The useful life of a lithium-ion battery in an application is based
on several factors. In more demanding applications of high current draw,
these factors can prevent the battery from providing sufficient current
draw due to diminishing capacity and increasing internal resistance as
the batteries age. This document will examine the factors that cause
batteries to age and how those causes can be mitigated to extend their
Aging is a concern with all lithium-ion battery chemistries. As the
cell "ages" two things appear to occur from the user's standpoint:
So what does this mean to the user? Time and usage are both enemies
to the useful battery life.
Some capacity deterioration will occur due to aging whether the
battery is in use or not. The battery's capacity and internal resistance
will be reduced resulting in continuing deterioration until it is no
longer useful. Factors that can reduce this deterioration include:
Lithium-ion works within the discharge temperature limits of -20°C to
60°C (-4°F to 140°F). The performance is temperature based, meaning
that the rate capability at or below -20°C is reduced due to the
increased impedance of the electrolyte. Discharging at low temperatures
does not harm the battery. Lithium-ion may be used down to -30°C (-22°F)
with acceptable results. Larger packs will be necessary to compensate
for the reduced capacity at these temperatures.
It is not recommended to discharge lithium-ion at temperatures above
60°C. High discharge rates combined with elevated temperatures can cause
self-heating, an effect that could permanently damage the separator and
electrodes of the cells.
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