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Lithium-ion Batteries

Lithium-ion batteries are showing up all over the place these days from contractor grade tools, to electronics like laptops and cellphones.  There are a number of reasons behind this but a few of the main ones revolve around the fact that:

 

  • Lithium-ion batteries hold their charge far longer than many other types of rechargeable batteries.
  • They tend to be lighter.
  • They can endure hundreds of charge cycles.

 

All rechargeable batteries will lose their charge over time when not in use. Lithium-ion batteries have been shown to discharge at a much slower rate than other rechargeables. Lithium-ion batteries may lose as little as 7% in some cases.

 

The components that make up lithium-ion batteries are lighter than their NiCad and NiMH counterparts. These same properties also allow lithium-ion batteries to store more energy in less weight, meaning you literally get more charge pound for pound.

 

Because lithium-ion batteries don’t have a “memory” complete discharge is not necessary before recharging. The majority of Lithium-ion batteries also feature an on board computer to help manage the charge and discharge of the pack.

 

These are just some of the benefits of lithium-ion batteries, but like anything else there are always steps you can proactively take to get the most out of your batteries.

 

  • Don’t be afraid to charge a lithium-ion battery periodically during regular use.
  • Never store your batteries in extreme temperatures this is especially true of heat.
  • If the battery pack is going to be stored for a long period of time make sure to charge it fully.

 

As you can see lithium batteries provide a number of advantages, with the savings in weight and prolonged usage time it’s no surprise that so many manufactures have adopted the technology.

 

Hyper Lithium-ion

 

Makita LXT Lithium-ion

 

Ryobi

 

I hope this has been helpful and be sure to drop in with any questions you may have.

Cheers,

ChrisFixit

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Posted 2012-02-13T22:11:08+0000  by Chris_HD_ATL Chris_HD_ATL
 

Chris, one point I'll add to this discussion. The biggest culprit to premature battery failure is heat build up during use. As an LI battery dischargesit creates heat.  If you plan to have an extended run time of the tool, it would be best to swap batteries periodically to keep them from getting hot. Most cell phones now have LI batteries and as you talk you'll notice how the phone gets hotter. That built up heat is detrimental to the life span of the battery.

 

You'll notice on the new Ridgid batteries, there's extra ventilation. Some other companies have added small fans or heat sink areas to their batteries to combat the heat build up.

Posted 2012-03-25T21:03:53+0000  by Paul

Thanks, I didn't realize this.  I will have to buy some new batteries and use two to change out and one to run all the time and see how they last.  

Posted 2012-04-02T15:49:02+0000  by borescope
 
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