pi SBC just long enough to shut down Linux. Most of the time, the battery just sits there. Time-to-charge is unimportant. Desired lifetime is ten years. 1. Can you tell my why there might be a MINIMUM value for a trickle charge? 2. My plan for charging is a resistor from primary power chosen so that when the terminal voltage rises to the observed maximum of 10 volts, current is within the acceptable trickle charge range (which coincides exactly with your figure of 0.03 to 0.05C). A colleague claims that manufacturers are lying about continuous charge and that this will damage the battery. Opinion? Thanks, Graham.
Anish Uday Bhurke: Pulse charging NiMH cells should not be a problem. For additional info, please read my post of July 5, 2017.
I am making a dc-dc based battery charger @30KHz for Ni-Mh chemestry battery pack is of 7.2V (6cells in series). Upon analyzing on DSO i noticed at lower C charging rates discontinuous current (current pulses) are fed to the battery, since the instrumentation code takes average of the adc values my display is almost stable. I have a question, whether these current charging pulses affects battery life in any of the batteries or smooth DC charging power is compulsory.?
I can get the information here about the correct charging process. This process helps me to reduce the overheating in the battery. It is so helpful for the safe usage of the battery.
To John Richard Has someone answered your question (S)? 1. Is it true that I can use a variable power supply to charge the batter pack in lieu of a battery charger? Yes, if it’s a lab power supply, or something you can thrust 2. As long as I set the constant voltage of the variable power supply to 12.8V, is it true that there is no danger of. Not necessarily! It is not wise to connect large quantities of batteries together Picture two batteries, A and B, at some temperature, battery A will have more voltage than B and fight with battery B. The inverse will also happen at other temperature It is better to use a larger battery. However NiCd batteries are relatively safe 3. As the 324 AA Eneloop batteries in the battery pack get older will the 12.8V. No, the amount of time the battery will support the load will diminish 4. Was I told correctly that 10 amps would be sufficient It’s a bit big, because some batteries may get hot. The contact resistance will change that could lead to thermal runaway The batteries connected in series to provide 12.8V is called a string When placing several strings in parallel, it is advisable to use a battery management system BMS
Hello Edward I have a nearly new 12v, 2.6Ah ni mh battery for a Makita drill that has bean in the cuboard for sum years and now I am strugaling to charge it. Any tips for waking it up again or has it pasted its shelf life. Can i replace it with ni cd and if so what V and Ah do I nead?
I agree with Steve. I’ve seen this problem a number of times where the under voltage cutout on the charger kicks in and you see a trickle at best. This assumes of course that the batteries were installed correctly. I suggest you take them out, attach them to a power supply and run some current into them until you get an appreciable charge voltage of something close to.7V to be sure. Jerry
Asser, The cell capacity should have no effect on charge-start. As I have mentioned before, NiMH cells have a quirk that may be the problem you are experiencing. Namely: “dead” cells have to be brought up to a certain minimum voltage before some chargers will recognize them as “chargeable.” If you have a voltmeter, measure the cell voltage: should be at least 0.4 to 0.6 volts Otherwise, a quick and dirty way to test this is to parallel a charged cell with one of the Panasonic cells (positive to positive; negative to negative – I place the positive ends on a metal coin and connect the negative ends with a bent metal paper clip) for 30 to 60 seconds, then do the other cell. The safest way to do this is in a “battery holder.” Otherwise use caution! Now try them again in the charger. Let us know if this solves the problem.
I have a Sony cordless headphones set operating with 2 Sony Nimh 550 mAh AAA batteries. When the headphones are replace on its cradle an light indicates that charging is under way. When I replaced the Sony batteries with two new Panasonic NiMH 750 mAh batteries the indicator light does not come on even though the batteries are almost empty.After about 5 hours the batteries do not show any appreciable charge (a few minutes and then they’re flat again). Can this be due to the difference in the battery capacity? What would you suggest I try? Thanks
Do you have a way to plot the output voltage of your charger? The chargers I’ve built have always had USB/serial interfaces for that reason. The typical NiMH batter delta V is only like 20mv per cell and you have to be using a substantial charge rate to even generate the delta. I believe you need more charge time at.4C, maybe as much as 3.75hrs as you are only charging to capacity at 2.5hrs. if you had a perfect charger that would be fine but you don’t and there is no such thing. You need to be checking the temperature at all times with cells of that capacity as the risk of fire is great, especially when you have so many cells and you don’t know the status of each cell. The best thing to do is monitor your charge voltage and current (constant), plot it out and see if there is a peak and delta V you can detect. As previously stated, if you are building your own charger, you need to check for initial short circuits or opens, high or low initial voltage, peak voltage, charge time and temperature as well as delta V with cutoffs or initial rejection of the battery if it fails any of the tests. By the way, depending on the micro controller ADC, make sure it has the resolution to detect the delta V. If not, you can use a peak charging capacitor with a comparator but you have to play with the comparator sensitivity so it doesn’t kick out with the slightest noise. Jerry
Hi, I am new into batteries, I am designing a charger for NiMH battery having 42 cells, each cell is 4600mAh, is there any method to find.ΔV, so that I can stop my charger after this point. I have taken 0.4C, but unfortunately I am unable to set the parameter C in simulator as it dont have C. but i did all my calculation to charge my battery in 2 hours and 30 minutes. can someone please guide me with that. Thanks, Sajid
I am using Panasonic AA Eneloop batteries: http://eneloop101.com/wp-content/uploads/BK-3MCC-AE.pdf As you can see (charging current x time) is: 1. 2000mA x 1.1h for fast charge rate 2. 200mA x 16h for normal charge rate 1. Does this mean for a fast charge that for one AA 2000/1900 mAh battery that I should charge it for 1.1 hours @ 2000mA for a full charge? 2. Does that mean for a normal charge that I should charge one battery for 16 hours @ 200mA for a full charge? Just a novice, trying to figure the preferred fast charge and normal charge rates according the exact specs of the battery in the link above. Thanks, John
In my previous question which is now under review by you, I inadvertently said parallel when I should have said series and series when I should have said parallel. Obviously no way to edit it, since you now have it. Maybe you can revise that for me so that when you post my question and your answer that it will not be confusing to others. Looking forward to your answer. Thanks,
I have a custom made battery pack made out of 324 Panasonic AA Eneloop batteries (Eneloop AA factory spec = 1.2 V/1900 mAh/1.9Ah; actual tested fully charged spec = 1.43V/1,850 mAh/1.85 Ah which I will use for this purpose). Said battery pack has 9 AA batteries wired in parallel per column (9 x 1.43V = 12.87V/1.85 Ah per column) x 36 columns wired in series (36 x 1.85 Ah = 66.6Ah/12.87V battery pack). When the battery pack is fully charged it reads 12.8V. A freaking awesome 12.8 V/66.6 Ah battery pack that just keeps on going and going and going. However, when it comes time to charge the batteries, I spend about 45 min taking the batteries out and putting them into the 4 bank charges that came with the batteries, then another 45 min taking them out of the chargers to put them back into the battery pack which is a royal pain in the butt. I was told it would take a 10 amp battery charger to charge the battery pack as a whole. However, I want to charge exactly to 12,8V of which there are no chargers with sufficient amperage I can find to accomplish this. I was told that I would be better off using a 12 VDC 10 amp variable power supply, in lieu of a battery charger, so that I can fine-tune the charge to 12.8 V exactly. Questions: 1. Is it true that I can use a variable power supply to charge the batter pack in lieu of a battery charger? 2. As long as I set the constant voltage of the variable power supply to 12.8V, is it true that there is no danger of overcharging because the 12.8V output of the power supply will not exceed the 12.8V of the battery pack when fully charged? 3. As the 324 AA Eneloop batteries in the battery pack get older will the 12.8V battery pack output drop to less voltage over time thereby making it possible I could overcharge the battery pack by charging at 12.8V over time? 4. Was I told correctly that 10 amps would be sufficient to charge the 66.6 Ah battery pack, again, said battery pack is made from 324 AA Panasonic Eneloop batteries? Thanks for any help you can provide in this regard. John
I have had four Duracell AA rechargeables that have worked well for about five years, give or take a year. I just wanted to recharge them to go away, for my camera, and have had them in the Duracell CEF14N, class 2 charger for about 10-12 hours, and it’s still displaying a red light, and the batteries are pretty warm. Is the problem the batteries, the charger or my impatience? Thx, David
Thank you Steve, for your common sense and useful information. I have had luck with this lantern, it is over 6 years old. and your suggestions are very doable, I have found replacement rechargeable batteries locally for a reasonable price, and will try this route after checking it with my multimeter and treatment with the CRC 2-26. If these don’t fix it then it may be toast. Thank you so very much.
Marcia, whether to repair or replace your lantern is problematic. This product has a history of defects that may be repairable, but not at less than the cost of replacement. unless you can do the repairs yourself or have a friend who can do it for you. One of the reported issues with this lantern is internal corrosion. (Whenever I purchase a product like this, I spray the battery areas with CRC 2-26, a product sold at Home Depot, in the electrical dept, in a 5oz. can. This has saved many a battery-powered device.) Corrosion may be the problem with your lantern. Or, it could be some defective AAA cells. easily checked with a voltmeter, if there is easy access.
I have a Colman lantern, it has 4 removable led panels each using 3 AAA Ni-MH rechargable batteries. The base has 8 D size Duracell which I assume recharges these panels as needed, and did so for several years. Now two of these panels don’t hold a charge, they don’t light when seperated from the base like the others do, but do light when attached to the base. I am not an engineer and new to this type of battery, can I assume that these size D’s is the best way to recharge these panels, and replaceing these AAA Ni-MHs should fix this problem? This lantern is important to my emergency kit and has been used twice just this season when we had no power for an extended time. I hate to replace it, when a little knowledge and new batteries would fix it. Thanks for your help and expertise
Been looking for info on 1.2v Ni-Mh AA that charges at 500mAh to 1.5v. safe or should I get a charger that charges at a lower power? Looking at NiteCore D2 charger possibly.
I’m ‘old school’ where NiCd cell /or battery capacities were determined by the energy one could extract from a factory-new item during a carefully chosen ten hour discharge that took the cell(s) at a constant rate to the practical exhaustion point. If the manufacturer claimed 5000 mAh capacity I should be able to take a new recently exercised cell, apply a constant C÷10 load and expect the cell to deliver that current for ten hours before the voltage plummeted. Question 1: is a discharge rate of C over ten still the standard for nickle metal hydride cells? Question 2: Ditto for Lithium Ion and cells with increasing power density?
Hi, I was wondering what type of charger I would need to individually charge the nickel metal hydride battery cells in my Lexus rx400h
I want to thank Jerry for his reply of 17th February 2016, I didn’t see reply earlier and only saw it now, since for some reason I did not receive any email notification. But many thanks Jerry for your reply. Since I did not get notifications. I assumed my original post was not answered, by anyone, so I had to keep on seeking as much information as I could, to be on the safe side, I also did a test run on a rig where I simulated a simple Resistor charging 4 x AA 600mAH Ni Mh cells continuously for a month and the battery temperature never went up, and remained cool at a trickle charging rate of approc 20th of the rated capacity, so for my 600mAh cells I used 220 ohm half watt resistor from a voltage source of between 12 and 13volts and found everything to be OK, in my particular application charging time was not important at all, so I could live with this simple resistor limiting the maximum charging current, to about 25mA, indeed at this rate the 600mAh cells would require roughly 36hours to fully charge, and this does not matter since the use of 4 x AA cells used in my application is for a stand by purpose in the event of a mains power failure, which is very rare in UK, so I had full confidence and peace of mind that trickle charging these cells without introducing more complicating chargers or the use of dedicatyed IC charger chips would be an over kill. On my trial rig, I monitored cell temperatures and they never rose 1 degree Celcius above ambient when they were fully discharged. and about the same temperature as ambient when fully charging at 25mA trickle rate. I have also conducted a weekly drain test to see if the fully charged state and capacity remains as stated, and yes over a period of 2 months it met this condition, I don’t know what would happen if the appliance it is being used in was switched off daily and then that way the cells would never fully charge in less than 36 hours if assuming it was being switched on first thing in the morning and then off again when the business closes, since any charge it acquires would drain away during the night. Any way, my rig is still undergoing continuous test for future determination and to keep an eye on how many cycles I can get out of them of part charging and full discharging on a daily bases as well as on a stand by bases. mike
Majda Volk and Marty Simmons – Sorry for my delay in posting this reply. Majda: I answered your question (I hope) above on 9-15-17 at 9:14am, but neglected to add you name to the post. Now to Marty: Over the years, I’ve owned several consumer appliances with rechargeable batteries. Some were designed to be charged for a specified number of hours; leaving the battery on charge beyond that time limit “may shorten battery life,” or so the instructions said. However, other appliances I have: a camera, toothbrush and shaver can be left on their charging docks 24/7, month after month. no problem! Obviously the charging circuitry maintains the charge at a safe level and/or shuts off the charge completely when charging is completed. Bottom line: The instructions for the appliance should say if it can or cannot be left on charge continuously. I leave my Sennheiser RS160 wireless headphones connected to the charger after each use. The LED on the right headphone turns off when the charge is completed, but I leave the charge cord connected until the next use. I’ve been doing this for about 3 years with no problem. So the instructions rule. No instructions? Please read the introductory information at the beginning of this thread: “BU-408: Charging Nickel-metal-hydride Know how to apply the correct charge to moderate heat and prevent overcharge.” This explains why moderating (controlling) cell temperature is critical to getting a complete charge and prolonging cell life. BTW: I purchased a case of “surplus,” Panasonic 1100mAh, NiMH cells at least 15 years ago. With careful charging, most still work to spec. You mentioned the open-circuit voltage, etc. But the key parameter here is current, that is: charge flow. In order to cause a charge flow, the voltage of the charge source (the charger) must be greater than the voltage of the battery. In order to completely charge a battery, the charger voltage must be greater than the fully-charged voltage of the battery. That’s why the charger’s voltage is higher than the battery voltage. Steve Hollis
Hi There, I am building some battery powered Remote Ultrasonic senors which use LORA radios to send data. The basic design uses 3 D cells. We have 10 prototypes running and reporting data. I got to thinking it would be cool to put some little solar panels on the box and see if I could extend the run time with a little help from the sun. I modified one of my units to accept a solar input via a diode to the battery pack. This is a series string so the battery voltage is about 3.6 for NiMH. The solar panes are small and only put out about 5V open circuit. I am loosing about.3v across the diode. I just set it up it seems to run, just not sure about charging a 3 cell stack. I am always going to be less then.1C. Our circuit is on for 1.2 seconds and off for 20 seconds (or 24 hours) for this test so the idea was in the off state the panels would trickle charge the batteries allowing them to perhaps not discharge ever in situations where we were only reading a few times a day. Any advice? This is my first attempt at charging a NiMH battery. IT looks like they can be quite complicated if you are in a hurry or very concerned about 100% charge. My circuit will work with input voltages from 2.9 to 5v. We got 120K reads out of 3 Dcell Alkiline batteries. This solar charge idea is only for NiMH batteries. Can I kill MiNH batteries by over trickle charging them? Adding an active charge termination circuit would probably not be to hard.
