When you buy nickel-based batteries, they are partially charged. You should charge the battery for 14 to16 hours to prime it for use. However, if you don’t prime the battery you won’t damage it. The battery won’t perform very well at first, but it will gradually improve the longer you use it.
Draining Energy before Charging
You should fully discharge a nickel based battery every one to three months to prevent memory from happening. You don’t need to deplete the battery before each charge though as over-cycling could wear the battery down.
Partial or Full Battery Charge
You should fully charge the battery in one session. If you repeatedly give the battery a partial charge only, it can lead to heat buildup, which could cause the battery charger to shut off.
When to Remove the Battery
You should remove the battery from the charger when it’s fully charged. A long trickle charge to a fully charged battery could harm it.
Keeping the Battery Charged
It isn’t necessary to keep the battery fully charged if you’re going to store it for a short period of time. However, battery manufacturers recommend you keep the battery charge to 40 percent for long storage. You should store batteries in a cool place. It won’t hurt the battery to fully drain and recharge it.
Heating During Charging
The battery will heat up when it’s close to being fully charged. The battery should then cool down when it’s ready to use. You shouldn’t use a charger that keeps the battery warm when it’s on standby.
Allowable Charging Temperatures
Slow charge (0.1) 0°C – 45°C (32°F – 113°F), Fast charge (0.5-1C) 5°C – 45°C (41°F – 113°F). Charging a hot battery will generally cut down on the charging time however the battery may not charge to its full capacity.
When using a nickel based battery charger, you will generally get the best results by using a fast-charger that will stop the charging process based on some factor other than just the temperature. The fastest you can charge a nickel-based battery is just over an hour.