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Nickel Metal Hydride

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Table of Contents
1 Introduction 3 3.2.3 Charge Control 12
1.1 Overview 3 3.2.4 Standard Charge 13
1.1.1 Chemistry - The Early Days 3 3.2.5 Trickle Charging 13
1.1.2 Well Established Product Series 3 3.2.6 Charging Temperature 13
1.2 NiMH Chemistry 3
1.2.1 Principle 3
4 Battery Assembly 14
1.2.2 Positive Electrode Chemistry 3
4.1 Connection Between Cells 14
1.2.3 Negative Electrode Chemistry 4
4.2 Thermal Protection for Battery Packs 14
1.2.4 Overall Reaction 4
1.2.5 Cell Pressure Management - Charge Reserve 4
1.2.6 Minimizing Damage During Deep Discharge - Discharge Reserve 5 5 Configurations 15
1.3 Cell Construction 6
6 Proper Use and Handling 16
2 Performance Characteristics 7 6.1 Restriction On Usage 16
2.1 Charging Characteristics 7 6.1.1 Charging / Discharging Current 16
2.1.1 Overview 7 6.1.2 Reverse Charging 16
2.1.2 Charging Efficiency 7 6.1.3 Parallel Charging 16
2.2 Discharge Characteristics 8 6.1.4 Charging / Discharging Temperature 16
2.2.1 Overview 8 6.1.5 Over-discharging / Overcharging 17
2.2.2 Discharge Voltage 8 6.2 Precautions for Designing Application Devices 17
2.2.3 Discharge Capacity 8 6.2.1 Battery Compartment 17
2.2.4 Polarity Reversal During Over-discharge 8 6.2.2 Charging / Discharging / Operating Temperature 17
2.3 Storage Characteristics 9 6.3 Methods of Use 17
2.3.1 Overview 9 6.3.1 Operation 17
2.3.2 Storage Temperature 9 6.3.2 Connection Between Battery and Application Devices 17
2.3.3 Storage Time 9 6.4 Precautions in Battery Handling 18
2.3.4 Storage Humidity 10 6.5 Battery Maintenance 18
2.4 Cycle Life 10 6.5.1 Regular Inspection 18
2.4.1 Overview 10 6.5.2 Storage 18
2.4.2 Ambient Temperature 10 6.5.3 Battery Disposal 18
2.4.3 Overcharge 10 6.5.4 Transportation 18
2.4.4 Deep Discharge 10
2.5 Safety 10 7 Customer Application Questionnaire 19
2.6 Characteristics of Various Series 10
2.6.1 Standard Series 11
2.6.2 High Drain Series 11 8 Glossary 21
2.6.3 High Temperature Series 11

3 Charging Method 12
3.1 Overview 12 NOTICE TO READERS
3.2 Charging Method 12 The information in this technical handbook is generally descriptive only, and is not intended to make or imply any guarantee
or warranty with respect to any cells and batteries. Cell and battery designs are subject to modification without prior notice.
3.2.1 Constant Current Charging 12
Performance of a battery should be based on its corresponding data sheet and product specification.
3.2.2 Fast Charging 12

