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Lithium-ion Battery Life Years- Degradation, Reasons, and Extension

Lithium-ion Battery Life Years- Degradation, Reasons, and Extension

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A lithium-ion battery is a type of a rechargeable battery in which the lithium ions flow from the negative electrode to the positive electrode at the time of discharge and when charging. Lithium-ion batteries get bad over time mostly after the temperatures go down to a certain level. These batteries like the other age as they last for about 2 to 3 years even if they are not put into use. Degradation of these batteries is mostly brought about by their exposure to heat. A buyer must check the manufacturing date to avoid buying a battery that has been lying on the shelves for too long yet the life span is the same.

Do lithium-ion batteries degrade over time?

Yes, lithium-ion batteries degrade over time. Factors that contribute to its degradation include; increased temperatures, elevated voltage exposure, a large change in the state of charge, too much current magnitude during charge and discharge, and lastly the frequency of cycling.

The lithium ion battery contains lithium ions which flow from the anode to the cathode through an electrolyte that is no-aqueous. The process alters the electrode's physical structure and eventually leads to the degradation of the battery over time.

Also as the lithium ions flow to the electrode as it charges, rock salt is formed which alters with the battery as it does not allow enough charge. The rock salt becomes worse as the voltages increases and finally, it degrades the battery.

Elevated temperatures are a cause of battery degradation where too many temperatures cause a loss in capacity and negative effects on the cycle life. More is that a low charge state of a lithium battery degrades it. 2V per cell is the minimal charge state, going lower than that risks the battery as copper shunts are formed inside the cells hence further degrading the battery.

The copper shunts formed within the cells, besides, cause partial electric shorts which affect the normal battery capacity as well as the structure of the cells. All that makes the battery undergo failures now and then in terms of excessive heat build-up at times of charging and discharging.  Low temperatures used to store the battery worsens their state as the battery charge-discharge cycle capacity reduces.

Why do lithium-ion batteries go bad?

Many factors contribute to the death of the lithium ion battery that is first by losing its capacity. Mechanical degradation of the electrodes is where there is a loss of the anode/cathode materials that are active.

Another reason for going bad is the formation of the solid electrolyte interface also the (SEI) around the anode. The formation of the solids prevents the reactions of the electrolyte with the graphite. Capacity loss may result due to the formation of the electrolyte oxidation that occurs at the cathode. This is majorly brought about by increased high voltages for the cells as well as elevated temperatures.  All that results in the battery going bad.

High charging rates may contribute to lithium plating on the surface of the anode. Besides this causes capacity loss which eventually leads to lithium ion going bad. Overcharging and over-discharging cause the battery to go bad, to prevent however it is needed to keep safe within its operating limits.

Aging causes the lithium-ion battery to go bad easily and these batteries age whether they are used or not. More is that the more the battery is charged and discharged, the more the lithium ions become scarce hence causing degradation which eventually leads to them going bad.

Exposure to heat increases stress to the lithium-ion batteries as well as keeping them at a higher voltage. Temperatures beyond 30 degrees will damage the battery therefore, users should ensure they keep their lithium-ion batteries at room temperature throughout and ensure that they don’t get bad easily.

It is essential to know that batteries can go bad even when left unused since they can be stored in extreme temperatures, also they self-discharge. Ensure that if you want to leave your lithium batteries un used then, discharge them at 40% to 50% and then charge them regularly that is every 3-6 months and that will ensure the cells are protected from deterioration.

How do you extend the life of a lithium-ion battery?

For lithium batteries, one should discharge partially and then recharge rather than discharging fully. This discharge reduces the stress of the battery and therefore increases or rather prolongs its battery life. Another way to extend the batteries' life is to avoid using the battery in high raised temperatures. High currents tamper with the life of the lithium ion, to have a longer-lasting battery one should avoid directing higher currents towards the battery.

The lithium-ion battery should be kept at room temperature so any temperatures beyond 30 degrees are known to be elevated temperatures. The higher voltage is rated to be above 4.10V/cell. It is essential to note that the lower the voltage the longer the life of the battery. For example, a lithium ion that is charged to 4.20V/cell has 300-500 cycles when the voltage is lowered to around 4.0V/cell then the cycles increase to 1,200-2000 cycles.

3.92V/cell should be the optimal voltage as going lower than that causes voltage related stress to the battery. Note also that the lower the voltage the lower the capacity of the battery. Rising the voltage however decreases the life of the lithium ion battery. Lower charge voltage however prolongs the life of a lithium-ion battery.

The user should use partial-discharge cycles to increase the life of the battery. 20% or 30% only of the battery capacity should be used before recharging. Besides, the user should avoid charging the battery to a 100% capacity. Other methods of prolonging the life of a lithium-ion battery include; choosing a charger that uses little current termination, reducing the battery temperatures extremes, avoiding high charge and discharge currents, and lastly ensure the batteries do not have very deep discharges that are below 2v or 2.5v.

 

 

 

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