Memory: Myth of Fact?

Do Batteries Have Memory?
     In the 1970s and 1980s, batteries used to have “cyclical memory,” better known as “memory.” That meant the nickel-candmium remembered the amount that was discharged and then would only recharge that amount. By1990, the nickel-metal-hydride was introduced. It was supposed to be “memory-free.” Technology has changed and batteries don’t have a cyclical memory anymore, but they still need to be managed.
     The new nickel-based battery has other issues. It creates a substance called Crystalline formation that can build up. This occurs when a battery is overcharged for a period of a couple of months (which is the case for the normal person) and then not discharged completely. When the crystalline formation builds up, it reduces the surface area of the active material and thus reduces its charge. 
     The best solution is not to allow the crystalline formation to form in the first place.
The way to manage the growth is to ‘exercise” your batteries. Batteries require a periodic discharge down to one volt per cell. In other words, it is important to drain batteries almost all the way down about once every three months.
     If batteries have not been exercised, it’s not too late. When batteries do not hold their charge and exercising the battery doesn’t work, all is not lost. They can be reconditioned. “Recondition” is a slow discharge that drains the battery slowly. By draining the battery at a slow rate it causes the crystals to break down. You can help us discover if this article holds true by taking our survey.


Normal crystal structure

 The crystals have grown to 50 to 100 microns. The sharp corners can cause an increased discharge or electrical short.