Electric Cars, Smartphones, Tablets, Laptops, Cordless Phones, iPods, Android, iPhone & more, many consumer electronics are powered by Lithium Ion batteries. Power tools are often powered by NiMH or NiCD batteries. The starting of most engines powered by PBA batteries. Here I explain how to get the most life out of each kind of rechargeable battery~
Only 3 things to remember!
1. Lithium + NiMH = 30 to 80% magic
2. Lead Acid = Fully Charged on Maintainer Magic
3. NiCD = Charge, Use, Store Low, Charge before Use Magic
Advanced Management Techniques
1. Lithium Ion & NiMH up to 15 years
-30-80% charged the key (shallow cycling)
-Charge to full on initial first cycle, out of the box!
-3 full cycle charges will format a new battery!
-Never Store Lithium Ion Fully Charged
-Avoid High Heat & Camping on Charger When Fully Charged
-Over charging can shorten cell life to less than 1 year : charging all night long when 2 hours fills the battery, the slow 5ma leaking into the cell from the phone charger slowly cooks the battery! New phones abusively charge batteries to 4.36vdc at very high power rates which greatly shorten the useful life. I recommend timing the battery charge sessions to coincide with breakfast, a shower, dinner or some other natural interval when you plug it in, eat, show, cook, clean, then unplug about 30min to 1 hour later. You can also set a timer on your phone to remind you too unplug after 45 min.
-Deeply discharging to below 10% causes capacity loss.
Most people will never see more than 5 years of useful life out of a NiMH or Lithium Ion battery from 2017 or before, except for Lithium Ion Phosphate! Most people damage Lithium Ion batteries by constantly fully charging them daily, all night long. Most people put NiMH batteries into a charger and fully charge them, damaging the cells each time. Hybrid vehicles have computer controlled charging that automatically keeps the cells between 30 & 80%, which greatly enhances the cell life by a factor of 500% or better! This is how the Toyota Prius enables the NiMH pack to last 20 years!
2. PBA or Lead Acid up to 13 years
-Store 100% Fully Charged on a charge Maintainer, keeps the Sulfuric Acid from Sulfating the Lead
-Drive Vehicle at Least 3hr per week to keep fully charged (alternator does it)
-Avoid parking modern cars for more than 2 weeks unplugged from a battery maintainer
-Avoid deep discharging starting batteries & do not discharge deep cycle version below 12.3vdc
-Avoid charging beyond 15vdc: fully charged 14.6vdc connected to charger, float charge is 13.26vdc.
Most people are going to see 3-7 years out of a starting battery in a regularly used vehicle. Vehicles that sit idle for months on end, like power sports vehicles, often result in a dead battery after only 1 season because the battery sits discharging, acid reacting with the plates until a layer of sulfate crystals coats the anode, sulfating the battery & ruining its electrochemical performance. The key is to either drive a vehicle for 3 hours per weak so that stator/ generator/ alternator can keep the PBA starting battery fully charged, or you need to hook up a automatic battery maintainer to keep the battery fully charged. You can improve the life of your powersport battery by 4x by keeping it connected to a battery maintainer when you are not using your power-sport vehicle. This is also true for RV or any other rarely used vehicle with lead acid batteries, keep them fully charged on a maintainer, plugged into to shore power!
3. NiCD up to 23 years
-Charge to Full when New, then Remove from Charger & Use the Tool until weak battery
-Deep cycle from full to low state & store at low state
-Charge to full from low state 2 hours before you plan on using them again
-Store @ 1.0vdc per cell : an 18v tool pack NiCD battery contains 15 cells so 15vdc
Many people experience dead tool batteries after only 3-5 years when their NiCD tool batteries could last 20 years or longer if they knew about not camping the batteries on a charger, storing them fully charged, or shallow cycling them. NiCD batteries last long if deeply cycled and stored at 1vdc per cell, or 15vdc for a 18v battery. You can find the number of cells by dividing your battery voltage by 1.2vdc. The magic is storing NiCD at a low state of charge, then fully charging 2 hours before you plan on using the tools; This is why NiCD never went over well for Electric Vehicles!