Safety Guide in Discharging Lithium-ion Batteries

Many believed that fully discharging a battery can extend its life. That’s why some have been practicing draining lithium-ion batteries before charging completely. After all, when it drains, charge again in full.

However, such a habit may pose more risks than help. It may shorten further the battery life and may weaken its charge eventually. Moreover, there are times when it does not work anymore once done.

Because of this, it may be helpful to read this guide. Learn the essential tips on how to discharge our lithium batteries safely. Take good care of it and be safe.

discharging lithium ion battery
Credits to: Parked in Paradise

Check the Battery’s Condition

More than anything else, checking the battery’s actual condition may be the primary safety reminder. Try to see if there are dents, bloats, or any physical disfiguration on the body. These dents may imply an overload of charge, oxidation, or battery deterioration.

check battery condition
Credits to: Parked in Paradise

If this is the case, then you might as well not use that battery at all. Do not attempt to either charge or discharge such battery with poor condition.

Don’t hesitate to junk it even if you have spent so much. The amount you have thrown away may be measly compared to the cost of damage the deteriorated battery may cause.  

Besides, a poorly functioning battery with an ugly body case is scary to use. Hence, it is not worth the risk.


Check the Amperage and Voltage

Batteries have labels that inform the users of their amperage rates and volt. You must always check this information before discharging your lithium battery.

checking the battery
Credits to: Parked in Paradise

Do not discharge the battery below its minimum amperage and voltage for safety. Doing so may damage your battery, weaken its power, and worst, it may ignite a fire. 

It also implies that you should never fully discharge a lithium battery. A battery must have at least 40% discharge when stored. 

Furthermore, it would be best to have a resistor value of 120 ohms (100mA/12Volts) to discharge a battery. It means you should use a resistor with a higher rating to do so. A reliable resistor ensures a safe process of discharging. 

The bottom line is to follow the minimum prescription. Do not attempt to be the wiser, and in turn, you’ll turn out to be a fool.


Keep a Cool Room Temperature

Batteries are electricities that are stored in cells. Electric power is heat energy that may spark a fire when triggered. Hence, the temperature of the environment significantly affects the discharging.

keeping it cool
Credits to: Reddit

So, it is essential to keep a cool room temperature when discharging. Specifically, a battery’s temperature should not reach over 140, or else; it might explode. 

Parking your camper van underneath some shade may be helpful. Turning on your air cooling system may do just fine. However, too much cold might slow down energy flow when discharging.

Therefore, it is safe to keep it cool enough to avoid the battery from overheating.


Keep an Eye while Discharging

Frequently monitor the battery while discharging. Sometimes problematic conditions in the battery may not be seen right away on the spot. Sometimes these issues manifest when charging or discharging.

keeping an eye in discharging
Credits to: Parked in Paradise

Even the best lithium batteries for RV may have defects hidden in the naked eye. In addition, manufacturers may have distributed faulty units at times. 

Some of these issues are leaks, overheating, the battery is not discharging, the device is not working, and many more. So, when you happen to notice even the slightest issue, stop the process for safety. Pull out the battery and inspect it in a safer spot. 

Safety zones for battery inspection would mean a distance from houses, buildings, or vehicles. Anything that might cause a chemical reaction must be at a great distance. 


Away from Moisture

It is safe to keep the place cool and discharge away from moisture. It is also pretty dangerous when batteries have been accidentally wet while discharging. 

It could be grounded, and you might get an accident when you’re nearby that. That is why freezing temperature is not okay as it can become moisture. Just keep any surface dry and cool.


Conclusion

Safety guidelines may be boring, but it is always relevant. Unfortunately, you don’t know when the lightning will strike you as it is hard for us to anticipate any dangers at hand.

Therefore in using a lithium-ion battery for discharge, always apply preventive measures. You may not only maintain safety, but you might also have extended the battery life more effectively. 

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