How Long Do Lithium-Ion Batteries Last?

Release time: Jan 06, 2024

Rechargeable batteries nowadays are state-of-the-art. To power the things you use every day, you rely on one, which is included in almost every device. Almost all electronic gadgets use lithium-ion batteries. May you tell me the average lifespan of a lithium battery? Now is the moment to examine this seemingly straightforward product that actually contains intricate inner workings.

The typical lifespan of a lithium ion battery is 300–500 cycles of charging and discharging. A smartphone battery, for instance, might theoretically last for over a year on a single charge.

The majority of battery manufacturers utilise charging patterns as a measure of lithium battery life instead of an expiration date since it is more accurate. It is possible that the battery was left unused for several months prior to its initial use. Afterwards, it can be put away and seldom used. You can get a sense of the battery's expected lifespan based on your specific charge and discharge history.

What are lithium-ion battery

Rechargeable batteries that primarily use lithium ions in their electrolyte are known as lithium-ion batteries, which include Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries. Longevity, efficiency, energy density, safety, and low maintenance needs are just a few of the benefits that LiFePO4 batteries provide compared to other battery types. Thanks to these features, they are perfect for use in applications requiring a lot of power, such as those that require mobility or that operate off the grid.

The low weight and high energy density of Li-ion batteries make them ideal for use as starting batteries in automobiles. Because of their ability to deliver a brief surge of high current, they work well to kickstart the engine. In order to preserve the integrity of the battery, it is important to avoid fully discharging Li-ion starting batteries, which often have a lesser capacity.

However, when it comes to deep-cycle batteries, LiFePO4 batteries are king. Renewable energy storage and other deep-cycle applications benefit greatly from their ability to endure frequent, deep discharges. They can provide high power for long periods of time and have a longer cycle life compared to Li-ion batteries.

What is the Lifespan of a Lithium-Ion Battery?

A typical Li-ion battery has an expected lifespan of two to three years, though this can vary with use. If the battery is cared for properly and utilised according to the instructions, though, its lifespan can be extended to five years. Extreme heat drastically shortens the life of Li-ion batteries because these batteries are also temperature sensitive. To keep your Li-ion battery from overheating and extending its life, it is essential to keep it in a dry, cold environment.

The battery industry is witnessing a surge in popularity for LiFePO4 batteries, a more sophisticated and environmentally friendly variant of Li-ion batteries. Compared to regular Li-ion batteries, these ones can last for ten years or more. In addition to being a safer and more dependable option for off-grid power and mobility applications, LiFePO4 batteries are exceptionally stable.

The increased capacity of LiFePO4 batteries to withstand charge and discharge cycles is a major benefit. The longer you use LiFePO4 batteries, the less money you'll spend on replacements because they can withstand 2000 cycles, compared to 500-1000 cycles for regular Li-ion batteries. Furthermore, compared to regular Li-ion batteries, LiFePO4 batteries are considerably less likely to burst or overheat because of their chemical composition.

The Concept of the Cycle

Without a precise definition, the term "cycle" becomes problematic when discussing the expected lifespan of lithium batteries. Battery charging occurs at various periods for everyone, including:


Every night

As soon as the battery stops working completely,

At the middle point

When you connect a charger to a battery and allow it to charge the cells, that is the beginning of a cycle. An apparent solution to the problem of short battery life would be to wait longer between charging sessions, but that's not how batteries work.

Elements that affect the durability of lithium-ion batteries

The following are some of the variables that may affect how long lithium-ion batteries last.

During Storage

1. Temperature 

Elevated temperatures cause the electrolyte and electrodes to thermally decompose, which is the main reason why batteries lose capacity when stored.

Decomposing the electrolyte increases the thickness of the anode's solid electrolyte interface (SEI) film, which in turn reduces battery capacity, increases cell IR, and consumes lithium ions. Additionally, gases are produced during decomposition, which raises internal pressure and poses safety concerns. The percentage of capacity loss over one year at different temperatures for Li-ion batteries held under identical SOC (40%) is shown in following table.

