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Li-Ion vs Ni-Mh Batteries – Which Are Better?

robot-logo-smallLithium-Ion and Nickel-Metal hydride batteries are used for many different types of devices and have specific instructions as to how you should use them effectively.

What Is the Difference Between Li-Ion and Ni-Mh Batteries?

These two batteries are both rechargeable which is why they six in a myriad of products. Li-Ion batteries are usually found in electronics in your home because they have a slow self-discharge and are easy to recharge. Ni-Mh batteries are very similar to Li-Ion batteries except their components are different. Ni-Mh batteries have a higher discharge rate but have a higher cycle durability. This means that you can efficiently charge Ni-Mh batteries 800 cycles more than you would ever be able to charge Li-Ion batteries.

What Devices Use Li-Ion Batteries?

If you are reading this page from a laptop, the chances are that you know a Li-Ion battery resides in your notebook case. You can also find these batteries inside smartphones, tablets, camcorders, cameras, and even electronic cigarettes. These batteries are also used in a variety of tools like sanders, cordless drills, and even some saws. One of the more exciting uses of Li-Ion batteries is in electronic vehicles like hybrid cars, aircraft, and electric wheelchairs.

What Devices Use Ni-Mh Batteries?

Many products use Ni-Mh batteries as a replacement for traditional AA batteries because they are rechargeable and save customers money over time. However, these cells are also used inside electric vehicles, and some of these brands include Honda, Toyota, Chevrolet, Ford, and General Motors.

Charging

How Should You Charge Your Li-Ion Battery?

li-ion-batteryUsing your battery correctly can lengthen it’s life so that you don’t have to replace them as often. Typically, a lithium battery can last between 200-500 cycles of recharge. To get the most out of your battery, you should immediately unplug your charger as soon as the battery reaches full capacity. You can pay attention to your cycle count, but this isn’t really an effective way to keep track of how much the battery was charged. Unless you allow the device you are using to die before plugging it up, you will not have an accurate cycle count. When you purchase a laptop or smartphone, the battery is prepared to be repeatedly charged, so it is not necessary for you to charge them to 100 % before you use them.

You should let your battery discharge fully, occasionally, so that your battery goes through the cycle of deep charging. It is recommended that you do this every few weeks, it should not be a daily occurrence as this shortens the length of a Lithium battery. Also, make sure that you keep your battery in environments at room temperature to get optimal battery life.

How Should You Charge Your Ni-Mh Battery?

ni-mh-battery

This is one of the hardest type of batteries to charge efficiently. Ni-Mh batteries differ from from Li-Ion batteries because they cannot charge over extended periods of time. If you leave your nickel based battery on a charger for days, then you will inevitably damage it. Nickel batteries also heat up when they charge, and should be removed when they are hot. There are some chargers you use that cook the battery. Trickle charging is one of the safest ways to charge your cells and occurs by providing a low current at a fixed rate. Through this process, batteries are rarely overcharged, and you will be able to use them longer.

You should be careful in charging batteries that have half a charge because placing them on the charger can inadvertently damage them. If you are having problems with your Ni-Mh batteries, you might want to look at what kind of charger you are using. Most people find that the issue that they are having is not the batteries, and replace chargers with new ones that are more effective. Also, make sure that with your Ni-Mh batteries, you do not completely discharge them like you do with your lithium batteries because this could make them ineffective.

Are Robot Vacuum Batteries Different from Other Household Appliances?

Many people, when purchasing their robot vacuums, have the misconception that these batteries are unique. There are some devices that require a particular package of batteries, but these are still rechargeable batteries. You still will charge these batteries the same way that you would charge the others at your house. However, the difference is you will probably have to buy a specific charger, but the contents are still the same. You should follow the same directions for Li-Ion/Ni-Mh batteries to get the best battery life.

What are the Dangers of Using Rechargeable Batteries?

Lithium batteries, when first introduced, were recalled because of associated safety concerns. The batteries were getting stuck in an “on” position and the result was the battery bursting into flames. This rarely happens anymore, but it is important to charge these batteries in temperatures that are above freezing. By charging these batteries in low temperatures, you can end up inadvertently turning your battery “on”, and in doing so will cause your own household fire. There were also issues with cell phones batteries catching themselves on fire, but it was determined that his batteries were not factory made. Always make sure that the battery you use with your device was manufactured specifically for that purpose.

With Ni-Mh batteries you need to make sure that you use the appropriate charger for that pack, or you could end up with a household fire. These batteries should always be charged in a cold climate to avoid overheating. Also, keep in mind you will need to replace batteries after several years.

Conclusions

robot-logo-smallRechargeable batteries are all very similar, even though the components are different. There usually are no mishaps, but in some circumstances, accidents can happen. Understanding battery safety is very important so that you can avoid dangers altogether. This informational text was written to help you in your understanding of how to properly use, charge, and discharge your batteries. If you follow these guidelines you will get the most out of your batteries so that you can enjoy your robot vacuums to your fulfillment.

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Michael

Blogger and IT passionate at Best Robo Vac
I'm Michael Down, a gadget addict and I absolutely love (in my spare part of the day), to blog, review and use the latest technological products humanity offers. I'm a full time robotics researcher specialized in robot movement, so I guess I get my groove on from my work.

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