The 18650 batteries have become one of the most popular rechargeable batteries. They are used in a lot of devices like flashlights, smoking devices, laptops, and more electronics.
We must say thanks to the inventor that we can reuse our batteries economically and conveniently unless we have to replace with new ones.
Everyone can buy the best 18650 batteries, but not everyone knows how to take care of it properly. Following are five tips of taking care of 18650 cells users need to know:
1. Store it at an appropriate temperature
We are told to use and keep cells in the range of temperature from 20 to 25 degrees of Celsius. A little lower or higher storage temperature than recommendation can cause a loss in efficacy.
Specifically, according to engineers, every 10 degrees variation will decrease 20-30 mAh of the capacity. The higher deviation leads to the bigger capacity’s loss, the bigger capacity’s loss leads to faster degradation.
However, having said that it’s hard to control the weather, especially in the winter. The only thing we can do to preserve our batteries is not charging them under the freezing condition unless the number of cells life will drop dramatically and quickly.
In like manner, heat is the dangerous enemy of batteries. It will reduce lithium-ion battery life. Don’t ever charge or leave the 18650 cells near hot places such as inside the car, oven in the kitchen. Don’t let it exceed 60 degrees or else you have to buy a new one soon.
There’re times when we use or charge the batteries, and it is getting hot, please stop using or charging. The cells are trying to tell you that they’re over-stressed.
In the charging process, we have to concern two important factors: cycle life and capacity. (Being charged and discharged accounts for one cycle. The more cycles your batteries have, the longer they last.). It’s different depending on whether you do a partial charge or a full charge.
A full charge makes the best 18650 battery work at full capacity, but at the same time, maybe you are placing a burden on it unintentionally. Thus, it will reduce battery life.
In contrast, a partial charge will maintain or perhaps increase the number of cycle life, though you don’t have the maximum capacity.
You have to choose, cycle life or capacity. For the better, you should charge the li-ion batteries under the voltage 4.0V.
Besides the typical conventional chargers, now we have fast chargers by lowering the charge current. It’s about 1 amp or higher. As two sides of a coin, that type of chargers complete the charging faster but cut the batteries life shorter. Don’t overuse them.
There’s a considerable difference in cycle life between different amp currents. The cycle number for 1.5, 1.0, 0.7, 0.5 amp is about 110, 200, 360, 640 relatively.
Notice the current when charging, because it affects your 18650 batteries a lot.
When discharging, we can decide the cut-off voltage as well as the amperage. Batteries users are recommended to discharge with lower amperage. The reason is when we use a higher amperage, it will quickly drain away from the batteries. As a result, it will reduce both the capacity and the cycle life at the same time.
We should copy electronic giants like LG, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic. They usually conduct their official tests at 0.5 or 0.8 amps currents.
Lithium-ion batteries don’t have the charge memory like NiCad batteries, so there’s no need for deep-discharge cycles.
In way no.2, we’re advised to do a partial charge; so we should do a partial discharge as well. It also means that the battery consumes one partial cycle life. This is a good way to relieve the burden on the 18650 cells, leading to an increase in the number of cycle life. Hence, it prolongs the batteries life.
If the 18650 cells discharged with the voltage below 2.5V per cell, the battery’s native safety circuit will open, and we may throw the batteries sooner than we expected. We can’t use the original charger any longer. From now on, you should only discharge to 3,2V for the better.
4. When you don’t use
I know some people want to keep an extra battery for their device and keep it in a fully charged status when it’s not used. If you are one of them, don’t do that.
If not, it can’t last as long as the first one. Because doing that equates to setting the process of lithium-ion oxidation at the highest rate. Instead, you should store the lithium-batteries at 40% discharge, in a refrigerator and absolutely not the freezer.
5. Don’t overuse as well as stop using for too long
I heard quite a few people telling each other that you can protect your batteries by detaching it, keeping it in a drawer and taking it out when needed.
Surprisingly, when you keep it for too long, it turns out a worse way than letting it be with the device. The fact is that the batteries’ capacity still reduces. And if you stop using it for a long time, it may drain out of power and hardly run as usual.
Likewise, we shouldn’t use 18650 cells continuously, let them take a break sometimes. Imagine how hard your batteries have to work for you to play games on laptop day by day. Let them have one day off, for example. Treat them well; they will treat you well.
I have shared with you five tips of taking care of your 18650 batteries already. These are small tips but very useful and easy-to-apply.
I believe these tips will help the cells be safer and last longer. Share this article if it’s helpful to you.