LITHIUM BATTERIES and how to kill them (part 2/3).

How to KILL your Lithium Battery

In part 1 we told you all about what Lithium 12V starter batteries are. This part is all about the DO’S and DON’TS of lithium battery charging.

The first and most reliable way to kill a lithium battery is simply to charge it too much. Charge it above 14.6V and rapid cell damage will occur. Resulting in a short circuit in the weakest cell, which then rapidly increases voltage across the other cells. All this power entering the lithium battery is generated as HEAT, and when your battery reaches 250°C, it selfdestructs. Burning from the inside out and probably taking everything with it. 

To avoid all problems, first of all use our TS120N OptiMATE Tester to check your motorcycle. If the voltage of the engine stays at 14.4 /14.5V (or lower) running at +2000rpm, your bike qualifies for a lithium battery.

The second way to destroy your lithium battery is to discharge it very low. When a lead acid battery is down to 10V or less, people use a jumpstarter to get it going again.  Jumpstarting a lithium battery that is down to 10V or less will kill it. The unstable low state of the battery can even damage the charging system with a damaged voltage regulator as a result.

The third way to destroy your lithium battery is to use a powerful lead acid battery charger when your lithium battery is discharged. Lead acid chargers are designed to deliver high current at low voltage and then taper off, whereas a lithium battery at low voltage needs a controlled low current charge until it reaches 12.8V.

If you want your lithium battery to live, use a charger designed for lithium batteries.

The fourth and final way to kill your lithium battery is to not maintain it. LFP batteries are typically 1/3 or 1/4 the Amp-hour of the equivalent lead acid battery and it will drain 3-4x faster in a bike with a parasitic draw (due to always on circuitry) resulting in a discharged lithium battery.

To make it live longer, make sure that your lithium specific battery charger has a genuinely lithium specific maintenance program.

MORE about how to properly charge your lithium battery in part 3.