Battery Memory Effect-Introduction and Fixing

Oct 09, 2021   Pageview:64

The battery memory effect is also called in short, battery memory or battery effect. It is also called the lazy battery effect. It is found only in rechargeable batteries that are made of nickel-cadmium or nickel-metal hydride. These batteries tend to undergo a reduction in their maximum energy capacity if recharged before being fully discharged. A battery seems to remember the capacity of recharging when it is discharged up to 25% of its capacity and then recharged till 100%, without overcharging it. Thus, people need to use their batteries carefully, to avoid this problem of memory effect as much as possible. It is more important for batteries that need to perform powerful operations, like that of remote control device. 

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Battery Memory Effect

The memory effect is highly effective in most rechargeable batteries, mainly nickel-cadmium batteries and nickel-metal hybrid batteries. This effect may not be effective all the time even though some signs of a battery may seem to be the same as the memory effect. However, users need not worry too much about this problem of memory effect. They simply need to fully discharge the battery, by keeping it in function for a long time. Then they should recharge the battery, without overcharging it. The battery can be damaged to some extent if it is overcharged repeatedly.  Hence, it is better to use a good quality smart charger to recharge the battery, to avoid such damages due to overcharging. 

Now, some companies manufacture rechargeable batteries with much higher voltage, to prevent voltage insufficiency at all times. Thus, the risk of memory effect is lesser in these batteries, compared to normal batteries. So, users are free to recharge their batteries whenever they have time for it. If any error occurs in charging, the user can again fully discharge the battery and recharge it to 100% level. However, the memory effect does not interfere with the usual function of a battery. Moreover, the modern versions of Lithium-ion batteries are designed to be free from this problem, which is made of lithium polymers that can retain charge when the battery is not in function. 

Battery Memory Effect Lithium-ion

The Lithium-ion battery is known to have a very high density of energy, due to which it is widely preferred for industrial applications. It is assumed that lithium-ion battery does not have any memory effect, which is another reason for its huge popularity in all industrial sectors. The deflection of its voltage has decreased the ability of this battery to memorize its charging capacity. However, now some scientists claim to find out memory effect even in Lithium-ion batteries, which will surely have some effect in the use of this type of battery, mainly for running electric cars. So, scientists have modified this battery to overcome this problem and make it error-free. 

Lithium-iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) is the chemical used for the cathode in a Lithium-ion battery, which seems to be mostly unaffected by the memory effect to some extent. When the battery is charged, Lithium ions are liberated from this cathode, leaving only Iron Phosphate (FePO4). As the battery is discharged, Lithium ions are reattached to this electrode and the cathode again becomes LiFePO4. Thus, charging and discharging of a Lithium-ion battery is a chemical procedure, with the support of electrical energy. The particles of LiFePO4 release Lithium ions without causing any change in their chemical value. This is the reason why the voltage of the Li-ion battery remains the same, without being influenced by the memory effect. This feature of Lithium-ion battery is unique, for which it lasts much longer and can be used conveniently in all devices. 

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Lithium-ion battery was always claimed to be free of memory effect since it was introduced in the market in the 1990s. Thus, the detection of the memory effect in this battery will reduce its popularity on the industrial front. Normally, lithium iron phosphate is the chemical used in this Lithium-ion battery, as the positive electrode or cathode. This chemical ensures that there is no noticeable change in the voltage while the battery is in operation, as a little voltage fluctuation can cause serious errors in the charging capacity of the battery. Thus, the memory effect in Lithium-ion batteries can bring disastrous effects to the car engines and other appliances where these batteries are installed.

Battery Memory Effect Means

The battery memory effect means the faster decrease in the charge of a rechargeable battery, as it remembers its shorter capacity of recharging. When the battery is repeatedly recharged before it is fully discharged, this faulty memory effect develops in that battery system. This reduction in charging capacity may result in reducing the longevity of the battery. Moreover, the software used in modern batteries can be corrupted because of this memory effect, which makes the voltage assessment very difficult. Thus, the user will have to replace the battery sooner than expected. 

The memory effect of batteries can be more distressful for hybrid cars, where the battery is usually recharged to some extent when pressing the brake each time to stop the car engine. Then the battery is again discharged while the engine is accelerated to increase the speed of the car, with the power derived from this battery. This continuous cycle of partial recharging and discharging causes the memory effect in the battery even if a Lithium-ion battery is used in an electric car. Thus, it becomes difficult to assess the charge present in the battery, due to this error of memory effect. 

However, people need to use good quality chargers for charging their batteries, to prevent the memory effect of those batteries. Some modern chargers are provided with battery reconditioning mode, to minimize the memory effect of the batteries. The best way to beat the battery memory effect is to completely discharge the battery and then recharge it. This cycle of discharging and recharging should be repeated carefully, to eliminate the memory effect of the battery. The overvoltage of a modern battery is equally distributed while recharging and discharging so that its memory effect is no more noticeable. 

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