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How to Wake a Sleeping Lithium-ion Battery- Methods, Overcharging and Cycle Life

How to Wake a Sleeping Lithium-ion Battery- Methods, Overcharging and Cycle Life

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Lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable batteries that are ideal for most electronic devices like smartphones and laptops. The batteries contain a protection circuit module. The protection circuit samples the voltage in a lithium-ion battery and outputs the same sample voltage. This safeguard shields the battery from abuse and makes it possible to turn on and off the battery. It is also activated when a battery is over-discharged hence making it unusable. It happens because the protection circuit is meant to detect the battery voltage and cut off the lithium batteries when the voltage is below a specified voltage. When this occurs, the battery goes into sleep mode. Let's have a look at methods of waking up a sleeping lithium-ion battery, whether it is possible to overcharge it, and the life cycle.

How do you wake up a Lithium-ion battery from sleep mode?

Sleep mode happens when a lithium-ion battery is under-charged. It can be a cause of concern as such batteries are assumed to be useless by most people and discarded as the charger mostly renders the battery to be unserviceable. However, a sleep mode should not be a cause of concern as some analyzers and chargers (Vencon and Cadex) have featured a boost and wake-up feature to reactivate such batteries. The boost activates the protection circuit by applying a small charge voltage. It makes it possible for a charger to charge ordinarily more so when the correct cell voltage is applied.

Before deciding to discard off a supposedly dead battery, let's take a look at methods of waking up a sleeping battery.

Step 1: Read the voltage.

First of all, you need to confirm if your lithium-ion battery has some charge remaining. Start by turning off the power source to the electronic device and removing the battery. Using a voltmeter, take a voltage reading to check whether the battery has any juice. For example, if your battery's rate is at 4.0v and the voltmeter shows 2.0v, it may be in sleep mode.

While doing this, keep in mind that different manufacturers will cause the battery to go to sleep mode at varying levels of voltage. Therefore, it is good to familiarize yourself with your battery's capacity to be able to wake it up.

Step 2: Connect to a charger.

Using an appropriate charger, connect the battery for some minutes while keeping an eye on it to detect if there are any signs of damage and healing. Use a charger with the ''boost'' or ''wake up'' feature.

Keep in mind that it is not advisable to boost a lithium-ion battery that has a voltage of 1.5 and below. It is because a battery that has been under-charged for an extended period could have developed copper shunts that might cause electric shorts. These shorts are what usually cause overheating in batteries and may cause an explosion.

Step 3: Read the voltage again.

Check the voltage using a voltmeter. A higher reading than before means the boost is working, the same voltage would mean the process was unsuccessful, you should consider buying a new battery. Make sure you check your charger's manual to know when the process would be complete. Take note that battery revival may not always be successful.

Step 4: Charge and discharge the battery.

If the boost worked, you can now connect the lithium-ion battery to its charger and charge it fully.

Step 5: Freeze the battery.

In an airtight bag free of moisture, freeze the battery for a full day after fully charging and later allow the battery to cool until restored to the initial room temperature. It would happen within 5- 10 hours.

Step 6: Charge the battery.

Connect the battery to a charging system and charge it fully.

Following up these processes may prove to be tiresome as it requires a lot of patience and safety precautions. As an individual, it is a personal choice. You can even consider taking the battery to a professional to service it properly.

Is it possible to overcharge a lithium-ion battery?

Overcharging occurs when a battery is charged to a higher than specified or required voltage. It can be damaging to a battery and even pose a health hazard to a user. Lithium-ion batteries can receive a partial charge hence making it impossible to overcharge. The protection circuit in these batteries prevents the flow of ions when temperatures are too high by inhibiting excessive pressure.

The battery management system in most lithium-ion battery packs also makes it impossible for overcharging to occur. The internal circuit monitors the charging state of a battery and cuts off the current when the limit is reached.

Lastly, if your lithium-ion battery overcharges, the charging system is mostly flawed.

How long does an unused lithium-ion battery last?

A battery in a product or on storage should not be left unused over a long period. If a battery has been left unused for six months, check the battery status (as most batteries self-discharge) and charge it or discard it appropriately.

The estimated life of a lithium-ion battery is mostly between 2 to 3 years or within 300 to 500 charge cycles. That is, from the time it was fully charged, to fully discharged and fully recharged. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries will gradually lose their capacity to hold the charge as they have a limited life cycle. You would need to replace the battery most times as this process is irreversible.

All in all, an unused battery's lifespan will depend on how it is stored and external factors. Keep in mind that extreme heat is the foremost enemy of the lifespan of a lithium-ion battery.

The Bottom Line

To sum it all up, this article gives you methods of salvaging and resurrecting 'dead' batteries and the advantages of a lithium-ion battery when it comes to overcharging and lack of consistent use. I hope you found it enlightening and informative. Next time you come across an unresponsive battery, it might just be asleep, and always remember to leave a little charge on your battery when you plan to store it for a period, not more than six months.

 

 

 

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