1 2
1 Introduction -- for capacity demanding applications, our high 1.2.3 Negative electrode chemistry ensure that the capacity of the negative electrode
1.1 Overview capacity series is available. This has been The active material in the negative electrode is an exceeds that of the positive electrode. The excess
a c h i eve d t h r o u g h r evo l u t i o n a r y d e s i g n s i n alloy, which can reversibly absorb and release capacity in the negative electrode is referred to as
1.1.1 Chemistry - the early days
m e c h a n i c a l c o n s t r u c t i o n a n d n ew c h e m i c a l hydrogen atoms. There is no free hydrogen gas the charge-reser ve of the cell. With the proper
Nickel metal-hydride (NiMH) technology has been
formulation. involved in the charging and discharging of the designs, the positive electrode is always the
used commercially since the early 1990's, mainly
electrode. capacity-limiting electrode. As the cell approaches
with consumer applications. At the time, nickel
-- the high-temperature series is designed for full charge, oxygen gas will star t to evolve from
cadmium (NiCd) was the mainstream technology
applications whereby the battery may encounter There are two basic types of hydrogen-storage the positive electrode in the process of electrolysis.
to which NiMHs was often compared. Even in the
elevated temperature during operation. Special alloys available for NiMH batteries. One type
early days, it was recognised that NiMH batteries - -
designs ensure that the battery performance is consists of transition metals, such as titanium and 4OH O2(g) + 2H2O + 4e
not only able to achieve higher energy density than
stable and reliable under adverse environmental zirconium, often referred to as the AB 2 alloys. The
NiCds, also more environmentally friendly.
conditions. Emergency lighting is one of such second type is made up of the rare-earth elements However, due to the excess capacity (charge-
applications best served by the high-temperature such as lanthanum, known as the AB 5 alloys. reser ve) in the negative electrode, the
Since both systems employed 1.2V in nominal
series. corresponding electrolysis product of hydrogen will
vo l t a g e a n d a l s o s h a r e m a ny p e r fo r m a n c e
The following reactions occur during the charge be prevented from forming. Instead, the oxygen
characteristics, it was relatively easy to adapt NiCd
-- the high-drain series is expertly customized and discharge operations: gas from the positive electrode diffuses to the
applications for use with NiMH.
for powerful delivery of electrical energy on demand. negative electrode and is consumed in the oxygen
- -
Power tools and electric bicycles are among some M + H2O + e MH + OH (during charging) recombination reaction.
Subtle differences between the two chemical - -
of the applications that excel with our high-drain MH + OH M + H2O + e (during discharging)
systems made direct substitution of NiCd by NiMH
series as power sources. The oxygen recombination at the negative electrode
a difficult process. Differences in the charging curve
In the equations above, M represents the hydrogen- o c c u r s s i m u l t a n e o u s l y, v i a t w o r e a c t i o n
profiles meant that modification was required for
storage alloy. MH is formed when hydrogen atoms, mechanisms:
fast charging of NiMH batteries. The early NiMH
batteries were generally considered weaker in
1.2 NiMH Chemistry from the electrolysis of water, are absorbed by the 4MH + O 2 4M + 2H 2O
- -
alloy M. Upon discharge, the hydrogen atom is O 2 + 2H 2O + 4e 4OH
charge retention perfor mance, and were not 1.2.1 Principle released and converted back to water.
deemed suitable for high-drain applications. As with any other rechargeable battery system, The first equation represents a direct combination
NiMH batter ies operate on the pr inciple that 1.2.4 Overall reaction of the O2 gas with MH, which is present in significant
1.1.2 Well established product series electrochemical reactions at each of the electrodes Combining the equations in 1.2.2 and 1.2.3 reveals amounts at the negative electrode of a fully charged
Over the years, there have been significant are reversible; this enables energy to be stored the overall cell equation. battery. The second equation is a reverse of the
improvements in NiMH technology, with most of during charging and released during discharging. charging electrolysis reaction that originally generated the
the ear ly weaknesses now eliminated. NiMH
Ni(OH) 2 + M NiOOH + MH O 2 at the positive electrode. The end result of these
batteries of today outperform NiCds in many areas, 1.2.2 Positive electrode chemistry discharging two equations is that gaseous O 2 is reabsorbed by
including continued advances in energy density. The reaction that occurs at the positive electrode t h e n e g a t i ve e l e c t r o d e, t h e r e by p r eve n t i n g
There are now NiMH batteries that have twice the of a NiMH battery is the same as that for its NiCd The overall reaction schematically depicts a simple unacceptably high internal pressure during the
energy density of similar-sized NiCds, and many counterpart: transfer of H atom between Ni(OH) 2 and M, charging reactions.
new applications are designed specifically for NiMH
- - depending on whether the cell is being charged or
battery use, including: cellular phones, camcorders, Ni(OH)2 + OH NiOOH + H2O + e (during charging)
- - discharged. In addition, most hermetically sealed rechargeable
audio-visual equipment, toys, laptop computer and NiOOH + H2O + e Ni(OH)2 + OH (during discharging) batteries are equipped with resealable or non-
personal care products.
1.2.5 C e l l p r e s s u r e m a n ag e m e n t - ch a rg e resealable (one time) venting systems, which safely
Ni(OH) 2 and NiOOH are viewed as a reversible reserve release any internal pressure that might have built
GP NiMH rechargeable batteries had long been couple, able to transform from one to the other, Up till now, only those reactions involving the main up when the batter ies were exposed to
established as a well-known choice that offers depending on whether charging or discharging is charging and discharging process have been unexpectedly severe conditions of operations.
perfor mance, reliability and value. We have in effect. shown. However, when a NiMH cell is close to
expanded our NiMH product range into various
being fully charged, gas-generating side reactions
ser ies to custom fit var ious application During the charging operation, electrical energy start to develop. For hermetically sealed batteries,
requirements. provided from an external power source is stored if the side reactions are not prevented, the internal
as chemical energy in the cell, when the lower pressure may become excessively high.
-- the ever popular standard series is designed energy Ni(OH) 2 is converted to the higher energy
for a wide variety of general applications, including NiOOH. During a discharge reaction, the NiOOH In sealed NiMH as well as NiCd batteries, the
toys, personal audio equipment, cameras and is converted back to Ni(OH) 2, releasing the stored internal pressure is designed to remain at safe
cordless phones. chemical energy as electrical energy. levels during operation. The main principle is to

3 4
1.3 Cell Construction
1.2.6 M i n i m i s i n g d a m a g e d u r i n g d e e p
discharge - discharge reserve Cylindrical Cell cap (+) Safety-vent
In the event of deep discharge, depreciation of system
Gasket
battery performance may occur. To minimise the
Top insulator
possibility of damage, the excess capacity in the
negative electrode also acts as discharge-reserve, Current Separator
preventing the negative electrode from being collector
oxidised in the event that the battery is deeply Positive nickel
electrode (+)
discharged.
Cell can (–)
The relationship between the useful capacity,
charge reserve and discharge reserve is shown in Negative
the following schematic representation. hydride
electrode (–)
Bottom
insulator

Positive Electrode

Ni(OH)2 / NiOOH
9V Negative pole
Useful Capacity Positive pole Top cup
In cell spacer
M/MH Plastic plate
Discharge Charge
Negative contact
Reserve Reserve plate
Negative Electrode Metal jacket Middle cup
Positive contact
Insulation paper plate
O-ring
Metallic label Negative
electrode plate
Positive weld Electrode
tag Separator sandwich
(1 Unit)
Plastic plate Positive
electrode
plate

Prismatic Positive terminal & safety vent


Lid
Gasket
Spacer
Positive electrode
Connector
Separator
Negative
electrode

Case ( negative
terminal)

5 6
2 Performance
Characteristics Charge Voltage & Temperature of NiMH 2.2.4 Polarity reversal during over-discharge
1.6 56
2.2 Discharge Characteristics Most real-life applications employ multi-cell, series
Temperature: 25˚C Cell voltage
- connected batteries. When discharging, the lowest
2.1 Charging Characteristics 2.2.1 Overview

Charging Voltage (V)


