5 tips to safely charge deep cycle lithium batteries

Deep cycle lithium batteries are irreplaceable power sources for RV, Marine, Golf cart, Solar storage applications, they have no memory effect, can be designed to fully discharge to no power at all, and then charge them back up to 100% status. There’s a lot of science that goes into charging a battery so learning how to safely complete this task is paramount. Understanding some of the best tips from professionals is helpful to prolong your battery life. Here I sum up several tips to safely charge deep cycle lithium battery for you refer to.

More Uniform Charging

The normally held notion is that the best way to extend your battery life is by making sure to charge your battery as slowly as possible. While New research by a California-based team, published on Sunday in the Nature Materials journal, challenged this opinion. The team needs to do more experimentation. In particular, they’ll be running battery electrodes through thousands of charge-discharge cycles to simulate typical use and measuring the performance. The researchers found that when charging batteries more uniformly, a change that could take the average life of a lithium-ion battery from a couple of years to around 10 years. More uniform charging, whether fast or slow, causes less localized heating that can degrade the battery.

This research could benefit, among other things, electric cars, which often require a charge lasting several hours. If that time could be reduced, drivers wouldn’t have to endure lengthy pit stops while making long journeys. And for the electrical grid, storage batteries that are better at handling sudden surges in demand are also in the cards.Deep cycle lithium batteries’ constant voltage to 4.20V/cell, in this way, we advise that when charging, no trickle charge; battery can stay in charger.

Fast charge = 1h

Rapid charge = 3h

Selecting the Right Charger

It may seem that your options limitless while choosing the right charger may be confusing. You need to consider the battery type, battery capacity, and output of the charger.

Firstly, you need to get that whether your battery is lead-acid or lithium(NCM or Lifepo4). So, before you buy your battery charger, make sure to check your charger. It should be suitable for the type of battery you have. Or it will diminish your batteries, and cannot help to charge the power in to the battery.

You need to know the Amp-hour (Ah) rating of your battery. (mAH for smaller batteries) These details are usually found on your battery’s label, which is usually placed on the side or top of the battery. If you are unable to find the information, you might want to contact the battery’s manufacturer or check their website.

As a rule of thumb, your charger should be 10% minimum of your battery’s Ah rating. This means a 100Ah battery would need a 10 Amp charger minimum. You can increase the battery charge amp if you need the battery to be charged at a faster timeframe.

Checking the State of Charge and Discharge

  • Checking the State of Charge

In renewable energy applications, batteries usually receive a daily charge—a current and voltage- controlled charge that is fed to the battery. As solar exposure changes or as solar panels and batteries age, conditions may develop that prevent the batteries from receiving a full charge. So it’s always important to check the state of charge and determine the health of each battery cell.

As the battery SOC is an important parameter, which reflects the battery performance, so accurate estimation of SOC cannot only protect the battery, prevent overcharge or discharge, and improve the battery life, but also let the application make rationally control strategies to achieve the purpose of saving energy.

The experts measure a battery’s state of charge as a percentage quantity. For example, the state of discharge on a battery that’s been under a load for most of the day might be at 25 or 30 percent full. Use a voltmeter with the battery detached from the system to see the true voltage. This value will dictate how long you should be charging deep-cycle battery components.

If you have a smart charger, being aware of the state of charge isn’t as important as when you apply other charging units. The “smart” portion of the device will determine the current charge and the right timing to top it off.

  • Watch the Depth of Discharge

While Lithium-ion batteries do not have “battery memory” like their predecessors, the level of discharge does affect the lifespan. A study stated that a typical Lithium-ion battery would have a 50% longer lifespan if it were charged after 50% discharge instead of fully discharging. Charging following only a 25% discharge resulted in a 67% longer lifespan over full discharge.

Setting a Timer

when the battery is charging, it’s important that you set a timer for the entire period. Batteries don’t operate very well when they’re overcharged. It will diminish their capacity.

some battery types absolutely require, or may use a timer, to cut off charging current at some fixed time, approximately when charging is complete. Other battery types cannot withstand over-charging, being damaged (reduced capacity, reduced lifetime), overheating or even exploding. The charger may have temperature or voltage sensing circuits and a microprocessor controller to safely adjust the charging current and voltage, determine the state of charge, and cut off at the end of charge.

Online charts provided by your battery and charger’s manufacturer can make this timing session a simple one to calculate.

Avoid Extreme Temperature

The charging process is more delicate than discharging and special care must be taken. Although batteries can operate at a wide temperature range, it does not give permission to charge them under these conditions. Extreme cold and high heat are not ideal for charging, the battery must be brought to a moderate temperature when charging. Keep the battery and charger away from extreme heat or cold, Room temperature is optimal. You may notice charging times changing when it’s too hot or cold. The battery is also permanently affected by a shorter charge time than before.

  • Avoid Extreme Cold

Li-ion can be fast-charged from 5°C to 45°C (41°F to 113°F). Below 5°C, the charge current will be reduced, and no charging is permitted at freezing temperatures because of the reduced diffusion rates on the anode. During charge, the internal cell resistance causes a slight temperature rise that compensates for some of the cold. The internal resistance of all batteries rises when cold, prolonging charge times noticeably. Many battery users are unaware that consumer-grade lithium-ion batteries cannot be charged below 0°C (32°F). Although the pack appears to be charging normally, plating of metallic lithium can occur on the anode during a sub-freezing charge. This is permanent and cannot be removed with cycling. Batteries with lithium plating are more vulnerable to failure if exposed to vibration or other stressful conditions. Advanced chargers (Cadex) prevent charging Li-ion below freezing. Advancements are being made to charge Li-ion below freezing temperatures. Charging is indeed possible with most lithium-ion cells but only at very low currents. According to research papers, the allowable charge rate at –30°C (–22°F) is 0.02C. At this low current, the charge time would stretch to over 50 hours, a time that is deemed impractical. There are, however, specialty Li-ions that can charge down to –10°C (14°F) at a reduced rate.

  • Avoid Extreme Cold

It seems that lithium-ion performs well at hot temperatures, while long-time exposure to heat reduces longevity. Charging and discharging at elevated temperatures is possible to generating gas that might cause a cylindrical cell to vent and a pouch cell to swell. Many chargers prohibit charging above 50°C (122°F). Some special batteries, such as the batteries used in surgical tools that are sterilized at 137°C (280°F) for up to 20 minutes as part of autoclaving. Capacity loss at elevated temperature is in direct relationship with state-of-charge (SoC).

KHLITECH is here for all of your li-ion batteries purchasing and charging needs. Batteries are always the most important part of your RV, boat, golf cart, solar storage systems. If you have any questions about the batteries, contact us, our battery expert will answer for you and update your power options, offer it the reliable power that it needs.

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