Jump to content

To Charge or not to Charge


comp56

Recommended Posts

From another discussion...

The original rechargable battery was NICAD. The idea was a battery that was rechargable so that you didn't have to keep replacing your alkaline cells, those are your Energizers and Duracell's, for those who are not in the know. The problem was, a NICAD needed to be drained all the way before it was charged back up, and so many people didn't know about this. NICADS have a memory effect, if you drain them half way and then put them back on the charger, they remember that spot that they were in. Next thing you know your battery isn't lasting as long as it once did on a charge. And then eventually the battery dies for good, never to be reborn again.

Then there are those who were knowledgable about the batteries, and they drained them down all the time. The batteries did last longer, but they still only lasted so many charges until the battery was shot for good. Because of the poor memory effect of these batteries, they were replaced by NMH. Nikel Metal Hydrate batteries were said to be of a major improvement, as they claimed that they no longer had the memory effect issue, and that they would last a lot longer. All they did is some battery restructuring, but they failed, IMO, to really solve the problem.

The NMH batteries seemed like they were an improvement at first, but you still had to drain the batteries all the way before you could charge them up again. And just like with the NICADS, after so many charges, the batteries started to loose some of their oompth that they once had. Eventually, just like the NICAD, the NMH didn't want to take a charge anymore. Well, by this time they came out with, what I call, NMH battery regeneration technology. When you activated the regeneration mode on some smart chargers, the charger would drain the batteries all the way down, charge them all the way back up, then burn them all the way down again, and charge them up again once more.

This process helped to restore the batteries ability to hold a charge. Unfortunately, what they never told us was, once a NMH battery gets torwards the end of its life, it doesn't matter if you try to regernate it or not, the battery has gone bad, it simply can not be manipulated, even by a smart charger. And then instead of that yellow light or steady red light, you get flashing red lights to indicate the battery has gone bad, please replace. So as you can see, NMH batteries were not much of an improvement over NICADS, and this is why for the most part, most companies have abandened the technology.

Lithium batteries have actually gone through 3 generations, they've been around for the past 15 years. IMO, Lithium batteries have been, and are the true replacement to the older rechargable batteries. Lithiums batteries do not have a memory effect, as long as you keep the batteries charged. With these batteries, you do not burn them down all the way, and if you do, make sure you charge them immedietly. What a lithium battery has in common with a lead acid battery, such as a car battery, is that they both will go bad if left dead for too long. In a lead acid battery, the plates will sulfate, and once that happens its dead for life.

Lithium batteries are very simular in that if kept dead for too long, you might as well throw them away. However, most people today are smart about their electronics and they always keep their lithium cell's charged. Lithium's don't like to be charged at 100% all the time either. When putting a lithium battery in storage, its always best to store them at 50% to 70% charged, this extends the life of the battery. And unlike the older battery types that would loose their charge after a month, lithium cell's will retain their charge 3 years into the future before you need to recharge them again.

Lithiums are a much more reliable battery technology, they run longer, run cooler, require less time to charge, and can last many more charges over previous battery types. Originaly you had Lithium in the first generation, then the second generation brought us Lithium Ion, a marginable improvement. And I think we got now Lithium Hydroxide, or something of the like. Most electronic devies use lithium ion batteries. If you come across a company that is selling a piece of equipment using the old standard NMH, steer away.

This is an attempt by a company trying to save money. They know the NMH batteries are no good, but they don't care, as long as they can squeese a little bit more money out of you, thats all they care about. If you are going to buy something with a rechargable battery setup, make sure its lithium ion! At this point in time, lithium battery technology is the best there is. I had a computer mouse, the Logitech MX1000 wireless lazer mouse. That thing used an internal built in lithium rechargable battery. It lasted me 7-years of heavy gaming use before its charge only lasted 1 day per charge. Thats how good lithium is.

And there is the history of rechargable battery technology as best as I could remember it. Hope this helps

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I keep my batteries at 100% until they hit 50% and then charge them back up to full.  I've heard that technically you do get better life keeping them at 50%, but also that it's much worse to run them down to 0%.  Hell, apparently the best thing to do is to store them at 50%, run them down to 40% and then charge them back to 50%, but honestly that's just too much work and I hate not having a charged battery.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Along with the propper charging management, keeping the batteries in a cool place and out from the hot will also get you a few extra miles from your batteries....

so keeping my drill/driver and batteries in my truck in the summer in texas is not good for the batteries....argh.  Maybe I'll get them their own ice chest to keep them from getting to 120 degrees.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I gotta be honest...

I hear all this talk about batteries an think man if that's how batteries are suppose to be treated I might just be considered a battery abuser.

I have 13 millwakee lithium ion 18 volt batteries in a few different sizes. Some are left on the Chargers mounted in my truck some are in my bedroom. And the rest are well wherever they end up getting charged. They usually get a full charge an left in my truck when charged. Winter cold or summer heat there in the backseat ready to go as needed. Real world tough, now that's millwakee for yeh.

Am I now considered a battery abuser?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I gotta be honest...

I hear all this talk about batteries an think man if that's how batteries are suppose to be treated I might just be considered a battery abuser.

I have 13 millwakee lithium ion 18 volt batteries in a few different sizes. Some are left on the Chargers mounted in my truck some are in my bedroom. And the rest are well wherever they end up getting charged. They usually get a full charge an left in my truck when charged. Winter cold or summer heat there in the backseat ready to go as needed. Real world tough, now that's millwakee for yeh.

