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vertigo Post time 2017-02-01 17:51:39 | Show all posts
Edited by vertigo at 2017-02-01 18:00

Lets clear up some confusion about these batteries and whats good/bad for them.
Lipo batteries can be charged safely and with no harmful effects up to 1C. For a 3000maH battery, that means 3A @ ~3.8V (nominal battery voltage), or 2.2A @5V. Note that is charging current directly to the battery, not to the internal charger, which is far from 100% efficient. Depending on the chargers (in)efficiency, that probably means ~3A from USB 5V. BTW, its the inefficiency of the internal charger that causes the heat, its not the battery itself, the battery shouldnt noticably warm up from charging.

In other words "quick charging" is not harmful for the battery. Even with quickcharging, we are limited to the what we can send over USB and what the internal voltage regulators can handle. The battery itself would be okay being charged even faster (rule of thumb: 1C or, 1 hour 0-100% charging time is okay for this chemistry).

As for what does kill these batteries; there are several factors that influence longevity for LiPo batteries.
- first and foremost, overdischarge. In a smartphone this shouldnt happen, as the phone will shut down when the battery voltage drops below some preset treshold. But if you where to leave it empty like that for an extended period of time (weeks or months), self discharge will further reduce the battery voltage and you will kill the battery for sure. Dont store these batteries empty.
- fully charged storage. These batteries should never be stored long term fully charged either. They will degrade significantly if you do.  If you need to store long term, charge them to 50-70%. Now with smartphones, we dont tend to do this anyway, but charging overnight has the same effect in the long run, especially when quickcharging overnight, as the battery will be completely full for 6+ hours each night. You'd be better off slow charging from 500mA charger so that it finishes charging roughly when you wake up. Or quickcharging in the morning and unplugging once its full. Even better is trying to avoid fully charging them, but disconnect at 90% or so.
- heat is *not* a major problem for this chemistry. in the RC world, lipo battery temperatures of up to 60-70C are considered fine and Ive measured upwards of 90C with no ill effects.  In fact, these batteries perform best when temperatures are slightly elevated (30-40 degrees C). Batteries should be cool when charging though.
- extreme cold is potentially bad for them, and certainly decreases capacity. Below 10 degrees C, battery capacity is reduced by 50%. Below freezing, it can drop to 1/4th.
- too much pressure, puncture, etc will not just degrade them, but cause them to explode, particularly violently if they are fully charged. When boarding an airplane, make sure *all* your high density batteries (camera, phone, tablet, ecigarettes, portable game consoles, laptops, drones,..) are below 50% or even lower if possible.

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