Hi guys! I just bought a battery operated vacuum cleaner. I need to find out for how long I should charge my unit. The manual is not clearly telling nor battery nor charger specs, moreover, the charging light seems never to go off. I checked the charger, it is a generic Chinese made 18V 0.2A, and the batter,y a NiMH pack 12V 1300mAh. Does it make sense? Should I use a 18V charger to charge a 12V battery? If ok, should I just charge it for 1300/200 = 6.5 hours? Thanks!
The science of “charging” is simply the transfer of electrical charge (electrons) from source (charger) to destination (battery). The details depend on cell chemistry. NiMH cells are said to prefer “slow” charge rates (as compared to NiCd cells), especially for the initial charge. Slow charge rate is generally rated as one-tenth C or less. Your battery is C-rated at 3000mAh (3Ah) so slow is 300mA. So 100mA would be a nice, really slow initial charge rate. How much time is needed for a full charge? 3000 divided by 100 equals 30 hours, but since your battery is hopefully not dead, that is: zero charge (not good for the battery), 24 hours should be long enough. If the battery gets warm to the touch, it’s probably in over-charge.
Is my base-station for my wireless headphone damaging my batteries by overcharging if I place them on it every night to charge the batteries? I only use the headphones a few hours a day, at most, and they seem to work at least a week before the batteries are too weak(the only indication of this is distorted sound and the headphone has a green ON LED that gets dimmer and dimmer as the battery charge depletes. This is the case, of course, if I don’t place the headphones on the charger for charging, but I do remember to turn off the headphones with a press upon the on/off toggle switch on the headphones after use. I do not like the inconvenience of waiting for the headphones to charge the two internal Accu 800 mAH NiMH AAA cells if I let the batteries go dry, but I also don’t want to overcharge these two cells and shorten their usable life by always placing the headphones back on the base station each day after use. The open circuit voltage measured at the base station charging terminals is 7.5V, but when loaded with a 100-ohm resistor, it drops to 3.0V. When loaded with a 1K resistor, the voltage drops to 6V. Also, when the batteries have reached 1.33V each during charging, the charging current measured is 50mA. There is a only a single red LED on the base station that shows the batteries are being charged and no other indication that the batteries are fully charged or not. Since I am a electronics guy, I know how to build into the base station a voltage clamp circuit to limit the battery charging voltage to somewhere between 3.0 V to 3.2V to prevent overcharging. My circuit would function as a precision shunt regulator and would limit the max. charging float voltage to 1.5V or 1.6V per cell. Current limiting is already part of the original charging circuit. Would this simple voltage-clamp fix idea work best to get the best battery life charging life? If this method is a good solution, then would 1.5V/cell max. work better than 1.6V? Final question, is it better to each day recharge NiMH batteries after each use or wait for the battery to be closer to complete discharge before recharging for best battery service life?
I have a problem finding instructions to properly charge NiMH batteries for Mosquiro Magnet (MM). Manufacturer and other sellers of 4.8 V 3A batteries specify only first charging (24hours; charger 8V, 600mA). My MM reports low battery. Is there a way to find out what is the time needed to recharge. Thank you in advance.
Hi, I need some advice about before buying a new battery charge for my Ebike. It is 24 volt with 10 separate batteries wired together. The original charger got wet and failed. I bought a cheap 24 volt charger off ebay which worked for a while but the batteries would not hold much charge so I had them all replaced. After that it took ages to charge ( 10- 20 hours instead of 5) and the battery got really hot. The charger failed and the plastic case melted.I now know this is bad and will shorten their life. It is very hard to find a replacement charger. There are some made for Razor scooters but I having researched that line find they are designed for lead acid batteries. I think that is the one I bought which melted. If I buy another one of these and only charge for 5-6 hrs would this be OK. I’m really missing my ebike and have forked out for new batteries am keen to get back on the road.
Jim, Without knowing more about your application, it would be difficult for me to make specific AND safe recommendations. Instead, I’ll share some of my experience with charging NiMH cells. First, the terms “trickle” and “float” when applied to charging cells of other than lead-acid chemistry can be very problematic. Yes, we use these terms in a general way with cells of other chemistries, but we should realize we’re on shaky ground! Second, the Ace R/C Company manufactured a charger that automatically followed a normal charge with a continuous “trickle” charge. I have been using one of these chargers for over twenty years with no ill effects to both NiCd and NiMH cells. The NiMH battery packs in my R/C airplanes charge continuously all winter with only good results! The charging protocol used by Ace R/C is called “pulse” charging. Quoting from the charger’s manual: “Battery manufacturers (such as Sanyo) recognize the pulsed charging concept as a preferred and safe technique for charging both ni-cd and NiMH batteries.” If this interests you and you need more info, please reply. Steve
I have an instrument with 6v of small gel cells. They died years ago and are quite expensive to replace. They appear to float at 1.46 v/cell which is adjustable. when the instrument is plugged in. The charging current is limited by the small AC adapter. Do you see any problems (other than possibly long charge times) with replacing the 6v gel cells with a set of 5 NiMH and just let them float at 1.44 v/cell (or a lower fixed voltage)? thanks JK
Hello I know nothing about charge rates etc. however, I will state all of my details and hope someone can help me out. I have an old Bearcat scanner (200xlt) that used a battery pack BP200 which contains 6 Ni-Cad batteries, 600mAh and 7.2 Volts. Most people rebuild them with NiMH batteries however, my battery pack is a slight bit corroded inside and there is a red wire that has come off from somewhere. The replacement is a battery pack with NiMH batteries, 7.2 Vorlts and 1800 mAh. I guess my question is: will the original charger (Uniden model number AD-140U) which supplies input of 120V at 60Hz and 14W and a DC output of 12V and500mA work for the new battery pack? If I have missed any information to formulate the proper answer please let me know and thank you for your help.
To Anita thank you for your reply. The only commercial charger available at an affordable price here uses a fast charge with.deltaV as charge stopping condition and no temperature sensor. The original charger I need to replace used a slow charge and it had a temperature sensor, so I think I can build a better charger than the commercial one, with multiple charging stop logic and temperature sensor for extra safety. Of course I will use 20 AA Ni-Mh identical elements.
To Aryan to make that battery pack, you will need 10AA cells connected in series and to get 10Ah, you will need at the very least 5 of these 10 celles strings connected in parallel for a total of 50AA batteries NOW, although these cells are 2000mA each, when grouped, there will be some losses and you will need some more than 50 a 6th string will ensure that you will get you 10Ah
To Opp someone told you its dangerous! it is always dangerous with stored energy, regardless what kind look at www.theguardian.com/society/video/2016/nov/04/no-smoke-without-fire-e-cigarette-explodes-in-mans-p NIMH battery pack should be charged till about 27~29V at a rate no more than 160mA however 1 you should seek a commercial charger and 2, this should only be done with matched batteries! otherwise it is quite risky
To Adam Mork No it does not, however it will take longer to recharge the radio it would shorten the battery’s life during a power outage, in the sense it would cause one extra charge/discharge cycle
My questions is as follows: I work for a department that runs approx. 60 hand held radios that have a nickel metal hydride battery. At some point in time I find the radios powered on, in the charger. Now my question is, does this shorten battery life or harm the battery having a unit turned on in the charger?
Hi I’d like to build a slow charger (0.1C) for a NiMh battery pack made with 20 AA 1600mAh cells in series (24volts). Someone told me that it’s dangerous to have so many cells in series because it’s more likely that one of the cells fails and compromise the entire pack. I’d like to control the charging circuit with an arduino. Can you point me to a well designed charging circuit schematic? Should I monitor the voltage of the entire pack only or it’s better to monitor also the voltage at half pack? thank you.
Kind of confusing. I mean lukewarm, warm, cool are subjective depending on the person. It would be a lot more helpful if you could give a temperature above ambient, or something like that. Numbers are a lot more helpful than words when describing and interpreting and trying to achieve a temperature. Thanks, n0
I need a NiMH battery pack of 12V 10AH. So I thought of constructing it by myself. I am taking total 14 AA cell each of 1.2V capacity 2000mAh. I am connecting 10 cells in series and the remaining 4 in parallel to get a battery pack of 12V 10Ah. Am I doing it right. Please guide me as I am a novice. Thanks!
So a while back I bought a traxxas stampede and a 5000 Milli amp battery but when I try to charge it it charges for 30 sec then my charger beeps saying its done when I set it to max voltage and Milli amps it only take 5 seconds for the charger to beep then when I set it to the lowest voltage and Milli amps it charges the rate it should at normal Milli amps and voltage can someone plz help me
I want to charge my AAA and AA NiCad batteries. Is it safe to charge them on an Energizer NiMh charger. Model chfcv2e?
I am curious about what charging settings I would use to charge 4 D cell Nimh 10,000mAh batteries wired in series? Can I even do this safely? I know they output 6V but do I go off of 10,000mAh or 40,000mAh capacity? I have a 680AC balance charger I use with my lipos which says it can change other battery types including nimh, nice, and pb. So, I’d like to leverage it if possible rather than buy another charger just for the d cells. How can I do this? Btw, this is for my son’s robot which uses four D batteries and goes through them like nothing. Thanks!
Elie, It sounds like you are using the correct charger designed for 9V “transistor-radio type” batteries. And such a charger should only apply about a 25mA charge current. Such a low current should not cause the battery to explode. Something doesn’t add up. Perhaps the charger is defective and is applying a charge rate that is way too high!
I’m curious if your high-end charger has temperature monitoring as this shouldn’t happen with one that does. Also, the higher-end charges sometimes have variable charge current and you shouldn’t exceed the charge specified. Typically.5C is a good limit. Basically, if you have a charger that can deliver 5A into a battery with high internal resistance, it is possible to make the battery explode before the temperature sensor has time to react. If you read some of Edward’s (and my) earlier posts, your charger should include over-current protection, over and under voltage protection, temperature, etc and the all important failsafe, a timer. Putting even a short circuit across a charger with those protection schemes should result in a shutdown, not an explosion. Couple of points: 1) Are you using default charge settings? 2) What are the charger settings and capacity of the batteries? 3) Are you sure they are NiMH and not NiCD? 4) Have you calculated the internal resistance of the batteries into a load? 5) Did you have the charger set for the right battery type? The questions are very basic since your problem shouldn’t happen. Jerry
On eBay, I bought 6pcs 9v Ni-Mh batteries BTY brand. My charger is a high end one. After 2hrs, the first battery I charged, exploded, and even flew out of the charger. Thinking it was just a production flaw, I tried another one. Exploded even harder, ejecting the thing even further. No need telling you that I didn’t try to charge the 4 ones left. Best regards, Elie.
If I need it a battery bank autonomy of 24.0 vdc.50 Ah and using a Ni’-Cd BATTERY 1.2VDC 500 mA.For 8 hrs
Hi Edward We are changing from LiFePO4 to NiMH due to shipping issues. I have some long experience with all battery technology. However, on lifespan- we need 6 years. Most of the battery manufacturers are hesitant to commit because they say corrosion of the caps is a problem. I will need to investigate why. Do you have any comment on this ? Also, your Комментарии и мнения владельцев about battery charge detection are quite true. On our device with charge rate ~ 0.04C is is nearly impossible to figure out if it is charged complete or not. especially with the load changing all the time. regards
On February 13, 2016 at 7:54pm Mike:. Hi MIke, there are NiMH cells classed for standby charging (such as in mobile handsets) Hi John! On March 28, 2016 at 6:57am John wrote. Finally a man with a half of brain around here! (I mean, as, someone who has a clue what is he doing) The process of end charging (the remaining 30% of batt capacity) in NiMH and NiCd is about the same, hydrogen generation (protons, really) and recombination back into water is more pronounced, which leads to heating and pressure increase. The heating and pressure rise and all cause the battery voltage to rise, or even drop when the heat generation is too steep. This won’t happen on a too low charging current and the INTELLIGENT charger won’t correctly recognize when to stop. That is why truly intelligent charging uses multiple termination methods (temperature rise, time-out timers, etc.) That is the reason why using too low current is not the best idea, dumb charger would be charging indefinitely. You know. venting a battery is bad, because any leaked electrolyte can NOT be replenished, thus ending useful life prematurely.
I made a dual port cell phone charger each with its own battery bank of Ni-Mh (4) rechargable batteries, and toggle switch to keep them from discharging. Also, i connected both banks to its own USB with 1.2A output to charge phone faster. Im using one mini solar panel thats 6v 720 mA output to both banks. How long does it take to charge both sets of batteries. Im trying to charge a phone with a 3000 mAh battery. And how long will take to charge cell phone. With this in mind. Do i need more solar panels or what to charge both banks. Please help.
Hi Edward, I got a set of Motorola TLKR T80 EXTREME walkie-talkies which run on NiMH cells. According to the manual I am supposed to charge the charger pods (holding two of the walkie-talkies) with an AC-DC adapter which says 9V / 210mA for 14 hours. A different radio model, the T81 HUNTER walkie-talkie, also ships with a 9V car charger which unfortunately is not available separately. Because of that I bought an alternative car charger which says 9V. 2.5 A on the sticker. The retailer told me that charging my walkie-talkies with his car charger should not be a problem, even if the 250mA differs from the 2.5 A. Is that true?
With regard to temperature, charge rate and other variables related to charging batteries, it is generally accepted that one of the better ways to maximize the usable capacity of a charged battery is to detect the voltage drop that occurs at the peak charge capacity. In order to detect the peak, it is recommended that you charge at 0.5C. At less than.5C you can miss the drop (bad) or get a false drop (bad for capacity). Yes.5C will increase the temperature of the battery during charge and I don’t know if temperature or charging at less than full capacity will damage the battery more quickly. Without rereading all the great doc assembled on this site (I haven’t worked on charges for a while), I would stick with.5C and monitor temperature which has the advantages of charging to the peak capacity while being one of the safest methods of detecting a runaway charger. I did a lot of charts and statistics comparing charge rate with temperature and found that charging most (not all) batteries at.5C while monitoring the temperature for a hockey stick temperature increase offered the best overall method. So you need a deltaT algorithm in your charger. As I teach above someplace, you really need to monitor temperature, time and voltage drop as well as over voltage, under voltage, low current and high current, basically all the factors, with temperature being the most important. You can burn your house down with a poorly monitored charger. Even a properly functioning charger could ignite certain materials or cause damage. I use an aluminum heat sink under my batteries while charging. Edward has provided a lot of advice above on temperature over the years.
