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Old 05-15-2017, 05:09 PM #1
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Default Basic li-ion battery care and maintenance

Most of you RC guys will already know this information and can disregard it! This is for those who do not understand the nature of Li-ion Batteries and the maintenance and care needed for their longevity.


BASIC LI-ION BATTERY CARE AND MAINTENANCE

1. Invest in a good quality Li-ion smart battery charger. A smart charger will safely bring the charge up to, or close to 4.20 volts and not over that! If you go over 4.20 volts, you run the risk of destroying your battery. This is why i never trust the cheap chargers that come with some lasers.

2. Never discharge your Li-ion battery cell below 3.00 volts, as you run the risk of destroying your battery cell.

3. If you are not going to use your Li-ion battery for a period of more than 30 hours or more, "do not" store them at the full 4.20 volt charge as this will also slowly destroy your cell. When storing a Li-ion battery cell, they should be stored at about 3.8 volts for best results!

4. Li-ion battery's also like to be stored at cooler temperatures for longevity!

If you follow this simple guide, you will get much longer use and save alot of money on your Li-ion Batteries! JUST A HEADS UP!


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Old 05-15-2017, 08:39 PM #2
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Default Re: Basic li-ion battery care and maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vetttech View Post
Most of you RC guys will already know this information and can disregard it! This is for those who do not understand the nature of Li-ion Batteries and the maintenance and care needed for their longevity.


BASIC LI-ION BATTERY CARE AND MAINTENANCE

1. Invest in a good quality Li-ion smart battery charger. A smart charger will safely bring the charge up to, or close to 4.20 volts and not over that! If you go over 4.20 volts, you run the risk of destroying your battery. This is why i never trust the cheap chargers that come with some lasers.

2. Never discharge your Li-ion battery cell below 3.00 volts, as you run the risk of destroying your battery cell.

3. If you are not going to use your Li-ion battery for a period of more than 30 hours or more, "do not" store them at the full 4.20 volt charge as this will also slowly destroy your cell. When storing a Li-ion battery cell, they should be stored at about 3.8 volts for best results!

4. Li-ion battery's also like to be stored at cooler temperatures for longevity!

If you follow this simple guide, you will get much longer use and save alot of money on your Li-ion Batteries!

JUST A HEADS UP!
Good points that many are not aware of. +rep when allowed

Last edited by Encap; 05-15-2017 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:12 PM #3
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Default Re: Basic li-ion battery care and maintenance

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Originally Posted by Encap View Post
Good points that many are not aware of. +rep when allowed
I can not tell you the number of times i have had someone tell me that they purchased a faulty Li-po, and when i ask a few questions, i find out that they drained the battery completely, and they killed the battery!
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:03 PM #4
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Default Re: Basic li-ion battery care and maintenance

#2 is important. The others are more "if you feel like it". If you're after longevity, you'd also have to include "keep the discharge rate and charge rate as low as possible", but like your other points, that's a minor contributor and inconvenient for the user. I never saw the point in babying a $5 device. I REALLY don't care if it dies in 5 years instead of 10. I want performance and convenience.
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:26 PM #5
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Default Re: Basic li-ion battery care and maintenance

I think this was a well presented thread for those who may not know how to treat their Li-ion batteries. Over discharging is by far the worst thing you can do to these batteries, except maybe pierce them while discharging. + rep for doing this.
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Old 05-16-2017, 12:51 AM #6
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Default Re: Basic li-ion battery care and maintenance

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Originally Posted by paul1598419 View Post
I think this was a well presented thread for those who may not know how to treat their Li-ion batteries. Over discharging is by far the worst thing you can do to these batteries, except maybe pierce them while discharging. + rep for doing this.
Yep! I see a lot of over discharging Li-ion's in the RC hobby, i just don't get it! Perhaps its the years of using the good old Alkaline cells and driving them until dead, we have become programmed in this way.
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Old 05-16-2017, 03:45 AM #7
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Default Re: Basic li-ion battery care and maintenance

So how the heck do you handle storing Li-Ion cells for your emergency flashlights if it's bad to keep them at full charge?
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:40 AM #8
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Default Re: Basic li-ion battery care and maintenance

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Originally Posted by Razako View Post
So how the heck do you handle storing Li-Ion cells for your emergency flashlights if it's bad to keep them at full charge?
Good thought..I don't have any li-on powered flashlights due to their danger, which I understand is low and most of the time user related, plus the fact they loose charge over time when even not in use.?
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Old 05-16-2017, 11:23 AM #9
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Default Re: Basic li-ion battery care and maintenance

Yep, good thread Vetttech. However I do have some disagreements.

Point 1: I agree that this is important. Some high quality chargers charge in stages to help maintain the batteries and prevent overcharging.
Point 2: This is the most important. This is why I opt for protected cells so I don't drop below a certain voltage.
Point 3: I agree with the others. It may do good, but it is unreasonable. Who here charges their batteries just to slightly discharge them again before storing.
Point 4: Also I am not going to start storing my batteries in my fridge in order to preserve the life. Plus Li-ions don't hold charge particularly well at lower temperatures.

