An ampere-hour is a unit of electric charge equal to the charge transferred by a current of one ampere in one hour through a specified point in a the circuit, equal to 3600 coulombs.
ChargingNi-Cd batteries can be charged at several different rates, depending on how the cell was manufactured. The charge rate is measured based on the percentage of the amp-hour capacity the battery is fed as a steady current over the duration of the charge. Regardless of the charge speed, more energy must be supplied to the battery than its actual capacity, to account for energy loss during charging, with faster charges being more efficient. For example, an "overnight" charge, might consist of supplying a current equals to one tenth the amperehour rating (C/10) for 14-16 hours; that is, a 100 mAh battery takes 10mA for 14 hours, for a total of 140 mAh to charge at this rate. At the rapid-charge rate, done at 100% of the rated capacity of the battery in 1 hour (1C), the battery holds roughly 80% of the charge, so a 100 mAh battery takes 120 mAh to charge (that is, approximately 1 hour and fifteen minutes). Some specialized batteries can be charged in as little as 10-15 minutes at a 4C or 6C charge rate, but this is very uncommon. It also exponentially increases the risk of the cells overheating and venting due to an internal overpressure condition: the cell's rate of temperature rise is governed by its internal resistance and the square of the charging rate. At a 4C rate, the amount of heat generated in the cell is sixteen times higher than the heat at the 1C rate. The downside to faster charging is the higher risk of overcharging, which can damage the battery. and the increased temperatures the cell has to endure (which potentially shortens its life). The safe temperature range when in use is between âˆ’20Â°C and 45Â°C. During charging, the battery temperature typically stays low, around 0Â°C (the charging reaction absorbs heat), but as the battery nears full charge the temperature will rise to 45-50Â°C. Some battery chargers detect this temperature increase to cut off charging and prevent over-charging.When not under load or charge, a Ni-Cd battery will self-discharge approximately 10% per month at 20Â°C, ranging up to 20% per month at higher temperatures. It is possible to perform a trickle charge at current levels just high enough to offset this discharge rate; to keep a battery fully charged. However, if the battery is going to be stored unused for a long period of time, it should be discharged down to at most 40% of capacity (some manufacturers recommend fully discharging and even short-circuiting once fully discharged), and stored in a cool, dry environment.Charging methodA Ni-Cd battery requires a charger with a slightly different voltage than for a lead-acid battery, especially if the battery has 11 or 12 cells. Also a charge termination method is needed if a fast charger is used. Often battery packs have a thermal cut-off inside that feeds back to the charger telling it to stop the charging once the battery has heated up and/or a voltage peaking sensing circuit. At room temperature during normal charge conditions the cell voltage increases from an initial 1.2 V to an end-point of about 1.45 V. The rate of rise increases markedly as the cell approaches full charge. The end-point voltage decreases slightly with increasing temperature.