How to Charge A Lithium Battery [7 Ways]

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How to Charge A Lithium Battery [7 Ways]

One of the most prevalent types of rechargeable batteries in use today is the lithium battery. Smartphones, computers, and EVs all use them. These batteries are superior to lead-acid and deep-cycle battery equivalents in several respects, including being lighter, having a better energy density, and not having a memory effect.

 

Find out how to charge lithium batteries safely and efficiently. The most popular methods for charging lithium batteries are below. Additionally, lithium batteries may be reliably charged with the help of the Jackery Solar Generator, a cutting-edge energy solution that integrates solar panels with a portable power station. Lithium battery packs have also been included in the Jackery Portable Power Stations

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways:

The lithium battery is rechargeable, and lithium ions can migrate from the negative to the positive electrode.                       

Lithium batteries facilitate the transfer of lithium ions between the anode and cathode via the electrolyte in conjunction with the movement of electrons in the external circuit.

There are seven ways to charge a lithium battery: USB ports, AC adapters, DC power, solar panels, solar batteries, bench supply, and solar generators.

Jackery Solar Generators are best for charging devices, even lithium batteries. Especially the Solar Generator 2000 Plus, and 1000 Pro, which have higher capacities.

You can learn how to test whether a lithium battery is functional on this page.


What Is A Lithium Battery? 


The rechargeability of the lithium battery is facilitated by the transport of lithium ions from the negative electrode to the positive electrode. These entities are recognised for their notable energy density, limited memory effect, and reduced self-discharge rates.

Lithium batteries are available in many types, such as Lithium-Ion and Lithium Iron Phosphate, each possessing unique attributes and uses.

The typical constituents of lithium batteries are an anode, cathode, electrolyte, and separator. The anode often comprises carbon, while the cathode usually comprises lithium metal oxide. On the other hand, the electrolyte consists of a lithium salt highly dissolved in an organic solvent. The design of these batteries facilitates the adequate transportation of lithium ions, a crucial factor contributing to their exceptional performance.


How Does A Lithium Battery Work? 


Lithium batteries help move lithium ions from the cathode to the anode through the liquid while letting electrons move in the outside circuit. The procedure above may be divided into two fundamental stages: discharging, which occurs while the battery supplies energy, and charging, which occurs when the battery is storing energy.

how does a lithium battery work

Discharging: Lithium ions move through the liquid from the anode to the cathode during discharge. At the same time, electrons move from the cathode to the anode through the external connection, giving the powered device electricity.

Charging: Charging involves using an external electrical energy source to induce the movement of electrons in the opposite direction, namely from the cathode to the anode. The mechanism facilitates the movement of lithium ions from the cathode to the anode in the electrolyte, therefore storing energy in the chemical bonds of the anode material.


How to Charge A Lithium Battery? 


To charge lithium batteries most quickly and efficiently, you need a gadget that can handle temperatures from very low to very high.

It might seem strange, but sometimes you must charge your battery without a charger. For example, you might need a charger if you get lost or are camping in the woods. The good news is that you don't need a charger to charge lithium batteries:

  • USB Port
  • AC Adapter
  • DC Power
  • Solar Panels
  • Solar Battery
  • Bench Supply
  • Solar Generator

All of these methods for charging lithium batteries work in the same way: the positive electrode also called the cathode, sends lithium ions to the negative electrode, also called the anode, and gets them. The selected methodology will impact the charging duration and the battery's longevity.

how to charge lithium battery in 7 ways

Method 1: USB Port to Charge A Lithium Battery


A USB-C connector is often able to charge your lithium battery. Most portable electronics now use USB-C connections, displacing the more antiquated micro-USB and USB-A connectors.

Charging lithium batteries via USB is a simple but complicated procedure. To make things simpler, here are a few suggestions. The first thing you need to do is get a USB cord that can charge your phone.

The USB end may be connected to any device that supports USB connections so you can use it with your computer, printer, camera, power bank, and more. Locate the end of the cord that charges your device, then insert it into it. Launch your preferred device, whether a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or phone.

Notes from Experts*

Keep the battery in your device if you want to charge it. Never charge many gadgets using a single USB connection simultaneously. Never charge a battery with a current of more than 500mA; doing so can destroy the system.

Method 2: AC Adapter to Charge A Lithium Battery


Charging a lithium battery with alternating current (AC) from a regular wall socket is the most typical method. Connect your device to an electrical outlet using the included cable or chord.

Remember that the wattage and voltage used to power electrical equipment may only work in one country. Smartphones and laptops, among other portable electronics, can handle all the most prevalent electrical currents globally. But a lot of home appliances aren't able to.

Please ensure the AC plug adaptor you plan to use is compatible with the current one in your destination country before taking it with you. You risk breaking or damaging the gadget if you don't. 

Notes from Experts*

AC adapters typically range in voltage from 100 to 240 VAC, so you must choose one compatible with your country's voltage. Find the output port of the adapter and adjust the knob or switch to the voltage you want to use it with. Then, plugging in the adapter will be the last step in charging your smartphone.  

