How To Charge 18650 Li-Ion Battery For First Time

The first times is always important to our lives, including the first charging time.

I read a lot of questions such as “do lithium-ion batteries need to be fully charged before first use?”

Or “how long should I charge a new phone before the first use?” and much more.

To resolve those questions, I invite you to read this article and find out the best way to charge new devices or new lithium-ion batteries correctly:

18650 Li-Ion Battery vs. Ni-Cd or Ni-MH batteries

We have seen the advancement in battery technology recently. A long time ago, we got nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd), next nickel-metal-hydride (Ni-MH), then came lithium-ion (li-ion) and a reasonably short-lived stint on lithium polymer (Li-Ph).

The big difference between the Ni type and Li type is the memory effect. It means that if users don’t discharge the Ni type fully before using, it will become harder to charge in the next times. Li type doesn’t have that effect.

Someone may suggest you charging your new devices over 12 hours before it’s used in the first time. That advice is outdated. It’s only true to devices with Ni-CD or Ni-MH batteries.

Nowadays, manufacturers tend to use 18650 li-ion cells instead. And a best 18650 batteries don’t ask you to charge for such a long time. It’s not only necessary but also harmful to the batteries due to being overcharged.

The Li-ion cells are activated before being carried out of the factory. Lithium-ion batteries have maximum capacity available from the beginning, and the 1st charge is similar to the 10th charge.

Hence, you don’t need to discharge or charge new devices or new 18650 batteries fully. You can freely use the device right after you bring it out of the store. Youcan reading more about the 18650 battery review here.

There’re some important things you have to remember to do a correct charge:

1. Use the original charger

Every device is sold with the charger. You should use that original charger to charge your device. If you lost it or it’s broken, don’t use any charger around you but a good one from a prestigious manufacturer.

Because manufacturers tune the BMS (Battery Management System) in the cell to best work with the configuration of the charger provided by them.

A low-quality charger may shorten run times, cause premature battery failure. There’re reports of fire or explosion because of a bag charger.

2. Do partial charge rather than a full charge

I’m sure that a lot of us made this mistake. Our guts tell us that we should leave our devices charged to the 100 % batter level, not interrupt the charging cycle. We’re so confident of our charging habit.

It turns out we’re doing not a good thing. Though charging fully makes us using most of battery’s capacity, but we may overstress and lay a burden on the cells unintentionally. It’s absolutely harmful to your battery’s health, leading to the reduction of battery life.

However, a partial charge can guarantee that your batteries are not overcharged and you have to accept that you can’t have a full battery’s capacity.

So, unplug the devices if they get 85% or a little higher of battery level. If you forget to disconnect your devices sometimes, don’t worry too much. Sometimes” is not a big deal.

3. Discharge the batteries fully once a month

If we talk about charging, we also need to talk about discharging. Because discharging leads to charging, right? A partial charge as recommendations should accompany with a partial discharge. It’s the slogan of li-ion batteries “don’t discharge to 0% as well as don’t charge to 100%”.

Occasionally we don’t apply this slogan; we need to leave the batteries drained out of power to 0%. In modern devices, we have a smart battery which can inform us how many remaining minutes to use. We should do partial charges, but continuously partial charges will cause the “digital memory”, decreasing the precision of the device power gouge.

To prevent that, after about 30 charging times, you let your devices run out of battery completely. According to battery experts, this practice will help to re-calibrate the smart battery.

4. Charge or discharge at the appropriate temperature

All battery manufacturers recommend us to store or use batteries in the proper temperature: from 20 to 25 degrees of Celsius. If we keep the cells in lower or higher temperature than the recommendation, it will cause a reduction in efficiency.

Scientifically, every 10 degrees deviation leads to a 20-30 mAh loss. Higher deviation, bigger loss, faster degradation.

I know we have winter seasons when the temperature goes down to the freeze. Don’t charge the batteries under this harsh condition. The number of cells life will drop dramatically and quickly.

Opposite to the coldness is the heat. In the same way, you shouldn’t leave or charge your batteries in hot places, for example in a car, near the oven in the kitchen…Heat is always the biggest factor that reduces lithium-ion battery life.

Also, when you are using or charging your device, and it is getting hot, simply stop using or charging. Getting hot means the battery is over-stressed. Don’t let it exceed 60 degrees or else you have to buy a new one soon.

In conclusion

I’ve already shown you how to charge li-ion batteries for the first time correctly. Li-ion batteries have set us free from many things to be remembered.

Thanks to the improvement of technology. I hope this article helpful to you. Share it to your friends, your relatives, your colleagues that everyone will know how to treat our batteries right.