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Shelf-life of device powered by Li-Ion battery?

  • #2
    Registered Users Posts: 11,397 ✭✭✭✭ mrcheez


    I have a few devices that I purchased in the past but have kept in their wrapping to possibly sell later (as they are no longer available), or use myself.

    Examples such as iPod Classic 160GB and Oculus Go.

    Both of these use Li-Ion batteries, but what is the shelf-life of the battery if it hasn't yet been charged?

    I think I bought the iPod back in 2014, but wanted to hold onto it as my existing iPod Classic is still working fine!


Comments

  • #2


    mrcheez wrote: »
    I have a few devices that I purchased in the past but have kept in their wrapping to possibly sell later (as they are no longer available), or use myself.

    Examples such as iPod Classic 160GB and Oculus Go.

    Both of these use Li-Ion batteries, but what is the shelf-life of the battery if it hasn't yet been charged?

    I think I bought the iPod back in 2014, but wanted to hold onto it as my existing iPod Classic is still working fine!

    All batteries lose their charge over time. The difference is the impact of the dead battery.

    Carbon Zinc batteries will often leak once fully drained but as it's mostly Alkaline batteries that people use nowadays in toys, remotes etc, you don't see it happen all that often anymore.

    Lipo batteries - as in the iPod- don't drain to 0 volts as fast as other batteries. It can take years. I have a lipo i just checked that i haven't charged in 4 years and it's only at 2.7v
    That's still not great for a lipo battery however. They are best kept at between 3.0v to 4.2v. The longer it spends at a lower voltage, the more likely it is to lose some of its capacity.
    Also, there is a fire risk when you try and charge a lipo that has gone to a very low voltage. It's s very minimal risk but for this reason, a lot of the circuitry in devices that have lipo batteries will refuse to charge the battery once it has gone below a certain voltage.
    There is also a fire risk in leaving a lipo battery go too low. When they go low, the chemistry in the battery can release gases which causes the battery to swell up. A lipo battery is inside a foil and plastic pouch so it has flexibility. This can be a danger where the swollen pouch gets punctured or bursts. This results in oxygen getting into the battery and reacting with the contents to produce heat, sometimes enough heat to cause a fire.

    So after all that waffle, what would i do? If I thought I was going to use them myself, I would open them and put them on charge using a really old usb charger. One that puts out 500mA or lower - newer chargers put out a lot more current and you don't want that. However, i would charge them in something like a metal bucket with an extinguisher on hand, just in case. Don't be surprised for them not to react for a while after charging starts. There may not be enough voltage to start a lot of the internal electronics. Once it gets to 50% charge, you can switch to a higher power charger. Once it's charged to about 80%, i would start using it and get it to where the device says low battery. Then charge again and repeat for a few cycles before finally charging to 100%. Repeat the charge/discharge a few more times and then finally charge to about 60% to put in storage. I would take it out every couple of months to make sure it's at 60%.
    If none of that works, you will need a replacement battery. If the case of the device is bulging or there is a black dot in the screen, the lipo has swollen so will need to be replaced - do not attempt charging in this case!

    If you plan on selling, sell now.


  • #2


    Interesting thanks. There is a lot more resale value in keeping them wrapped though and I'm aware it's possible to replace dead batteries so I'll have to ponder that one.

    I'll definitely check out what sort of price I can sell them for now though.


  • #2


    Batteries last longer when they are cool. Freezing kills them so don't do that.

    Hermetically sealed and placed in a fridge. But cold and damp would kill any packaging.


    A lot depends on the devices. Devices with poor electronic design will drain lithium batteries down past the point where they can be recharged.


  • #2


    Interesting question.

    No designer would ever spec having a product on the shelf for years or decades on end. Google says the 160gb was release 10 years ago.

    li-ion products we manufacture are designed for 1 year shelf life, but they'll probably stretch to 2.
    Remember that while the battery self discharge is tiny, it's always connected and powering something.


  • #2
    if you remove the cell...good luck with that...and store it at 50% it will live longer than the user


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