Introduction

In the past decades, lithium-ion technology has become the gold standard of the battery industry. The lithium-ion battery is light in weight, long in life, and easy to charge, so it is very suitable for mobile devices. In addition, because of rechargeable characteristics, lithium-ion batteries are used on various occasions.  However, this is particularly annoying when a mobile device has to be charged in a public place where only one outlet is available. So, do you know that you can prolong their life? If you take the necessary measures, you can make your battery perform better. In our article, you will learn more about the lifetime of lithium-ion batteries and the best ways to extend its life.

What are the expected lifetime of lithium-ion batteries?

Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries need daily maintenance when being transported and used. The typical lifetime of lithium-ion batteries is about 2-3 years or 300-500 charging cycles. After these cycles, their charging capacity decreases by about 20%, and battery life will begin to decline rapidly. A charging cycle is defined as a period from full discharge to a full charge, which can be composed of multiple partial discharges. This explains why people who use a lot of laptop computers often need to change their batteries frequently. In addition, the lifetime of lithium-ion batteries is affected because they are installed in mobile devices. Physical shock, vibrations, and temperature change will damage the battery and shorten its service life.

Why do lithium-ion batteries degrade over time?

There are mainly three reasons cause lithium-ion batteries to degrade over time.

First of all, the more cycles a battery completes, the more its performance declines, thus shortening the battery life. That is because of the loss of mobile Li-ions in the battery. These are often lost through side reactions that occur with the electrolyte, reducing the number of Li-ions that can shuttle between the electrodes. The loss of moving ions reduces the maximum capacity of the battery.

Secondly, the lifetime of lithium-ion batteries will be shortened under high temperatures. The electrolyte that sits between the electrodes breaks down at elevated temperatures, causing the battery to lose its capacity for Li-ion shuttling.

Thirdly, overcharge the batteries. The battery life will be damaged if lithium-ion batteries powered equipment is plugged in overnight due to the trickle charging phenomenon. Trickle charging refers to the process that the battery continues to be fully charged to 100% whenever the inevitable charging losses occur in the equipment. This rebound between 100% charge and slightly less than 100% charge can increase the internal lithium-ion batteries temperature, thus reducing the battery capacity and life.

How to extend the lifetime of lithium-ion batteries?

Never Charge Your Battery to Full Capacity

Ideally, you would never let lithium-ion batteries charge more than 80% or discharge less than 20% because beyond the range of 80-20%, lithium-ion batteries will be stressed and degraded on either side. If you need the durability of a fully charged battery, please continue to be fully charged, but once the charger reaches 100%, please take the equipment out of the charger immediately. This means that it is bad news to charge your mobile phone all night and leaving a seldom-used battery on the charger, so find a convenient and friendly charging program.

Avoid using fast charging

It is convenient to use the “fast chargers“, but it will degrade the lithium-ion battery faster than standard charging. For cellphones and laptops, turning off location services, lowering screen brightness, and quitting high-power-use applications can help slow the discharge rate.

Minimize exposure to high temperatures 

Store the battery between 20 and 25 degrees. During the charging process, the battery temperature will rise due to the current. Therefore, if the temperature inside the room is too high, please do not leave the battery inside the room or charge the battery. Heat is the biggest factor leading to the shortening of a lithium battery life.

Avoid Complete Discharge

Unlike nickel-cadmium batteries, lithium-ion batteries have no charge memory function. This means that no deep discharge cycles are required. It is best to use partial discharge cycles for batteries. With only one exception. Battery experts suggest that the lithium-ion battery should be almost completely discharged after charging 30 times. The continuous partial discharge will produce digital memory, which would reduce the accuracy of the electricity meter. Therefore, the battery is discharged to the cut-off point and recharged. The power meter will be calibrated again.

Safely Storing Your Battery for Longer Periods

When storing for a long time, please keep the battery charging in a safe range. If they are not in this range during storage, this will put pressure on the batteries cells and cause the whole cell to age faster. The energy stored within your batteries will gradually be released or self-discharged. It’s best to charge it once in a while, to keep it in a good range. In addition, keep in mind the best temperature range of storing batteries (between 59F and 68F), because the more it deviates from this range, the greater the change in battery degradation. Keep away from damp places, because if moisture penetrates the battery pack, it will be dangerous.

 

Conclusion

Eventually, the battery will deteriorate, but you can use some methods to extend the lifetime of lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion batteries can be used for a long time. They are capable of handling hundreds of charge and discharge cycles. But we must remember that the introduction of technology is for our convenience, and we don’t need to use it excessively. Other than taking measures to improve the life expectancy of lithium-ion batteries, you should also try to use them only when needed. We hope that you have got all the answers to the questions about the extension and lifetime of lithium-ion batteries and that you will take the necessary steps to extend the lifetime of lithium-ion batteries.

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