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Toyota Confirms: Li-Ion Batteries Have a “Memory Effect” (May 3, 2013)

oion

Well-Known Member
I'm posting this in off-topic only because this applies to pretty much all tech that use batteries these days, and it's useful to know. This article describes a paper that was published in Nature just this year and overturns a long-standing assumption about Li-on battery technology.

Toyota Confirms: Li-Ion Batteries Have a “Memory Effect” | Pocketnow

We’ve all got to realize that we can’t get rid of the “memory effect” problem. It’s inherent to the technology — and likely to batteries in general. But now that we know about it, we can adapt and minimize the impact the “memory effect” has on our electronics. It’s fairly simple, which may be one reason why it’s not widely adopted. Keep the following rules in mind:

  • Realize that your batteries don’t like to live at the very top or the very bottom of their charge capacity. Don’t keep your devices on the charger after they’re fully charged. Similarly, don’t leave them dead in a drawer for expended(sic) periods of time either.
  • Every once in a while, completely discharge your device, then completely charge it up again. Do that a few times in a row. This will help “condition” the battery and will ensure that you get better use of its capacity. Doing this will reduce the rated lifespan of the battery, but it will get you more practical use out of it and prevent a premature death.

Check out the refs:
http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/v12/n6/full/nmat3623.html
Memory effect now also found in lithium-ion batteries

Note: The practical problem is what "sufficiently long period of time" and "every once in a while" really means.
 

kristalsoldier

Well-Known Member
Very interesting! Thanks for posting! Aside from the obvious implications on the technologies that we surround ourselves with on a daily basis, there are some very interesting speculative-philosophical issues too that can be mined from this!

Now, does this put to rest the usual stuff that we read about how to treat the battery problem? I am not sure. Unless, of course, this is peer-tested and confirmed by other labs.
 
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oion

Well-Known Member
Very interesting! Thanks for posting! Aside from the obvious implications on the technologies that we surround ourselves with on a daily basis, there are some very interesting speculative-philosophical issues too that can be mined from this!

Now, does this put to rest the usual stuff that we read about how to treat the battery problem? I am not sure. Unless, of course, this is peer-tested and confirmed by other labs.
I suppose we can wait for more testing, but this is certainly peer-reviewed:

Nature Materials 12, 569–575 (2013) doi:10.1038/nmat3623
Received 11 April 2012 Accepted 06 March 2013 Published online 14 April 2013

The reason why the topic is particularly important to Toyota, the authors, is due to hybrid technologies. Those batteries are not cheap to replace.


Edit to add before I forget:

I think the next step is to test lithium ion polymer batteries. The Pocketnow article mentions polymer but not the Phys.org one, but I don't know practical implications would arise from that difference. So I wouldn't say the Toyota labs study puts all the controversy to rest, but it definitely debunks a long-standing assumption about lithium ion batteries.
 
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