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BU-808: How to Prolong Lithium-based Batteries

Battery research is focusing on lithium chemistries so much that one could imagine that the battery future lies solely in lithium. There are good reasons to be optimistic as lithium-ion is, in many ways, superior to other chemistries. Applications are growing and are encroaching into markets that previously were solidly held by lead acid, such as standby and load leveling. Many satellites are also powered by Li-ion.

Lithium-ion has not yet fully matured and is still improving. Notable advancements have been made in longevity and safety while the capacity is increasing incrementally. Today, Li-ion meets the expectations of most consumer devices but applications for the EV need further development before this power source will become the accepted norm.

As battery care-giver, you have choices in how to prolong battery life. Each battery system has unique needs in terms of charging speed, depth of discharge, loading and exposure to adverse temperature. Check what causes capacity loss, how does rising internal resistance affect performance, what does elevated self-discharge do and how low can a battery be discharged? You may also be interested in the fundamentals of battery testing.

What Causes Lithium-ion to Age?

The lithium-ion battery works on ion movement between the positive and negative electrodes. In theory such a mechanism should work forever, but cycling, elevated temperature and aging decrease the performance over time. Manufacturers take a conservative approach and specify the life of Li-ion in most consumer products as being between 300 and 500 discharge/charge cycles.

Evaluating battery life on counting cycles is not conclusive because a discharge may vary in depth and there are no clearly defined standards of what constitutes a cycle(See BU-501: Basics About Discharging). In lieu of cycle count, some device manufacturers suggest battery replacement on a date stamp, but this method does not take usage into account. A battery may fail within the allotted time due to heavy use or unfavorable temperature conditions; however, most packs last considerably longer than what the stamp indicates.

The performance of a battery is measured in capacity, a leading health indicator. Internal resistance and self-discharge also play roles, but these are less significant in predicting the end of battery life with modern Li-ion.

Figure 1 illustrates the capacity drop of 11 Li-polymer batteries that have been cycled at a Cadex laboratory. The 1,500mAh pouch cells for mobile phones were first charged at a current of 1,500mA (1C) to 4.20V/cell and then allowed to saturate to 0.05C (75mA) as part of the full charge saturation. The batteries were then discharged at 1,500mA to 3.0V/cell, and the cycle was repeated. The expected capacity loss of Li-ion batteries was uniform over the delivered 250 cycles and the batteries performed as expected.

Eleven new Li-ion were tested on a Cadex C7400 battery analyzer. All packs started at a capacity of 88–94% and decreased to 73–84% after 250 full discharge cycles. The 1500mAh pouch packs are used in mobile phones.

Although a battery should deliver 100 percent capacity during the first year of service, it is common to see lower than specified capacities, and shelf life may contribute to this loss. In addition, manufacturers tend to overrate their batteries, knowing that very few users will do spot-checks and complain if low. Not having to match single cells in mobile phones and tablets, as is required in multi-cell packs, opens the floodgates for a much broader performance acceptance. Cells with lower capacities may slip through cracks without the consumer knowing.

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Similar to a mechanical device that wears out faster with heavy use, the depth of discharge (DoD) determines the cycle count of the battery. The smaller the discharge (low DoD), the longer the battery will last. If at all possible, avoid full discharges and charge the battery more often between uses. Partial discharge on Li-ion is fine. There is no memory and the battery does not need periodic full discharge cycles to prolong life. The exception may be a periodic calibration of the fuel gauge on a Smart battery or intelligent device(See BU-603: How to Calibrate a “Smart” Battery)

The following tables indicate stress related capacity losses on cobalt-based lithium-ion. The voltages of lithium iron phosphate and lithium titanate are lower and do not apply to the voltage references given.

Table 2 estimates the number of discharge/charge cycles Li-ion can deliver at various DoD levels before the battery capacity drops to 70 percent. DoD constitutes a full charge followed by a discharge to the indicated state-of-charge (SoC) level in the table.

100% DoD is a full cycle; 10% is very brief. Cycling in mid-state-of-charge would have best longevity.

Lithium-ion suffers from stress when exposed to heat, so does keeping a cell at a high charge voltage. A battery dwelling above 30°C (86°F) is considered elevated temperature and for most Li-ion a voltage above 4.10V/cell is deemed as high voltage. Exposing the battery to high temperature and dwelling in a full state-of-charge for an extended time can be more stressful than cycling. Table 3 demonstrates capacity loss as a function of temperature and SoC.

