Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Things You Should Know about Li-ion Batteries

Lithium-ion battery is one of the most common batteries for electronics on the market. Our cell phones use it, our computers use it and our digital cameras use it, too. But how much do you know about the li-ion batteries?

lithium-ion battery Researcher
Photo: Argonne National Laboratory

According to Wikipedia, li-ion battery is one of the most popular types of rechargeable battery for portable electronics, with one of the best energy densities, no memory effect, and a slow loss of charge when not in use. Beyond consumer electronics, LIBs are also growing in popularity for military, electric vehicle, and aerospace applications.

li-ion batteries are limited by their life-spans. Check your digital battery to see when it’s being manufactured. The lifespan of lithium-ion batteries are limited by their manufacture date, because you should know that all the batteries are limited by a finite number of charging “cycles”. That is to say, your lithium-ion battery starts dying the moment it leaves the factory.

Some people love to get a spare battery for backup. Although the spare battery you get is brand new, it’s still on the way of dying out. The spare battery would always be better than the one you are using, but you can expect to irreversibly lose 20% of the lithium-ion battery’s charge every year from its original date of manufacture. So, don’t get a spare battery too early if you are not going to use it soon. And pay attention to the manufacturer time of a battery when you buy a replacement battery.

Some people may charge their battery only when it is completely discharged. That is a wrong action. Don’t let your device to discharge completely! There is an artificial circuit that shuts off the device when the charge in the battery is too low. This extraneous circuit is built to protect from the damage that could result if the charge of your lithium ion battery falls too low. Your battery would get permanent damage if the power of your li-ion battery falls too low.

One charge cycle means a single iteration of depleting followed by a re-charge until 100% of battery charge. For example, if you consume 50% of your nb 6l canon battery or motorola krzr k1 cell phone batteries on the first day, and then recharge to 100% at night, and do the same thing on the second day, then you would have just finished up one charge cycle of its battery life.

A lot of people think batteries should be taken out when they connect to the digital devices (especially computers) with the wall outlet. Well, that is a wrong idea. People want to take out the battery because they think the battery would possibly be overcharged with the AC outlet. Actually, the circuits inside your battery are smart enough to ensure your precious lithium ion never gets overcharged. So you should just leave your battery in and enjoy your computer.

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