Using Rechargeable Batteries
by Hugh Stockton
Just some general information to get the most out of rechargeable batteries.
The best way to deal with all rechargeable batteries is to use them until they no longer power the device and then charge them completely. That said, a rechargeable battery can be damaged by over discharging. Once it no longer powers the device, it should be removed and recharged quickly -- within hours. Batteries not in use should be refreshed monthly. I keep a minimum of 3 spares. I number the spares to be sure they are all used in turn.
The difference between 'refresh' and 'recharge' is that a refresh first discharges the battery and then recharges it. You should use refresh if you don't know the condition of the battery or if it is not completely discharged. A couple of refresh cycles before using the battery is a good ides if you are not going to use the battery soon and discharge it completely in normal use. Note that a refresh cycle on a fully charged battery can take several hours. It is NOT NOT NOT good to recharge a partially charged battery. A partially charged battery should always be refreshed, or, as noted above, kept in the device until discharged.
Frequent charges don't damage a battery except that a battery only has a certain life span -- measured mostly by the number of charge/discharge cycles it experiences. Batteries can be damaged by too rapid charge or discharge -- primarily by the excess heat generated. A normally operating camera won't draw excessive current and a normally operating, well designed charger won't charge too quickly or overcharge.