Method 3: DC Power to Charge A Lithium Battery


Several gadgets may be charged using direct current (DC) power, often provided by an RV or automobile converter. This is another frequent method for charging lithium batteries. A 12V DC outlet is usually required for DC charging, and a cable is typically needed to connect the item to the vehicle.

Direct current (DC) charging a Li-ion battery may rapidly deplete the battery when the automobile is not in motion. Check that the adaptor's voltage suits your device's DC input rating to save the battery from damage. 

Notes from Experts*

The negative and positive terminals of the DC electricity source should be linked to the positive and negative terminals of the battery, correspondingly. To start charging, plug the DC power adapter into an electrical outlet.   

Method 4: Solar Panels to Charge A Lithium Battery


Charging lithium batteries using solar panels is a growing trend since it uses sunshine, a sustainable energy source, to produce power. Connecting the battery to the panel system by the manufacturer's instructions will allow you to charge your lithium batteries using solar panels.

Although several variables may affect solar panels' efficiency, they are still simple to install and operate.

There will be occasional variations in the quantity of energy generated due to factors such as the temperature and direction of the sunlight. Always keeping the panel or panels in direct sunlight while charging is the most excellent method to speed up your battery's charging process when using solar panels.

A solar panel charger might be helpful for those who spend a lot of time outside, such as those who go camping or hiking. All you need is a battery pack, a USB cord, and a solar panel. Make sure your solar panel and battery pack can exchange energy by connecting them over USB.

Notes from Experts*

With a conversion efficiency of up to 23.7%, the SolarSaga 100W solar panels from Jackery use multi-layered cell technology to harness the sun's rays and produce electricity. You may charge two small devices simultaneously with 1* USB-C(5V,3A) and 1* USB-A(5V, 2.4A) output ports.

Method 5: Solar Battery to Charge A Lithium Battery


Another easy option is charging a lithium battery without a charger. This small, portable device can be used to charge lithium batteries.

Charging a lithium battery with a solar lithium battery charger is quite simple. Attach the alligator clips to the corresponding battery terminals, ensuring that the red clip is connected to the red/positive terminal and the black clip is connected to the black/negative terminal. Position the charger at a considerable distance from the batteries, ensuring it is not positioned above the battery bank. Finally, connect the opposite end of the charger to an AC outlet that offers a power output of 15-20A.

Notes from Experts*

Jackery Portable Power Stations are solar lithium battery packs that can store solar energy. Connect the lithium battery with a portable power station to charge it quickly. Several options, like an AC plug, a car charger, or solar panels, can charge a portable power station.

Method 6: Bench Supply to Charge A Lithium Battery


This method should only be attempted by those with extensive electrical engineering knowledge.

The first step is to locate a bench supply. With this electrical device, you may receive a lot of juice. There are holes on the bench that hold the power system, which you can connect to the negatives and positives of the battery.

Just plug the bench supply into an outlet and let it charge. Once you're done, replace the lithium battery in your device with the one that came with the bench charger. Ensure your device is compatible with your bench supplies before buying them. Take lithium batteries as an example; they are only compatible with some scientific equipment.

Method 7: Solar Generator to Charge A Lithium Battery


Using a solar generator is the final option for charging a lithium battery. A solar generator is a portable power system for a reliable energy source when camping, at home, or anywhere else. Their many valuable features and higher power output than standard solar panels make them perfect for charging lithium batteries.

how jackery solar generator works

No matter how large your lithium battery is, a Jackery Solar Generator can charge it. Their compatibility ranges from 300Wh to 12 kWh.

Since solar energy is clean and unlimited, it will not contribute to environmental pollution while charging the lithium battery to its maximum capacity. What follows is some further information on Jackery Solar Generators.


Jackery Solar Generators Explained


Jackery Solar Generators are the best lithium battery options since they are portable, have higher capacity, and are versatile. Whether at a camping tent or off-grid cabin, you can charge your battery with solar energy.

By connecting Jackery Solar Panels to Jackery Portable Power Stations, the Jackery Solar Generator maximises solar energy use. Jackery Portable Power Stations offer multiple power output options, such as AC outlets, DC connectors, and USB ports, to charge electronics and power home appliances.  

Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus

The Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus is designed to be a powerhouse for off-grid living, offering an expandable capacity of up to 13A/638.4Ah. This feature ensures you can live off the grid for a week without worrying about recharging, making it perfect for extended outdoor adventures, emergency backup, or a sustainable living solution.

At the heart of the Explorer 2000 Plus portable power station is a long-lasting LiFePO4 battery that boasts a lifespan of up to 10 years. This type of battery is known for its stability and durability, offering a more reliable and safer power source than traditional batteries. Its durability allows for long-term investment, minimising the need for regular replacements and promoting environmental sustainability. 

Safety is a priority with the Jackery Solar Generator 2000 Plus. It has high FCC/CE and UL certifications, ensuring it meets strict safety standards. Furthermore, the innovative ChargeShield Technology provides 62 forms of protection, including over-charge, over-discharge, short-circuit, and temperature controls, making it ultra-safe for everyday use. 

jackery solar generator 2000 plus
Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro

The Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro is a marvel of modern portable energy solutions designed to keep the devices powered up wherever your adventures might take you. With an impressive battery capacity of 1002Wh, this power station is a game-changer for outdoor enthusiasts, campers, and anyone needing reliable power during outages.

