Stored Lithium-ion batteries self exterminate after 2-3 years?

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  • #1
Pleonasm
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https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/everyday-tech/lithium-ion-battery2.htm

"Lithium-ion batteries age. They only last two to three years, even if they are sitting on a shelf unused. So do not "avoid using" the battery with the thought that the battery pack will last five years."


Is this claim substantied by facts? My mother has a lion-battery smartphone from 2013 still in use. Can someone explain how it's still working if the battery will self exterminate within 2-3 years regardless of use?
 

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  • #2
Drakkith
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The 2-3 years is how long it takes for the batteries to degrade enough that they are very noticeably 'used'. They don't last nearly as long as they did when they were new and the maximum voltage is substantially reduced. It's not a sudden works vs doesn't work scenario.
 
  • #3
anorlunda
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I did a little Internet research on your question. Here are four things that may be relevant.
  1. Shelf life and cycle life are different things. Your mother's phone was presumably used during those years.
  2. Not all lithium batteries are alike. Chemistry and structural differences affect shelf life and cycle life. Some lithium batteries (such as in medical implants) are designed to last 20 years.
  3. Storage while discharged is bad. They should have 40-100% charge while stored. One site recommends recharging them once a year even if not used.
  4. Storage temperature and humidity are factors.
 
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  • #4
Pleonasm
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The 2-3 years is how long it takes for the batteries to degrade enough that they are very noticeably 'used'. They don't last nearly as long as they did when they were new and the maximum voltage is substantially reduced. It's not a sudden works vs doesn't work scenario.

How do you account for the fact that my newly purchased Sony phone that had been on the stores shelf for 1+ year (default battery level had dropped to 10% by storage alone) still has a fresh battery performance?

And if I'm reading this data properly, a Lithium ion only loses a few percentages stored in favourable temperatures after 1 year.



Table 3: Estimated recoverable capacity when storing Li-ion for one year at various temperatures. Elevated temperature hastens permanent capacity loss. Not all Li-ion systems behave the same.

0°C 98% (after 1 year)
25°C 96% (after 1 year)
40°C 85% (after 1 year)
60°C 75% (after 1 year)
(after 3 months)

https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries
 
  • #5
Pleonasm
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I did a little Internet research on your question. Here are four things that may be relevant.
  1. Shelf life and cycle life are different things. Your mother's phone was presumably used during those years.
  2. Not all lithium batteries are alike. Chemistry and structural differences affect shelf life and cycle life. Some lithium batteries (such as in medical implants) are designed to last 20 years.
  3. Storage while discharged is bad. They should have 40-100% charge while stored. One site recommends recharging them once a year even if not used.
  4. Storage temperature and humidity are factors.

The citation I gave claimed that it doesn't matter if you cut down on the usage. It doesn't matter what you do, - it cannot live past 2-3 years anyway, or else their meanin of the word "last" differ from mine.
 
  • #6
Drakkith
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The citation I gave claimed that it doesn't matter if you cut down on the usage. It doesn't matter what you do, - it cannot live past 2-3 years anyway, or else their meanin of the word "last" differ from mine.

I would not interpret their claim as being an 'all or nothing' type of claim. That is, their meaning of the word 'last' is different from yours.
 
  • #7
Pleonasm
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I would not interpret their claim as being an 'all or nothing' type of claim. That is, their meaning of the word 'last' is different from yours.

"do not "avoid using" the battery with the thought that the battery pack will last five years."

That is explicitly stating that the battery will NOT last 5 years.
 
  • #8
Drakkith
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"do not "avoid using" the battery with the thought that the battery pack will last five years."

That is explicitly stating that the battery will NOT last 5 years.

Yes, because the batteries will not work as well as they would have when you bought them. That doesn't mean that they flat out will not work at all, just that they will work at a much reduced capacity.
 
  • #9
Pleonasm
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Yes, because the batteries will not work as well as they would have when you bought them. That doesn't mean that they flat out will not work at all, just that they will work at a much reduced capacity.

