Friday, March 6, 2009

Does battery reconditioning work?

The short answer is yes, providing the battery is still in pretty good shape internally. Note that there are a lot of different battery types available-Lithium Ion, lead acid, NiMh and so on. Well have a discussion later about other types, but today we'll focus on the typical AA battery like this one. The label clearly says its not rechargeable, and that is correct. Put this battery in a typical battery charger and you might need to call the fire department. With this in mind, I will show you how to get a little more life out of this type of battery:

First, measure the battery voltage with a voltmeter. Let's say it reads 1.1 volts (a new battery should read 1.5 vdc). Using your 12V car battery charger, hold the black lead (negative) on the bottom of the AA battery. Quickly tap the red lead (positive) on the top of the battery a few times. DO NOT hold the red lead on the battery. It will get hot quickly and could rupture. Check the voltage again and you should see that it has come up a little. Repeat the tapping process, check voltage, etc. until you see the battery voltage come up as close as possible to 1.5. Chances are, it may be difficult to get voltage to 1.5 but even 1.4 or 1.3 is enough to run your digital camera or TV remote for awhile! I did this with two Duracell batteries and got about two months out of them through this type of 'recharging'. Normally, I would get about two weeks out of them in my digital camera.

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