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Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) battery technology is one of the fastest growing trends in the tool community, and certainly for good reason. Lithium-Ion batteries have the best energy to weight ratio, meaning they pack the most power with the smallest amount of bulk. They also experience no memory effect or, lazy battery effect. This occurs when a battery can no longer accept a maximum charge for having been repeatedly recharged without being fully used (a common symptom of Nickel Cadmium (NiCad) batteries). Li-Ion batteries, conversely, have absolutely no memory and can continually accept a maximum charge. Additionally, Lithium Ion batteries have a very slow rate of charge loss while the battery is disengaged.
What is the difference between Lithium Batteries and Lithium Ion Batteries?
The difference is in the chemistry; a Lithium battery is a disposable power source composed of lithium metal compounds - the key word, here, being disposable; Lithium batteries can not be recharged. Lithium Ion batteries, on the other hand, are intercalated, meaning the lithium ion inside the battery moves between two internal electrodes. This movement, or reversibility of the lithium ion accounts for the battery's rechargeability.
What are the benefits of Lithium Ion Technology?
-- Lithium Ion batteries hold a lot of power and are surprisingly light-weight, especially with consideration to other rechargeable batteries.
Are there disadvantages to using Lithium Ion Batteries?
The disadvantages with using Li-Ion battery technology are generally few and far between, and technological advancements are making them even less so. Manufacturers have recently improved the Lithium Ion recipe to reveal a more reliable battery. Still, every giant has its weaknesses:
-- Li-Ion batteries are sensitive to intense hot and cold temperatures. In extreme temperature conditions, the battery will degrade more quickly.
Although these defects are more applicable to the older Lithium Ion batteries, the possibility of seeing these problems is still worth noting. Fortunately, these said defects are fairly rare, and easily avoided.
-- Store Li-Ion batteries (and other batteries as well) in a cool, dry place.
General Li-Ion Battery Tips:
-- On occasion Lithium Ion batteries require more than one charge (sometimes 2 to even 10) to accept a full charge. The first time you charge your battery, leave it to charge over night. This ensures you'll have maximum power for your first use.
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