Be that as it may, you did not account for how my 1 year old, stored Sony Xperia copy has the exact same battery performance as the one I bought a year before (I broke the previous one and bought a new one a few days ago). It's the same model - XZ Premium
 
  • #10
Drakkith
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Be that as it may, you did not account for how my 1 year old, stored Sony Xperia copy has the exact same battery performance as the one I bought a year before (I broke the previous one and bought a new one a few days ago). It's the same model - XZ Premium

Why would there be a significant difference?
 
  • #11
Pleonasm
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I clocked the performance of the XZ Premium purchased a year ago, when it was new, and now this stored, unused one - Same performance.
 
  • #12
Pleonasm
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Why would there be a significant difference?

Because Lion Batteries degrade stored (kinda the point of the citation I gave). I had lost the default charge mode all the way down to 10% opening a brand new phone. The default charge mode for "fresh" phones in a store is around 44-55%
 
  • #13
Drakkith
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Because Lion Batteries degrade stored (kinda the point of the citation I gave). I had lost the default charge mode all the way down to 10% opening a brand new phone. The default charge mode is around 44-55%

Yes, but as you yourself showed in post #4, the degradation can be quite small. When stored at room temperature you still have about 95% of the maximum performance after 1 year. After 3 years this falls to about 85% (assuming a linear relationship), potentially less if the temperature is higher, such as if they've been stored in a non-climate-controlled facility. A 5% drop isn't noticeable, but a 15% drop can be and a 25-30% drop is definitely noticeable.
 
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  • #14
Pleonasm
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Yes, but as you yourself showed in post #4, the degradation can be quite small. When stored at room temperature you still have about 95% of the maximum performance after 1 year. After 3 years this falls to about 85% (assuming a linear relationship), potentially less if the temperature is higher, such as if they've been stored in a non-climate-controlled facility. A 5% drop isn't noticeable, but a 15% drop can be and a 25-30% drop is definitely noticeable.

So what to do in a year if I want to replace the battery? The batteries for the model would have been 2 years in storage by then. Can I put in a generic Lithium-ion battery of the same volt but say smaller size, without jeopardizing the phones internal components?
 
  • #15
Drakkith
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So what to do in a year if I want to replace the battery? The batteries for the model would have been 2 years in storage by then. Can I put in a generic Lithium-ion battery of the same volt but say smaller size, without jeopardizing the phones internal components?

Yes, as long as the voltage is identical then you should be okay.
 
  • #16
Pleonasm
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Yes, as long as the voltage is identical then you should be okay.

So you don't need an indentical physical fit to actually mount the lion battery in place into the phone?
 
  • #17
Drakkith
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So you don't need an indentical physical fit to actually mount the lion battery in place into the phone?

If you can fit it inside and somehow make the connections, it doesn't matter what its shape and size are. They don't affect the electrical performance.
 
  • #18
Merlin3189
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So what to do in a year if I want to replace the battery? The batteries for the model would have been 2 years in storage by then.
I would hope not. Manufacturers should be producing batteries just in time for needs and storing them in optimal conditions for the minimum time necessary. Maybe the availability of cheap batteries on <internet sources> represents the disposal of any overstock?
If your phone is obsolete and the batteries are no longer produced, then presumably you really are buying old batteries. Perhaps somebody is preserving some stock in good conditions?

Aside from those comments, I wonder how you know your replacement battery is as good as the original? Battery testing is not simple. (Read more on Battery University.)
 
  • #19
Nik_2213
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"So you don't need an identical physical fit to actually mount the lion battery in place into the phone?"

IMHO, you'll need a closely physically and electrically compatible battery, from a reputable supplier, especially if there is 'smart' charging etc.

Think chip-coded ink-jet cartridges on steroids, with possible leakage of fire and smoke etc rather than just ink...
 
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  • #20
Pleonasm
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Aside from those comments, I wonder how you know your replacement battery is as good as the original? Battery testing is not simple. (Read more on Battery University.)

A brand new generic replacement battery is surely better than a 2-year one model specific. It only costs a few hundred dollars to buy a new battery and pay a work-shop, as opposed to hundreds of dollars for a new high end phone. The LCD display on it will not break down anytime soon, unlike the OLED technology which is still in its infancy.
 