1.5 50
capacity cell will be the first to experience a voltage

Temperature (˚C)
1.4 44 The nominal discharge voltage of a NiMH battery
drop. If the battery discharge continues, this unit
2.1.1 Overview is 1.2V at 0.2C discharge, which is almost identical
1.3 38 cell will be driven into an over-discharged condition.
The charging process aims to restore the battery 1C 0.5C 0.1C to that of a NiCd battery. The discharge time of a
When the cell voltage drops below 0V, its polarity
for use by charging the batter y externally. The 1.2 Cell temperature 32 NiMH cell is almost 1.5 times that of the NiCd cell
is effectively reversed. The cell reaction, at different
charge voltage is affected by current, ambient 1.1 26
of same size, due to the high energy density of
stages, is illustrated below:
temperature and time. At the same ambient NiMH batteries.
1.0 20
temperature, the basic principle is: the higher the 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 Stage 1: Initially, both positive and negative
current, the higher the charge voltage as a result 2.2.2 Discharge voltage
Input % of Nominal Capacity electrodes, as well as the discharge voltage are
of increased over-potential at both electrodes. The discharge voltage is affected by current and
normal.
ambient temperature. Like NiCd batteries, the
When almost fully charged, peak voltage is attained. discharge voltage of NiMH batteries is depressed
Stage 2: The active mater ial on the positive
However, if the battery is overcharged, a slight at lower temperatures. This is because both NiCd
Charging Characteristics at electrode has been completely discharged and
decrease in voltage occurs; this arises from a and NiMH batteries employ an aqueous electrolyte
Different Temperature evolution of hydrogen occurs. Cell pressure builds
temperature increase due to the exothermic oxygen system, resulting in decreased ionic mobility at
1C charging up, although part of the gas can be absorbed by
recombination reaction. As a result, inter nal l owe r t e m p e ra t u r e s. A t h i g h e r c u r r e n t s, t h e
1.7 0˚C Room temperature˚C 40˚C 80 the negative metal alloy electrode. Since the battery
pressure builds up and heat is generated during discharge voltage of NiMH batteries is depressed,
1.6 70 i s d e s i g n e d w i t h ex c e s s n e g a t i ve c a p a c i t y
overcharging. At a low charge rate (such as 0.1C Voltage since the metal-hydride electrode is more polarised.

Temperature(˚C)
1.5 60 (discharge reser ve), the discharge continues;
or below), equilibrium pressure can be attained
Voltage (V)

1.4 50 discharge voltage is around -0.2V to -0.4V.


through a balanced electrode design. In addition, P r ev i o u s l y, m o s t N i M H c e l l m a n u fa c t u r e r s
1.3 Temperature
40
heat generated during overcharging is dissipated 30
recommended 3C as the maximum discharge
1.2 Stage 3: The active material on both electrodes
into the environment. The battery temperature is 20
current; otherwise the discharge voltage would
1.1
has been depleted and oxygen generation starts
a l s o a f fe c t e d by t h e c u r r e n t a n d a m b i e n t 10
have simply been too low for many applications.
at the negative electrode. Formation of gases at
temperature. 1.0
0
As a result of advancements in NiMH batter y
both electrodes leads to high internal cell pressure
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 technology, the discharge current achieved by some
and opening of the safety vent, resulting in
2.1.2 Charging efficiency Input % of Nominal Capacity of the latest NiMH batteries can now achieve as
deterioration of the cell performance if this scenario
In general, it is more efficient to charge the battery high as 10C.
occurs repeatedly.
at or below room temperature, since the chemicals
of both positive and negative electrodes are more 2.2.3 Discharge capacity
stable at lower temperatures - resulting in higher Charge-Temperature Characteristics The discharge capacity is defined as “the product Discharge Curves at Various
discharge capacity. The charging efficiency of of Standard Series of discharge current and discharge time when the Temperature at 1.0C Rate
Capacity Discharged at 20°C (%)

105 battery reaches the end discharge voltage.” The Charging: 0.1C x 120% at room temperature
standard ser ies NiMH batter ies drops rapidly 100
nominal discharge capacity is rated at 0.2C to an 1.5
when the ambient temperature exceeds 40°C. 95
Furthermore, the decrease is more pronounced at 90 end voltage of 1V after charging at 0.1C for 14 - 1.4

Voltage (V)
low charging rates, since the return of electrode 85 16 hours. 1.3
80
chemicals to their lower charge state is more 1.2
75
evident. The high temperature series, on the other Charge: 0.5C x 120% The discharge capacity is also affected by discharge
70
Discharge: 1.5C to 1.0V c u r r e n t a n d a m b i e n t t e m p e ra t u r e. C a p a c i t y 1.1
hand, allow applications of tr ickle charge at 65
Temperature: 20°C decreases with decreased temperature due to lower 10˚C 50˚C
temperatures as high as 70°C. The technology is 60 1.0
-10˚C 0˚C 25˚C
0 10 20 30 40
a result of dedicated research by GP to enhance reactivity of the active materials and higher internal 0.9
Charging Temperature (°C)
the stability of battery materials at high impedance. At a higher discharge current, the
0.8
temperatures. usable capacity is reduced due to larger IR drop, 0 20 40 60 80 100 120
and also because the battery voltage drops off Capacity Discharged (%)
more rapidly to end voltage.

7 8
Discharge Characteristics self-discharge currents inside the batter y, as 2.3.4 Storage humidity 2.4.3 Overcharge
1.5 explained below: Leakage and rusting of metal parts are accelerated The cycle life of the batter y is sensitive to the
Charge: 0.1C x 140%
1.4 Discharge: 0.2C, 1.0C, 2.0C, 3.0C in high humidity environments, especially those amount of overcharge at high charge rate. The
Temperature: 25˚C 0.2C a. Decomposition of nickel hydroxide in the with correspondingly high temperatures. The amount of overcharge affects cell temperature and
1.3
1C positive electrode: recommended humidity level for battery storage is oxygen pressure inside the battery. Both factors
Voltage (V)

1.2
The nickel hydroxide is relatively unstable in a a maximum of 60% RH. deteriorate the metal-hydride electrode through
1.1
2C charged state and tends to return to a discharge oxidation and thus the cycle life shortens. For that
1.0
3C state with the slow released of oxygen. The released reason the cycle life is affected by various charge
0.9 oxygen then reacts with the hydrogen in the Storage Characteristics cut-off methods.
0 20 40 60 80 100 120
negative electrode, thus establishing an internal 100

Retained Capacity (%)


Capacity Discharged (%) 0°C
discharge path. The reaction rate increases with 2.4.4 Deep discharge
80
higher temperatures. 25°C
The cycle life is also affected by the depth of
60 discharge. The number of charge/discharge cycles
Polarity Reversal
b . Release of hydrog en from the negative 40 will decrease if the battery is repeatedly subjected
1 2 3 electrode: to deep discharging below 1V, or to a status of
20
Positive electrode There is a very low hydrogen equilibrium pressure Discharge: 1.0C (E.V. 1.0V) at 25°C polarity reversal. Considerably more cycle numbers
45°C
0
Battery Voltage (V)