As temperatures rise, the rate of degradation also rises. In addition, capacity loss is accelerated to a much greater extent by extremely high temperatures. Increases of 25 degrees Celsius from 0 to 25 degrees Celsius only raise capacity loss by 2%, but increases of 20 degrees Celsius from 40 to 60 degrees Celsius raise capacity loss by 10%.

When exposed to temperatures more than 30°C, lithium-ion batteries experience stress and can significantly reduce their calendar life. Storing Li-ion batteries at temperatures between 5 and 20 degrees Celsius will help them last longer.

2. SOC (State of Charge)

As shown in Figure of next chart, the open circuit voltage (OCV) of Li-ion batteries rises in relation to the state of charge (SOC). Over time, a higher state of charge (SOC) in the battery results in a higher overall cell voltage (OCV). In Li-ion batteries, however, electrolyte oxidation and subsequent capacity loss and increased internal resistance (IR) can occur at high OCV, which can also cause the solid electrolyte interface (SEI) to expand.

Degradation rates of Li-ion batteries at various SOCs during a decade of storage are shown in Figure of next chart. As the state of charge (SOC) of a Li-ion battery increases, the rate of capacity degradation accelerates.

The recommended state of charge (SOC) for Li-ion batteries is moderate, since this will reduce degradation and increase lifespan. Always bring Li-ion batteries to a state of charge (SOC) of about 50% before putting them away.

During cycling

1. Temperature

Although a battery's performance might be temporarily enhanced by operating at a higher temperature, the longevity of the battery is reduced with repeated cycling at high temperatures. At 30°C, the cycle life of a battery is 20% less than at 20°C, and at 45°C, it is half as short as at 20°C.

In order to maximise the battery's runtime, manufacturers recommend keeping the temperature at 27°C. Extremely low temperatures, on the other hand, reduce the discharge capacity of batteries and increase their internal resistance. At -18°C (0°F), a battery that can deliver 100% capacity at 27°C (80°F) can only deliver 50% capacity.

Battery capacity varies with temperature; at low temperatures (0°C, -10°C, -20°C), it is lower than at higher temperatures (25°C, 40°C, 60°C). This is because lithium polymer cells discharge at various temperatures. Furthermore, Li-ion plating occurs while charging Li-ion batteries at low temperatures (below 15°C) because lithium ions are not intercalated as quickly. This slows down the degradation of Li-ion batteries by raising their internal resistance and further diminishing their discharge capacity.

It is advised to keep Li-ion batteries operated at moderate temperatures to extend their lifespan and improve their performance. To get the most out of Li-ion batteries, they work best when the temperature is at 20°C (or slightly lower). Nevertheless, when you need your Li-ion battery to last as long as possible, the makers suggest keeping it at a slightly higher temperature of 27°C.

2. Discharge Depth

When it comes to Li-ion battery cycle life, DOD is king. harm to the negative electrode cites and pressure within Li-ion cells from deep discharges speeds up capacity depletion and may even harm the cells themselves. The battery's cycle life is negatively correlated with the cycling DOD, as illustrated in Figure of next chart.

Deep discharges occur when the discharge depth exceeds 50%. Constant cycling will reduce the life of a Li-ion battery to its minimum achievable level because almost 95% of the energy in the battery is used up when the voltage lowers from 4.2V to 3.0V. It is important to avoid fully discharging Li-ion batteries when cycling them in order to keep their capacity. To extend the life of Li-ion batteries, it is recommended to charge and partially discharge them.

The 80% DOD method is commonly used by manufacturers to grade batteries. This means that during consumption, only 80% of the input energy is used, and the remaining 20% is conserved for extended battery life. In contrast to increasing the cycle life of Li-ion batteries, decreasing the DOD might have the opposite effect, resulting in inadequate battery duration and the inability to perform specific tasks. For optimal battery life and performance, it is advised to use Li-ion batteries with a discharge-over-discharge (DOD) of about 50%.

3.voltage for charging

When the charge voltage is high, Li-ion batteries are able to obtain a large capacity and a long runtime. Lithium plating, capacity loss, and battery damage (including fires or explosions) are all possible outcomes of completely charging Li-ion batteries, hence it's best to avoid doing so.

