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How to Increase Medical Lithium-Ion Battery Life

How to Increase Medical Lithium-Ion Battery Life

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A lithium-ion battery (LIB) is a rechargeable battery. These batteries are a vital component in most medical devices. Most of these gadgets are portable and computerized, while their reliability and systems performance is pegged on the battery. Therefore, increasing the reliability of lithium-ion batteries is critical.

The food and drug administration (FDA) has expressed concerns that these batteries have no sufficient quality assurance. There is limited knowledge on when to replace the battery and to integrate these devices. These batteries are corrosive, and they start fading immediately they leave the factory.

Just like humans, their state of health is based on user patterns, genetic makeup, and environmental conditions. Thus the article will provide in-depth information on how you can use the lithium-ion battery. It will remove confusion on how users can prolong and offer the best ways of doing it.

How Do You Extend The Life of a Medical Lithium-Ion Battery?

Lithium-ion batteries age with time, and the manufacturers are aware of that; they are keen to sell you another one after a few years. These batteries have both a negative electrode called the anode and a positive electrode called a cathode, as well as an electrode that interacts with them. However, there are several ways you can extend the lifespan of cathode, anode, electrolyte, current, and separator collectors. They include;

  • Limit exposing them to low and high temperatures, particularly when charging. For that reason, it's not recommended to charge the medical device during extremely cold conditions and always remove them from the charger when they get hot while charging. More so, don’t plug them when the temperature is above or below 10-35°C.
  • Observe the 80-20% range. That is, the battery should not get charged above 80%, nor allow its charge to drop below 20%. Therefore always remove the medical device from the charger when it reach 100%.
  • Avoid fast charging gadgets because the high current will heat the battery and degrade it more quickly. Thus charge the lithium-ion battery slowly.
  • Don’t store these battery in a moist environment and avoid any mechanical activity that can damage it by puncturing.
  • Most makers of cordless power tools don’t recommend the storage of a battery inside a charger. Thus remove it from the charger before storing the device away.

How Long Do a Medical Lithium-Ion Battery Last?

It's estimated that the lithium-ion battery can stay for 3 years with ideal storage conditions. As stated, heat decreases the battery capacity. Actually, batteries in implanted medical devices remain at a constant temperature of approximately 37°C, and they don't experience extreme vibration or shock.

Lithium-ion batteries are used in most medical devices like automatic external defibrillators, pacemakers, surgical drills, saws bone growth stimulators, cauterizers, blood oxygen meters, infusion pumps, and blood oxygen meters, among others. These are single-use devices that require exceptionally longer battery life. These devices also need lightweight, small, and ergonomically designed batteries, and these are the characteristics of lithium-ion batteries.

Advanced medical devices prefer lithium batteries due to energy density and higher specific energy. They have non-aqueous electrolytes, which gives them a higher internal impedance. Further, these batteries have no water and chemical, while the materials used to make them has physical stability.

On the other hand, lithium batteries degrade when the capacity fades. That is the amount of energy this battery can store decreases. Power fade is when the amount of energy that the battery can produce drops. Thus the lifespan of batteries of most medical devices is affected by storage and the rate of charging and discharging.

How Do You Use Medical Lithium-Ion Battery Properly?

Users can enhance the longevity of lithium-ion batteries by doing the following.

  • Don’t keep fully charged batteries in places with elevated temperatures. Their capacity doesn’t fade quickly when this is achieved.
  • Lower charge of lithium-ion batteries prolong their life. However, most consumer devices don't have that provisions but satellites and electric vehicles have.
  • A user shouldn't charge the battery to the full because high voltage affects it.  Consumer chargers can't be adjusted because the manufacturers don't have longevity in their mind. However, users can opt for lower-cost chargers that apply a charge and run method. The option charges the battery in one hour or less without reaching the saturation charge. That is the battery will reach 85% which is sufficient for many users.
  • They should cut off the battery from the charger when it’s fully charged because lithium-ion doesn't absorb overcharge. Instead, the prolonged charging affects metallic lithium and makes it compromise the safety of the equipment and user. You can minimize this stress by keeping the peak cut off short.
  • The users of the portable medical device should turn it off when charging it to enable the battery to reach the set threshold and avoid the saturation stage.
  • Although using fast chargers is convenient, they should avoid it because it degrades the lithium-ion battery. They should opt for standard charging instead because even discharging the battery from the charger degrades it quickly. For that reason, the user can turn off some high-power applications, lower screen brightness, to reduce its discharge rate.
  • They should endeavor to prolong the life of a lithium-ion battery to minimize its impact on the environment, such as reduction of greenhouse gas emission, mining impacts, material consumption associated with the disposal of used batteries.
  • Conclusion
  • Monitoring the operation conditions like charge and discharge voltages can influence the useful life and lifetime of a battery. Avoiding extreme temperatures, when charging, reducing the amount of time you charge medical devices, and avoiding fast chargers can improve the lifespan of the lithium-ion battery.
  • Users can turn off portable equipment when charging it. They can also close some applications and lower screen brightness to reduce battery degradation.
  • Extending the battery lifetime will decrease the environmental burdens and lower cost for acquiring a new battery. On the other hand, the batteries of these medical devices will inevitably degrade with use and time, but minimizing their exposure to adverse conditions can reduce degradation and improve their lifetime.

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