Negative electrode for the metal-hydride electrode; such hydrogen 0 50 100 150 200
can be obtained if the batter y is cycled under
reacts with the positive electrode. After consumption Storage Time (days) shallower cycling conditions.
1.0 of the hydrogen, it is replenished from the metal-
hydride electrode and the reaction continues at a
Cycle life of NiMH
0 steady rate. The reaction rate depends on the 2.4 Cycle Life 110
hydrogen equilibrium pressure, which is higher at

% of Nominal Capacity
increased temperatures. 2.4.1 Overview 100
-1.0 -dV=2mV/cell
Cycle life is the number of charges and discharges
Electrode Voltage (V)

c. Side reactions through impurities: 90


1.0 Positive electrode
a battery can achieve before the discharge capacity
Some of the impurities can be oxidised in the -dV=30mV/cell
(0.2C) drops to 60% of the nominal capacity per 80
positive electrode when it migrates to the negative IEC 61951-2 or other guaranteed value per GP Time=120%
0
electrode, where it reverts to its original form. The specifications. Cycle life is affected by ambient 70
shuttle reaction of the impurities dissipates the temperature, as well as depth of charge and
-1.0 60
Negative electrode Polarity reversal
of positive
Polarity reversal
of both
battery's power during storage. The reaction rate discharge. A common phenomenon to the NiMH
electrode electrode
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800
is also temperature-dependent. batter y is that the impedance increases upon Number of Cycles
Discharge Time cycling due to electrolyte dry-out, especially at the
2.3.2 Storage temperature end of the cycle life. During overcharging, gases
As already mentioned, the self-discharge reaction
rate increases with higher temperatures. Prolonged
form and pressure builds up inside the battery; 2.5 Safety
trace amounts of gas escape through the seal or
To avoid deep discharging, the capacity variation storage of the battery at elevated temperatures will vent hole, leading to moisture loss and separator If pressure inside the battery rises as a result of
of the battery pack's unit cells should be kept to result in the battery material deteriorating faster; dry-out. Actually, NiMH battery can attain 500-1000 improper use, such as overcharge, shor t circuit,
a minimum. It is also recommended that the leakage performance will also deteriorate, resulting cycles with cycling conditions of 0.1C charge/0.2C or reverse charging, a resealable safety vent will
discharge end voltage should be maintained at in a reduced battery lifetime. It is recommended discharge. function to release the pressure, thus protecting
1.0V times the number of unit cells connected in that, for long storage, batteries should be kept at
the battery from bursting.
the battery pack. For battery packs connected with room temperature or below. 2.4.2 Ambient temperature
more than 8 cells in series, the recommended It is recommended to cycle the battery at room
discharge end voltage is 1.2V times the number 2.3.3 Storage time
As the battery loses energy during storage, the
temperature. At higher temperatures, the electrodes 2.6 Characteristics of Various
of cells, less by one. as well as the separator material deteriorate much
voltage also drops. In general, the battery capacity faster, thus shor tening the cycle life. At lower
Series
loss due to self-discharge during storage can be temperatures, the rate of oxygen recombination
2.3 Storage Characteristics recovered by recharging. If the battery is stored during overcharge is slow, and may risk opening
GP NiMH rechargeable batteries had long been
for over six months it is advisable to cycle the established as a well-known choice that offers
the vent leading to pre-mature electrolyte dry-out.
2.3.1 Overview battery several times to resume the battery capacity. performance, reliability and value. In order to widen
The battery loses its energy during storage, even
without loading. The energy is lost through small,

9 10
i t s f i e l d o f a p p l i c a t i o n s a n d ex t e n d i t s f u l l - Reliable, long cycle life
3 Charging
Method the NiCd system, constant voltage charging is not
advantages, we have expanded our NiMH product In addition to excellent high rate discharge recommended for NiMH, due to thermal runaway
range into various series to custom fit various perfor mance, high drain series batteries also under overcharging conditions. As mentioned
application requirements. provide hundreds of charge/discharge cycles, 3.1 Overview earlier, the heat generated by the overcharge
showing reliable cycle life characteristics. current can cause a significant rise in batter y
2.6.1 Standard Series One crucial difference between the primary and temperature, which will cause a drop in the battery
Our standard series is designed for a wide variety 2.6.3 High Temperature Series secondary battery is the ability to restore energy charging voltage. In constant voltage charging, the
o f g e n e r a l a p p l i c a t i o n s , w h i c h fe a t u r e s a With standard series NiMH batteries, the smaller after discharging. This restoration of energy is overcharge current is determined by the potential
combination of superior positive and negative the charging current and the higher the charging therefore a very important area to be considered difference between the power source and the
electrode, allowing us to provide the highest levels temperature, the more difficult for it to charge the in secondary battery applications. Since different battery charging voltage. The increased difference
of capacity and quality for each size. These NiMH battery. However, for applications in which the battery systems have their own characteristics and between the power source and the battery charging
b a t t e r i e s a l s o fe a t u r e ex c e l l e n t d i s c h a r g e batteries are charged continuously by a small applications have their own integrated electrical voltage, due to the temperature rise, will also
performance, low internal resistance and reliable current under relatively high temperature conditions input/output requirements, it is vital to select a augment the overcharge current. This increase in
characteristics across a wide range of such as emergency lights, there is a need for charging method that suits both the battery system the overcharge current will lead to a further increase
temperatures, and they have been carefully super ior high temperature tr ickle charge and the application. Improper charging will lead to in cell temperature. This positive feedback cycle
designed for safety and reliability. Ranging from performance. By combining GP's technology in p o o r b a t t e r y p e r fo r m a n c e o r fa i l u r e o f t h e of cell temperature and overcharge current will not
compact sizes to large sizes, the standard series electrodes and electrolyte, high temperature series application. run down until the battery fails or until the current
is available in a wide selection of discharge NiMH batteries are far superior to the standard limit of the charger is reached. For this reason,
capacities based on the standard sizes specified series NiMH batteries for use in high temperature constant voltage charging should not be used in
in IEC61951-2. trickle charge applications. Furthermore, the use
3.2 Charging Method charging NiMH batteries, and charge control should
of a special separator provides stable trickle charge be employed if this method cannot be avoided.
Like NiCd, the main concern in charging a NiMH
2.6.2 High Drain Series life characteristics.
battery is the build-up of temperature and internal
Our high drain series is exper tly customized for 3.2.1 Constant current charging
p r e s s u r e d u e t o h i g h ove r c h a r g e ra t e s. A s
powerful delivery of electrical energy on demand. Charge / Discharge Characteristics The advantages of the constant current charging
previously mentioned, the cell design applies the
It was developed through an integration of our of High Temperature Series method include high charging efficiency, flexibility,
concept of oxygen recombination in lowering the
c o m p r e h e n s i v e N i M H b a t t e r y t e c h n o l o g y. 120 and position control of input capacity.
batter y's internal oxygen level during standard
Available Capacity (%)

