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How to Increase the Life of Your Lithium-Ion Batteries

Battery research is focusing heavily on lithium chemistries, so much so that one could presume that all portable devices will be powered with lithium-ion batteries in the future. In many ways, lithium-ion is superior to nickel and lead-based chemistries, however, aging of lithium-ion is an issue that is often ignored. Lithium-based batteries have a lifetime of two to three years, and the clock starts ticking as soon as the battery comes off the manufacturing line. Eventually, the cell resistance will reach a point where the pack can no longer deliver the stored energy, although the battery may still contain ample charge. There are no remedies to restore lithium-ion once worn out, but there are ways to increase the life before this happens. Here are just a few of the tips mentioned in the article:

  • Avoid frequent full discharges because this puts additional strain on the battery
  • Keep the lithium-ion battery cool (avoid a hot car)
  • Consider removing the battery from a laptop when running on fixed power
  • Avoid purchasing spare lithium-ion batteries for later use

Battery University January 2004

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