  • #21
Drakkith
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A brand new generic replacement battery is surely better than a 2-year one model specific

Not necessarily. If stored properly, a 2-year old battery could still have >90% of its original capacity and performance. A generic battery may have the correct voltage, but the capacity may be different and there may be other performance differences.

It only costs a few hundred dollars to buy a new battery and pay a work-shop, as opposed to thousands of dollars for a new high end phone.

Yes but this is about new vs old batteries, not phones.
 
  • #22
Pleonasm
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Not necessarily. If stored properly, a 2-year old battery could still have >90% of its original capacity and performance. A generic battery may have the correct voltage, but the capacity may be different and there may be other performance differences.



Yes but this is about new vs old batteries, not phones.

I have no idea how the modell specific, 2 year old battery has been stored from the online shop though. That's an additional problem.
 
  • #23
Drakkith
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I have no idea how the modell specific, 2 year old battery has been stored from the online shop though. That's an additional problem.

You also have no idea how long the generic batteries have been stored.
 
  • #24
Pleonasm
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You also have no idea how long the generic batteries have been stored.

Doesn't matter if I buy recently fabricated ones.
 
  • #26
CWatters
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Googling for g8141 battery suggests they are available.
 
  • #27
CWatters
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Has anyone mentioned self discharge? You have to be careful when recharging li cells that have been over discharged. It can be a fire risk. I'm guessing that cells which haven't been used for many years might be over discharged due to self discharge.
 
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  • #28
Pleonasm
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Has anyone mentioned self discharge? You have to be careful when recharging li cells that have been over discharged. It can be a fire risk. I'm guessing that cells which haven't been used for many years might be over discharged due to self discharge.

It states when googling the battery (which appears to be Sony oriented). Translation: This Sony G8141 battery contains a chip that prevents overloading and short circuit.

"Lifespan decreases regardless of whether it is being used or not"
We assure you that batteries sold from us are new".

http://www.batteryupgrade.se/shopBr...rtmentProductId/25881704/shopGroupId/63850976
 
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  • #29
Pleonasm
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The battery I linked to has lost 30% of it's capacity in two years (already one year old).
 
  • #30
Pleonasm
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"Lithium-ion batteries age. They only last two to three years, even if they are sitting on a shelf unused. So do not "avoid using" the battery with the thought that the battery pack will last five years."

Again...

The citation suggests that active (that is non stored) lion batteries suffer diminished capacities regardless of use. Is this in fact true?

The sources I gave demonstrate that different charging routines affect lifespan.

Why do those folks imply that level of usage is irrelevant on a 5 year span, when this is clearly not the case in the testings?
 
  • #31
Drakkith
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The citation suggests that active (that is non stored) lion batteries suffer diminished capacities regardless of use. Is this in fact true?

Of course. If the batteries are deteriorating over time even in storage, putting them into use doesn't somehow stop this. In fact it makes them deteriorate faster through the charge/discharge process and the more variable environments that batteries are used in.

The sources I gave demonstrate that different charging routines affect lifespan.

Why do the folks in the citation write that different usage is irrelevant on a 5 year span, when this is clearly not the case in the testings?

Are you referring to your link in post #28? I don't see where it said that the usage is irrelevant.
 
  • #32
Pleonasm
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Of course. If the batteries are deteriorating over time even in storage, putting them into use doesn't somehow stop this.

I mean suffer diminished capacity "of the same ratio" regardless of use (all else equal). This is false. Different charging routines and stamina settings on ones phone prolong battery quality/life. Could the citation simply be outdated?
 
  • #33
Drakkith
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I mean suffer diminished capacity "of the same ratio" regardless of use (all else equal). This is false. Different charging routines and stamina settings on ones phone prolong battery quality/life. Could the citation simply be outdated?

I don't see where the citation said anything like this.
 
  • #34
Pleonasm
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I don't see where it said that the usage is irrelevant.

Perhaps I didn't take "do not avoid using" literal enough. They probably referred to storage vs usage only. Not different levels of usage.
 
  • #35
Pleonasm
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Btw, speaking of capacity, I noticed that worn-out Lion Batteries are slower to charge up, regardless of it's a quick charge or not. Are you guys aware of this phenomenon?

It doesn't help to have a charger nearby, it takes ages to recharge...
 

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