Improvements in the positive and negative electrode 100 charging. However, if the cell is subjected to severe
technology, and in the current collecting system
80 charging conditions (such as overcharging at a
have further lowered the internal resistance and 3.2.2 Fast charging
60 current rate over 1C), the rate of oxygen evolution
greatly enhance the 10C discharge characteristics GP NiMH batteries use constant current charging
40 Charge : 0.05C x 48 hours at stated temperature from the positive electrode increases rapidly,
of the high drain series batteries. as the basis of the charging method. Depending
Discharge : 0.2C to 1.0V cut off exceeding the recombination reaction rate. As the
20 on different operational requirements, constant
oxygen recombination reaction is exothermic, this
0 current charging can be further classified according
Discharge Curves of High Drain Series results in excessive oxygen pressure and increased
to the charging rate. Charging at a current rate of
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
at Various Rates temperature. The excessive pressure will then be
1.4
Charge and Discharge Temperature (˚C) 0.5C to 1C, or higher (up to 3C), is considered fast
r e l e a s e d t h r o u g h t h e s a fe t y ve n t c a u s i n g a
1.35 charging. As explained earlier, if the charging
1C reduction in the cell electrolyte; the excessive heat
1.3 Charge: 1C x 120% Life Expectancy current is too high (1C or above), the cell internal
will eventually degrade the cell's internal contents.
Voltage (V)

3C Temperature: 25˚C
1.25 Permanent Charge at 0.05C pressure and temperature will rise at the end,
1.2 8
These two factors are considered to be the major
5C r e s u l t i n g i n d e gra d e d c e l l p e r fo r m a n c e a n d
1.15 limitations to the battery's service life. For this
Years before end of life

7 electrolyte leakage.
1.1 6 reason, charge control is very important in battery
10C
1.05 charging. GP NiMH cylindrical cells are designed
5 3.2.3 Charge control
1.0
4 to be able to charge up to 1C rate. For applications
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Various methods are recommended to help control
Efficiency (%) 3 that require higher charging rates, please contact
charging, so as to prevent gas pressure and
2 GP.
temperature build-up due to overcharging. Proper
1
- Excellent high current discharge characteristics charge control will provide a longer battery service
0 In secondar y batter y charging the two most
It is designed to meet the need for high current 20 30 40 50 60 life.
commonly used methods are constant voltage
discharge, such as for power tools, and can deliver Cell Temperature (°C) charging and constant current charging. As with
a high current exceeding 10C. End life - 75% of the nominal capacity

11 12
a) dT/dt control 3.2.5 Trickle charging
4 Battery
Assembly
The detection of the rate of temperature rise when In most applications - where cells and batteries
4.2 Thermal Protection for
the battery approaches a state of full charge (dT/dt need to be in a fully charged condition - maintaining Battery Packs
control) is considered to be the best form of charge a trickle charge current to compensate for the loss 4.1 Connections Between
Battery packs intended for fast charging methods
control. When charging at a current rate of 0.5C
to 0.9C, a temperature rate change of 0.8°C/min.
of capacity (due to self-discharge) is recommended.
The suggested trickle charge current to be used
Cells s h o u l d h ave a t h e r m a l p r o t e c t i o n d ev i c e. A
is recommended for charge termination; for 1C to is 0.05C to 0.1C. thermistor sensing the temperature inside the pack
The resistance spot-welding method is to be used
3C a higher rate of 0.8-1°C/min. should be chosen. should be employed. It is also desirable to have a
when NiMH cells are connected in a series, to
3.2.6 Charging temperature thermostat/polyswitch and a thermal fuse installed
avoid an excessive increase in cell temperature,
b ) -dV control As ambient temperature affects charging efficiency in the battery pack to protect it from abnormal rises
which would occur if soldered on directly. Leads
Detecting the value of the voltage drop after and cell reliability, it is important to select a suitable in temperature and exter nal shor t-circuiting.
used for cell connections should be nickel-plated
reaching peak voltage is the most commonly used temperature for optimising charging performances. Locations for safety devices in batter y pack
or pure nickel measuring 0.1mm to 0.4mm in
charge control method in fast charging GP NiMH Generally speaking, a temperature within 10°C to assembly are shown in the following diagrams.
thickness and 3mm to 6mm in width.
batteries. A -dV value of 0-5mV/cell is recommended 45°C will yield the highest efficiency, which begins
when fast charging GP NiMH batteries, while a to drop at or above 45°C. Conversely, repeated The temperature of NiMH cells rises when the
-dV value of 2mV/cell is found to provide the best charging at less than 0°C may cause cell internal charge gets close to completion. Temperature
balance between charge termination and service pressure build-up, resulting in electrolyte leakage increase is greater for a battery pack than for a
life performance. as in high temperature conditions. For these single cell, due to the fact that the pack does not
reasons, GP NiMH batteries can be charged at really allow for the dissipation of heat. The problem
c) Charging time control (back up only) temperatures of 0°C to 45°C under standard is further exacerbated when the pack is enclosed
An easier way to control fast charging of GP NiMH charging conditions, but preferably at 10°C to 45°C in a plastic case. Air ventilation should be provided (+)
batteries is to control the elapsed time following under fast charging conditions in the plastic case of batteries – to allow for egress
commencement of charging. However, it is not of any gases that may result from activation of the
recommended as the only cut-off method due to safety vent of cells after abuse. Polyswitch
overcharging. A charging time equal to 105% of
the cell nominal capacity is recommended.

d ) Battery temperature control


As increased ambient and cell temperatures result
i n h i g h c e l l i n t e r n a l p r e s s u r e, i t i s h i g h l y
recommended to have temperature control backup Thermal protector
for safety and cell performance. When fast charging
GP NiMH batteries, the cut-off temperature is Thermistor
recommended to be controlled at 45-50°C.

