You would think that the life of your battery is dependent on how much you use it. But did you know that your battery can lose charge even when you are not using it?
A battery will only last long if you understand how to use and maintain it. Allow us to introduce two important factors that have a serious effects on battery life: heat and loading conditions.
Let us start with heat. You know how the cold affects the performance of your battery? The same is true with too much heat, but this time, the effect is in the life of the battery itself, not just its performance. While the electric current generated by a battery is increased in warm climates compared to cooler ones, too much of it can kill your battery. In some areas, high temperatures cannot be avoided – especially when the battery is placed outside (like a car battery).
When the temperature rises, there is also an increase in the chemical reaction between the positive and negative electrodes of the battery and the electrolyte. When this increase becomes too high, it causes the current to leak inside the battery. This affects the self discharge rate of the battery and can lead to damage.
In the past, any increase in temperature that is as high as 8°C could cut the battery life in half. While batteries are now “heat-resistant” and this reaction is diminished, it is not eliminated. The thing about a battery that is damaged by high temperatures is you cannot restore it back to the original capacity. You will have to replace it sooner than you thought.
We mentioned earlier that the life of your battery will depend on how you use it. But it gets more detailed than that. The capacity of your battery will depend on the rated voltage.
The most simple concept that you have to remember is that the higher the discharge rate of the battery, the lower the capacity. That means the more you use it, the faster you will drain it. That seems logical right?
But at the same time, if a battery goes long without being used, it also loses its capacity. You see, there are side reactions that happen when charge carriers are not producing any current. These charge carriers are consumed due to inactivity and that compromises their capacity. Eventually, the battery can stop producing power altogether.
So what do we get out of this?
To lengthen the life of your battery, you have to remember the following tips:
- Make sure that you store your batteries under the right temperature.
- Use the battery according to the specifications of its specified capacity and voltage rate.
- Use your batteries regularly, so as not to trigger the internal self discharge.