HOW TO KEEP YOUR BATTERY HEALTHY?

Written by T-admin

October 11, 2019

Torpedo factory and Torp electric bike

The battery for your electric vehicle, be it a car, a bike or a motorcycle, is one of the most expensive components of your wheels. So it is not a surprise it’s every EV enthusiast’s main concern to take care of the battery as good as possible.
One of the most commonly asked question is what affects the life span of the Lithium-ion battery? The question is not easy to answer since there is a whole spectrum of factors that will influence how fast your battery will be losing its capacity. Generally speaking, an average battery for an electric bicycle will become less efficient in three to five years. With the right precautions, the ageing can be slowed down significantly.

Why does A Lithium-based battery age?

Nothing lasts forever and the same goes for your Lithium-based battery. The basic principle on which these batteries work is the ion movement through the electrolyte between the positive and negative electrodes. When the battery is plugged into a circuit, a chemical reaction is triggered and as a result, the battery takes and stores the energy. When discharging, the process is reversed. The mentioned process is referred to as a charge cycle. One charge cycle corresponds to the complete charge and discharge of the battery. Most lithium-based batteries have a rated lifetime of somewhere between 500 and 1,500 charge cycles.

DEPTH OF DISCHARGE & state of charge

 The important factor of battery longevity is how much energy is discharged at once. This is called Depth of Discharge (DoD) and it affects how long your battery will serve you to its full potential. Lithium-based batteries are not a fan of deep discharging, which means that the user drains them down to the minimum in one go. Studies have shown that batteries treated this way lose up to 70% of their original capacity in just 300 to 500 cycles. Just for comparison: With a DoD of 25 percent, where the user plugs it in as soon as it drops to 75 percent, that same battery could be charged up to 2,500 times before it starts to seriously degrade. Well, that is a big difference. The same goes for the State of Charge (or SoC) over 90%.

TOTAL DISCHARGE

The other thing you should be on a look-out for is total discharge. The battery actually never fully discharges. Lithium-based batteries only discharge to a certain level, since fully discharged can become unstable and explode. When the battery reaches a danger zone, a protection circuit in the battery will trip and kill the battery forever and for real, functionally destroying the battery before it can discharge to a level where it’s in danger of exploding. This is why we suggest charging your battery every now and then, even if you are not attempting to use it for some time.

What happens when your battery reaches the maximum charge cycles, specified by the manufacturer? Well, it’s up to you: if you can still rely on your battery, you just keep it, until you find it no longer useful.

Now when we established what causes the “heart” of your EV to deteriorate, let’s talk about how to slow down the process as much as possible.

Tips and tricks on keeping your battery (and yourself) happy:

CHARGING:

• Always use the charger and adapter that came with your battery. This will prevent the overcharging and will protect the battery against the short circuits.
• Wait a while after charging for your battery to cool before using it. Don’t charge your battery immediately after the drive. Wait for it to cool down.
• Give your battery half of charge before storing it for a longer time and charge it every now and then, but only up to 50% of its capacity.

  • The battery shouldn’t stay fully charged for long. So in the case you charge it up to 100% you should go for a ride as soon as possible.

• Charge your battery little by little. As we had mentioned before, Lithium-based batteries are not a fan of the big fluctuation of charge state, so it is better to dose “the juice” carefully.

• After finished charging your battery, the charger should always be disconnected from both the battery and the outlet.
• Avoid using super-charging stations when not necessary. A lot of power super fast can generate extra heat which will deteriorate your battery’s potential faster than necessary.

STORAGE:

  • Keep your battery in a cool and dry place. The temperature shouldn’t be lower than 0C and not higher than 20C.

  • Don’t leave your battery near the source of heat.

CLEANING:

• Always remove or disconnect your battery from the vehicle when you do any work on it.
• Electricity and water do not mix, so never immerse the battery in water. Wiping it with a damp cloth should do the trick.
• A steam pressure washer should never be used for cleaning your battery or your bike, unless alowed by the user manual.

Part of the battery-preservation can be done by a quality Battery Management System.

Part of the battery-preservation can be done by a quality Battery Management System. BMS that we had developed at TORP will guide you step-by-step through settings, custom to your type of Lithium based battery, so you can be sure it is monitored and protected at all times. Our BMS is also smart, doing the thinking for you: it will alert you when above mentioned tips are not followed and give you suggestions how to perfect your battery’s performance.
You are in for loads of range-anxiety-free trips with your EV!

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