3.2.4 Standard charge


)–( Single cell
Apart from fast charging, GP NiMH batteries can
also be charged at a lower current rate of 0.1C. As
this charging method is less severe, charge Terminal plate
ter mination at 160% nominal capacity input is (Nickel)
recommended (to help avoid extended overcharging
of the battery). Also, in some applications where
overcharging is necessary, GP NiMH batteries can
endure 0.1C continuous charging for about one
year. Polyswitch

Tape or
heat-shrinkable
Thermistor tube

13 14
5 Configurations Designation System for Battery Packs
An example:

Number of cells
6 Proper Use and
Handling These charging cut-off mechanisms can be
in a pack Tag type code
incorporated into the application – either together
or individually, with the choice of method depending
6.1 Restriction on Usage
GP130AAM4BIP Knowledge of battery maintenance is crucial to a
largely on the charging profile of the application.
To avoid unnecessar y batter y problems, which
might look like quality issues, please contact
working battery, helping to provide a longer period
Model number Configuration Tag direction authorized GP personnel for implementing the
code code of operation. On the other hand, improper battery
appropriate charging cut-off method.
handling or maintenance may lead to unnecessary
For battery packs with connectors, the last two characters will be used to
specify connector type eg. GP130AAM4BMU. battery defects or problems, such as electrolyte
A wide range of required discharge current rates
leakage or cell bulging. In order to get the most
will be encountered in different applications, and
Standard Configurations for Battery Packs out of using GP NiMH rechargeable cells, special
GP has a variety of battery types for specialised
care in the following areas should be considered:
use. Apar t from the standard series for general
applications, high temperature and high drain series
6.1.1 Charging / discharging current
are specially designed for applications in high
For fast charging GP NiMH batteries, the current
ambient temperatures and discharge current rates
rate should be 0.5C to 1C. Trickle charging, which
respectively. The maximum discharge current
is common in various applications (such as memory
recommended for batteries of standard series is
backup), requires a current charging range of 0.05C
CODE : A CODE : B CODE : G CODE : S CODE : T CODE : W CODE : Y generally 3C. However, there are situations where
to 0.1C to maintain the long-term standby power
higher currents of shorter duration are permissible.
Cells stacked in a Cells arranged Cells stacked in 2 Cells stacked Cells arranged in a Cells arranged in Cells arranged in a of the battery. In addition, GP NiMH batteries can
vertical column in a row vertical columns in multiple horizontal triangle horizontal zig-zag rows horizontal rectangle
of unequal number columns and (in one or more layers) be trickle-charged at 0.1C continuously for one
6.1.2 Reverse charging
of cells layers year without leakage or explosions. Charging
Reverse charging is one of the battery misuses
current rates higher than 1C are generally not
that can appear to be a battery defect. If the positive
Tag Type Specifications Tag Direction Codes recommended. However charging with pulses higher
and negative polarities are reversed when charging,
than 1C is not uncommon in some applications.
the battery might bulge due to internal gassing.
Please contact authorised GP personnel to
Electrolyte leakage consequently results due to
determine the applicability of special charging
venting at the safety valve, which leads to a
schemes not mentioned in GP product
decrease in capacity. Caution has to be exercised
CODE : 1 CODE : 2 CODE : 3 CODE : 4 CODE : 5 CODE : 6 CODE : P CODE : H specifications.
to avoid such misuse.
Strip solder tag PCB solder tag Double PCB pin Solder wire tag Short strip tag Lead wire Pointing at 180˚ Pointing at the
at positive terminal same direction Special attention should be paid to the charge
and single PCB pin
6.1.3 Parallel charging
termination method, which is a critical element in
at negative terminal Parallel charging is generally not recommended,
providing an optimised cycle life, yet one which is
please consult authorized GP personnel for possible
e a s i l y ove r l o o ke d . S eve ra l c h a r g i n g c u t - o f f
Connector Type Specifications exceptions to connecting the batteries in parallel
mechanisms with related parameters can be
charging.
GP Universal Plug - exclusively from GP, offers distinctive features unparalleled in the market. considered:
- U.S. patent no. 5,161,990.
Major Benefits 6.1.4 Charging / discharging temperature
• Compatible with most cordless phone models Negative delta voltage: 0-5mV I t i s i m p o r t a n t t o u n d e r s t a n d h ow a m b i e n t
(interchangeable with Mitsumi, JST, Molex plugs etc.)
• Minimise inventory items
dT/dt: 0.8°C/minute (0.5C to 0.9C) temperature affects the charging and discharging
• User friendly 0.8-1°C/minute (1C) of batteries, especially for obtaining maximum
Temperature control: 45-50°C e f f i c i e n c y i n c o n d i t i o n s t h a t ex c e e d r o o m
t e m p e ra t u r e. G P r e c o m m e n d s t h e fo l l ow i n g
Timer control: 105%
temperature range.