I’m now using decent batteries (Eneloop AA and AAA) and a couple of decent intelligent chargers (both able to vary the input current) but I’m genuinely puzzled by all the information floating around the net about NiMH batteries. It all seemed very clear at first: Use as low a charging rate as possible to avoid the batteries getting hot. 200mA in my case. Then all sorts of advice started appearing about the ‘dangers’ of charging at too low a rate. 0.5C seemed to be the minimum acceptable charge rate. But having tried that (1000mA for a 2000 mAh battery) the battery’s still getting pretty warm, and that can’t be good. There seems to be little logic to all this. at least not logic I can follow. Batteries mustn’t get too warm, but they mustn’t be charged at less than 0.5C. these two statements appear to be inconsistent. Can anyone provide a definitive answer on this, please? What’s the most appropriate charging rate for 1900 mAh AA and 750 mAh AAA Eneloops? 🙂
Safe? yes, most likely as.2c at that capacity probably won’t ignite the surrounding battery holder. But it won’t bode well for battery life. Couple of things to consider: 1) NiCads are still available. You might want to take another look at what is forcing you to change. 2) There are very inexpensive Smart charging ICs that will most likely prevent the overheating, memory, etc inherent in constant current, voltage limiting charge circuits. I’ve not kept up with them to be able to recommend a good choice. What will happen though, without some intelligent charge circuit is over time the usable capacity will decrease with the same measured voltage (at 5.6v) and it won’t be protecting anything (depending on current drain and length of time in protect mode). I believe your next to last statement is on this point. Somehow you need to occasionally cycle the batteries with a discharge/charge cycle. You might want to switch to a LiPO battery depending on how much current you need while on battery power. They seem to be more suited to this type of protection scheme.
I supply certain electronic equipment that has standby battery operation for a few hours in the event of power failure. I used to use Ni Cads 4 AA 600mAh cells, now I am being forced to use Ni MH cells and I have been looking everywhere for as much information as possible since I do not want to risk my equipment catching fire or batteries exploding. My Ni cad batteries were on a trickle charge 24/7 365 days a year with about 25mA. I have not had any problems as the mains power rarely fails. I just use a simple 1watt resistor of 220 ohms to do this from a supply voltage of about 12. 13v unregulated. However, I have tried 800mAh Ni Mh cells instead of Ni cads, there seems to be no problems so far but I would like to avoid overcharging, so I am thinking of using a voltage regulator as well as current limiter circuit so that if the batteries are totally drained, on charging they will draw no more than 0.2c or 160mA and as the terminal voltage approaches 1.4v per cell and total battery voltage 5.6v the regulator (LM317) which will output maximum of 5.6v or set to this voltage, as the battery approaches this voltage the current will automatically drop to literally zero, I have experimented this on my bench power supply, and the battery under test reached this voltage within about 2 hours as they were partially charged, so after reaching 5.6v the current on my bench power supply dropped to zero. Am I safe to use this method ? if the battery has internal discharge, will the terminal voltage drop and the charger automatically starts to top up charge. I read somewhere that even if the battery discharges internally, the terminal voltage may remain stable and so the capacity may suffer and the top up may not compensate lost charge due to internal discharge. I hope some expert can help me on this.
hello i have Sony AAA 1.2 V 2600 mah ni-mh battries can i charge them with li charger with specs of output 4.2v dc 500ma it is a cheap chinese plug in wall type charger, if i am able to how long should i charge them for thank you
Hello. I would like to ask, how the charging current influence the battery life. E.g. If I will charge same batteries with 0.1C, 0.5C and 1C, how long they will last. Also I read somewhere, that Nickle batteries act by the charging current. That means that with high current they are harder and charged with low current they will last longer in low current application. Is that true? Or is better to charge sometimes the battery with higher current if I charge them for a long time with e.g. only 0,1C? Thank you 🙂
Hello, I am tasked to provide a battery operation feature for our alarm products. I was hoping I could get some questions answered. I plan on using a 7.2v @ 3000mAH NiMh battery pack for a battery-backed product that I am budgeting will use 100mA on average. I plan to charge @ 0.2C and trickle charge at 0.03C. I will use a peak voltage to switch between charge and trickle charge. Keep in mind that the product is not a battery operated device, i.e. RC Car, but one that is battery backed for rare occurrences of loss of AC. My basic UL requirements are stated below. Voltage when charged: =95%, 6.85V Voltage when discharged:
I am writing to confirm whether or not the NiMH battery packs sold here can be linked and charged together at the same time, or if individual chargers must be purchased for each battery pack. I am designing a robot that uses these battery packs but your large battery packs are not the right shape, so I have used a number of smaller ones (24V and 4.5Ah), which would be connected in parallel to keep the voltage at 24V, but I need to know if they can all also be charged together.
Dear battery Ir. Edward and others, I have a question regarding nimh type batteries. It is safe for me to tweak my nimh charger so that at the end of the charging process, the initial voltage of my nimh batteries would be at 1.6v instead of 1.2v. Many of my colleagues do the same thing to their nimh batteries, but they aren’t sure about damages or dangers related to their act (tweaking their nimh chargers). For your information me and my colleagues are involved in certain indoor hobby that requires maximum amount of power to be drained out from our nimh batteries, and increasing the battery’s voltage to the highest possible value,while keeping the mAs constant seems to be a new trend among us. I’m still sticking to the traditional way of charging my own batteries, but recently i felt that i’ve been left behind by my colleagues. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with me and other readers.
Could I get away with making a simple trickle charger that used a constant 0.05C current to charge the batteries, but. assuming a series stack, had a diode or two drop with some additional charging. Basically a higher trickle to, say 1.3v, then 0.05C after that? Anyone?
To Steven who wrote on March 29th: You asked many questions and perhaps I can help you restore your Sony radios. Regarding the 120 charger: Many of the older, wall wart-type chargers seem to have a low output voltage until the battery is connected. These chargers have deceivingly simple circuits, Some put out relatively pure DC; others output a somewhat half-wave, pulsed DC. So trying to measure the output voltage with a voltmeter can lead to erroneous readings. you’d need an oscilloscope to view the waveform of the output. Here’s a simple test you can make: First measure the output on the voltmeter’s DCV range, the repeat on the ACV range. If the AC level is equal to or higher than the DC reading either the circuit is designed for pulsed charging or the capacitor is open. So, you have two tests to make: the voltage with the battery connected. and the ACDC test. You may contact me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Steve
Hello sir, Can i used normal 4.5V (500mA) DC Charger directly to charge the 3.6 NiMH Battery of (900mAh).Please let me know the durability and Efficiency of the battery when I’ll using in that condition.
What could happen if I leave my battery charging for a couple of days. could that harm the battery or my AEG rifle.
I have the cells from a GEN II Prius and I wonder if I hook these up in series / paralled of 20 modules (14.2 volts series) with pairs paralled can these be floated on a 13.8 volt charger in an RV and then charges by the car’s alternator when being towed? Is there any advantage over a lead acid 12 volt battery for this application. I have the modules for sale on Ebay, but I could use them for my trailer. One day I hape to add solar panels to the trailer, but not currently. Thanks for any information
Hi Alex hot temperature will short the nimh battery lifetime !! there is no doubt. if you use the 5.5V 100mA to charge a single 1.2V 2100mAH cell. you can manage to test the charge current data, if it is not very high, just go ahead
Talking about charging NiMh in room temperature, what about those solar garden light that have a single or more 1.2v NiMh in it that requires direct sunlight in order to charge the battery? Won’t the hot temperature under the sun kills the battery faster? What is your advice in this situation? On another matter, can I use a 5.5 V 100mA solar panel to charge a single 1.2v 2100mAh battery? Assuming there will be only 6 hours of direct sunlight. night time will be discharge thru some LEDs. Thanks for your reply.
Hi! I’m planning to build a power supply charger for parallel charging of my 2x AA NiMH 1300 mAh batteries. I currently have a 750mA step-down transformer (it is labelled as such) as well as 1N4001 diodes to be connected in bridge rectifier config. What else should i put in? It would be best if i got a reply within 24 hrs. Kudos to this website that has been very helpful to me. Thanks in advance!
Hello Edward, I have a few questions regarding both NiMH batteries and NiCd batteries and chargers. I am not sure if you are familiar with the Sony ICR-100 and ICR-120 radios, but they are vintage radios, (from the mid to late 1960’s). I have one of each radio and they both have their original chargers, however I suspect the ICR-120 charger is not working properly. Basically, I have been reading as much information as I can find about the radios and battery replacements. I have read that both radios used a set of two NiCd batteries spot-welded together, (each battery is supposed to be about 1.2 volts, 60mAh). I found that I can replace the old ones for NiMH batteries giving me lots of improvements over the old NiCd’s like capacity, no memory effect, etc. Anyway, I have on order both a set of NiMH batteries and NiCd batteries. If I use the NiMH batteries, what sort of power output does the charger need to have, (both ideally and as a min-max for proper recharging), (these batteries will be connected together in series for a total of 2.4 volts and about 40mAh). If I used the NiCd batteries what sort of power does a charger need to put out for these? I am attempting to keep the radio sets are close to original configuration as possible. They both came with their original storage cases, earphones, wall chargers and leather carrying case. The other question I have was related to the original chargers for both models. On the 120 charger, the information plate states it has a 2.44 volt output with 14mA. I can only measure 1.2 to 1.25 volts output. I believe this means the charger is not working. If I wanted to fix the charger, what would be the culprit inside? I opened the case, and there is little in there but the transformer, a diode and a capacitor. In regards to the charger for the 100 model, it is strange. It is actually a case that you put the radio into, close it and there are two prongs which rotate out, (to make the wall plug), and you plug the thing into the wall outlet. I had to be creative to check the voltage of this thing since you can’t access the contacts for the radio once the case is closed, and you have to close the case in order to plug it it. Anyway, when I measured the voltage on it, I got a 5.2 volt reading. The info plate on the charger states: Input: AC 105-125V (next line down has): 50/60 c/s 1.2VA Third line down has: Output: DC 5mA MAX. That is it! Is that output voltage of 5.2 volts correct for a NiCd battery of 2.4 volts? As I said, I’d really like to maintain as much of the sets as possible, at least on the outside, (I don’t think anyone would care that the batteries have been changed out for newer and better ones, and I am fine with replacing any internals, if possible, on the battery charger for either models). Thanks so much for nay help you can give meSteven H.
Hi. I was looking for a charger for 1.2v NI-MH gumstick batteries (which are too long to fit in my usual charger) and bought one on ebay which included NI-MH/NI-CD/Li-ion recharging amongst its abilities and outputs of 1.2V/700mA 4.2V/600mA. I’ve been sent a different model (not a problem by itself) which only has one output of 4.2v-500mA and only mentions Li-ion not the NI-MH I need. Am I likely to be OK to use this for my NI-MH gumsticks? Thanks for any advice.
Hi Edward i have a question in my mrc 989 charger settings i want to charge 6 aa 1900 mah ni mh my setting is 400 mah, 6mv delta V. safety timer off trickle is off but after 7 hrs it showing 1150 mah only and 1.27v only is this normal? Is the 4 channel charger or series charging is better? Thanks more power.
hye will u kindly tell me about 1-the trickle charging of nimh batteries? 2-em charging the batteries with solar so which type of problems can i face? 3-as i have studied that below 0.5c of charging the cut-off methods for nimh (on the basis of voltage and temerature) can’t work properly and my charging rate is 0.1c??
Hi Karthi, you can open the fully drained nickel cadmium with two pliers, please deal with the material in the battery carefully, it is poisonous and easy to led fire. please email to me email@example.com Edward
i am in 8th grade and i am doing a project about battery and i want to know weather it is ok to open a fully drained nickel cadmium battery if it is so how to open the battery please let me know by email.
Hi Vinod, yes this is a problem, this problem up to the charger design, some charger can charge single cell, but expensive. Edward firstname.lastname@example.org
I have two questions: 1) Nowadays most torches use three battery cells, whereas a battery charger that I have is Energizer that charges two or four bateries at a time, not single or three batteries. My problem is, how to recharge a single battery or three batteries at a time? 2) Can I place a fully charged battery and empty battery together and charge them? Please help. Thanks! Vinod
what will happen when i had a AA NiMh 1.2v 2100mAh rechargeable battery charged at 3.6v battery charger? does it gave any effect to the battery?
dear Ridwaan, no, 12V is not safe, you can choose the bigger charge current charger, but not the higher Voltage, why you use the ni-mh packs in your car? please email to me for more details email@example.com
Hi. What’s the best charger to use on a r/c car. My battery pack states 7.2 volts 900mAh nimh. The charger is 9volts 100mAh. Is it safe to use 12volts with a higher mAh to charge faster.
what do the batteries look like, double A? AA? If so, you can purchase up to 2650maH batteries in the hardware store with a charger. Please reply with the standard battery number. Jerry
Hi. My garden solar string lights were not working so i ordered some new batteries for them. Ni-Mh AA 600mah 1.2vbut they have come uncharged. My problem is buying a suitable charger for them. I have found a charger but don’t know wether it is compatible as the mah is considerably higher. I think it was 1200 mah but not too sure. Really dont want to waste any more money. Thanking you for your help !
Dear Martin, Do not worry about the overcharge, the charger can stop to charge the battery if fully charged
I always fully discharged my half used NiMH batteries before putting them into the slow charger. By doing so I hope I can accurately fully charged the batteries without overcharging it. The batteries are sanyo xxx 2700mAH and according to the charger manual, it took 12h to charge 2700mAh. Please help to tell me whether I am doing the correct method, or do you have any suggestion. Thanks!
Sony battery have good quality, and it is the ready-to.use battery. I think it is not an issue, you can try to use the battery to check if they can work. and remember charge it when it can not work then try to use again. email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have more inquiry
Hi, I had just purchased (8 May 2014) a Sony CycleEnergy NimH 2500 mAH however the pack has the manufacturing date Oct 2013. Will this be an issue? Overall it was well packed and store is one of the reputed retail chains in India. Just skeptical as I can’t afford another one and I do not have return options in India. Appreciate an answer. Thanks.
Mike Hulett ,I think the static came from the rub, the ni-mh batteries are shipped at very low charge, that is for safty. more details please email to email@example.com Edward
Hello! I wanted to ask if the NMH batteries can cause static on a phone speaker if the battery levels are mismatched. (Fresh out of package, comes stock with a minimal charge.) I do testing for a phone company and I have noticed these batteries are shipped at a very low charge. If you bump or touch the batteries at this time, the phone speaker statics out. However, If the handset unit is charged for more than 2 hours, the static goes away. Any ideas?
Lex. would yo please send me the photo showing how to connect the batterys and the solar cell. in my opinion, you would better not connect the ni-mh battery in parallel form. because they have different resistance and capacity. my email is firstname.lastname@example.org we advise you can choose the Lithium battery 3.7V 3800mah, only one Lithium battery will decrease the problem.
