How to Charge a Lithium Ion Battery

Are you looking for information on how to charge a lithium ion battery? Lithium batteries have been gaining in popularity over the past few years. There is a good reason for this. Some lithium ion batteries can last over a decade. They also hold a lot more power than other battery types such as gel, lead acid and AGM batteries. You are probably here because you have bought a lithium battery in a bid to get rid of load shedding. Power cuts have become the norm across South Africa, and many people are looking for alternatives ways through which to power their devices. But how do you charge your lithium battery?

Lithium battery charging options

How you charge your lithium battery depends on the type of battery that you have. If you have AA batteries similar to ones used in torches, you can charge them using conventional battery chargers. If you go online, you will be able to find many of these.

We have seen some people charging these batteries using makeshift USB cables whose charging end is cut, exposing the wires. That could very well work, but it’s not something that’s to be encouraged. One thing that you do not want to do is to overcharge your battery.

If you have big LiFePO 4 batteries, you will want to set up a proper system to get it charged. There are a couple of options for this. You can set up a home solar system. This will have an inverter, a charger and a charge controller. These elements are essential for charging the battery.

For sufficiently large systems, the inverter, charger, and controller will be bundled into one unit. Another option for those looking at how to charge a lithium battery is to set up a system that does not have solar panels but that charges the battery off the grid. You need an inverter, charger and controller for this to happen. Again, you can get a hybrid unit.

If you have a lithium battery that has a Battery Management System (BMS), you can charge it using a power supply. Here, there is no worry of the battery overcharging, since the power supply wills witch off charging once the battery is full.

Notes on charging lithium batteries

That’s how to charge lithium ion batteries. There are some things that you need to take note of when it comes to charging these batteries. To begin with, the process is not that complicated.

Most people worry about whether or not the process is going to be different from charging any other type of battery.

The process is not that different. There are a couple of options for charging lithium batteries. You can use a 4 stage charger. Or you can use a 2 stage charger. It’s best to get a charger that’s intelligent enough to follow these steps. There are many such charges on platforms such as Amazon.

Lithium battery sizes

How you charge a lithium battery depends on the type and size of the battery in question. Lithium batteries come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. You can find them in AAA and AA sizes.

These are similar to batteries that you will find in torches. Their voltages range from 1.2V to 3.7V.

Lithium batteries also come in large sizes, such as the 200AH batteries that are used in home solar systems. To charge these, you need to get specialized inverters and chargers.

Charging voltage for AA lithium batteries

When charging AA lithium batteries, the charging voltage should never exceed 4.2V. If you exceed this, you will damage the battery.

While lithium batteries are way less prone to exploding than other battery types, this is not a theory that you should ever test.

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Advantages of lithium batteries

We have already mentioned some of the advantages of lithium ion batteries in this article. To begin with, they carry a lot more energy than other batteries.

They also last a long time. Some estimates say for the large lithium ion batteries that are used in home solar systems, the life expectancy can be as much as 10 years.

Other estimates put the life expectancy at up to 2 decades. It all depends on how you use your battery, of course. But lithium batteries last much longer than other battery types.

Why it’s important to know how to charge lithium batteries

In this article, we showed you how to charge your lithium ion battery. But why is it important to get this information? As is the case with any other battery, proper charging is important for lithium ion batteries.

If you charge yours incorrectly, you could end up damaging the battery. We have already noted that Lithium batteries have very long lifespans. However, not properly charging them can damage the battery.

So, you need to make sure that you get it right when charging your battery.

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