Canadian Manufacturing

Boosting the performance of lithium-ion batteries

Proper use and care can maximize performance and service life



—Sponsored article by Fein Canadian Power Tool Company

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries deliver the perfect combination of low weight and high performance. The batteries have an extremely long service life, due to FEIN’s individual cell monitoring. This technology shields the batteries from overheating, and problems with overload and total discharge.

Users of power tools and related equipment can optimize the performance of their batteries and maintain the energy store with the following tips for proper care:

  • The first charge is crucial. Fully charge the battery before using it for the first time.
  • Each battery has a limited number of charge cycles. Therefore, don’t recharge the battery at every opportunity. Instead, use it until it’s almost flat, such as at 10 or 20 per cent.
  • Discharging the battery below its nominal voltage can trigger damage or destruction of the battery. FEIN batteries are fitted with electronics to warn the user and shut the device down before total discharge can take place.
  • Don’t try to force more charge into full batteries by unplugging and reconnecting the charger. It won’t produce a higher charge and will only damage the batteries. The charger automatically completes the charging process as soon as the battery is fully-charged.
  • Charging should generally be done at room temperature. Avoid charging a cold battery as it damages the cells. Always warm the battery up to room temperature before charging, especially when it’s cold outside.
  • High temperatures also damage the battery. Never leave the battery—and preferably not the entire toolbox—in the car or in direct sunlight on hot sunny days. At temperatures above 60°C, the lithium-ion battery permanently loses capacity.
  • Li-ion batteries shouldn’t be stored flat or fully-charged for long periods. Extensive testing has found a capacity of 40 to 50 per cent and low temperatures (but not below 0°C) to be optimal for storage. Ideally, they should be kept at 5°C to 10°C. Recharging is needed at least every 12 months as the batteries will self-discharge.
  • A battery not in use should be stored in a cool (but not cold) place. Batteries lose energy even when they’re not being used. The Li-ion battery loses three to five per cent of its charge per month. If a battery isn’t used for a long period, it should be recharged after 12 months at the latest. Otherwise it will be irreparably damaged.

Old, used batteries must be disposed of in an environmentally-friendly manner. Taking care with your Li-ion batteries will help ensure they deliver maximum performance—keeping your operations running efficiently.

FEIN has been a world-leading power tool manufacturer for over 140 years. Fein Canadian Power Tool Company, located in Mississauga, Ont., provides a range of high-quality power tools and accessories. Visit www.fein.ca for more information.

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