Ed My team and I are handling a research on rechargeable wireless sensor. We using six Sanyo HR-3UTGA 1.2V 1,900mAh batteries, while dividing them into 2 parallels with 3 batteries per parallel to power up the sensor. These sensors are then charge using two Solar Cell 5V 50mA (0.25W) connected in serial. The problem we found is that some of the batteries (maybe few out of 6) will died off no matter we charge it under hot sun, indoor, or air-conditional room. Voltage of affected batteries will lies between 0.01V. 0.04V. These batteries still can be recharge until 1.4V, however, there will be higher chance for these batteries to break down again in future deployment. Any suggestion for us to tackle the problem stated above? Are we overchaging the batteries and is there any solution to prevent it? Thank in advance.
Dear Paul, please set the max voltage is 9V the charge current is 3.0A and the charge time is 60 minutes. notices!! the battery must be fully discharged before charge. more question please email to email@example.com
Ed I want to charge a NiMi 7.2V 3200mAH pack of six D cells using my IMAX B6 but can’t work out what settings to use. I would like to charge them as quickly as possible, can you help please.
Dear omar, would you please tell how do you set the imax b6 charger? in my opinion, if you do not set the right way to charge the battery, the battery will not be charged fully. As the ni-mh cell to say, please test the each cell voltage ,resistance and capacity if you can please reply to me if you have any question about battery firstname.lastname@example.org i am the rechargeable battery boy.Edward
i have rc battriy 7.2 v 2300m ,nimh and icharged it by imax b6 charger it will full in 30 min that very faster and battry not charged why? can i know the solution? by the way this battry is new i made it by my self in serial
Thank you for advice. always a pleasure to hear from somebody that has an idea of where I am coming from. thank you !
the charge current is high 16W/12V=1.33A. and i do not know how the safety timers work to prevent the battery from being overcharged. For more details please email to me email@example.com
Hi there i am using the following battery and charger : http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/products/6117328/ http://cpc.farnell.com/1/1/14126-battery-nimh-12v-aa-2000mah-12v-aa-1600.html It’s a pack made up of 10 AA NIMH batteries and is built into an amplifier which is left on charge until needed. Today i discovered a pack had overheated/leaked but i was under the imression from this charger that it would [revent this with safety timers etc. Could you please advise why this might have happened?
please tell the charger seller the battery voltage and capacity. i think they will give you the right advice. more question, please email to me firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to charge a: 8.4 volt 3300 mAh Ni-MH rechargeable battery I know very little about what V and mA charger I should buy for it.
Larry, just use the 2100mAh NiMH instead the 1600mAh, it will work well. and the 300mA AC charger will also work well with the 2100mAh ni-mh battery. Anyway, please contact with email@example.com for more detail infomation. Edward
Larry, Your scanner most likely came with a NiCD battery and the charger is probably just a 300ma power supply. I’ll bet the charge circuitry, if any, is in the scanner. Actually the charge circuitry could be as simple as a resistor to drop the current to something like 160ma which is the recommended rate for a 1600mah battery when peak detection, temperature and other safeguards aren’t supplied. If you can fit a 2100mah battery in there, and it looks like you can since you are inquiring about AA batteries, I don’t see any reason to not use it. The charge circuitry in the scanner will still only supply the 160ma assuming it is limited to the supplied battery, so actually it will take longer to charge the new battery, something like 20 hours but you will have longer service life once charged. I buy the rechargeable batteries you commonly find in electronics stores made by Duracel. They are up to 2650mah capacity now and many times come with an inexpensive charger that works OK. I don’t think they do all the fancy programmable charge detection algorithms you can find for more money, but they get the job done efficiently. I would stay away from the 15 minute rechargeables, they never lasted for me as the charge rate was too high for the quality of the battery and typically they went thermal for me using their cheap charger. There are a number of very good programmable chargers out there, maybe Ed can recommend his favorite, I built my own after playing around with others for many years. I have stated in earlier posts that I have found the delta temperature / delta time charge detection to be more reliable with better peak capacity than the delta voltage type. In any case, make sure you get a charger that has temperature sensing. I would expect to pay around 60 or less for a decent charger and many could be had for less than 45. Good luck Jerry
Have a pro 95 and pro 62 radio shack scanner. can I use for a rechargeable battery a 2100mHa NiMH instead of the 1600 ? It comes with a 300mA AC charger. Maybe I should use a separate battery charger with an automatic shut off. if they make one. At what Rate would be the best to charge and what might be a battery charger to suggest. also anybody know of a good AA battery to consider. Thank you kindly for any response. Larry Larieb@aol.com
1) Use any reliable thermometer against the pack after 24 hours to ensure the temperature doesn’t rise above 100 degrees F and you will be ok. I question whether you are getting a full charge and I also believe you might be doing long term damage to the battery by charging at a trickle rate of 1/20. My experience is that long term low current charging (below 1/15) might degrade battery performance. If possible, I suggest you setup to charge at.1C for 14 hours. As an aside, excuse me while I point out to Frank that the capital ‘C’ to designate Capacity was used correctly by both of us. 2) I suggest you charge batteries at that same rate as they are drained in most if not all cases. Never exceed the manufacturers specifications if listed. The only time I would charge at a higher rate than 1A is when time mattered. Higher charge rates increase temperature which is detrimental in most cases.
Hello Bill, I will reply while waiting for Eduard. 1) Use any reliable thermometer against the pack after 24 hours to ensure the temperature doesn’t rise above 100 degrees F and you will be ok. I question whether you are getting a full charge and I also believe you might be doing long term damage to the battery by charging at a trickle rate of 1/20. My experience is that long term low current charging (below 1/15) might degrade battery performance. If possible, I suggest you setup to charge at.1C for 14 hours. As an aside, excuse me while I point out to Frank that the capital ‘C’ to designate Capacity was used correctly by both of us. 2) I suggest you charge batteries at that same rate as they are drained in most if not all cases. Never exceed the manufacturers specifications if
This is an excellent site I have learned a lot from reading it all. I am still a little bit confused about my NiMH packs: I have a Smart charger but it doesn’t have a temp probe. 1. I have a 4.8V 2000MAh powering the radio in my RC boat. I run the model once a month or so. I’m never really sure what percentage of the battery may have been used. If I’m charging it at C/20 (100mA), Is it OK to leave it charging for 24 hours? 2. Another RC boat is powered by 6 cell 7.2 V NiMH packs. One is 3700MAh, the other is 5000MAh. My peak detecting charger has rates of 1, 2, and 4 amps. I’ve been charging them at the 1 amp setting but maybe I should be using a higher setting?
Alan, I assume you can’t charge the three cells making the 3.6v pack individually? I dont think there is high enough voltage at the USB port (without regenerating it higher) to charge a 3.6v pack. Many of my NiMH single cells require 1.8v or higher for initial charge putting the absolute minimal requirement at 6v assuming a marginal voltage drop across the lm317 as well. If you have a variable power supply, attach it to the battery with an ammeter inline as you increase the voltage to draw.05 times the capacity of the battery. The voltage read at that point plus.6v, better plus 1.2v, will be the minimal amount needed. Using.6 volts will require you to build a transistor based constant current source opposed to the lm317.
Hi Jerry. As a school project we have to design the circuit of a charger of a NiMH 3.6V battery. It has to be charged by a USB only. Can I make it by only using the 5V source of the USB and an LM317? or do I have to vary the voltage too as the battery charges? How can I know when the battery is fully charged? Best Regards
Magnus, I wrote my own software using an arduino board as there was a touch screen graphics ‘shield’ with Ethernet and SD card that I found useful to integrate. Granted it is overkill for a battery charger, I wanted all the flexibility to do it once and last forever. Delta T takes a little more logic to detect, but the charts I made lead me to believe it is safer and more accurate than delta V for NiMH batteries. I highly recommend you take the approach of using your own microcontroller but it is more involved.
Hi Jerry. Many thanks for your quick response and further Комментарии и мнения владельцев. I’m planning to make an integrated charger using a BQ2002/F chip. It can sense a drop of 2.5 mV after peaking, and uses averaging of several voltage measurements. But I think I’ll also need to add some analog smoothing to the signal as the charging current will be a bit rough from the step-down inductor. Your comment about dT being more accurate than PVD is useful because BQ2002 only measures absolute temp and not rate of temp. Maybe I’ll look for a controller with this extra feature. Or I could write my own software, but it would be nice to get something ‘out of the box’. Regards, Magnus
Hello, Magnus. Generally, the charge current is supplied by an external analog constant current source that is controlled by a microprocessor, either on or off at a minimum, though with extra circuitry, the constant current can be varied. While charging under constant current load, the voltage is monitored continuously by a microprocessor ADC in most cases to be able to detect a 5mv or less drop per cell after either analog or algorithmic smoothing. To be clear, yes, the voltage is monitored while the charge current is applied. Please note that this is only one way to terminate a charge. I have found that delta Voltage is not quite as accurate as delta Temperature, and for Frank’s information, I capitalized the V and T to highlight the difference, and maybe to annoy him as well. Lastly, the charger should have maximum temperature and charge voltage limit safeguards as well as a fail-safe timer. Batteries catch fire. Period. They should be taken very seriously while charging at anything higher than.1C. Please refer to my earlier notes on the correct use of the character ‘C’ as it relates to charge rate. All in fun, Jerry, with only the best regards for Eduard.
Thanks for providing this useful and very thorough resource. I have a question about charge termination by ‘peak voltage detection’ : The voltage is measured periodically to see if it has peaked. Is the measurement done while the charge current is flowing. Or is the charging paused in order to take the measurement?
Boris Kranjc wrote: i have 5000mAh lipo 2 cell, 7,4 V battery. one cell was totally discharged and shows 0V. I suppose it cannot be fixed, only replaced?! Other is good. Boris, I had the same problem with a 3S 2200mAh lipo, with one cell gone to 0V after accidently leaving a load on the battery overnight. I restored the battery (and cell) by small charges in NiMH mode on a Turnigy Accucell 6 charger until 3V/cell was reached and then used LiPo mode to charge normally.
Jerry. you are the battery experter, are’t you? your comment about the battery is very professional! Edward firstname.lastname@example.org
Maurie, You should use the supplied charger which is a slow charger I believe not unlike those for my HT’s. Generally, without a sophisticated circuit (which would be easy for you to design/build or replicate based on you being an amateur operator) it is best to charge each battery at a constant rate of.1C, C being the capacity of the battery contrary to Frank E above. So a constant current of 150mA for the 1500mA and 220mA for the 2200mA would give you the recommended charge rate of.1C. Most of the supplied wall wart chargers don’t do a really good job of current regulation for constant current and usually don’t provide the full.1C rate at first as that might require a higher voltage than it can supply. It is easy to wire a constant current source using an LM350 regulator. A fixed supply greater than 1.8x the battery voltage would do it as source to the constant current circuit. Please note you should limit the charge time to 15 hours for.1C rates and also check the temperature occasionally. C is generally used as it relates to batteries as being the Capacity in mAh’s, or milliamp hours. In case Frank is still policing this site, please note I used the correct case for the ‘A’ in milliamp hours. Also, Frank, please note I can’t read this fine print so I might not have the correct number of ‘L’s in the term milliamp. Lastly, Frank, just to clarify, the character ‘C’ is used for more than just capacitance and is generally used for battery capacity. Look around and you will find it across the IEEE docs as well. I will apologize for incorrectly not capitalizing the ‘A’ in mAh in my rush to answer Frank’s question. At the risk of offending Edward, who’s kindly provides answers on this site for the benefit of all, (and I would understand if he bans me) I would like to point out to Frank that the character ” is often used for the term A-shole, Moron is usually capitalized and sometimes Idiot. My wife capitalizes ‘Butthead’ but I think these are all capitalized as those terms are proper nouns. I also would like to think people have more than enough to do then ask questions when they clearly don’t want or need an answer,
What is the best charger for a YAESU FT-60 HT radio battery rated at 1500ma and 2200 ma-which are brand new and I would like to charge them correctly.Thank you Maurie
i have 5000mAh lipo 2 cell, 7,4 V battery. one cell was totally discharged and shows 0V. I suppose it cannot be fixed, only replaced?! Other is good.
Yes the author is definitely getting mixed up with SI and SI derived quantities and units then. or they have made up their own confusing quantities using SI / SI-derived symbols eg fast charge of 1C reads to me fast charge of 1 coulomb which could be an Amp for a second, 10 Amps for a tenth of a second. C isn’t capacity of a battery, C is Capacitance (ability of an entity to store Charge), two very different quantities. Q or q is the symbol used for charge 1 mAh is 3.6C [1 coulomb is an Ampere Second A.s or As. coulomb ampere and second are all SI base units therefore an ampere hour = 3600C] I is used as the symbol for Current not C. It’s mAh not mah. mA, not ma.
Frank, C is the capacity of the battery in mah so.1C of 1000mah battery is the slow charge rate of 100ma.
The article rmentions a quantity C several times viz a viz charging at less than 0.5C. charge of 0.1C fast charge of 1C. trickle charge is set to around 0.05C. C-rate of 0.1 to 0.3C, What is the witer referring to; Charge (Q )in Coulombs,? Temperature (T) in degrees Celcius? Capacitance (C) in Farads?