Am I now considered a battery abuser?

Well you wouldn't be the only battery abuser.

I've got 11 m18 batteries and 13 m12 batteries, all in my gang box at work. Normally all of them are charged and if it's not charged then its deader than a door nail till it makes it to a charger.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Along with the propper charging management, keeping the batteries in a cool place and out from the hot will also get you a few extra miles from your batteries....

Yup I keep my batteries in the cab of my truck but its been so hot lately that some AAA batteries exploded in my cup holder 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

so keeping my drill/driver and batteries in my truck in the summer in texas is not good for the batteries....argh. Maybe I'll get them their own ice chest to keep them from getting to 120 degrees.

IDEA ALERT: Tough System battery storage with some form of air exchanger or even some sort of cooling technology. After I hit 40 Tough boxes, I may scrap one and see if I can think up something.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To respond to the OP, brand new, out of the package batteries are usually approximately 60% charged. (2 of 3 bars on DeWalt). I'm sure there is a reason for that. Shelf Longevity based on DeWalts research?

How about a digital battery gauge or digital charger from the manufacturers?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The best low-tech solution to store your batteries would be in a closed box. Preferable chrome plated or shiny, or if thats not an alternative, a white box. In extreme cases, a bit insulation. A fan would not keep the batteries cool, actually, it would be a tad worse. Since the temperature in the car or where ever you store it is hot.

The shiny/white coating almost eliminates heat-radiaton, and insulation keeps the box cool from the enviroment for some time.  Would work just as good in too cold climates. 

 

If you really want some awesome more techy solution, put a peltier-element inside, with one heatsink (with fan) on the inside, and another heatsink on the outside (with or without fan, depends on the power-output, size and temp). Problem is that you actually would drain a battery or something to keep it running. In a very cold situation, you just reverste the current flow, to make it a heat-pump.

 

Edit: The only time where a fan would be wise, was if you could not protect it from direct radiating heat (usually the sun). F.eks: If you have to have batteries under the windows in a car. 

 

 

 

I'm sure there is a reason for that. Shelf Longevity based on DeWalts research? 

How about a digital battery gauge or digital charger from the manufacturers? 

Isn't that just the normal "Li-Ion logic" that was allready covered in other posts? Remember that the charge will drop over time, so it's not stupid to crahge a bit more than 50 %. Since they usually have some shelf-time. Charging it too low, and then have it stored for a couple of years would be bad. :)

 

 

How about a digital battery gauge or digital charger from the manufacturers? 

 
 

What do you mean by digital battery gauge? Or digital chargers? 

 

Ps:

Analog power-supplies/chargers are very bulky, and not very powerfull or efficient (so called "linear Powersupply"). Can't say I have seen one in ages though. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Long term storage is best at 50% because lithium ion battery cells are most stable at that level, it's also why they ship from the manufacturer that way. How much will it help in longevity and max charge/discharge cycles? I don't know...maybe a little. The big things are to not let them freeze, cold isn't harmful permanently but will reduce output while cold, or overheat too much but the worst thing by far is to always drain to zero before recharging. This is especially bad in tool type batteries with many cells run in series and or parallel because if one of the cells is out of spec and weaker it might drop to too low a voltage for the charger to deem it viable and essentially take all the other good cells with it. It only takes one weak cell to ruin a whole pack. Also never leave a battery on the tool for 6+ months unused and then pull the trigger. The battery might have naturally discharged over time and powering up the tool might be enough to kill a cell and take the whole pack with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many batteries are rated to get the same overall life whether you put them through a half cycle or full cycle (e.g. rated at 4000 half cycles or 2000 full cycles).

 

The main thing is not to leave them dead empty for long.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The best low-tech solution to store your batteries would be in a closed box. Preferable chrome plated or shiny, or if thats not an alternative, a white box. In extreme cases, a bit insulation. A fan would not keep the batteries cool, actually, it would be a tad worse. Since the temperature in the car or where ever you store it is hot.

The shiny/white coating almost eliminates heat-radiaton, and insulation keeps the box cool from the enviroment for some time. Would work just as good in too cold climates.

If you really want some awesome more techy solution, put a peltier-element inside, with one heatsink (with fan) on the inside, and another heatsink on the outside (with or without fan, depends on the power-output, size and temp). Problem is that you actually would drain a battery or something to keep it running. In a very cold situation, you just reverste the current flow, to make it a heat-pump.

Edit: The only time where a fan would be wise, was if you could not protect it from direct radiating heat (usually the sun). F.eks: If you have to have batteries under the windows in a car.

Isn't that just the normal "Li-Ion logic" that was allready covered in other posts? Remember that the charge will drop over time, so it's not stupid to crahge a bit more than 50 %. Since they usually have some shelf-time. Charging it too low, and then have it stored for a couple of years would be bad. :)

What do you mean by digital battery gauge? Or digital chargers?

Something like an LED or LCD gauge that gives you precise charging status. Right now, on DeWalt for example, ones best guess is 33%, 66% or fully charged. At what percentage do the three indicators change from one to another. Will the battery show three bars at 75%? Will it show two bars at 50%?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Member Statistics

    18,276
    Total Members
    6,555
    Most Online
    Shiv Laser India
    Newest Member
    Shiv Laser India
    Joined
×
×
  • Create New...