The degradation of capacity under high charge voltages (>4.2V/cell) is seen in Figure 3.6. The cycle life and rate of capacity loss are both affected by the voltage. According to safety regulations for Li-ion batteries, the optimal charging voltage for capacity is 4.2V. The total capacity drops about 10% when the charge voltage is reduced by 70 mV.

Table further demonstrates that the maximum cycle life (2400-4000) is achieved at a charge voltage of 3.90V, and that the cycle life decreases by half for every 0.10V increase in charge voltage between 3.90V and 4.30V.

To keep Li-ion batteries from degrading too much, it is recommended to charge them at a voltage lower than 4.10V. Although the battery life is extended with a lower charge voltage, the user is left with less runtime. To get the most out of your battery, you shouldn't discharge it below 2.5V/cell and should charge it to 3.92V for the best cycle life.

For electronic equipment to function at their best, such as cellphones and laptops, the voltage threshold must be high. Nevertheless, in order to prolong the battery life of large energy storage devices like electric automobiles or satellites, the voltage threshold is set lower. Overcharging Li-ion batteries, regardless of their use, drastically reduces battery life and increases the risk of fire or explosion.


4. Current when charging/C-rate

High C-rates have many detrimental impacts on Li-ion batteries, including an increase in internal resistance, a decrease in accessible energy, safety issues, and permanent capacity loss.

High C-rates cause lithium plating, which is a major effect. Lithium ions move swiftly when a Li-ion battery is charged with a high current, which builds up on the anode surface to produce metallic lithium. Charging batteries quickly at low temperatures while they are at a high state of charge (SOC) speeds up this process.

As a result of gravity's effects, this lithium layer may dendrite, leading to increased self-discharge in the battery. Fires and battery short circuits are possible outcomes in the worst-case scenario. The internal resistance of the battery converts energy into heat, which further increases energy loss at high charge and discharge currents. An overly high C-rate can stress out a battery, damage it, and hasten its capacity loss because of the higher internal temperature.


5. Cycle frequency


Mechanical stress and increased development of the Solid Electrolyte Interphase (SEI) layer can occur when Li-ion batteries are cycled often, particularly four times per day or more.

The capacity of Li-ion batteries decreases when they undergo cycling because the electrodes in these batteries lose both positive and negative Li reaction sites. Electronic conductivity and loading ability are both diminished as a result of the SEI layer's accumulation during cycling, which raises the internal resistance of the battery.

Capacity loss and battery failure are caused by chemical changes within Li-ion batteries, such as a thickening of the SEI layer and a decrease in Li sites. Although there is a lack of published studies specifically addressing this matter, it is widely believed that batteries deteriorate faster when used frequently because of the high temperatures that are generated.

Electrolytes and batteries can degrade due to chemical stress caused by repeatedly cycling Li-ion batteries without allowing enough time for cooling down.

Ways to Extend the Lifespan of Li-ion Batteries

1. The longevity of a Li-ion battery is negatively impacted by high temperatures; so, it is advised to store or use the battery at a moderate temperature range of 5°C to 20°C.

2. You can extend the life of your Li-ion batteries by charging and discharging them partially instead of fully. Another way to prolong the life of a battery is to avoid deep discharges that go beyond 50% DOD.

3. Keep the state of charge (SOC) moderate. Excessive SOC might reduce battery life and reduce capacity. Keeping lithium-ion batteries at a medium state of charge (SOC) can reduce degradation and increase their lifespan.

4. Keep the battery away from heat. Whether it's being used or stored, high temperatures can cause the SEI to thicken and the electrolyte to oxidise, which in turn reduces the battery's capacity and shortens its lifespan.

5. When not in use, keep Li-ion batteries at a temperature and humidity level of roughly 50 percent state of charge and out of direct sunlight.

6. Don't charge or discharge your battery too quickly because that might shorten its life by damaging its internal components from the extra heat they produce.

7. To avoid damaging your Li-ion batteries and get the most out of them, it's best to use chargers made by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).


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