How and When to Charge Your Battery

In all that is batteries, the types available vary and with each one having its own set of needs and functionality, it can be confusing for the common person to keep things straight. The overall purpose of any type of battery is to supply energy to whatever it is attached to so that the object or product will run properly, safely and at its full capacity. Since many members of the battery families have more common traits than not, we will specifically address three of the most popular, since the components and lifespan of almost all batteries ultimately remain similar. Essentially whenever we utilize batteries regardless of what kind, their job is to provide electrical energy to whatever we need to run. When the energy surge is created it is referred to as electrochemical reaction. All batteries will provide this, but not at the same optimum level and certainly not for the same amount of time.

Your battery and how it function are dependent upon three things:

  • Temperature
  • Control Discharge
  • Abuse

Much like food’s freshness or beauty supplies, the life of your battery will be influenced by the temperatures it is stored around. Your battery needs to be stored in cool conditions if you want to get the maximum amount of life from them. When heat comes into contact of your battery, it causes erosion which will quickly deplete your battery’s life and productivity. When batteries discharge energy it needs to be done in a controlled way. If a battery discharges too quickly the life and longevity will be greatly affected. Each life cycle that a battery goes through will lessen its natural charge automatically; therefore partially discharging a battery is always a better choice than a full discharge.

Any machinery or equipment that incurs abuse is bound to work at a lesser capacity. For this reason discharging a battery in a harsh manner or exposing it to abuse regularly will wear on the life of it. Depending on what you are using the battery for, sometimes minimal abuse cannot be avoided but whenever possible, minimizing abuse, storing the batteries in a controlled climate and using tricks to extend the battery’s life are all recommended.

Overall the consumer market wants to get the best bang for their buck and manufacturers of batteries are answering to the supply and demand of battery users. Manufacturers are consistently coming up with ingenious ways to extend the life of a typical battery while simultaneously finding ways to increase their production in a safe way for consumers.

Smaller batteries can have their life extended if the owners engage in longevity activities such as removing batteries that are not often used and storing them in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge. For laptops batteries, unplugging them when you are not using it will also add considerable time to the battery. Remaining consistent with your batteries and not mixing old batteries with new ones will also increase the battery life. For portable devices, extending battery life can be tricky as some are more finicky than others. This however is not impossible. Taking into consideration such things as good monitoring of the battery or re-configuring the hard and software in the battery’s problem bank can add months or years to your battery’s lifespan. Your BMS system can also assist in this process by alerting you to cells or battery groups that need to be replaced periodically.

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