With 40% of the cell DOD (or with 4%), you get close to none until you removed the dead cells and rearrange the bank to give you the same bank-voltage. Unless you have a very odd cell arrangement, I suspect the bad cells are distributed randomly in parallel and in series along with the good ones to form the bank. The bad cells will pull down the voltage of the cell-bank giving you very little power. I would not be surprised if the bank voltage dropped to below useful level in seconds. Rick
Tom,, Every battery pack is different but I think it is safe to say a 15v power supply will not be high enough to charge a 14.4v battery. Most likely that battery is bad and was the source of the failure. Also, for NiCD and NiMH you need current limiting. It is a simple circuit using an LM350 or LM317 and a resistor. You not only need to exceed the voltage of the battery pack by a factor, you also then have to take into consideration the voltage drop of the charge circuit and cables, which would be generally in the 1.2 to 1.5v range. So I would think a starting point of 18-20v would be about right for a 14.4v pack, but again, it depends on so many factors not the least of which is the age and condition of the battery cells. Also, if you have a shorted cell in the pack, the voltage required will be lower which is wrong but hard to detect with unknown batteries. Lastly, if you attach an unlimited current supply to the battery that has a low charge, it will easily exceed the 1.33A of your 15v supply. Look around your shop for a variable supply in the 24v range that also has current limiting. A secondary approach, on the cheap, would be to try the 15v supply with an amp meter inline to check the current. Keep the current under.26A and charge for 15 hours the first time. If the cells do not keep 14.4v once the charger is removed, then you most likely have a bad cell. Many 14.4v batteries exceed 17v when initially charged. My apologies to Ed as I have no intent to hijack his board. I just love charging batteries and found the science, some of which is explained very well on this site, fascinating. Something with my OCD must kick-in when I see an uncharged battery. Jerry
Nikhil, What I meant was that at.25C charge rate the recommended charge time would be 6 hours. Again, I would recommend a charge rate of.1C to avoid overheating and a potential fire if you have the time available. Then the recommended charge time would be 15 hours. I was referring to the standard total charge of 1.5 times capacity for batteries, not that you charge at that rate. Again, thermistors are inexpensive and the PIC chip has A2D converter making them easy to sense temperature. You are not charging at a high enough rate for a Smart charger to detect peak on NiMH, but you can improve the efficiency and safety by using a temperature testing circuit. Jerry
I found a nice 14.4 volt Makita drill that someone threw away. It has a 2.6 Ah NiMh battery. But it has no charger. A new charger is very. and the money would be better spent on a a new drill. UNLESS I can use a power supply to charge it. I have access to literally hundreds of power supplies at work. For example, I just found a small 15v, 1.33 amp power supply, but it’s a switching power supply. Can I use this, provided I don’t leave the battery unattended? If not, what would be the proper rating for a P/S to charge this battery? ( I realized that you do NOT recommend PS chargers for nickel based, but it’s eithr that or toss it.) many thanks
Hi Jerry, Thanks for your reply. the only thing you can do is set the maximum time to 6 hours using 1.5C total charge at.25C sorry i can’t understand this statement. did you mean starts charging at 1.5C and reduces the rate to 0.25C at the end? Is it’s safer to charge at 1.5C(1.2A) which is much higher than 0.25C.My circuit never charges a fully charged or partially charged battery. it only charges a discharged battery. that’s why i choose constant time charging and avoid thermistor. Also what might be the minimum discharge voltage for a 12v NIMH battery(load around 70 mA) ? thanks and regards Nikhil
Nikhil, I assume you aren’t using a temperature probe so you are limited in what you can do with a Smart charger anyway. Also, at that charge rate it is somewhat dangerous to charge batteries as they can overheat and cause a fire. I have done it myself and I am very knowledgeable about battery charging. Since you don’t have a temperature probe, the only thing you can do is set the maximum time to 6 hours using 1.5C total charge at.25C. Maximum charge voltage would be 24v though many chargers are much more conservative. The maximum charge voltage of 2v per cell would be considered an emergency type shutoff only, not an indicator of a fully charged battery pack. Another approach that would reduce the efficiency of your charger would be to charge for 10 minutes and then stop, let the battery pack voltage settle for one minute, and then measure the voltage. If the voltage meets or exceeds 1.41V (some recommend as high as 1.46v) then the pack is charged. If the voltage is lower than 1.41v continue with another charge cycle. I suggest you add a thermistor to your charger at a minimum. If you do that, please come back and post as there would be other simple alternative ways to more accurately detect a peak charge and improve the efficiency of your charger. Jerry
hello. i am trying to charge 12v 800mAH(1.2v10cells AA) NimH battery. i am charging it with an lm317 as a constant current source. throughout the charging process the same current of 200mA(0.25C) is giving.charging start/stop and discharging start/stop is controlled by PIC. So it never goes beyond the predetermined value. my question is that during charging the battery voltage goes from 15 to 17.3v and so temperature. what might be the maximum voltage at this charging current and rate. And also which will be the better charge termination. a maximum threshold voltage or time. i don’t want to make my charger complex by making it an intelligent charger. i am also ready to compromise the charging rate because the charging time can be as long as 8 hrs. thanks Nikhil
Dave, Your statement has no foundation with testing I have done and I assume Edward and others will agree. Also, how do you determine initial charge or automatic switch off at full charge? It can’t be done without draining the battery. I have yet to see a reliable way to measure battery charge or capacity. It can’t be done with voltage alone. You have to measure the voltage drop over time and this varies so greatly by battery it is completely unreliable. I have charts and data that demonstrate without a doubt that fast charging at.5C brings a battery up to full charge more reliably and efficiently than slow charge. I have a number of graphs the show the convergence of dTdt with NDV and find it to be extremely reliable. Also, by using dTdt, I can detect a rise in termperature much more reliably than slow charging. My charger usually kicks off below 85 degrees F, which is consistently lower than most slow chargers on a timer. Heat is what impacts battery life. If you put a 80% charged battery on a 15 hour slow charger you will most likely exceed 85 degrees or as much as 100 degrees. The charger I built has all all the normal safeguards like dTdt, NDV, timers, max capacity, initial voltage, max voltage, etc, etc. It drops to.05c at full charge or can be set to do a.1C for an extra 30 or 60 minutes to top the battery off. I have found Edward’s advice on this site to be beyond reproach for the practical and efficient charging of both NIMH and NICD batteries, Jerry
The article has completely wrong data! Fast charging mode destroys the batteries. Why they write the bullshit? The want to make their sales pitch, or they are idiots. A slow charging device with automatic switch-off based on measured battery capacity will extend the battery life over 1000 cycles.
So to charge a battery, what current is applied to the positive and negative terminal?(negative current to the negative terminal or what?)
I need advise or help. Please Ed or anybody with experience! I have Imax B6 charger and 2S 5000 mAh Lipo battery. When I set charger by instructions )Lipo-2S-7,2V-5000mAh cutoff-360 min cutoff, max 8,4V-5A charging or less 2A, 3A) it usually says conection break, or it starts to charge and It says full but each cell is at 3,5V. Weather I charge it or balance charge it doesen’t charge more than 3,5 V per cell. Battery is brand new it is first charge after discharging in RC car. Car is set to cutoff at 3.0V, but it won’t go after I have driven it for 10 min.
I’ll reply to Jacques but Edward would be more professional: Jacques, If you use constant voltage with current limiting, and the current limit is held to no more than.1C, then you will be safe charging the batteries and will reach 100% capacity. You should use a temperature monitor as well just to be safe. This all assumes that you run your charging circuit so that the current limit is held at all times. If the current limiting circuit is not activated, then you will be running in constant voltage mode and this is not safe on the high end, and wont allow the batteries to reach full potential on the low end (of charge current). Also, circuits to limit charge to.1C are very easy to build using an LM317 regulator with a current sense resistor in series with the load, tied back to the common. The LM317 will maintain 1.25V from output to common, using this voltage of 1.25 divided by.1c, you can set the sense (and current limit) resistor to any practical charge current up to 3A, assuming the lm350 is used instead of a 317, or up to 1.5A for the 317. So I wouldn’t rely on a current limiting circuit from a power supply when you consider you can build a better charging circuit for less than 5USD. Some curent limiting power supplies work very effectively as a charger, again assuming the current limit is variable or known to be maintained at less than.1C. if the current limit is higher, you can use a timer to limit the charge time but this is risky and must be used with a temperature probe. Jerry
I am building a battery backup system/charger using Ni-mh batteries. (I know lead acid would be better but I need to use Ni-mh). Would it be ok if I charge them with a constant voltage/current limited charge. I suppose the cells would not be overcharge if I limit the voltage? But also I would not get full potential out of the batteries? Would the cell reach full capacity over time?
Dear Jerry ,It seems to me you are very professional at the ni-mh battery. in my opinion,NDV keep 5mv per cell at.5C and 1C will good to control the charge cut off. check the bad cells have lower voltage (less than 1v) and analyse if the cells if ok or bad.
One other question: for nimh batteries in the 2400mah range, what would you consider is a good stabilizing precharge at.5c time? The precharge gives the battery time to stabilize both temperature and voltage. I am using constant current obviously. I’ve thought about using pulse charge at either.5c or 1c with a lesser duty cycle in my precharge as well. Any thoughts on this? I know this is asking a lot, but is there an ideal algorithm out there for nimh batteries in this capacity charged as single cells? Thanks, you articles are very informative!
Hello Ed, glad I found this site. My kids go thru AA batteries like crazy and I have been buying energizer nimh and others that have capacity from 2300 to 2650mah. Over time, the batteries stop charging on a 15 minute charger so I built my own microprocessor based charger with computer interface for secondary control and logging. It seems that if I deep cycle the batteries a few times the will start charging n the 15 minute chargers. Some have lower voltage (less than 1v) when charged and again, deep discharge followed by Rapid charge seems to heal them. The questions I have are around charging algorithms as I’ve been using 2.4amps which is approximately 1c. This sounds high by your standards so I might ( with your confirmation) cut back to.5c. What I notice though, is most batteries heat up with a dT/dt greater than 1 degree per minute at even.5c and they are nowhere near charged. These are all the same brand with varying dT/dt. Are these batteries shot? Also, at.5c, it seems like people chart better NDV drops than 5mv per cell. So what is the best NDV per cell at.5C and 1C? My charge software currently looks for 10mc NDV with a max temp of 140F and plan to add dT/dt as well but again, my experience is most batteries will exceed our 1 degree per minute even after stabilizing at 5 minute precharge.
Edward: I am hoping you might be able to help me out. I am trying to create a solar-powered bicyce light using NiMH batteries. My problem is, though I’m learning, is how this all fits together! I am trying to create this light with an optimal combination of:. small physical size. easily recharged (solar). long run times. ultra bright lights I have found a solar cell for battery charging that seems to be middle ground in terms of Volts (5V), Amps (40mAh) physical size (58mm x 39mm), which works well with my design. Batteries are an area where I could really use your help. I was all ready to settle on NiMH, until I found Low Discharge NiMH. and then the new LiFePo4 batteries. My design concept is to keep this as small as possible. Physically, there is room for any combination up to 3 AA batteries, but as batteries will likely be the greatest expense, using one or two, or using a less expensive type of battery, would be best. So, here are a bunch of questions I hope you might be able to answer and shed some light! What do you think about Low Discharge NiMH? Not everyone uses their bike every day, so it would be great if the batteries wouldn’t drain out because of non use. Or should I look at a high-capacity NiMH? NiMH batteries usually say 1000 charge cycles. But what happens if the solar charger is constantly cycling on and off trying to top off the battery? It would be nice to get 1000 days, or nearly 3 years out of the battery. but I’m concerned that every day use might impact the number of charge cycles. Also, I assume there needs to be some controls in place to not overcharge the batteries? Can I use a solar charger to charge a Lithium Iron (LiFePo4)? I don’t know what the appropriate mAh should be, given that I am trying to keep this light as small, bright and powerful as possible.- so I know there will have to be a tradeoff somewhere. I am planning to use two LEDs that will draw a total of 40mA. So, any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Rob Decker email@example.com
For new batteries my Maha MH-C9000 charger advices the break in charging function with 0.1C. So I started this process with a set of brandnew Eneloop XX. To my surprise, the batteries (which were presumably almost fully charged) first received a charge that is more than their full capacity, given me the idea of heavily overcharging. On the other hand, the tension of 1.49V is not too high (at this moment the 900 mAh batteries received 1050 mAh and still charging). Can anyone explain why the charger choses for this behaviour? Thanks, Herman
Dear Rick NJ. You are so professional at the solar panel and the Ni-MH battery from your suggestion! very good! I my email is firstname.lastname@example.org and i am an ni-mh battery engineer for many years. hope to contact with you often
Andrew, I am not a battery expert but battery informed. Until someone with better knowledge comes along, here is what I can suggest:. Q1. At first we were worried about the battery exploding. Is this a possibility given the low current provided? Since you are talking NiMh, it is unlikely it explodes particularly with such low current Q2. Do I charge the battery with 9.6v or 1.2v since that is the charge on each cell? Since you said this is 9.6v, I assume you are accessing it as a pack (of 8 cells in series) rather than each of the 8 individual cells. When you are accessing it as a pack, you charge it as 9.6v. However, If you are breaking the pack up (physically, or merely connecting to each cell individually), then you charge it at the cell voltage as 1.2v. Either way, your charging voltage needs to be higher than the pack/cell voltage. For a 1.2v cell, 1.8v-2.8v works nicely. For 9.6v, I use just a bit over 11’ish to 13v works nicely. I can pump 1C into my 11volt battery at 13volt. (1C is to charge 1-watt-hour battery in 1 hour.) At lower current, you don’t need as high a voltage (wastes less). You can look at it this way: Current is what got stored, but Voltage is what pushes it in. If you spend all your energy pushing, very little energy is left after you got in. So, if you set your 1watt panel output to twice the voltage needed, you get only 1/2 the current to be stored. Of course, the battery is not 100% efficient in converting the power into chemical energy for storing. You push in 100maH, the battery probably stores about 2/3 or 3/4 of that Q3. Given the low current, it will be difficult to determine when it is done charging. It does not need to fully charge each time for this application. At such a low current, how would you advise detecting when it is full enough? NiMh termination is typically based on NDV (negative delta voltage) of about 5mV. You need pretty good circuitry to detect 5mV out of 1.2. dT/dt or dV/dt are other methods. All those require fairly complex electronic. So, you either use your solar panel to power a consumer-charger wasting energy converting, or you do estimation. If your battery is say about 8 good AA cell, you will be talking about 16-20 WH (watt-hour) of power. If your solar panel is 1Watt, it will take you 16-20 hours to charge it full. You can estimate based on that 4. …. not picked out the solar cell yet, but it needs to be cheap. 24 hours to …… Do you have any recommendations on voltage and current to get? To charge 9.6v, a 12-13volt source should work nicely. Volt multiplied by Current is your Watts. So, 12Watt panel will give you 1A at 12volt. The wattage you need depends on your battery size. You need at least 1/10. If your battery is 8 AA batteries as in my example in Q3-answer, 16 to 20 watt-hour storage needs around 1.6 to 2 watt-hours (if you have 10 hours of sun where you live). Much below 0.8w (1/20 of 16), you may not have enough current to even make a dent. You are loosing all the energy in the transfer, conversion, etc. and nothing to store. So, to charge at 1/10 for 10 hours but you have only 5 hours of sun, you need to double the panel’s wattage. If you want it to be cheap, ahem, you are looking at the wrong solution. To charge and discharge daily, you will likely spend many times over on the panel and batteries than say a good recharge battery with high capacity and high cycle – say one with enough power that you charge once a month with a normal AC plug in charger. I use a few solar sidewalk lights on my lawn. Each year I need to replace my battery because of over-discharge and rough environment outdoor. Money-wise, I am better off using regular AC recharge with but for the trouble of charging or changing battery. I am actually considering converting it to AC charge with an all day-trickle (1/20C). With AC recharge, I wont have to clean the darn solar panels on those lights anymore. Such a pain – after a few weeks, they are clouded and the lawn dust (pollen, grass bits…). If I don’t clean it every month, the batteries are undercharged even in the summer and so it over-discharge every night. Even with regular cleaning, a few days of no-sun send the batteries into over-discharge (and thus convert itself to garbage a bit at a time and killing itself in less than a year.)
