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Battery and Capacity Loss
Battery and Capacity Loss
Capacity is a basic feature of a battery. It is an indicator which tells you how long a battery can be used once loaded. Next comes the loss of capacity -- a phenomenon from which all batteries suffer. It can be caused by various factors which you can find in this article. The specifications of the devices you purchase are always based on new batteries and not the old batteries. The customers should keep in mind that some of the device features may not function properly due to long-term use or aging. As with any new machine, after a certain period of use it starts losing its sparkle and the rechargeable battery loses its power. To begin with, a storage of energy in the battery takes place in three main areas:
- Free Energy Zone - It can be extracted at any time;
- Blank Zone - This area may be further filled;
- Zone for unusable item - This part stores those items that have become inactive due to use or diligence.
Schematically, these zones look like this:
When the zone for an unused element becomes larger, more and more inactive chemicals elements are accumulated. Therefore, the charging time of the battery is reduced since the space that can be filled with new energy has diminished over time. As a consequence, the operating time of the device or machine decreases. It is believed that the reduced capacity in this case is mainly due to the number of cycles performed and aging. Another significant factor that impacts the decreasing battery capacity is the deep discharge. It causes much more stress on the battery chemistry than on the partial discharge and is in the basis of reducing the activity of chemical elements. After all, it's better not to fully drain the battery and charge it more often. Periodic full discharge is only required for Ni-Cd, Ni-Mh batteries to avoid two adverse effects on batteries - memory effect and laziness effect. Lithium (Life-PO4) and nickel-based rechargeable batteries run between 300 and 500 full cycles (discharge-charge) before their capacity drops to 80% or less.
Apart from other losses related to age and usage, other negative phenomena have been observed. For example, sulfation is one of the lead killers of lead-acid batteries. It is the formation of a thin layer of lead sulfate which forms on the negative plates inside the battery when diluted. If lead-acid batteries are stored for a long time without being charged, the process of desulfation becomes impossible which leads to a reduction in capacity. Similar to the lead-acid sulfation is the oxidation process typical for Li-ion (lithium-ion) rechargeable batteries. This is a natural phenomenon related to age and has a negative impact on capacity.
The loss of battery capacity is a phenomenon that cannot be avoided in any way. It is due to various factors, but especially due to aging and the usage. Nevertheless, there are some measures to control the speed of capacity loss in rechargeable batteries. When applied, you will be able to use the batteries for as long as possible on multiple devices.
After all, it's better not to fully drain the battery and charge it more often!
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