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Thread: How old is too old of a battery?

  1. #1

    Default How old is too old of a battery?

    I checked one of my lights has 4x nitecores from 2015. They still hold a charge and there's no issues with them. Should batteries be disposed of after a certain time? Do they become increasingly more dangerous the older they are?



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  2. #2

    Default Re: How old is too old of a battery?

    Batteries can age but age differently based upon the quality of the battery..... the state of charge it is in and usage.
    If the battery doesn't have high internal resistance and capacity is still useful then nothing to fear. I'm using old laptop batteries that are 10 years old or so I had to toss about 1/3 of them and had another few of them that lost substantial capacity in use such that I retired them.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: How old is too old of a battery?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    Batteries can age but age differently based upon the quality of the battery..... the state of charge it is in and usage.
    If the battery doesn't have high internal resistance and capacity is still useful then nothing to fear. I'm using old laptop batteries that are 10 years old or so I had to toss about 1/3 of them and had another few of them that lost substantial capacity in use such that I retired them.
    How is high internal resistance determined?

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  4. #4

    Default Re: How old is too old of a battery?

    Quote Originally Posted by trailhunter View Post
    How is high internal resistance determined?

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    There are chargers that measure it, but one sign of high internal resistance is under heavy loads fully charged the output drops more than usual. Also often you have high self discharge and batteries with high internal resistance tend to heat up a lot more in use and tend to get hotter when charging.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: How old is too old of a battery?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    There are chargers that measure it, but one sign of high internal resistance is under heavy loads fully charged the output drops more than usual. Also often you have high self discharge and batteries with high internal resistance tend to heat up a lot more in use and tend to get hotter when charging.
    Interesting, I have an opus but I don't think it measures that. Would be another good variable to monitor.

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  6. #6

    Default Re: How old is too old of a battery?

    Quote Originally Posted by trailhunter View Post
    Interesting, I have an opus but I don't think it measures that. Would be another good variable to monitor.

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    My Opus measures it, it is called an impedance test
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: How old is too old of a battery?

    Don't use any charger's internal-resistance function as an accurate measurement. It will be wrong. But, it can be very useful when comparing it to other batteries. If it's a lot higher than known "good" batteries, then you can probably be confident that battery has high internal resistance.

  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* ChrisGarrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: How old is too old of a battery?

    For me, if a battery/cell canít sustain even a 1 amp drain, I start to mull over the idea of pitching it into the recycling bin.

    Chris
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  9. #9

    Default Re: How old is too old of a battery?

    Quote Originally Posted by WalkIntoTheLight View Post
    Don't use any charger's internal-resistance function as an accurate measurement. It will be wrong. But, it can be very useful when comparing it to other batteries. If it's a lot higher than known "good" batteries, then you can probably be confident that battery has high internal resistance.
    I agree that most chargers internal resistance function isn't accurate but it is a good tool to track down marginally performing and even bad batteries. If the internal resistance measurement is a lot higher than a known good battery (5-10 times higher) that battery will most likely have issues in use under reasonably high current applications. My biggest issue with batteries (18650s for instance) is the batteries work fine but the capacity has dropped to but a fraction of the original. For instance a 2600mah battery that has only 500mah capacity becomes not very useful for any but very low current applications and then you will still have to recharge it 5 times more often to get the same runtime. I typically pull batteries that drop to around half capacity from general use to misc use and if I have a lot of batteries that are good I sometimes recycle or toss them in the trash depending on chemistry.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: How old is too old of a battery?

    The word I got from several engineers was 5 years on NiMH. They'll continue working past that, but for maximum reliability, 5 years is my cutoff for my project.

  11. #11

    Default Re: How old is too old of a battery?

    Quote Originally Posted by pendragon2019 View Post
    The word I got from several engineers was 5 years on NiMH. They'll continue working past that, but for maximum reliability, 5 years is my cutoff for my project.
    There are threads about people testing Eneloops (LSD NiMh) a lot older than 5 years that worked just fine. I have LSD nimh 1st gen that has issues but not as much from age is the Chinese LSD cells were a lot more fragile than Japanese LSD. I have 13 year old Duraloops that work just fine.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: How old is too old of a battery?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Arc View Post
    There are threads about people testing Eneloops (LSD NiMh) a lot older than 5 years that worked just fine. I have LSD nimh 1st gen that has issues but not as much from age is the Chinese LSD cells were a lot more fragile than Japanese LSD. I have 13 year old Duraloops that work just fine.
    Like I said, they'll continue working beyond 5 years. My project requires near perfect reliability, so I retire mine before they start to suffer performance issues.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: How old is too old of a battery?

    Hello Pendragon2019,

    Can I assume that the 5 years is from the date of manufacture?

    Tom
    Behind every Great man there's always a woman rolling her eyes...

    Most batteries don't die - they are tortured to near death, then murdered...

  14. #14

    Default Re: How old is too old of a battery?

    That's how I understood them.

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