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Four ways to extend battery life

10 June 2015, 7:47 am

Here are a few things that you can do to make your lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries last longer, should they be used in a big home installation, in an electric car or in your portable device like a laptop or smartphone. These tips will be focusing primarily on extending the lifetime of Li-ion batteries, so that they don’t need to be replaced that often.

Tip one: Use it or lose it. It is vital to remember that batteries are degrading not only throughout use, but also when sitting casually on a shelf. This is one reason why makers specify not only a cycle but also a calendar life for their batteries. A good approach is to treat batteries and battery-powered devices like you are treating your dairy products. Purchase the freshest one whenever you are given the choice. A product which is slightly older is fine, but you should expect it to expire sooner.

Tip two: Keeping batteries cool. In terms of operating environment, the most crucial influence on battery life is temperature. Li-ion batteries are most happy to be around room temperature of 20-25°C. In warmer temperatures, a layer that are inside protecting the batteries breaks and needs to be reconstituted, which is sucking up some of the energy capacity that the battery has got to offer. In cooler temperature, the chemical reactions in the batteries slow down.

Tip three: No more memories. This tip is relating to when and how much batteries should be charged. One of the more widely known aspects about battery life is the memory effect. What is less known is that the memory effect in the lithium-ion batteries tends to be very small. When they are not in use, batteries degrade most when they are fully charged.

Tip four: Ins and outs. This tip is relating to power draw. By forcing batteries to give high amounts of power output or to charge quickly is equivalent to both cooling and heating at the same time, the protective layer breaks and rebuild and simultaneously to many cars can cause a traffic jam even without road works. So try to put not too stress on your battery at any time.

For short term battery emergencies. Firstly and most importantly, reduce the load, close apps and turn of the GPS and Wi-Fi, lower the screen brightness etc. Secondly, keep your device in a warm but not hot place. A battery that is warmer, allow the chemical reactions to take place more easily, thereby unlocking a little bit of extra energy.

Read More: News on IOL SciTech / Author - Valentin Muenzel


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