Lithium Ion Battery Care

Batteries aren’t watt they used to be 🙂 See what I did there…? I’ll get my coat.

They used to be weak in comparison to today’s standards, they leaked worse than sewage into the Thames, they’d be flat in 10 minutes on today’s modern appliances and they were dangerous to just throw in the bin.

If you see bins for batteries anywhere, then that’s where you need to dump them, and they then get recycled! Far safer than landfill.

First off Ni-cad (Nickel Cadmium) had a “memory”, if you discharged them to say 50% enough times then the battery would think 50% is the full capacity. Do you remember getting a warning that the battery in your laptop of phone was empty, but it’d still run for hours right? That’s the Ni-Cad memory at work.

Li-Ion and Li-po are different to any battery you’ve ever had before, they don’t have a memory, they can be charged hundreds of times before you see any loss in capacity, and most importantly they are much more energy dense than ever… and they’re only ever getting better.

But you do still need to consider battery care, and occasionally you need to discharge them fully. Storage is also a factor if you’re not going to use them constantly. Today’s lithium battery killer is heat, (it used to be you could revive old batteries with a little heat), today’s batteries are effectively killed with heat. So keep them cool, especially when storing them.

So how to really care for your battery.

  • Only charge to 100% if you’re really sure you need 100%
  • Try not to charge more than 80% and never let the charge drop below 20%
  • After 30 charges, try to discharge the battery as low as you dare, and never never let it drop below 5%
  • Once a battery drops below 2.2v it’s dead, it can be resurrected with boost charges, but these can be dangerous if the battery internally suffered serious damage. Nominal charge for an 18650 is 4.2v
  • If you aren’t using the battery for a while drop the charge to 20% and store in a cool/cold place away from moisture.
  • Never charge to 100% and leave it on charge, let the charge dissipate slowly, you probably won’t notice a difference anyway.

The SRSuntour battery for the Carrera Crossfire-E should do up to 500 charges before you see any real degradation, but if you follow these simple tips, it should give optimum life beyond 500 charges.

Happy Cycling 🙂

Sources: http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries

And: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/five-apps/five-tips-for-extending-lithium-ion-battery-life/

 

About The Bionic Cyclist

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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Dylan Thomas, 1914 - 1953

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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