Hello. I am trying to charge 1600mAh ni-mh 9.6 v battery with a simple solar cell and have a few questions: 1. At first we were worried about the battery exploding. Is this a possibility given the low current provided? 2. Do I charge the battery with 9.6v or 1.2v since that is the charge on each cell? 3. Given the low current, it will be difficult to determine when it is done charging. It does not need to fully charge each time for this application. At such a low current, how would you advise detecting when it is full enough? 4. We have not picked out the solar cell yet, but it needs to be cheap. 24 hours to charge the battery would be fine since it will not be fully discharged each time. Do you have any recommendations on voltage and current to get? Thank you for your help.
I am attempting to power a small circuit drawing around 100mA max with 6, 3100mA non protected li-ion batteries in series providing 22.2v. The batteries are to be connected to a 6 cell pcm (protection circuit board) through which the circuit will draw the supply. The PCM board can be adjusted for max discharge current. What would be the ideal maximum discharge current I should set the pcm to then? 0.1C or 0.05C? (roughly 310mA 155mA respectively) Is there any significant advantage of setting it at 0.1C over 0.05C?
Thanks, Edward. That is informative. I am thinking about converting my old battery killing dumb charger into a timed battery refresher. Had partial re-charge use up a cycle as a deep discharge/recharge, I would drop the idea of cooking up a time-based refresher. Speaking of old. As I get older, my memory gets worst but my old NiCd’s memory keep on getting stronger. If only I am more like a NiCd battery, I could remember that… Never mind, I forgot what I could remember. Thanks again for the info, Mr. Edward. Rick
Dear RIck, the math is similar with Ni-mh, you can refer this from IEC62133-2 about the cycle life of the Ni-MH battery
Dear kushal shinde ,you can try GP UNIROSS ANSMAN DURACELL energizer and so on please get more details about the charger before you buy
Edward, what is your view about frequent topping-up with nimh (AA) with regard to cycles the battery can do? My thought is, with the battery loosing about 10-30% first day out of the charger. In theory, one could apply say.2c for an hour every day (or shorter if it hits NDV termination) and give it back 20% daily. So, a non-LSD can stay fresh every day. I have read that shallow cycle with Li-ion works well without burning up the cycles. This article further suggest the math is charging merely 20% will burn up 20% of a cycle. So, a 100 full-cycle is the same as 500 20% top up cycle. In your opinion, do you think the math is similar with Nimh? Thanks Rick
Dear friend, the battery distributor franchisee is right, I think some individual 8V battery pack can not work well
I have owned for 5.5 years a 1999 Ford Ranger electric vehicle that uses 39 x 8V NiMH Panasonic batteries (312 V nominal). The charger is built into the vehicle. Ford instructs to leave vehicle on the charger when not driving (in part, for battery temperature control (I live in MA)). I bought the vehicle at with about 8K miles, now has 26K miles. Each winter, the miles available is less than summer (Nernst equation, for sure), but this year the reduction is greater. Also, the battery behaves as expected for the first quarter-charge, but falls off rapidly as soon as it goes below 75% charge (I’ve heard that this happens to some batteries). What problem(s) does this suggest? (I spoke to a local battery distributor franchisee who says he can test the performance of the individual 8V batteries if I bring it to him, but that requires removal of the one-ton pack, so I’m looking for information before doing so.) Thanks! J. Friar
Dear friend ,No No NO ,NO NOT DO THAT, because the charger have the voltage for 2 or 4cells control. You’d better to buy a charger that can charge one cell
Hi Edward i have a Ni-MH battery charger, 4 cell. It can charge 2 or 4 batteries at a time. I want to modify the charger circuit, so that it would be possible to charge a single Ni-Mh battery. can you pls advise what circuit modification i can do to achieve this without damaging the charger.
Dear Peter, I advise you tell me the brand of the Xootr powered scooter, or more detail information about the scooter. the charger and the battery have very complicated relationship. and I advise you contact with the scooter company for help email@example.com
Dear Edward, My son has a Xootr powered scooter, with a 24volt NiMh 3200 maH battery pack inside. He bought it without a charger, but it came fully charged, so we know it works. I have purchased 2 different NiMh chargers, but they will not recharge the pack. I think it must be due to the temp. sensor that both these intelligent chargers use. Can you describe how the connection between the pack and the charger works? I believe the charger refuses to charge until it sees some sort of signal or conductivity from the sensor wire. Neither charger comes with any instruction as to how to connect this third conductor! Thanks very much!
Hi, I have a 14.4v nicad 1.2 amh battery for my draper electric drill, the nicad pack has gone to heaven and will no longer hold a charge. I want to buy 2 packs of 7.2v nimh 2 amh Nimh batteries, if i put these in series can i charge them from the 18v 400 mah charger that came with the drill (i.e. nicad charger) How long would i need to leave them before disconnecting the charger Thanks
when the ni-mh battery fully charged ,the max voltage can reach about 1.5V ,So you can charge the ni-mh battery with your charger showing a rating of 1.5V.
I want to ask a silly question. Is it okay for me to use a battery charger which shows a rating of 1.5 V to recharge Ni. MH batteries of 1.2 V rating?
Ed, Thanks for the reply. I have tried each cell individually. They are all brand new. They charge good in my slow charger. I do not use different cells in the charger at the same time. I thought maybe it was the milli-Amp hours rating (mAh). The charger will work with 2200 and 2300 mAh batteries but the ones that I am trying to charge are 3000 mAh. Just frustrating since the slow charger takes a long time.
I do not think there is any code or password between the englizer batteries and the charger. May the other cell is a bad cell. So the charger can not identify it. Do not use the different rechargeable battery in the same charger or unit
I have a Energizer Quick Charger for Ni-Mh batteries. I can’t get my other Ni-Mh batteries to charge in it. The red light starts blinking when I put a single battery in or multiple batteries in. It charges the Energizer batteries that came with it just fine. My other Ni-Mh batteries are from various mfg’s and are brand ne. I can’t figure out the reason for this. Could there be some kind of coding between the Energizer batteries and the charger? Clues, anyone??
I have a velomoibile (human powered aerodynamic tricycle) which uses a 3800mAH 12V NiMh pack to run its electrics. I have a German (ACS 110) Smart charger which I plug in randomly to recharge the unit. I’m thinking of fitting an LED based high-accuracy voltmeter to monitor the battery and let me know when to charge it. What would be a good general threshold for re-charging? (I’m aware that the voltage/time graph drops very steeply before the battery goes flat.
The battery chargers I am talking about are not intelligent chargers. For this reason they cannot figure out from the battery voltage if one or two batteries are charging. Actually if you connect one battery it will not charge it at all because the batteries are connected internally in series, so it will pass no current at all. So I have to replace one battery with a circuit that will make the charger believe that there are 2 batteries connected. The idea is that the charger will continue to charge the 1 battery (in series with the dumb battery) till the total voltage across them reaches 2.8 volts, and then it will cut off the current. (the voltage drop across the series connected forward biased diodes will be in the vicinity of 1.4 volts, so that the remaining 1.4 volts will be at the terminals of the actual battery when it will be fully charged). P.S I accidentally pushed the stop receiving notifications for this comment button, so please reset it if possible.
why not set the each charger channel for each cell independence?? or, the charger have to test the volagage from the charger, take 2battery charger for example: if the charger test the voltage is above 1.6V from the channel when the cell(cells) put into. then the charger know 2cells in the charger, and it can control the max voltage is 2.8V, if the charger test the voltage is less than 1.6V from the channel when the cell(cells) put into. then the charger know 2cells in the charger, and it can control the max voltage is 1.4V. but there is a problem. if there is a bad cell is 0V, the charger can not judge 1or 2 cells in the charger
I am trying to figure out a way for charging 3 batteries in a 4 battery charger, or 1 battery in a 2 battery charger. The only thing i was able to think was to construct a dumb battery consisting of two diodes in series. They should be connected to conduct current, and as the total forward voltage drop is 1.4 volts, the charger will shut off when the actual battery voltage reaches 1.4 volts, as the total voltage is 2.8 volts. I have not tried it yet, and I would be very obliged if you could tell me your opinion about it. I wonder also if I could do the same thing with a zener diode. I you can think of something better please let me know.
if the ni-mh cell fully charged, the voltage should be above 1.35V in one hour. so, just try to continue to charge your battery. in addition, would you please tell what is your gun?? I am afraid about the battery cycle life is not very good for your gun. please send to my email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi, I have a 8.4V 1200mAH 7 cell airsoft battery. I recently tuned my gun and tested it out with this battery. The gun fired rapidly at first then the rate of fire gradually dropped until it came to a stop. I measured the voltage with a multimeter and got around 9.28V. I wonder if that means my battery is fully charged, half way or in need of a charge in order to run my airsoft gun. Please let me know, since if my battery is good, I would need to open up the gearbox and spend hours retuning my gun. Thanks.
what is the charging current and the charging time? if the charging current is low and the charging time is not long, the battery will be cool also.
my nimh 7.2 1100mah used to get warm when i charge it. but now its cool no warmth at all. does this mean its not charging///
I have NIMH battery for RC car, 6 cell, 7,2V, 2000mAh I should charge it with Imax B6 Charger. I’m not sure that information given with this charger is right, because it says that charge current for this exact battery is 5A, what seems much (attached manual – page 33). And according to your words it would be better to charge with 200-400mAh. Fast charge would eventually be (if i,m right) 1C or 2A.
Short answer from more recent experience.- don’t believe a voltmeter, a badly degraded battery can still show one volt. I used a ZTS battery tester, which puts a load on the cells. That showed the Tenergy light blue cells had no useful capacity left.
Do you mean how to check it is Ni-mh or ni-cd?? No. I described them by brand name and appearance above. in my opinion, the cells’ voltage should be more than 1.2V I agree, if they were new stock Id expect that. These are half price. I’m asking about a particular cell widely available right now in closeout/discount sales, half price. Conclusion.- some seem OK, but batches are probably not worth buying, from my experience so far. How can you accept the cells showing 0.4V-0.5V? I complained and got some money back on one batch, apparently the closeout place knew they were a mixed lot.- but the replacements are in the 1.0v range. I’m asking if these cells that arrive showing 1.0v are worth trying to put into regular use. So far, they seem to hold charge for at least a week or so.- checking with a ZTS tester. The ones that showed half a volt before charging will charge up, and work OK for a few hours’ use in a LED flashlight _if_ used immediately after charging; but lose their charge within a day or so. I’d guess Tenergy dumped old or poorly stored cells cheap: Again: light blue wrapper, lower case e on the label, NiMH. These aren’t currently shown on Tenergy’s website, apparently discontinued.
I am getting into rebuilding hybrid vehicle battery and it requires to sort cells from different batteries, mostly panasonic prismatic 7.2v 6500mah in a series array of 38. Can you tell me the best charging /discharging C rate ,termination method,number of rejuvenation cycles and best sort procedure.
Dear Hank Robert Do you mean how to check it is Ni-mh or ni-cd?? in my opinion, the cells’ voltage should be more than 1.2V How can you accept the cells showing 0.4V-0.5V?
Can you comment on what to look for/check in a batch of unknown cells, and which cells are worth keeping and which should just be recycled? Tenergy right now is closing out old-dtyle NiMH cells (light blue wrapper, lower case e on the label). I’ve bought several dozen from different closeout places hoping they’re ok. Most of them arrive showing about 1.0 volt. Those seem so far to recharge OK (except on a Maha charger, which shows HIGH for every single one, and won’t charge them). Others arrive showing 0.4-0.5v and won’t hold charge more than a day or two; some of those get very hot.
if you use the max voltage at 1.45V /cell to control the control. I advise you to charge the batteries at 0.2C rate, and record the charge the time ,if the charge time exceed 6hours, please reduce the max votage to 1.43V and try again, because different battery from different factory have different charge max voltage
Thank you for your excellent article.I have a 7.2v 6cell nimh battery I can set the input current.but not a maximum cut off voltage. I am manually switching the charger off when I have a reading of around 8.6v. Is this OK, and what should the maximum voltage showing on the charger. I am thinking about 1.45v per cell. Many thanks.Leon
Dear XFM your question is not easy to explain ,please email to me for details Edward email@example.com rechargeable battery boy
How safe for battery life is to maintain trickle current (say C/50) indefinitely for months, in order to have the battery always full charged to be ready for immediate use? 2. We achieve a C/50 average trickle current by pulsing a C/3 current during 1.2 ms of the time of a 20 ms PWM cycle. Is this equivalent to apply a constant C/50 trickle current? Is 1.2 ms enough to allow current charging the battery? Thanks
Dear Rob 1. you would better charge your ni-mh AA2000mah and 2100mah from 200mah to 400mah 2.,do not need to dicharge the cells if your charger have the max voltage control ability 3. about the C rate, it means the charge current/ the capacity of the cell. For example. if your charge the ni-mh AA2000mah 1.2V cell at 400mah current, then,the charge C rate is 400mah/2000mah=0.2C. For better life performance, I advise the charge rate is 0.1C to 0.2C,and the charge time is 12h to 6h 4.I advise the max voltage should control at 1.45V for each cell
I have an 8 AA cell battery pack in my RC transmitter that I want to charge with my multifunction “icharger 208B” battery charger. The more I read you excellent website, the more I realize how little I know about batteries and how dangerous my limited knowledge can be. 4 of the cells in the pack are 2100mAh Ni-MH 1.2V and 4 of the cells are 2000mAh Ni-MH 1.2V I can set the current limit only on my icharger 208B charger. So, my questions regarding my battery pack: 1: What amperage current limit should I be charging this cell pack at? 2: Should I discharge before charging? 3: As I do not know a thing about C ratings of values, can you please give me the answer in amps or milliamps and tell me if and how this amps answer relates to a C number, if at all? 4: What voltage should I expect to see the auto cutoff at? Thanks Rob
We have a pager system and we are using a multi unit charger and 1.5 V AA NiMH batteries. The pager company suggests to charge the pagers every 2 days for not more than 15 hours. My question is: what risks are there if the batteries are charged for longer than that? Is there any possibility or recommendation for a different charging cycle (i.e. different batteries)?
M.Nagarajan ，I can not understand clearly what you said ,would you please email me for detail information firstname.lastname@example.org Edward
How many Ni/Cd cells (failure) can be replaced per used battery? Is any specified limit for replacing the cell per aircraft NiCd battery.
Generally speaking ,Ni-cd cell have lower capacity than ni-mh cell, So the ni-cd charger have low charge current, low charge current have no harm to ni-mh cell but waste your time. For ni-mh cell ,do not over charge. even very low charge current will damage the ni-mh cell if you charge it over time any cell or charger enquiry. please contact me email@example.com Edward
VooDude: The statement that NICd chargers aren’t good for Ni-MH cells does not take into account the four-fold increase in cell capacity that took place over the time period where Cadmium cells were displaced by metal hydride cells. Is there any comment on this? I have a NiCd-era ‘overnight charger’ for 4xAA cells, which cranks out whopping 50 mA current. It takes some 2 days to charge modern high capacity cells. Is there any harm in using such a slow charger, even if the charger is forgotten on for a few days? How about Eneloop cells. are they more sensitive?
