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8 Tips to Improve the Life of your Lithium-ion Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are everywhere these days, used in everything from cellphones and laptops to electric vehicles and walkie talkies.

Lithium-ion battery technology was first seen in the 1970s and quickly began to emerge in the 1990s until taking over as the predominant battery for portable electronic devices. Compared with traditional battery technology, lithium-ion batteries charge faster, last longer, have a higher power density, and weigh much less than other battery types.

Our Sure-Response brand radios come with a lithium-ion battery included with each radio. The batteries are rechargeable and each radio comes with its own charger and power adapter. Even with all of the great things that lithium-ion batteries have to offer, they still have to be replaced. As of now, there is no such thing as a “forever” battery! As we all know, batteries will eventually fail and have to be replaced, but what can you do to extend the life of your batteries?

We have compiled a list of 8 tips to follow that can help to improve your battery’s lifespan.

1. Minimize exposure to high temperatures in storage or in use.

2. Minimize exposure to low temperatures in storage, in use, and especially when charging.

Your batteries should ideally be stored, used, and charged in room temperature environments. The worst thing that can happen to a lithium-ion battery is to have a full charge and be subjected to elevated temperatures. Heat is by far the largest factor when it comes to reducing the lifespan of a lithium-ion battery.

3. Minimize time spent at 100% charge.

4. Minimize time spent at 0% charge.

You should allow partial discharges and avoid full ones (usually). What that means is that lithium-ion batteries do not have a charge memory, so there is no need to let the battery completely discharge its electrical charge. In fact, it is better for the battery to use partial-discharge cycles. You should actually try to avoid completely discharging lithium-ion batteries.

As well as not using your battery until it dies, you also should not let your battery sit on the charger for extended periods of time after it has reached 100% charge.

Battery experts do suggest that after 30-40 charges you should allow the battery to completely discharge to the cut-off point and then recharge, this will recalibrate the power gauge within the battery.

5. Avoid use or storage in high moisture environments.

6. For extended storage, discharge a lithium-ion battery to about 40% power and store in a well ventilated dry place between 40 and 80 degree Fahrenheit.

If your battery needs to be stored for an extended period of time, it should not be stored at 100% power. Use the battery to a little under half and then store. The battery should be taken out every 3 months and charge/discharge back to 40-50% before being stored again.

7. When charging your radio, make sure the radio is turned off, this allows the battery to get a faster charge and maintain the integrity of the battery.

8. Avoid mechanical damage to the battery.

Physical impacts, while sometimes unavoidable, can damage your lithium-ion battery. Dropping, crushing, and puncturing can all cause irreversible damage to the battery. Always handle the battery with caution and care. Sure-Response has wrist and neck lanyards for most models that may help with the dropping.

Never push or prod at the battery with tools or your hands. The batteries should be removed and replaced gently to not damage the battery or the battery connection points.

Signs that your lithium battery has been damaged:

Noise: failing lithium batteries have been reported to make hissing or cracking sounds.

Odor: if you notice a strong or unusual odor coming from the battery.

Swelling: if the battery is swelling.

Smoke: this one is a little more obvious.

Sure-Response has replacement or back up batteries available for every model of radio we sell. If your battery is showing signs of failing, has failed, or if you would just like to have backup batteries on hand we can help with that. If you would like to have more control over your battery charging, we also have multi-unit charging stations available for most of our radio models.

Contact your local recycling center to learn how to best dispose of or recycle your batteries when they have reached the end of their lifecycle.

Here is to a long, healthy, battery life!

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