What Can the User Do?

Environmental conditions, not cycling alone, govern the longevity of lithium-ion batteries. The worst situation is keeping a fully charged battery at elevated temperatures. Battery packs do not die suddenly, but the runtime gradually shortens as the capacity fades.

Lower charge voltages prolong battery life and electric vehicles and satellites take advantage of this. Similar provisions could also be made for consumer devices, but these are seldom offered; planned obsolescence takes care of this.

A laptop battery could be prolonged by lowering the charge voltage when connected to the AC grid. To make this feature user-friendly, a device should feature a “Long Life” mode that keeps the battery at 4.05V/cell and offers a SoC of about 80 percent. One hour before traveling, the user requests the “Full Capacity” mode to bring the charge to 4.20V/cell.

The question is asked, “Should I disconnect my laptop from the power grid when not in use?” Under normal circumstances this should not be necessary because charging stops when the Li-ion battery is full. A topping charge is only applied when the battery voltage drops to a certain level. Most users do not remove the AC power, and this practice is safe.

Modern laptops run cooler than older models and reported fires are fewer. Always keep the airflow unobstructed when running electric devices with air-cooling on a bed or pillow. A cool laptop extends battery life and safeguards the internal components. Energy Cells, which most consumer products have, should be charged at 1C or less. Avoid so-called ultra-fast chargers that claim to fully charge Li-ion in less than one hour.

References

[1] Courtesy of Cadex [2] Source: Choi et al. (2002) [3] B. Xu, A. Oudalov, A. Ulbig, G. Andersson and D. Kirschen, Modeling of Lithium-Ion Battery Degradation for Cell Life Assessment, June 2016. [Online]. Available: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303890624_Modeling_of_Lithium-Ion_Battery_Degradation_for_Cell_Life_Assessment. [4] Source: Technische Universität München (TUM) [5] With permission to use. Interpolation/extrapolation by OriginLab.

The material on Battery University is based on the indispensable new 4th edition of Batteries in a Portable World. A Handbook on Rechargeable Batteries for Non-Engineers which is available for order through Amazon.com.

Phone Is Showing Charging But Battery Percentage Not Increasing

How do you define your present state when you wait for hours to get your battery charged without increasing? The delay is even more disappointing when you plug your phone all through the night, and the battery percentage has not increased after it indicated charging. Afterwards, you get worried about why your battery percentage did not improve and the cost to fix it.

If the battery percentage is not moving, there is an error with your phone software or perhaps the hardware. However, before you dump your phone for a new one in the market, you should get to know the reasons. The list below outlines why your phone shows charging and the battery percentage is not increasing.

Why Phone Is Showing Charging But Battery Percentage Not Increasing

If you reboot your phone several times without changing, hold on to know the reasons before choosing a solution. Here is why the phone is showing charging, but the battery percentage is not increasing.

Bad Battery

Your phone battery can be so bad that it repels charges when plugged in. It’s rare not to have a weak battery when used for the long term. In every charging cycle, the battery loses a certain percent of its charging capability.

Another charger serves as an alternative to charging your phone, but it’s not a match for a bad battery. You can have reasons to blame the charger for your woes, but a battery remains unchanged irrespective of the charging method applied. The battery weakness prevents it from holding on to the current, thereby discharging in the percentage rate at which the current flows in.

The battery percentage will not increase when you’ve got a bad battery. If you’re having a hard time getting your battery percentage forward, then it might be time to look into your battery.

Faulty Motherboard

The motherboard is the main component that intertwines every piece and part of the cell in your phone. As the name implies, it is a complex board that regulates various activities on the device. If your phone is fixed to a static percentage while it shows charging, you can be sure to have a faulty motherboard.

Several activities on your device can result in a faulty motherboard. One of such is the excessive heat from the phone when overused for different activities. A subsequent glitch can arise from the slightest part of the motherboard in this case.

The motherboard can be complex, but you can get the faulty part fixed also. However, as easy as the repair may sound, a phone technician service will be required. A defect in the motherboard delays your battery percentage and charging rate unless repaired.

Damaged Cable

Many charging cables are not reliable nowadays for a phone. Have you considered trying another charging cable on your phone? A solution to your battery percentage problem might be close if you look beyond the present charging cable you’re using. The charger used for your device can become loose when used over time.