Roy It is my pleasure ,Any rechargeable battery problem ,just contact with me. firstname.lastname@example.org Edward
Thanks Edward for that informative reply. I think I’ll increase the resistor to around 1k5. In fact, by design (it is part of an intruder alarm!), access to the battery or the other components is not made easy, so I want to prolong the battery’s life as much as possible.
Dear friend, the existing charging current is 9.6V/560 ohm=0.017A=17.1mA about 0.1C. for long time trickle charge, we recommend from 0.03C to 0.05C, So you can higher the resistor value or lower the charge voltage to increase the life of the battery. In my opinion, the battery is very cheap. why not change the battery is it do not work well. It is not a easy job to change the charge method. email@example.com Edward
8.4v PP3 type 170mAh NiMH back-up battery within an intruder alarm system. Since the mains supply is very reliable (to date!), the battery is almost never utilised. It’s currently kept on float charge via a 560 ohm resistor from a regulated 9.6v supply. Since I read that a trickle charge rate of C/300 is recommended, would a higher value resistor help to increase the life of the battery? If so, what value should that series resistor be?
i read manual from my B65A multi charger (made in china) allowable fast charge current is 1C-2C (depend on performance of cell) and cut off discharge voltage is 1.0V/cell. My question is 1. how we going to know which battery use with which charge current.(ex. 0.2C, 0.5C, 1C or 2C) 2. if my battery capacity is 1800mAh and i,m going to charge with 1C. Is it mean my current setting shall (11800 = 1.8 A). 3. if the value above (1C-2C, cut off 1.0V/cell) wrong, so what are the value actually Thanks
different charge current need different max voltage to cut off the charge. generally speaking. the max. voltage should not more than 1.5V when charged by 0.1c and not more than 1.56V when charged by 1C. if you have more details to know ,please send to my email firstname.lastname@example.org Edward
I am working on a school project involving charging 4-AAA NiMH batteries, 1.2V each, with a small solar panel used for outside lighting. The solar panel being used is a 12V 40mA solar panel. There are restrcitions on the size of the solar panel that can be used. The batteries are charging in series. Would it be better to use a solar panel that had a lower voltage rating and higher current rating, even if the to total output power of the solar panel is less. I was thinking that an incease in current would cause the batteries to charge faster
That cell is cheap low quality Chinese or Turkish (brand C.F.L.) cell that certainly doesn’t have 900 mAh. My MP3 player that draws about 90-110 mA only runs for about 1h45m on that cell, but it doesn’t fully discharge it. After it shuts down saying that the battery is flat, the cell still has about 1.18V when loaded with 5 ohm resistor. I never bothered to measure the capacity accurately (I’d have to use a stopwatch for that because I don’t have battery analyzer), but it’s safe to say that it is half of the rated value, so 35 mA is reasonable current. Sorry I forgot to mention all this in first post. The charger is a simple wall plug with open circuit voltage of about 6V and a resistor to limit the current. I terminate the charge when I estimate that the battery is full. I also charge two or three cells in series on this charger with a lower resistor value. I’ve read several articles on recharging NiMH and they all say that slow charge at about 0.1C (or 0.05C) is OK, but none of those articles mention the voltage. Can these cells be damaged by overvoltage even if the current is kept low and what is the maximum safe voltage for NiMH cell? Should the slow charge be terminated when voltage reaches certain point?
Firstly, I do not think the charger you chose is reasonable for the 900mAh battery. It will take too long time to fully charge the battery30 hours at least !!it is normal that the ni-mh battery voltage up to 1.63V when it is connect with the charger.and it is fully charged when the voltage up to 1.63V if the battery is OK.you can send some battery and charger photos to my Email for my detail analysis Edward email@example.com rechargeable battery boy
I was charging AAA cell on a dumb charger that charges at 0.05C (I checked this, 35mA for a 900 mAh cell). When I connected the battery the voltage was 1.37V, but after only a few hours the voltage got up to 1.63V. Is this bad? What is the maximum allowed voltage for NiMH cells and should the charger have some sort of voltage control?
Dear friend You’d better not to use the different capacity or different brand rechargeable batteries in the unit at the same time. which maybe lead to over discharge and over charge to the rechargeable betteries. As you know overdischarge and over charge will damage the battery cycle life. Edward firstname.lastname@example.org rechargeable battery boy
thank you Edward but not the charger is the problem because I have another new more advanced Charger fomam SAnyo enelop (mqr06) and the same problem ; I have also another 8 working batteries. those it charges with all my three chargers ; I also have a question : can I put in my camera batteries with different capacity ? ex 2 of 2500mAh and 2 of 2700mAh
I am not sure if the batteries are damaged or the charger do not charge the batteries because you damaged the protection? I advise you to charge the batteries with the 2chanels (the 2 chanels charger is work well) if the batteries can be fully charged. that means the batteries are OK and the 4chanels charger is damaged. any enquiry about ni-mh battery, send the email to email@example.com please When you need the imformation about ni-mh batteries ,Do Not forget Edward from China
hi I have 4 nimh AA batteries of 2500mah (use for my camera) and those have a problem : until last week I charge them with a Smart charger that have only 2 chanels. with.deltaV protection. hight temperature protection.and timer protection. recently I bought a smarter charger with 4 chanels and damaged battery protection. and it sems that 3 batteries are damaged (and this charger don’t charge them). how can I restore them (I know that is posible with an analyzer but I don’t afford one) thank you !
Hi I have a customised NiMH battery of 12V 18Ah (2 x 5 M size NiMH cells) and it is charged constantly 8 hours a day by an alternater. We realise that contant charging is not good for it so we want to get a battery charging card which trickle charges it. Would you be able to recommend some battery charging cards which would be suitable for this battery?
if the battery is at 70% of capacity and I begin charging. is this damaging it ? ( same question, George ) 🙂
if the battery voltage is above 1.2V, you will not damage the battery even keenp them empty over one mouth. 2. The charger can auto-stop the charge process is the battery is fully charged ,So do not worry about 3.we advise to keep the battery in cool to prevent self discharge 4.low temperature will make the battery work unnormally, We advise you warm the battery before use 5.yes there is no diffenence
hi, NiMH batteries are new for me and I want to find some tips for charging and preserving them,I announce you that I have 4 AA batteries Energizer of 2500 mAh and 4 Sanyo 2700 mAh normal (not LSD) and 4-channel Smart charger that charge all batteries fully discharged in 3 hours: 1. keeping the battery empty for a week or longer is damaging it ? 2. if the battery is at 70% of capacity and I begin charging. is this damaging it ? 3. how to prevent self discharge as much as possible 4. what is the best use on low temperatures (sometimes if I am outside and is cold my camera wont want even to start and if I come inside the batteries restores and the camera is working ; is there a way to make the camera work at that low temperatures (0 C) not fully charged ? ) 5. the charge cycle of NiMh is the same as charge cycle of Li-Ion (0% to 100% or 2 times 50% to 100% etc.)? thank you !
Jim wrote: I have a 20mA constant current source charging a 9V 180 mAHr NiMh battery with a microprocessor A/D that measures the terminal voltage. When the terminal voltage reaches 9.0 software shuts off the charger. The time to reach 9.0 volts from a pretty much discharged state is about an hour so my hunch is that the battery is no where near fully charged but the terminal voltage really never increases much past that level. Jim you don’t have a (nominal) 9V NiMH battery, as the nominal voltage will be a multiple of 1.2. So you have a NiMH in the form factor of a 9V (PP3) battery, but the actual nominal voltage will most likely be either 7.2 volts or 8.4 volts. To determine the correct final voltage it’s important that you know the number of cells (nominal voltage). If it’s not marked on the battery then measure the open circuit voltage of the battery when it’s getting close to (but not quite) discharged, and see if it’s closer to 7.2 or to 8.4. My 8.4V 180mA (9 volt PP3 replacements) reach a final voltage of around 10 volts at a 0.1C (18mA) charge rate. A final voltage setting of 9V will be too low for an 8.4V nominal NiMH to charge more than about 20% maximum. Also be aware that the correct final voltage will change with temperature as well as with battery age/condition, so it’s best to have a time limit to the charge as well.
Cuanto tiempo debo cargar una bateria NiMH 7.2 de 1800mAH y cuanto tiempo debe durar la carga de esta bateria. Gracias
there is no any negative side affects if it was repeatedly charged to only 90% of charge each cycle at 0.2C. But the work time will short a little ,i hope you do not mind that thank you
In everything I’ve read it seems that the worst enemy of Ni-MH is over-charging. My interest is in the long term health of the cell. Would the cell suffer any negative side affects if it was repeatedly charged to only 90% of charge each cycle, maybe by charging at.2C and terminating when deltaT just starts to increase. Thanks
The statement that NICd chargers aren’t good for Ni-MH cells does not take into account the four-fold increase in cell capacity that took place over the time period where Cadmium cells were displaced by metal hydride cells. Consumer trickle-chargers for NiCd batteries do not adjust themselves for the capacity of the cell. The old trickle chargers I had for 600mAH NiCd cells might not be well suited for 600mAH Ni-MH cells, but AA cells in Ni-MH are now 2,000 to 3,000 mAH, so the fast trickle charger that pumped 0.2C/h into a 600mAH NiCd cell is now a slow trickle 0.05C/hr charger, even though the 120mA current flow has not changed. I still use my 1980s vintage NiCd chargers with good (but not optimum) results. VooDude
I have old large capacity 12v NiMH modules (100AH) which I need to keep above 9vdc. I read that trickle charging is not recommended. What would be the recommended top-up rate ?
The Lead-acid battery is different with Ni-mh battery. As we know, For ni-mh battery ,the fully charged voltage will become higher after some cycles. So, the 9V 180 mAHr NiMh battery can be fully charged controled by the 9.0 volts terminal voltage ,and 20mA when the ni-mh battery is new.but, after some cycles the fully charged voltage will be higher than 9.0V. We can control the charge by many condition, such as /time.deltV dt/dT /T.max/ Volt. max and so on thank you
I have a 20mA constant current source charging a 9V 180 mAHr NiMh battery with a microprocessor A/D that measures the terminal voltage. When the terminal voltage reaches 9.0 software shuts off the charger. The time to reach 9.0 volts from a pretty much discharged state is about an hour so my hunch is that the battery is no where near fully charged but the terminal voltage really never increases much past that level. Can the can the state of charge be determined from terminal voltage alone? I’ve seen tables on flooded lead-acid batteries that relate voltage to percent of charge, but never on NiMh. Is there such a thing?
If the trickle charge is between 0.03C and 0.05 C, there is little risk of deep over charge. However. If you can control the trickle charge every day for one hour to keep the battery fully charged, that will be very good for the battery life.
I work on a RD institute in Brazil and we’re performing an analisys on NiMH battery for UPS system aprox. 150W@12V. In this case battery will be constantly charging. Even if I use the proper trickle charge is there a risk of deep over charge?
there is a safety venting in the battery cap, which will open to give off gasses to release the battery inner pressure when the battery is deep over charged,so, do not deep over charge the battery to long time ,it will lead to leaking even fire or explode the charge efficiency is related to the temperature, the higher temperature the lower charge efficiency. so, you can charge the battery faster in the refrigerator to reduce their heat during charging. we advise not to reset the charger when the battery is fully charged to prevent from deep over charged
I work on a government base where rules are strickly followed concerning safety. My NiMH batteries for my e-bike are in 15 lb packs of sealed f-cells. (by design 24v, run in series) Do NiMH batteries give off any gasses while charging? What hazzards exist when charging the batteries? (Such as fire, leaking, (I know that Lead acid batteries do and my boss is wanting to wrap me into the same category, leaving me to prove that the NiMH batteries are safe. I need manufacturer documentation to prove this, but my batteries are generic. ON a seperate note, if I charge my batteries in a refrigerator to reduce their heat during charging, I notice that they charge faster. I also notice if I charge them to full then reset the charger after a eight hour full charge that my batteries get an extra 1-3V overall. (normally I am at 57 and if I reset I get upwards of 59.5 after another hour and a half of charging.) Am I hurting the batteries using either process?
I am the battery engineer from one of the leading rechargeable battery company Firstly ,the charge time is 21hours is not reasonable. it is too long time, when the battery is fully discharged ,you must to wait too long for the sencond discharge Secondly,When the machine not in use for long time such one day or longer, you’d better disconnenct the charger. it will be better for the battery cyclelife. as you know overcharge will be a waste of electricity and will short the battery use life. Many household appliances supplier worry about that the user can not fully charge the battery which leading to the short run time and complaint.due to the self-discharge of ni-mh battery, in fact. the self-discharge in a short time such as one day or two days is neglectful, and long time overcharge with trickle will be bad for the battery life So i agree your method to charge and discharge the battery welcome to discuss this issue
Dear Isidor, I have a question regarding household appliances with NiMH batteries. I own a 18V Black and Decker pv1825n Dustbuster. I found the batterypack details here: http://service.blackanddecker.co.uk/Products/ProductPartsBDK.aspx?ProductID=8339 The factory charger is 7.2-24V voltage converter (85mA). Charge time is around 21hours. The manual recommends leaving the machine connected to the charger when not in use. I am not sure that would be the correct way to improve lifespan. Regularly, I use the machine every two to three day for a few minutes. From what i have learned off your site i guess the following would be better: charge for 24h, disconnect from charger, use regularly untill I notice capacity starts to drop, charge again for 24h etc. Additionalym a deep discharge every three to four months is a recommended. What would be your opinion in the case? I find that a lot of appliances come with batteries and instructions that i cannot match well with the information on your site. My compliments on an excellent website! It has helped me on many occasions and I have made myself an expert in the eyes of family and friends with battery problems (there are many) just by relaying the information i found here. Many thanks!
And this charging page for NiMH tells you everything BUT the charging of NiMH. It only tells you what C-rate you SHOULDNT charge your cells with. not the recommended C-rate. So. what is the recommended C-rate for charging NiMH.
please i need information about the white powder released ffrm nickel mh batteries within next 12 hors before 3pm 4th may 2011.please tell me what that powder chemical is and about crystalline or amorphous.
Rechargeable Battery Charger and Portable Solar Panel Options For Preppers
The ability to recharge batteries is important. Not all battery chargers are the same. In this post, we are going to talk about different chargers and how to plan out your battery needs so that you have what you need during a short or long emergency.
This article does not cover battery chargers for keeping your car or other vehicle’s battery maintained.
What type of batteries do you use the most?
Most people use AA or AAA batteries for devices but there is an increasing number of larger lithium battery devices. If you are just starting out with battery chargers, you are probably going to want a small AA and AAA charger.
Chargers for other sizes such as C and D do exist but they are less common thus they are usually ordered online. Make sure to read any battery charger descriptions carefully to verify what sizes they will charge. Alternatively, you can get adaptors that allow you to combine AA batteries to use in D cell devices but you will find that you have to change them out a lot more often since even when combined, they do not offer the same amount of stored power as a D cell can.
