Memory Effect – Digital Camera Battery

Memory Effect is the common term people use when there is a "'Voltage Depression" problem with a battery. Voltage Depression does not necessarily cause permanent damage to a your battery. It is more of a nuisance with the incorrect charging of your battery and can most likely be corrected by fully charging and discharging the battery.

Voltage Depression (the common Memory Effect) is often “incorrectly” used to explain low battery capacity. In actuality the so called memory effect should reference inadequate charging, overcharge, or exposure to high temperatures.

Voltage Depression occurs primarily in NiCad batteries. NiMH batteries are almost never affected and Li-Ion batteries are NEVER affected.

Maximize the use of your rechargeable batteries by:

  • Buy a good charger. NiMH batteries should not be charged in a NiCad charger, unless the charger is specifically made for both chemistries. Chargers with micro-controller chips are usually the best choice.
  • Occasionally discharge your batteries fully before recharging them. This is especially helpful to NiCad batteries. Some chargers have a conditioner that will actually cycle the battery for you.
  • Do not leave your batteries in a hot car, or in humid conditions. The best storage conditions are a cool, dry place. The refrigerator is fine if you stick in a packet of silica gel with your batteries in a sealed bag to keep them dry.

Until next time – Dan Hagopian,
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