We all know that to use a powerful flashlight and realize its full potential, it must be powered by a high-capacity, high-performance battery. Currently, rechargeable lithium batteries are used in the field of mobile electronic devices, such as smartphones, laptops, drones, and Olight flashlights.
But do lithium batteries have to be completely drained before being recharged?
The answer is no, it's common to hear sellers of digital products or home appliances recommend that you drain the battery of your new device completely before charging it. This advice may have been valid in the past because the nickel metal hydride and nickel cadmium batteries we used in the past had battery memory effects, but the lithium batteries used today have no memory effect, so there is no need to follow the previous method.
What is the battery memory effect? Why do lithium batteries have no battery memory effect?
First, you need to understand the difference between nickel-metal hydride nickel-chromium batteries and lithium batteries.
Lithium batteries are different from nickel-metal hydride nickel-cadmium batteries in several characteristics:
1. New batteries do not need to be activated, you can use them as soon as you buy them.
2. There is no memory effect at all. You can charge it when convenient and use it when there is power.
3. There is a standardized full power voltage, such as 4.2V or 4.35V
4. The best charging method is constant current and constant voltage charging. It will be better if there is trickle activation (repair).
Battery memory effect
The battery memory effect refers to the phenomenon that if the battery is a nickel metal hydride nickel cadmium battery, if it is not fully charged and discharged for a long time, traces will be left in the battery and the battery capacity will decrease.
Causes of battery memory
Since the negative electrode in the traditional process is sintered, the cadmium grains are relatively coarse. If the nickel-cadmium batteries are recharged before they are completely discharged, the cadmium grains are easily aggregated into blocks and form a secondary discharge channel when the battery is discharged.
The battery stores this discharge channel and uses it as the end point of discharge in the next cycle, although the capacity of the battery itself can allow the battery to discharge to a lower channel. The battery will only remember this low capacity during subsequent discharges. Also in every use, any incomplete discharge will deepen this effect and make the battery capacity lower.
For a more detailed explanation of the battery memory effect, please refer to Wikipedia: Battery Memory Effect
Some controversies about lithium batteries
1. Does a new battery need to be fully charged and discharged several times to activate it?
Since there is no memory effect in lithium-ion batteries, lithium-ion batteries do not need to be activated. There are indeed some rechargeable batteries that require similar "activation" work. This is the earlier nickel-cadmium rechargeable battery and nickel-metal hydride rechargeable battery. These batteries will produce a phenomenon called the "memory effect". Charging without complete discharge can easily overcharge the battery. Over time, crystals will grow on the electrode plates, blocking the contact between the electrolyte and the electrode plates. , causing the battery voltage to drop.
2. Will overcharging cause the battery to explode?
Lithium batteries have high energy density and high voltage (the voltage of a single lithium-ion battery can reach 4.2V, while ordinary rechargeable batteries are 1.2V). Compared with low-voltage batteries, the oxidation-reduction reaction of the electrodes when charging lithium-ion batteries is very Severe, so the use conditions of lithium-ion batteries must be strictly restricted. Overcharging, over-discharging, short circuit, high temperature, etc. will cause battery damage, and even fire and explosion. However, the lithium-ion battery in actual use is to package several cells together with a set of safety protection circuits and various safety devices into a battery board. These safety designs can ensure that the battery circuit is actively cut off when overcharging, over-discharging and short-circuiting; excessive internal pressure in the battery will trigger the exhaust device to decompress; excessive battery temperature will trigger the thermal melt protection device to prevent lithium ions from being released Movement thus interrupts the electrochemical reaction of the battery. Therefore, as long as you do not use fake batteries of unreliable quality, failure to unplug the power supply in time when charging your mobile phone will not cause the battery to explode.
3. Can reducing the number of charging times extend battery life?
Generally, the life of lithium-ion batteries can reach hundreds of charge and discharge cycles. What are charge and discharge cycles? A charge-discharge cycle is the process of using up a battery's power and then fully charging it. Continuous deep charging and discharging of lithium-ion batteries has an impact on the life of lithium-ion batteries. Additionally, lithium-ion batteries slowly lose capacity even when not used. Research shows that lithium-ion batteries experience significant capacity loss when stored for extended periods of time after being fully charged. At the same time, the higher the temperature, the faster the capacity of lithium-ion batteries is lost, and this loss is irreversible, which means that the battery capacity will become permanently smaller.
To sum up, lithium-ion batteries do not need to be exhausted before recharging. Since most Olite flashlights use lithium-ion rechargeable batteries as their energy source, there is no battery memory effect. Users can charge immediately, and there is a protective circuit board inside the Olight battery, which can effectively avoid overcharging, over-discharging and short circuit. , high temperature and other problems, it can well protect the safety of users.
For information on how to choose a flashlight battery, please refer to this article:Which Flashlight Batteries Are Best？
For comparison of commonly used flashlight batteries, please refer to this article:18650 vs 20700 vs 21700 battery - which is better?