Damaged and slack cables transmit a bit of a possible current that passes through them. The battery percentage of the phone used with the charging cable remains unchanged even when it indicates charging.

Charging cables get damaged from frequent twisting over a long time. Wall adapters also get damaged from high voltage and a break in the USB port.

Defects in Charging port

The charging port is the thin part sensitive to external current flowing into the device. If there is less grip at the port junction, there is less current sensitivity. In this case, the charging port only receives current from the cable plugged in but refuses to increase the battery percentage.

Defects at the charging port create loopholes when charging. Dust particles or water spills cause bugs at the charging port. Their presence in the metallic charging port can hinder your battery percentage from increasing.

A close look allows you to spot corrosion or dust at the charging port. The battery percentage would neither show it is going down nor increasing if there is a glitch.

Software Bugs

Another reason besides the hardware glitch listed above is the software part. Your battery percentage not increasing cannot always be sourced from hardware. Bugs are faults in the software program that can stall your battery percentage.

Software bugs delay the smooth running of your phone. The battery percentage gets altered when there is a software glitch.

How To Fix Phone Showing Charging But Battery Percentage Not Increasing

You do not have to dump the phone because of a fixed battery percent. It can be disappointing to have your work delayed, but the phone can still serve you a little longer. Here, I will share a few free tips on how to fix the phone battery percentage.

Buy a New Battery/Charger

One of the quick things you should consider is a replacement for the battery in a fixed percentage. Every battery has a charging cycle lifespan. Your battery might have outlived its durability; hence a new one is purchased.

If you are financially buoyant, buy a new charger alongside the battery to enjoy it while it lasts.

Visit a Professional Technician

If it happens that your phone is not charging due to technical issues, you’ll need the help of a professional technician. Professional technicians offer a reliable repair for your battery percentage not increasing when plugged in.

There are several shops to fix smartphone issues. However, you should employ the service of reliable professionals – the official service provider in this case – to fix your phone. If you’ve got an Infinix, TECNO, or itel device, then Carlcare is ready to help!

Carlcare is the official after-sales service brand that provides professional repair and maintenance services for the phone brands above. The technicians at Carlcare helps you to efficiently diagnose and solve your device problem in the shortest possible time.

FAQs

YES. Shargeek 100 is rated at 93.5Wh, meeting TSA, FAA and EASA standards, while the majority of aviation authorities worldwide have a limit of 100 watt hours (Wh) per battery. So as long as the power bank is rated no greater than 100Wh, you can take it on board in your carry-on bags.

YES. Shargeek 100 supports multiple charging protocols, and the max output of PD 100W is enough to charge most devices, including Switch and Steam Deck.

You may operate through the button on Shargeek 100.After entering the DC interface, you can /- voltage, with unit adjustment unit being 1V or 0.1V. Adjustable voltage is from 3.3V to 25.2V.

Shargeek 100 can support simultaneous input and output when the battery level is more than 50%, for battery protection.

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I like it a lot. Really appreciate the visual and technical design. The reason I bought it is that the batteries are accessible by opening the box by unscrewing a few bolts. So in a few years I could replace them and still use the power bank. ECO friendly ! I like that it monitors, charges and drains batteries separately, not treat them as one battery. In my use case I would really benefit from using the USB input while DC output is working, but I found a workaround. so I hope to see this feature available in the future. Charging is fast and reliable,the bank gets a bit hot,but it’s in the comfortable range. Please write in the website what is the dimension of the DC plug. Thank you and please continue to make DIY friendly and cool products like this.

Product is great. 4stars are adequzate (tbh would put 4 and half). I can even use it for my laptop (well for very limitted time becase Razer Blade is very hungry). The desing is amazing and the DC customizable output is something really new. There are but some things that I am missing (maybe idea for next iteration?):. no Qi. I can understand that the desing is not the best so it is only minor thing for me but top brands are stil missing this feature;. display readability. when I compare it to my other power bank (hopefully I can say brand. Baesus) and when I compare the displays than Baesus wins here, I am not saying that the Shargeek is bad but I can see potenital to improve here;. the biggest issue I have hre are lack of connectors. two USB-C ports, one USB-A and one DC are great (especially there is huge potential for DC port) but I would add one more USB-A port and lighting port as well. Overall I am happy with the product and due to output just bellow 100W I should easily take it to airplanes. Cannot wait to see what will be the next thing you create.

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