MU MJ ML MS
Universal Plug JST EHR-2 Molex 5264-02 Mitsumi M63M83-02

15 16
Standard, high drain and high capacity series - 6.5.2 Storage
cylindrical / prismatic / 9V
6.2 Precautions for Designing 6.4 Precautions in Battery Bear in mind that self-discharge has to be taken
Application Devices Handling into consideration when storing a charged battery.
Standard charge: 0°C to 45°C The remaining battery capacity should be at least
Fast charge: 10°C to 45°C 6.2.1 Battery compartment • Never incinerate the battery. 50% after a month of storage at room temperature
Discharge: -20°C to 50°C Bear in mind that there is always a chance of • Never solder a battery directly. fo r a f u l l y c h a r g e d b a t t e r y. H i g h s t o r a g e
Storage: -20°C to 35°C battery abuse, where internal gassing is highly • Avoid subjecting a battery to strong vibrations, temperatures will accelerate the self-discharge,
probable; and as a result, the gas will be released pressure or impact. and reduce the remaining capacity.
through cell venting. However, generation of • Never connect the battery terminals to the device
High temperature series - cylindrical hydrogen gases from overcharging is particularly without verifying the polarities. In order to maintain batter y performance when
dangerous when mixed with oxygen. Caution should • Never carr y a batter y with other metallic being stored for an extended period of time, cycling
Standard charge: 0°C to 70°C
b e fo c u s e d o n t h e v e n t i l a t i o n o f b a t t e r y belongings to avoid short-circuiting. (charging and discharging) of the battery within a
Discharge: -20°C to 70°C compartments. Airtight battery compartments are • Never disassemble a battery. 6 to 9 month period is recommended. This
Storage: -20°C to 35°C strongly discouraged. Ventilation should be provided • Never mix GP batteries with other battery brands procedure is recommended to maximize
in the plastic case of batteries, otherwise oxygen or batteries of a different type. performance of the battery and prevent low OCV
Using or stor ing the batter y beyond the and hydrogen gas generated inside can cause • Never short together the positive and negative in long-term storage conditions. Failure to do so
recommended temperature range leads to explosion when exposed to fire sources such as terminals of a battery with any metal. may result in a shorter battery life.
deterioration in performance. For example: leakage, motors or switches. • Never obstruct the safety vent, which is located
shortening of battery life, and lowering of charging near the positive terminal of the cylindrical/ 6.5.3 Battery disposal
efficiency may occur at higher temperatures. 6.2.2 Charging / discharging / operating temperature prismatic cell, and on the positive side of the Under normal conditions, when the battery has
To optimise battery performance and service life, button cell -indicated by a vent mark. reached its end of life, it is advisable to properly
At sub-zero temperatures, discharge capacity will cer tain aspects related to charging, discharging • N eve r a l t e r t h e fa c t o r y - c o n f i g u r a t i o n o r insulate the positive and negative terminals of the
decrease due to lower mobility of the ions inside and the operating temperature should be taken remove/modify a component of a battery. batter y prior to disposal. Please note that it is
the battery. into careful consideration. A customer application • N eve r c h a r g e / d i s c h a r g e a b a t t e r y u n d e r dangerous to dispose of the battery in fire, as it
q u e s t i o n n a i r e i s p r ov i d e d i n t h i s t e c h n i c a l conditions which are not within GP will lead to electrolyte spill-out and bursting of the
6.1.5 Over-discharging / overcharging handbook. Please provide as much information as specifications, or without consulting authorized battery.
Other than discharging C-rate and temperature, possible. Alter natively, contact authorized GP GP personnel on special applications.
another factor affecting battery life and performance personnel for advice and help with your application. • Never use other charger than specified to avoid Recycling of the battery is an impor tant
is the discharge cut-off voltage. An appropriate possible heating, burning or rupture. environmental issue nowadays. We recommend
choice of end voltage not only determines the • Never leave a battery connected to a device for you contact your local government concerning the
battery performance, it also provides the bottom
6.3 Methods of Use long per iods without charging the batter y, location of recycling sites, or enquire about local
line to avoid over-discharging the batter y. GP especially for devices that constantly drain regulations on methods of disposal for NiMH
6.3.1 Operation standby current. batteries in your region.
recommends 1V/cell as the end voltage in most
Avoid combining used and fresh batteries, or • If any abnormality or problem is found while using
situations. However, there are occasions when
batteries at different state-of-charge, which may the battery, stop its use, and bring it to your local 6.5.4 Transportation
slightly higher than 1V/cell is necessary (to avoid
lead to electrolyte leakage. Always cycle the battery dealer. GP NiMH batteries should not be thought of as wet
scenarios such as over-discharge, when the number
several times to restore its capacity if the battery • Never use cells or batteries for any other applications batteries (like traditional, non valve-regulated
of batteries in the series is large). In addition,
has been stored for an extended period of time. than specified, that may result in damage to the batteries). As a result, GP batteries can be shipped
discharge cut-off lower than 1V/cell should be
considered especially when the discharge rate is batteries and the appliances. or transported in normal packaging without special
6.3.2 Connection between battery and application hand.
very high. devices

Overcharging also adversely affect battery life, the


Be sure to connect the positive and negative battery 6.5 Battery Maintenance
terminals to the corresponding terminals of the
major cause of which is the extra heat generated application device, in order to prevent reverse 6.5.1 Regular inspection
by overcharging. When overcharging repeats from charging. Pe r i o d i c v i s u a l i n s p e c t i o n o f t h e b a t t e r y i s
cycle to cycle, the accumulated heat will eventually
recommended. It is also advisable to store the
degrade the battery life. Therefore, incorporating
battery at room temperature, with low humidity,
a proper charging cut-off mechanism is a critical
when the battery is not expected to be used for a
element in ensuring a long battery life.
long period of time; the aim of which is to prevent
cell leakage and rust.

17 18
7 Customer Application Questionnaire H. Charging parameter
*Fill out as much of the following table as possible.
Cap#
Customer:
Salesperson:
Sales Order# Date:
For NiCd & NiMH
I. Customer Information Cap# Charge Mode Charge Termination
Customer: Customer: Constant Max. volts -Delta V DV/dt TCO DT/dt Timer Vmax
current (mA) (V) (mV/cell) (mV/min) (°C) (°C/min) (hr) (V)
Address: Salesperson:
Ultra Fast (>2C)
Sales Order# Date:
City: Contact person: Fast (>0.5C)
State: Electrical: Title: Email: Tel: Standard (0.1C) N/A N/A N/A
Zip: Mechanical: Title: Email: Tel: Trickle (<0.1C) N/A N/A N/A N/A
Fax: Commercial: Title: Email: Tel:
For Li-ion
Charge Mode Charge
II. Product Description Current to voltage limit (mA) Voltage limit (V) Time Charge control
(<4.2V/cell) (hr) chip
A. Model No.: Capacity: mAh Voltage: V
Standard (0.8C) to 4.2V 4.2 2.5
B. Application: Qty/year: Tentative production date:
Customer proposed
C. Sample request: Cell qty: Quote: Requested delivery date:
Pack qty: Testing: Safety Protection
D. Type of designs: Preliminary Mechanical only Electrical only Final Over charge Over discharge Over discharge Over discharge current TCO Timer
E. Ship to: Salesperson limit (V) limit (V) current limit (A) delay time (mins) (°C) (hr)
Others
Name: Company: * The method of charging and discharging Li-ion battery is very important to the safety and performance of the battery. Please consult engineer
Address: for optimal safety and performance.
City: State: Zip:
F. Specifications: (from customer) For Smart Battery
Customer drawing: Customer sample(s): (pcs). Fuel Gauge Parameter Table (provided by customer)
Parts & asssembly drawing: Circuit diagram: Bill of material: IC Type (provided by customer)
Written specification: Title: Date: Yes: (please attached) No:
Others: (please specify) Remarks:

