Batteries have unique needs and Table 1 explains how to satisfy these desires based of common batteries. Because of similarities within the battery family, we only list lead, nickel and lithium systems. Although each chemistry has its own requirements, there are common denominators that affect the life of all batteries. These are:
Charging and discharging batteries is a chemical reaction, but Li-ion is claimed as an exception. Here, battery scientists talk about energies flowing in and out as part of ion movement between anode and cathode. This claim has merits, but if the scientists were totally right then the battery would live forever, and this is wishful thinking. The experts blame capacity fade on ions getting trapped. For simplicity, we consider aging a corrosion that affects all battery systems.
Rechargeable batteries operate in a wide temperature range but this does not give license to charge them at extreme temperatures. Extreme cold and high heat reduce charge acceptance, and the battery must be brought into moderate temperature conditions before charging.
The charge algorithm for NiMH is similar to NiCd with the exception that NiMH is more complex. The NDV method to measure full charge shows only a faint voltage drop, especially when charging at less than 0.5C. A hot battery or one with mismatched cells works against the already minute voltage drop.