Charging lithium batteries for the first time

Dec 02, 2019   Pageview:24

Lithium batteries have become one of the most used batteries today. People always ask if it's essential to charge lithium-ion batteries the first time fully. Also, I come across people asking how to charge the lithium-ion battery for the first time? And how long does it take to charge a lithium-ion battery for the first time?

They can be found in almost all clerical devices such as phones, tablets, laptops, cars, and cameras. It's normal to come across all these questions because the number of li-ion users is increasing every day. People are buying new gadgets that use li-ion, but they still don't understand how they work.

Similar to the lead-acid system, the li-ion charger contains a voltage limiting component. It helps limit charge once the batteries have been fully charged. The only difference the li-ion system portrays is that of a higher voltage per cell. The li-on charging system lacks the ability to float or trickle charge when it's at full capacity.

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Do you have to charge lithium-ion batteries the first time fully?

No, you don't have to fully charge a lithium-ion battery the first time as it has no significant effect. Lithium-ion batteries are more efficient compared to the old generation batteries, such as nickel-cadmium. Many people are still stuck to the old limitations that used to apply for the nickel-based batteries popular back in the 90s.

There is no harm at all when you don't charge your battery at full capacity during the first time.  Also, it doesn't hurt anything to charge your device entirely. The same way it has a small no impact when you don't charge. If it were back in the 90s, the case would be different nickel batteries because they had to be fully charged before their first-time use. That was just a precaution for cells to stay in good shape for an extended period of time. Failure to charge them adequately for the first time would result in a short lifespan.

Nickel-based or lead-acid technologies are still in use today, but they are scarce. They suffer memory loss and require a lot of practice to maintain their lifespan. Else they will spoil quickly. Things have changed now with li-ion batteries such that they do not require a lot of attention.

But why do li-ion manufacturers still insist on charging your device fully for the first time? Charging a battery to its full capacity for the first time helps to kick-start the calibration process.  It helps the device to learn the individual batter behavior. That is still unnecessary because most batteries have the self-calibrating technology integrated with them. So it's a myth always to charge a battery before its first use.

How do you charge your lithium battery for the first time?

You don't have to charge your Li-ion battery fully for the first time. However, if you are in an excellent position to load, there is no harm. That way, you can enjoy your new device at full charge without having to plug it back. The lifespan of a li-on depends on the number of cycles. For example, 80% of them remain in good condition for 1000-1500 complete cycles.

One complete cycle consists of one full charge and discharge. The only reason manufacturers insist people charge their devices full charge is to maintain the culture. There are high chances that if you charge your device fully for the first time, you will probably continue that culture.

There are some factors that you need to observe during your first charge. First, you need to use the right charger, or else you will spoil your device. Some chargers are dangerous, especially if they exceed the voltage limit. Over-charging a li-ion battery can lead to short circuit or manufacturing deficiencies

It is crucial to maintain the recommended temperature. Li-ion ion batteries behave like humans in a different environment. You should maintain optimum temperatures not only for the first time but also for the rest to continue its long lifespan. Li-ion batteries operate better in high-temperature conditions compared to low conditions.

High temperatures tend to stress the battery hence shortens its life if used for prolonged periods. Contrary, low temperatures reduce the capacity of the cells by increasing the internal resistance.

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How long do you charge your lithium battery for the first time?

It takes approximately 150 minutes to charge a new li-ion battery to 100% 1,400mAh. You don't have to charge it overnight for it to be fully charged. Most modern cells have a fast charge capability allowing some to even charge in less than an hour.  If you have such type of device, you can charge it within the given time frame in the instructions.

The best thing about lithium-ion batteries is that they have mechanisms that protect them from overcharging. So there is no harm in case you forget your device on the charger. Also, other gadgets have features that control charging. They disconnect your phone automatically when it's full, or there is a faulty connection.

You should avoid charging your battery to 100% for your li-ion battery to last longer. Also, you should observe a constant current charge, saturation, and temperatures. Charging to 100% may overstretch your battery hence decreases its performance as time passes.

Final thoughts

Charging lithium battery for the first time has become a very controversial topic. Most people tend to be confused when it comes to handling devices with these types of cells. The question of whether someone has to charge the Li-ion battery fully for the first time has become so popular. The confusion has been caused by the old school nickel-based, which needed a lot of care. It had to be charged for more than 6 hours before its first use and also had to be drained entirely before reusing it again. The truth is that the li-ion is more advanced, and they contain mechanisms that control the charging. However, you have to look out for other optimal conditions such as temperatures, charging voltage and storage.

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