Have a lot more batteries than you think you need.
We are all guilty of forgetting to charge batteries. Also, it doesn’t matter how high the quality of your battery, it will eventually stop holding a charge as well and you will need to charge them more often and make the decision to dispose of them when it gets to be cumbersome to use them. How you take care of them and how you charge them matters, which brings us to the next topic.
Fast Charging vs. Slow Charging
Some battery chargers make claims that they charge AA in less than an hour. That sounds pretty great but there is a downside to that. Fast charging creates more heat and it leads to shorter overall lifespan of your batteries. There is a trade-off. For long term use, you are better off having more batteries on hand than what you need and charging batteries slower. That is not to say that you should never fast charge your batteries. Personally I think it might be a good idea to have regular chargers but have a fast charger for when you can’t wait around. Once in awhile is far different than always being in the habit of charging things fast.
EBL Quick Convenient Smart Battery Charger
We like the EBL chargers we have in the Biggers’ household. So far the batteries and the chargers have performed very well over the years. This basic charger works via USB so it is compatible with any of the solar panels I list at the end of this article.
BONAI LCD Universal Battery Charger
This charger is a compact option that offers the ability to charge AA, AAA, C, D, and 9V batteries via a standard 110V outlet. You can charge 4 AA, AAA, C, or D batteries at once or 2 9V batteries. For the options you get, this charger is a good deal for someone that wants a simple small charger that does it all.
EBL 8-Bay Battery Charger for AA AAA NIMH NICD Rechargeable Batteries
This charger is for plugging into a standard 110V outlet in your house or on a power center. 8 bays allow for charging AA or AAA batteries. This is a pretty basic charger for someone that wants to keep a few batteries topped off and doesn’t want any fancy features.
EBL Smart Battery Charger for C D AA AAA 9V Ni-MH Ni-CD Rechargeable Batteries
This EBL charger is an affordable option for those that want the ability to charge many different types of batteries. It is great that there are some major brands that are starting to make these. Although there are not that many devices that take odder sizes, there are times when being able to charge up 9V batteries for your smoke detector might be a nice thing to be able to do.
I have never bought 9V rechargeables but I might do just that because we have not had a good experience using even the really expensive ones that are supposed to last 10 years in a smoke detector. They may last for a year but at 9 or more each, they are not worth it. Rechargeable seems like the way to go with 9V at this point, especially when it is the battery size that I am least likely to keep a lot of around because they don’t have to be changed that often.
Tenergy TN438 16 Bay Smart Charger with LCD and Built-in IC Protection
The display on the Tenergy is a little fancier than what I am used to in a battery charger but the advantage is that they let you know a more detailed status of each battery that is being charged. Other than that this is just your basic single bar style battery charger. The digital display does put out a bit of light so if you are the type of person that cannot handle much glow at night when you are trying to sleep then you might want to keep this charger somewhere else. It kind of stands out in a room too.
Energizer Rechargeable AA and AAA Battery Charger
This is a very affordable and compact basic charger that comes with 4 AA batteries. I have used plenty of Energizer products over the years and they have proven to be reliable. This is a real bargain for what you get and it doesn’t take up space on a countertop or table since it just plugs directly into any standard 110V wall outlet.
The top of the charger glows red while it is charging and turns green and glowing when batteries are fully charged. Energizer claims that it will charge batteries in 5-11 hours. This is a budget charger so you do have to charge batteries in pairs. This means charging 2 or 4 batteries at once. After charging is complete, the charger cuts off the circuit to save power. There is included overcharge protection as well.
BONAI 16 Bay Rechargeable Battery Charger
This battery charger stands out because of the unique spoked wheel design. It holds 16 AA or AAA batteries. Bonai is not a brand I am familiar with, to be honest, but I think they are worth giving a chance. This Smart charger seems to have considered just how much heat dissipation matters to battery life because each slot has three vent holes.
Tenergy T9688 LCD AA/AAA/C/D/9V NiMH/NiCd Battery Charger Premium 26-Cell NiMH Rechargeable Batteries
Besides looking really sharp, this battery charger is capable of charging any of the standard sizes you are used to. The link above is to the package deal that they offer where you get a variety of rechargeable batteries and the charger in one package. If you follow the link you can click on the option to just buy the charger if desired.
For this article, I chose to include the package because I think this is a decent way for someone that has devices that take a variety of battery sizes to get started out. For one price you get the charger, 8 AA, 8 AAA, 4 C, 4 D, and 2 9V batteries.
There is also a USB out on this charger that allows you to charge a small USB device while charging batteries as well. Here is the link if you want to just buy the charger without any batteries.
Snado LCD Display Universal Smart Charger for Rechargeable Batteries Li-ion Batteries
This is a small basic charger that allows you to charge a pair of AA or AAA batteries as well as some larger lithium batteries such as the popular 18650 size. A USB cable is included. Remember that with USB chargers you can always use a wall adaptor like that comes with cell phones to charge up batteries via a 110V outlet.
USB Smart Battery Charger 4-Bay 5V 2A for Rechargeable Batteries 3.7V Li-ion
This charger allows for fast recharging of popular sizes of lithium batteries including 1865O, 2665O, 145OO, and 16340(RCR123) sizes. The charger accepts batteries of varying lengths according to the description. I personally only have experience with the standard 18650 sizes found in many of the Kaito radios or used for some riflescopes.
This an extremely affordable charger. I am considering getting a couple myself and a few extra 18650 batteries for use in some of the Kaito radios we have. Since the Kaito has several charging options, I can use it to keep a single 18650 battery topped off as well.
Solar Battery Charging Options
There are several ways to approach using solar to charge batteries. Many people just get a charger that works off USB or that has a 12V car style plug in.
One of the advantages of USB charging is that you can just plug the cable into some portable solar panels such as those made by Jackery or Goal Zero. Set the panel in the sun with the charger plugged in and you have a sustainable way to charge batteries.
12V car style plugs can be used with portable power centers such as the Jackery 500 or Explorer 240 that I reviewed last year. The power centers can be charged off of a car’s 12V system, 110V plugin, or via a solar panel with the right cable. As you can see there are many ways to charge batteries. For example, if you wanted to just take a charged power center with you, then you could still plug in a standard battery charger and charger off of the power center.
Even with no inputs, you could charge a lot of AA batteries off of a single full-power center. Just to be clear I always try to stress to people that if they can avoid running a power center down to less than 50%, they should because it can affect the overall life of the battery and power cells.
Portable Solar Panels
I will say right now that really portable large panels (100 watts and above) are not cheap. They are very handy but the price point for many can be a bit off-putting.
Generally speaking, you get more power for your money if you choose to use panels that are not made with portability in mind and as far as I know, traditional solar panels do not have USB inputs and outputs.
Many of the smaller portable panels for charging devices are rated to fairly low outputs so charging can be slower than some would like. The trade-off is that they are very affordable.
That being said I am going to list a few panels in the 21-50 watt range that are worth looking at because allow for direct USB charging. This means you can just use a USB cord to plug your USB battery charger directly into the panel with no other set up or cables required.
Ryno-Tuff Portable Solar Charger for Camping – 21W Foldable Solar Panel Charger
They Ryno-Tuff is an affordable and rugged lightweight battery charging solution. I can tell you right now that it appears to be made of materials commonly found on more expensive and larger panels like the 300 Jackery Solar Saga 100 panel that I reviewed not too long ago.
MOOLSUN Solar Charger 24W Portable Solar Panel Charger with 3 USB Output Ports
This small folding panel offers 3 USB charging ports so you can use it to keep small devices topped off and charge some batteries too.
ENKEEO 50W Solar Charger, Foldable Solar Panel
This portable panel is a really amazing deal at the moment. You get more than double the power of many of the panels I have previously discussed and it appears that they offer some coupons on Amazon that offer additional savings at times.
It offers multiple USB hookups and is also compatible with power centers from Jackery, Goal Zero, and more. For those that want maximum versatility, this is a good choice for a budget-priced portable panel. It really is nice to have the option of hooking this panel into power centers, batteries, and more.
I am glad to see that the price on panels of this style and size has gone down some over the last year. While I love the Jackery portable panels we received for review, the average retail price is steep and well out of the range of many budget-minded preppers.
BigBlue 3 USB Ports 28W Solar Charger, 5V Foldable Waterproof Portable Solar Phone Charger
This lightweight portable charger can even be worn on the outside of a backpack out on the trail. The folding function and convenient dimensions allow for it to fit into bags when not in use and not take up a ton of valuable space.
Rechargeable batteries and chargers are more affordable than ever and make a lot more sense than just using the old fashioned throwaway variety. Disposing of batteries responsibly involves a little bit of footwork too. Not all areas offer a really convenient way of disposing of or recycling old batteries so having rechargeables can help reduce the number of batteries that people just throw into the regular trash out of frustration.
For those just starting out in the world of rechargeables, I recommend getting a few small chargers that accommodate the battery needs of your household. For many people, just a charger that will allow for charging of AA or AAA is perfectly fine.
I am not one to trust just a single charger in the long run. By all means, get a single charger to start out with but get a second one when you can afford it just in case the other one stops working or you find that you need to charge a lot of batteries at once.
Tally up your battery needs.
When it comes to deciding how many rechargeables to have on hand, you may want to start out just adding up how many batteries of each type you need to have all your devices ready to use. In our house, AA batteries are the most common size and they are used mostly in flashlights and my ancient word processors.
AAA batteries come in second and are used in some wireless electronics like a computer mouse or keyboard. Once you get a tally, times that number by 1.5. That allows for some devices that don’t get used as often but gives you a cushion so you don’t find that you have no freshly charged batteries to pop in.
Good battery habits take time to get used to.
Try to get in the habit of putting batteries on to charge the minute you take them out of a device or set up a system where you charge batteries once a week or something. It really depends on just how much battery power you use on average.
Teach capable kids and teens to deal with their battery needs.
If you have kids and teens that have a lot of devices that take batteries, get them their own charger and batteries and encourage them to get in good charging habits. If they realize that they are responsible for making sure they have batteries, it is one less thing for you to have to worry about as a parent.
In case of a power outage or long emergency, a solar panel combined with a battery charger capable of USB charging is a good investment.
Most of us take for granted our access to cheap and easy to get power. 50 spent on a portable panel can make a huge difference during grid-down situations. Since most cell phones charge off USB, the portable panels featured in this article can be used to keep your phone going as well.
What battery chargers do you use? Have you had a good or bad experience with any of the products featured in this article? Did we miss a good charger that you would like to recommend?
Solar Battery Charger for AA Batteries – 2 Good Choices
I will suggest two choices for a solar AA battery charger. One is a nice standalone unit. The other, though more expensive, is a more powerful folding solar panel. A separate AA charger accessory plugs right in. It charges USB too — iPhone, Android, etc.).
Why might you need something like this? Well, for ordinary preparedness. Or, maybe for a camping trip or anywhere without electricity to recharge AA batteries…
Solar Battery Charger | AA, AAA, C, D
First, the following solar powered battery charger (pictured above) is a practical preparedness item to have. It will charge typical consumer-size AA AAA rechargeable batteries including C D.
When the power grid goes down, the sun keeps shining! We can harness that energy. And in this case with a solar charger for rechargeable batteries.
I have two of these solar AA battery chargers. They are still working perfectly and I have used them countless times in the sun to recharge batteries for devices including:
– Flashlights– AM/FM/Shortwave portable radio– Emergency weather-alert radio– 2 way radios, walkies
Solar Battery Charger Feature | Built-in METER GAUGE
I like the fact that it includes a meter /gauge. The meter provides indication that the batteries are being recharged.
The meter helps optimize the charge rate — the angle of the solar panel facing towards the sun for highest charge rate.
About the C.Crane Solar 11-in-One Battery Charger
This high powered solar charger charges two Rechargeable Batteries of the same type and size (D, C, AA, AAA). It puts out about 150mA at ~ 5 volts.
The solar panel is built in to the hinged cover which can be angled for maximum sun exposure. Its built-in meter indicates the following conditions:
– The relative strength of the sun– The strength of the current output from the solar panel– The time required to fully charge the different types of batteries
This battery charger incorporates a built-in blocking diode to prevent reverse flow of electricity from charged batteries during storage.
Watt Solar Battery Charger | USB, AA, AAA
Another choice for a solar battery charger is the following 2-part combination which will recharge USB devices and AA, AAA rechargeable batteries:
28 Watt Folding Solar Panel
– Fast charging technology maximizes charging speed– 2 USB port output (e.g. cell phone or battery pack charging)– up to 2.4A(5V) max per port or 4.0A (5V) as its maximum charging power.– Will work with any USB device within technical specs.
Battery Charger for Solar Panel
– powered by USB source– fits AA, AAA size rechargeable batteries– Fast 450mA Charging – ‘Smart’ battery charging technology
Note: In reality, solar charge time may take longer depending on sunlight conditions.
Battery chargers like those listed above will charge ‘rechargeable’ batteries(Ni-MH — Nickel-Metal-Hydride).
Here are some of the latest technology Ni-MH rechargeable batteries:
Also fyi, a very good AA | AAA charger analyzer for rechargeable batteries (not solar, but a very good plugin model) is the following:
Комментарии и мнения владельцев
larry, I have not had the need, so I haven’t researched it. I’ve just bought new of that style when I need them.
We have the 11-in-1 solar charger also. I ‘gifted’ it to my DH for a birthday gift one year. Works great and I like that it charges all sizes of batteries.
We have had 2 C. Crane solar chargers for 3 years and are happy with them. They meet our needs very well.
Question for those who may know: I have a 4 slot charger for my rechargeable batteries. It will do AA and/or AAA. Usually, I just plug it into the wall socket. In a grid down, I could plug into an inverter. My generator has a 12 vdc outlet or 120/240 vac. I have solar/wind capabilities. Seems goofy, or at least inefficient to go from 12vdc (wind/solar) through an inverter to 120vac only to then plug in a battery charger to go back to dc. I realize the battery charger puts out the exact voltage/amperage required to charge the little batteries. I don’t own a small panel specifically designed to recharge my little batteries. Is it worth it, to have the smaller flexible panel?
I get what you’re saying regarding the inefficiency of your scenario for AA battery charging. I like solar because it requires no fuel. Essentially forever. When pairing up a AA battery charger with a solar panel, you must pay attention to proper interfacing inter-connectivity, and voltages/wattage-rating. The example I described above works. As would others too – if selected properly. Is it worth it? That depends. Only you can make that judgement call based on your circumstances and needs.
For those of you who have Makita cordless power tools here is another option for charging batteries or cell phones. Makita makes a USB charger that simply slides onto their 18 volt batteries. It can then be attached to the EBL AA – AAA battery charger that Ken shows in the article above.