How to extend the life of your batteries?
Congratulations on buying your new battery. It’s natural that you expect your battery to deliver a good performance and run a long life.
But this would happen only if you take enough care of the batteries. Maintenance is the only strategy.
Maintaining your batteries properly will give the expected performance and long run, and will ultimately benefit you the money you spent.
So, how to extend battery life? Here, are the five fundamental steps you must know to make batteries last longer.
Know your battery well
Spend your money in buying a quality battery with warranty features. Buying a decent battery of high capacity will help you a lot.
Choose a battery with a proper charger.
Your knowledge about the battery you buy is instrumental.
You must be aware of the type of battery, capacity of the battery, manufacturer’s specification of the threshold voltages, optimum level of liquids and of course the user’s manual.
When it comes to batteries, ageing is a major factor.
So, find a battery whose date of manufacturing is the most recent, it will dispense a better functioning than a comparatively older battery.
Use the battery in a well- aerated surrounding
Next, where you place your good battery, matters much. It is always recommended, no matter what kind of battery it is and what purpose it serves, to place the batteries in a very well ventilated area.
The reasons are many. Some gases emitted out from batteries are explosive. Hence, it is a safety measure too.
Also, temperature is a crucial factor.
So, placing them in exposure to air will reduce the temperature and give a longer life to your batteries.
Do not forget to clean off the dusts over the batteries periodically.
Ambient temperature will extend battery life
Pay attention please, this is a crucial part. The major factor that affects your battery life is the temperature.
Optimum temperature is the key to extend battery life. Different batteries need different temperature treatment.
Alkaline batteries will work more than fine at room temperatures. But at higher temperature, more than 100∞ Fahrenheit (37∞ C), it will deliver a poor show.
So, if you are using an alkaline battery and reside in a hotter region, store the batteries in refrigerator (no in freezer) to avoid discharging.
Cool the battery down to the room temperature before using them.
NiMH and NiCad batteries self discharge at a faster rate even at the room temperatures.
In order to retain the charge, keep them in a cool and dry place.
To extend battery life of NiMH and NiCad batteries, you can freeze them and then bring them down to the room temperature before using.
Freezing NiMH batteries will keep hold of about 90% of the charge and will eventually help a longer run.
Next, comes the lithium ion batteries, which are of a great deal today.
All your mobile phones, laptops and note-books have polymer lithium ion batteries. Higher temperature is once again an undesired factor.
High temperatures cause the lithium ions to oxidize and hence will blot your battery.
You can place the battery in the refrigerator, (not the freezer), to extend battery life.
Same applies to the lead acid batteries. Store them in a cooler and dry place but do not freeze them ever.
Remember not to charge a frozen battery, before it is down to the room temperature.
Proper charging gives a long life
Just like eating right food gives you healthy long life, so does the right charging for the batteries.
Charge before the battery is completely dead. Even proprietary chargers cannot give life back to the battery, if it is often allowed to discharge completely.
Battery analyzers can lend their hands, though do not completely discharge them.
Deep discharge cycles i.e. completely discharging before charging is not advisable.
Charging a battery when it is left with 40% of charge is acceptable.
But once you have recharged more than 30 times, you should allow it to discharge up to the minimum threshold level specified.
For example, for a lithium ion battery, the threshold voltage is above 3 volts per cell.
Also do not completely charge your battery. There must be places for the atoms to move. Leaving a fully charged battery in a hot area is dangerous.
Principally, use the original chargers. Don’t charge if the temperature is above 49 C (120 F).
Check the water levels
Examine the water levels once a week and make sure that they are at the fitting.
The plates of the busy batteries must be totally immersed in the electrolyte. If not, add distilled water to fill it. Never carry out to add electrolyte.
Follow the above guidelines to extend battery life.
Always know that each type of battery requires a different handling and act accordingly. That’s it to say. Recharged!