EN-EL3e - Can Nikon batteries be refreshed

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by julian_meehan|1, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. With Nimh batteries they can be refreshed by discharging completely and charging a number of times.
    Does any body know if there is treatment for EN-EL3e batteries which are going bad.
    Julian Meehan
  2. I'd be surprised if there was. When you say the battery is "going bad," does your camera show that it is at the end of its useful life, or is it just performing poorly but is a relatively new battery? If the latter, has it been stored in a totally charged or totally discharged state for long periods of time, or at high temperatures? LiON batteries don't do well if stored fully charged at high temperatures. That's why batteries in laptops that are kept plugged in to their chargers tend to wear out before the typical 3 years, as the laptops, if they are running, get hot and the batteries are in a fully charged state.
    On the other hand, new batteries benefit from going through a few charge/discharge cycles, which seems to enable them to get to full capacity.
  3. It's actually better for those batteries not to be fully discharged. Use 'em perhaps two thirds of the way, down, and recharge. If you keep them in use regularly, it's better to keep them continually topped off. Longer term storage is better at about half-discharged. Lithium Ion batteries are very different beasts than NiMH units.

    I've got EN-EL3e batteries that I've been using for years and which are still showing no sign of losing their capacity. I've had a couple of relatively new ones simply fail entirely, but that's a different problem. Always worth having a couple of spares around, no matter what.
  4. I have two of them. No problems. I rotate them in and out as needed. I am not a spray and pray photographer so I usually go a month or more per battery. I think once they have lived their life span you just recycle them and buy a new one.
  5. According to literature, the culprit appears to be the passivation layer which forms on the surface of the cell causing high cell resistance. While this protects the cell from self-discharge, it also causes a voltage delay on high current demand which causes an appliance to shut down immediately.
    I've read conflicting literature on the depassivation method. Some suggest low current discharge (a few mA load) over long periods, others say high current rapid discharge (~1A). It's a bit of a mystery which I imagine relates to the resistive layer's thickness which we can infer through complex measurement. Regardless, both methods have been reported to be successful through repeated charge/discharge cycles. Strangely, I've not come across pulsing the battery which would make sense and is a common method of rejuvenating sulphated lead-acid batteries.
    It won't hurt to try, but best to discharge through an external resistive load where the discharge current can be controlled and monitored.
  6. I accidently had my charger on the wrong polarity when recharging the NiMH cells for my F5. When I realized what had happened, I recharged them at proper polarity. They have worked fine ever since.
  7. these are Li-Ion batteries not NiMh. matt has the correct advice--dont let them run all the way down for longer life.
  8. Everyone that says these batteries are not NiMh but Li-Ion is correct. It sounds like you have been treating these Li-Ion batteries like NiCad batteries by letting them down. My recommended treatment for damaged batteries is to replace them with Nikon brand batteries. Do not purchase Chinese knock-offs. True Nikon brand EN-EL3e are $41 at Adorama. I’ve had two sets of EN-EL3e since 2007. I purchased a D700 in 2008 and ended up with a third set. I always keep a set in the charger and just swap them out. None of these batteries have gone bad.
  9. The EN-EL3e are lithium ion batteries and will not come back to life when they die. There should be a circuit somewhere to protect them from over discharge unless you bypass everything and discharge them manually. They also have a circuit to protect them from over charge unless of course you bypass that also.
    Just get rid of them at the recycle center and buy new ones.
  10. Any experiences with the generic/ non-Nikon EN-EL3e's anyone ? Are they ok for a certain period of time or what ? They seem cheap enough.

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