But anyway, nice thread for those who don't know.

Personally I don't believe that unprotected cells should be sold, as not enough individuals know how to correctly use them. Also what with the new vaping craze requiring 18650's, they are now open to a whole new market of unknowledgeable individuals.
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Old 05-16-2017, 08:08 PM #10
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Default Re: Basic li-ion battery care and maintenance

Your last sentence is a scary thought, Curtis. I also use mostly protected Li-ion batteries. I have a small number of unprotected for high current use.
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Old 05-16-2017, 09:55 PM #11
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Default Re: Basic li-ion battery care and maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by CurtisOliver View Post
Yep, good thread Vetttech. However I do have some disagreements.

Point 1: I agree that this is important. Some high quality chargers charge in stages to help maintain the batteries and prevent overcharging.
Point 2: This is the most important. This is why I opt for protected cells so I don't drop below a certain voltage.
Point 3: I agree with the others. It may do good, but it is unreasonable. Who here charges their batteries just to slightly discharge them again before storing.
Point 4: Also I am not going to start storing my batteries in my fridge in order to preserve the life. Plus Li-ions don't hold charge particularly well at lower temperatures.

But anyway, nice thread for those who don't know.



Personally I don't believe that unprotected cells should be sold, as not enough individuals know how to correctly use them. Also what with the new vaping craze requiring 18650's, they are now open to a whole new market of unknowledgeable individuals.

I fully respect you view on this, however, i am also into the RC hobby and have about 150 Li-ion batterys to care for and maintain! Its not a easy job and there is a lot of money invested. I do everything i can to protect my investment. It has worked very well for me over the years.
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Old 05-16-2017, 10:02 PM #12
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Default Re: Basic li-ion battery care and maintenance

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150 Li-ion batterys to care for and maintain!
You are the exception, not the rule.

Quote:
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So how the heck do you handle storing Li-Ion cells for your emergency flashlights if it's bad to keep them at full charge?
"A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."

Don't think of it as BAD to keep them at full charge. Think of it as SLIGHTLY BETTER to keep them at <80% charge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CurtisOliver View Post
Some high quality chargers charge in stages to help maintain the batteries and prevent overcharging.
Even the cheapest chinese chargers do this. 4.2V with a current limit is NOT hard to do.

Is a $25 nail better than a 2 nail? Probably, but there's no reason a 2 nail won't work fine for most people.
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Old 05-16-2017, 11:21 PM #13
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Default Re: Basic li-ion battery care and maintenance

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Originally Posted by Cyparagon View Post
You are the exception, not the rule.



"A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."

Don't think of it as BAD to keep them at full charge. Think of it as SLIGHTLY BETTER to keep them at <80% charge.



Even the cheapest chinese chargers do this. 4.2V with a current limit is NOT hard to do.

Is a $25 nail better than a 2 nail? Probably, but there's no reason a 2 nail won't work fine for most people.
Taking a chance of a Li-ion fire with a 2 cent nail! No thanks! My family and home are worth the $25 nail!
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:00 AM #14
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Default Re: Basic li-ion battery care and maintenance

Question about point #3: Does this also apply to LiFePO4 cells? I have LiFePO4 batteries for my electric bikes. Should I go for a quick ride before stashing the bike in the shop?
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:59 AM #15
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Default Re: Basic li-ion battery care and maintenance

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So how the heck do you handle storing Li-Ion cells for your emergency flashlights if it's bad to keep them at full charge?
Well, if they are portable lights like torches you could just keep the batteries at 80% charged state. You'd get 20% less runtime on them, but a longer shelf life in the long run.

If you have the type of emergency light that is powered from the mains and comes on when power is lost there is little you can do about it. Such systems usually do not need to be light or compact, so other battery systems can be used. NiMH cells would be prefereable for that as you can really trickle charge those (gently) for years without doing damage.

NiMH or NiCd cells are, however, useless for things like torches that are not constantly charged as their self-discharge rate is so high they'll be useless in a few months. Even the low-selfdischarge ones don't really hold -that- much of their capacity if you keep them around for years.

For emergency use it might actually be best to go for primary (non-rechargeable) lithium batteries. Those things have very low self discharge and probably retain 80% capacity after a decade if kept and a reasonable temperature. Surely they are useless when empty, but if you have an emergency once every 10 or 20 years they could be a better solution.
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Old 05-17-2017, 01:02 AM #16
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Default Re: Basic li-ion battery care and maintenance

The lithum ferrophosphate cells are not prone to the same damages like lithium cobalt oxide or lithium manganese oxide cells. As long as you don't charge them over 3.65 volts or discharge past 2.5 volts you should be golden. The LiFePO4 cells are very good at sustaining the 3.2 volts until fully discharged making them less needful of voltage regulation than Li-ion cells do. They also have a greater sustained energy density, which means they can be used and reused more times than a typical Li-ion cell. They are not as prone to thermal damage either.
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