Discharging at high and low temperature (B)
The lead-acid battery performs best at a slow 20-hour discharge. A pulse discharge also works well because the rest periods between the pulses help to disperse the depleted acid concentrations back into the electrode plate. A discharge at 1C of the rated capacity yields the poorest efficiency. The lower level of conversion, or increased polarization, manifests itself in a momentary higher internal resistance due to the depletion of active material in the reaction.
Different discharge methods, notably pulse discharging, affect the longevity of some battery chemistries. While nickel-cadmium and lithium-ion are robust and show minimal deterioration when pulse discharged, the nickel-metal-hydride exhibits a reduced cycle life when powering a digital load.
In a recent study, the longevity of nickel-meal-hydride was observed by discharging with analog and digital loads to 1.04V/cell. The analog discharge current was 500mA; the digital mode simulated the load requirements of the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) protocol and applied 1.65-ampere peak current for 12 ms every 100 ms and a standby current of 270mA. (Note that the GSM pulse for voice is about 550 ms every 4.5 ms).
With the analog discharge, the nickel-metal-hydride provided an above average service life. At 700 cycles, the battery still provided 80% capacity. By contrast, the cells faded more rapidly with a digital discharge. The 80% capacity threshold was reached after only 300 cycles. This phenomenon indicates that the kinetic characteristics for the nickel-metal-hydride deteriorate more rapidly with a digital rather than an analog load. lithium and lead-acid systems are less sensitive to pulsed discharge than nickel-metal-hydride.