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Optimal Charging of A Lithium-ion Battery

Optimal Charging of A Lithium-ion Battery

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Before understanding the optimum charging methods for lithium-ion batteries, we should know the basic structure and working of the lithium-ion battery.

Li-ion batteries have two electrodes and an electrolyte between this anode and cathode. Upon plugging in the charger, a reaction takes place at the anode of the battery, and electrons travel built up there. The electors start moving with extremely high speed to go to the cathode. As a result, the smartphone li-on battery is powered by the rapid movement of electrons.  

Many people believe that they should keep their devices powered by lithium-ion batteries fully charged to 100%. However, this is a terrible charging practice as all significant smartphone companies suggest to keep charging smartphones in phases and to keep the charging level between 50 to 85%.

One of the most ignored, yet effective, the technique for optimum life of a lithium-ion battery is that it should always be kept at average temperatures. Anywhere between 20 to 25 degrees C of room temperature would be an excellent choice to keep your li-on powered devices.

The charging process of a lithium-ion battery takes place in two stages. First of all, constant current charging occurs in which a charger is plugged-in to the cell phone. On plugging in the charger, steady current passes through the battery to get the electrons back to the anode. As excess power starts coming to the mobile phone, the phone keeps charging. It means that a cell will be quickly charged if the amount of current coming to it is high. This phenomenon is used by the latest fast chargers nowadays as they make use of the first stage of the charging. 

The second stage of the charging starts when the battery is successfully charged to 70%. At this stage, a constant voltage is utilized, and the charger makes sure that there are no fluctuations in the voltage levels coming to the cell phone. In simple words, it means that the amount of current passing through the battery decreases substantially when the charging level is about to reach 80%.

Optimal charging methods for lithium-ion batteries are discussed previously as well. The following points summarize the best practical methods for the optimum charging of a Lithium-ion battery and the misconceptions about it.

  • You should avoid the deep discharge, i.e., draining the battery to 0%. It is recommended by leading smartphone companies to keep battery levels by about 50%. However, at the minimum, you should charge your cell phone when its battery drops to 10% in order to maintain a good battery life.

  • Use good charging cables. Old or worn-out data cables are known to affect the charging time and quality. Moreover, make sure that the cables you are using are certified by the concerned authorities and the official retailer of that cell phone. Don't buy cheap cables as they will destroy your charging quality as well as damage the battery life. 

  • Avoid the very low or extremely high temperature. Keep such devices at room temperature for optimum charging.

  • A lithium-ion battery should be charged with its specialized charger as using a standard charger may damage it due to changes in current and voltage levels.

  • Recharge in stages whenever you can. This will not put much stress on the battery.

  • Do not overcharge your device powered by a lithium-ion battery after reaching 100%. Overnight charging or idle charging is not recommended for a vast majority of the cell phones. This is because overcharging distorts the structure of the battery by causing plating of the metallic lithium. Subsequently, the stability of the battery reduces significantly, leading to system errors and failures. Moreover, the battery gets highly stressed and heated due to an excess quantity of power.

  • Avoid charging the mobile phone while gaming, streaming movies, using heavy applications or generally using the cell phone. This is because it puts pressure on the battery and disturbs the charging cycles of a lithium-ion battery.

  • Contrary to the popular advertisements of fast charging in the latest cell phones nowadays, using quick charging should be used sparingly. Overnight fast charging must be avoided at all costs as it can have an adverse impact on battery life.

  • Partial charging is the best method of optimal charging of the cell phone.

  • For the optimum working of the lithium-ion battery, small and regular top-ups should be preferred instead of a single long charging span.

  • Never, ever trust and use the unoriginal or unofficial charges. The market is saturated with chargers claiming to have some kind of magic that can charge up your cell phones quickly and efficiently; however, most of them, if not all, are fake and just use tricks for their marketing. If anything, they really do is that they further have a negative effect on the Li-ion battery by putting heavy stress on it rapidly.  

  • You should always prefer the original chargers that come with the packaging of the cell phone. If a charger is not provided while you buy the mobile phone, you should consult the manufacturer of that mobile phone and get an original charger so that your device can be charged efficiently in the correct way.

  • One of the best tips related to optimum charging of the lithium-ion battery is that you should avoid the extreme charging and discharging. It means that you should not fully charge the battery or fully discharge the battery. 

  • Commonly, people think that charging a battery to the full capacity and then discharging it entirely to 0% is an excellent way to use it. But it is completely wrong because high voltage levels put enormous stress on the battery during the charging cycle, which will accelerate the aging of a Li-ion battery. Likewise, during the discharging cycle, the total number of cycles a battery goes through increases, which hurts the battery in the long run.

  • Some people believe that they should keep their lithium-ion batteries charged the whole time. However, it is not actually true. As soon as the battery is fully charged, you should cut the power off because there is no benefit of overcharging a lithium-ion battery cell. Most of the modern smartphones have integrated the features to limit or halt the process of charging once it reaches 100% so that your device is protected from overcharging.

  • Even though the OS does not have such a major impact on the battery, but if we are discussing all optimum methods of charging a Li-ion battery, then it must be noted that you should keep the firmware of your smartphone up-to-date. Whether it’s Android, iOS, or Windows, they keep sending updates that improve the battery settings, security, and the overall performance of the cell phone.

  • For the optimum charging, you should maintain the brightness at a reasonable level. Simply, you can turn on the feature of auto-brightness so that the intensity of the screen will be automatically adjusted to your environment. This helps in conserving the battery, and thus overall charging cycles are improved.

  • To maintain proper battery levels, you should turn off the extra features on your mobile if you are not using them. For example, if you are reading an e-book offline, you should turn off the Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, or any other feature that you are not utilizing. Experts agree that GPS and Wi-Fi are one of the biggest drains on the battery and should be turned off when they are not being used. This will give a significant boost to the amount of time you can get from a single charge.

  • The importance of an original charger cannot be emphasized enough. Hence, it should be stated again that always use an original charger as they are explicitly manufactured according to the requirements of the smartphone model and its company. Use a single charger for every charging cycle as using different chargers can disturb the value of current and voltage, the Li-ion battery is being exposed to which in turn will have a detrimental result on the cell phone’s battery life

  • Some people believe that charging your cell phone via computer or the laptop is damaging for the mobile phone; however, it does not affect the battery in reality. You can still enjoy optimum power and charging speed through charging via the laptop, but you should use the original data cable to do it efficiently.

  • Do not stress too much about the battery life of your device as lithium-ion batteries are meant to be worn-out one day. Optimum charging is necessary to enjoy the experience of your cell phone, but it will deteriorate with time no matter how many efforts you put in, so you should follow these guidelines without any extra pressure.

  • There are a lot of different variations of the rules regarding charging, discharging, usage, and the battery lifespan of a lithium-ion battery. You should follow the basic guidelines and also figure out the ways that work best for you. By adjusting the charging timeframe and the level of deep discharge, a smartphone's usage and settings will vary from person to person. But if you follow the tips stated above, you will experience optimum charging as well as have excellent battery life.

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