Rechargeable batteries wear out but you can make them longer with a few simple tips. Learn how to get the most out of your rechargeable lithium batteries.
In this age of ubiquitous digital connectivity, battery life is everything.
And the thing about rechargeable lithium batteries is that they do tend to wear out over time. So why do lithium batteries go bad in the first place? The short answer is that each charge-discharge cycle changes the battery’s physical structure, degrading it ever so slightly.
So it’s important to learn how to extend the life of lithium-ion cells. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of five easy tips to help you preserve battery life. If you observe these steps and care for your batteries, you’ll be well rewarded with longer-lasting devices.
1. Store Your Batteries at Room Temperature
This is the most important first step to prolonging the life of lithium-ion batteries.
Keeping your batteries at a constant, mild room temperature is key to extending their usefulness. This means charging at a temperature of around 68-72 °F (20-22 °C).
When it comes to battery life, heat is the “great degrader.” Having a fully charged lithium-ion battery that is exposed to high heat is a sure means of reducing your battery life to nil in no time. So try not to charge your batteries in a hot car.
2. Partial Discharging Is Best
With lithium ion batteries, it’s typically best to allow your mobile device’s battery to partially discharge before recharging.
In other words, unlike with nickel-cadmium batteries, there is no “charge memory” for lithium-ion batteries. So it’s not necessary to allow the battery to completely exhaust before recharging it. It’s far better to recharge after only a partial energy discharge.
However, it’s also a good idea to let your lithium batteries discharge (almost) completely after about thirty charges. This should recalibrate your power gauge, allowing for more accurate readings.
3. Don’t Completely Discharge the Battery
Don’t allow your lithium-ion battery to fully discharge.
Once the battery charge drops below a certain point, between about 2.2-2.9 volts per cell, you’re going to have a hell of a time recharging it. That’s because this triggers a protection circuit, and the battery slips into “sleep mode.”
Your original charger won’t do the trick anymore, and only battery analyzers with a “boost” feature can restart the battery.
4. Use Proper Storage Techniques
If you intend to store your lithium-ion battery for any length of time, do it properly.
This means allowing the battery to discharge to about forty percent of its total capacity, which slows the battery’s oxidation rate. Then, place it somewhere cool—such as a refrigerator (but not a freezer).
5. Opt for a High-Capacity Lithium Battery
It’s tempting to carry a spare lithium-ion battery around to replace a spent original.
But the sad truth is, batteries degrade over time regardless of whether they’re being used. That means a spare lithium battery might not last much longer than the one you’re using.
In that case, you may want to choose a higher-capacity battery if possible, rather than spending extra money on a spare. A Goal Zero Yeti 1400 lithium power station is a great example of such a powerful battery.
Extend the Life of Rechargeable Lithium Batteries With These Simple Tips
There’s no reason why you can’t continue to enjoy your rechargeable lithium batteries. Just follow these steps, and care for them properly.
If you want more advice and tips on tech topics, look no further. Just keep reading our blog to learn everything you need to know.