How To Restore A Battery
How To Know Whether Or Not It’s Possible To Restore A Battery
There are so many different types of batteries out there used for a multitude of purposes. Depending on its use, batteries can be relatively expensive, so people often ask if it’s possible to restore a battery, and how to tell if the battery can be restored.
So can all batteries be restored? This depends on a number of factors. Batteries can be classified in different types and they may not all be worth restoring.
A failing battery doesn’t always mean the end of its cycle life.
The best way to test if a battery can be restored is to test it, or have it tested.
There are several options to test your batteries at a low cost to see if they are able to be restored. It is essential to test your batteries before trying to restore them.
Batteries can be tested using a multi-metre, a battery analyser, and a battery tester.
In some areas there are service centres who can test batteries with battery analysers which are able to perform rapid testing.
Even if you’ve tried to recharge a battery such as a laptop or phone battery and it doesn’t charge, it still may be able to be restored.
The main defects in batteries are:-
- elevated self-charge (stresses)
- high internal resistance (often occurs with nickel-based batteries)
- low capacity (happens innately with use and time)
Being aware of the cycle life of the battery and how it ended can help determine whether or not it’s it’s able to be restored.
Mobile phone batteries can be tested to see if they are able to be restored. Additionally, due to over-discharge, some batteries go to sleep but may be able to be restored back to life.
It has been determined that around 9 out of 10 mobile phone batteries can be restored, but they are more often than not being discarded!
In the case of smartphones, not all permit the replacement of batteries, but they can still be tested.
It also can be possible to restore car batteries, which is a cheaper alternative to buying a new one. The process is relatively simple and may extend battery life by a few years or more.
Portable batteries often used by healthcare are often discarded, and often under-used. In these instances, it is often the case that batteries could be restored rather than discarded.
In many cases, all types of batteries can be collected and tested so restoration is possible.
Battery testing with appropriate equipment can operate a full charge/discharge cycle to check the capacity.
The internal resistance should also be noted when battery testing, as well as a self-discharge test.
When tested, if all the relevant requirements are met, it is likely that the battery can be restored.
In the case of a smart battery, manufacturers may program the end of life on battery age or usage, or there may be a digital fault. In these instances, the cells may still be ok and may be able to be recovered by utilising the naked cells inside the pack.
Batteries used for wheeled mobility have a long expected cycle life, and are also able to be tested for restoring. There are companies who test and restore these types of batteries.
Starter batteries can be tested using a device that reads the cold cranking amp, or with a load test. A starter battery which is only tested using a cold cranking amp (CCA) however, does not provide a reliable outcome.
Stationary batteries, which are usually lead acid, need to have the capacity tested by applying a discharge/charge. Battery failures in this type of battery is often permanent, but may be able to be restored in some circumstances if found on time.