I. Discharge method
Sketch Details: Discharge mode: Constant current mA Battery low alarm voltage mV
1. S h ow a l l c r i t i c a l d i m e n s i o n w i t h Average current mA Discharging cut-off voltage mV
tolerance or max. Power W Stand-by current after cut-off mA
2. Show connector polarity. Resistance Ohm
3. Show label orientation. Discharge termination method: Cut off voltage (V)
4. Show and list any special features or
materials. J. Operation temperature Max. Min.
G. Protection / Safety: In charge
Customer will protect battery externally. In discharge
Built-in protection requirements In storage
Component Short circuit Overcharge Rating Manufacturer Model no.
Polyswitch: K. Specific testing requirement:
Thermostat: °C Please describe
Thermistor: Ohms
Thermal fuse: °C/Amps
A
Current fuse:
Others:
III. Remarks
* All Packs should be protected against short circuit and over charging.
* Li-ion packs must have safety circuit to protect over charging.
* Air ventilation should be provided in the plastic case of batteries, otherwise it may have a risk generating gases inside them (oxygen and hydrogen
gas) resulting explosion triggered by fire sources (motors or switches). Caution should be focused on the ventilation of battery compartments.
IV. Approvals (GP internal use only)
Airtight battery compartments are strongly discouraged. Sales: Engineering:

19 20
8 Glossary
Active Material Charge Retention Negative Electrode Standard Charge
Chemicals that give rise to electro-chemical The percentage of capacity remaining after a The electrode with negative potential. Current flows The normal charge rate used to charge a cell/battery
reactions, and which generate electrical energy in charged cell/battery has been stored for a period through the external circuit to this electrode during in 16 hours. Normally 0.1C.
the battery. of time. discharge.
Thermal Fuse
Alkaline Electrolyte Closed-circuit Voltage Nominal Voltage A component assembled into batteries, which
An aqueous alkaline solution (such as potassium The voltage of the cell/battery with loading. A general value to indicate the voltage of a battery breaks the current when the temperature reaches
hydroxide) which provides a medium for the ionic in application. a predetermined value.
conduction between the positive and negative Constant Current Charging
electrodes of a cell. Charging with a fixed current value. Open-circuit Voltage Thermistor
The voltage of the cell/battery without loading. A component with a negative temperature coefficient -
Ampere-hour C-Rate built into batteries and/or used to detect the ambient
Unit of capacity of a cell/battery. Capacity is defined Relative rate used in cell/battery, defined as the Overcharge and battery temperature.
as the product of the discharge rate and the quotient of current (mA)/nominal capacity (mAh). The continued charging of a cell/battery after it is
discharge time. fully charged. Trickle Charge
Cut-off Voltage A continuous and very low rate charging to keep
Battery A set voltage that determines when the discharging Positive Electrode a cell/battery on full capacity.
Consists of one or more connected cells. of a cell/battery should end. The electrode with positive potential from which
current flows through the external circuit to the
Capacity Cycle Life negative electrode during discharge.
The amount of electrical energy that can be The number of cycles a cell/battery can run under
supplied by a cell/battery - expressed in mAh, and specific conditions, while still delivering specified Overcharge Current
in specified discharge conditions. minimum capacity. The charge current supplied during overcharge.
Cells/batteries can accept continuous overcharging
Cell Depth of Discharge at recommended rates and temperatures specified
An electrochemical unit constituting positive and The percentage of the available capacity from a by the manufacturer.
negative electrodes, separator, and electrolyte to cell/battery during discharge.
provide electrical energy. Rated Capacity
Discharge A nominal capacity available from a cell at specific
Cell Reversal The operation which removes stored electrical discharge conditions.
In reversal, the normal terminal polarities of a cell energy from a cell/battery.
in a multiple cell battery are switched. Cell reversal Safety Vent
normally occurs only if three of more unit cells are Discharge Rate This is a device to release the gas when the internal
connected, and the battery is deeply discharged. The rate of current drained from a cell/battery. pressure of the battery exceeds the pre-set value.
Cell reversal is detrimental to performance, and
should be avoided by proper selection of cut-off Electrode Self-discharge
voltages during discharge. A conducting plate containing active materials. The loss of capacity by a cell/battery during storage
or in an unused condition. The rate of self-discharge
Charge Exothermic Reaction is affected by ambient temperature.
The operation which inputs electrical energy to a A chemical reaction which results in the release
cell/battery. of heat energy as it proceeds. Separator
The thin and porous membrane between the
Charge Efficiency Memory Effect positive and negative electrodes to prevent short-
A measurement of accumulated efficiency during The phenomenon whereby the capacity of a cell circuit and hold the electrolyte.
the charging operation. may be temporarily decreased when it is repeatedly
used in a shallow discharge pattern. Memory effects Short Circuit
Charge Rate are erased when the cell is discharged to the The direct connection of the positive electrode/
The rate of current supplied to a cell/battery. nor mal cut-off voltage (e.g. 1.0V at the 0.2C terminal to the negative electrode/terminal of the
discharge rate). battery.

21 22
Nickel Metal Hydride

All rights reserved. No parts of this catalogue written or pictorial may be reproduced without the permission of GPI International Ltd.
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