One of the standout features of the Explorer 1000 Pro portable power station is its ability to power multiple devices simultaneously, thanks to its robust 1000W output. This makes it an indispensable companion for keeping essential electronics like smartphones, laptops, and even lithium batteries running smoothly in any situation.

The industry-leading Battery Management System (BMS) is at the heart of its performance, which ensures safety, efficiency, and longevity. Coupled with pure sine wave technology, the Explorer 1000 Pro guarantees clean, stable power compatible with sensitive electronics. Safety with the Explorer 1000 Pro is paramount, as evidenced by its construction using 94V-0 fire-rated materials.

jackery solar generator 1000 pro

How to Fix A Lithium Battery That Won't Charge?


The capacity of lithium batteries decreases with time and subsequent charging cycles. A battery's ability to retain a charge may be compromised due to this deterioration.

The capacity of a battery to be charged may be affected by extreme heat and cold. Cold temperatures may slow down the chemical processes, while the internal structure of the battery can be damaged by heat. Sometimes, the charging cord or adapter can be at fault rather than the battery itself. The battery's internal circuitry might be damaged or defective during production, prohibiting it from charging.

  1. Try an alternative charger and cord you know will work to ensure the charging equipment functions correctly.
  1. The second step is to check for physical damage or leaks. See an expert if you suspect a damaged battery or equipment is best.
  1. The charging logic may be reset by resetting the battery on some devices. See the handbook with your device for the exact steps to take.
  1. Ensure the battery is at room temperature before charging it if it's too hot or cold.

How to Charge A Lithium Battery FAQs


The frequently asked questions about how to charge a lithium battery are listed below:

1. What size of solar generator do I need for lithium batteries?

To select the correct size solar generator for your needs, consider your energy demand, the efficiency of your solar panels, battery storage capacity, and the specific needs of your equipment. Choosing the right size solar generator involves balancing energy needs, setup efficiency, mobility, and cost.

Working Hours (H) = [Jackery Solar Generator Capacity (Wh)*0.85] / Appliance's Wattage (W)

Users can select a Jackery Solar Generator with capacities ranging from 12 kWh to 300Wh for a portable solar system based on their energy requirements. The formula for estimating Jackery Solar Generator-powered appliances' operational hours is shown above.

2. What voltage should I use to charge my lithium battery?

The input capacity of each gadget and your location might affect the voltage required to recharge lithium batteries. On the label, in the user manual, or on the manufacturer's website, you should see the minimum and maximum voltage needed to charge your Li-ion battery entirely without damaging it.

Ensure your gadget can charge or work at a specified voltage before plugging it in if you need more clarification. You risk breaking or ruining your gadget if you don't.

3. Could I charge a lithium battery with a regular battery charger?

No, to put it simply. The voltage range at which lithium batteries function is greater than that of traditional batteries. Voltages of 12.8V for flooded lead acid, 13.0V for AGM, and 14.4V for LiFePo are all measured at 100% charge. When charging a battery, make sure the parameters match the voltage range of the battery. Understand the voltages used by lithium batteries better.

Charge Capacity (%)

1 Cell

12V

24V

100

3.40

13.6

27.2

90

3.35

13.4

26.8

80

3.32

13.3

26.6

70

3.30

13.2

26.4

60

3.27

13.1

26.1

50

3.26

13.0

26.0

40

3.25

13.0

26.0

30

3.22

12.9

25.8

20

3.20

12.8

25.6

10

3.00

12.0

24.0

0

2.50

10.0

20.0

(Data Source: Lithium Battery Voltage Chart)

4. How do you wake up a dead lithium battery?

A sleeping lithium battery may be roused in many ways. You can do anything from charging the battery with solar energy to warming it up and connecting many lithium batteries in parallel to power your sleeping battery. These methods will wake a sleeping lithium battery more safely and straightforwardly.

  • Check Voltage: Measure the voltage of your battery with a multimeter or a battery voltage tester. If the voltage drops below a certain point—often between 2.5 and 2.8 volts per cell—the battery may be in a deep drain condition.
  • Verify Correct Charging Voltage: The charger has to be compatible with your lithium battery's voltage to charge it correctly. Each battery must have a voltage over 3.25 volts while using the charger. Release the battery from its "sleep" state with a charge of 3.65 volts per cell and a current of no more than C/10.
  • Check The Signs of Recovery: Once in a while, check the battery voltage to see if it has risen to a satisfactory level, typically about 3.2 to 3.3 volts per cell. This will indicate whether the battery is showing signs of recovery. A rise in voltage indicates that the battery is reawakening and is ready to take a standard charge.
  • Use Normal Charging: You can use a standard lithium battery charger or the same low-current charger until the battery voltage is sufficient, or you may use regular charging.

Final Thoughts


Finally, if you do not have a charger for your lithium battery, we have provided seven other ways to charge it. Electricity from the grid is necessary for specific processes, such as residential AC power. You may use equipment that accepts solar input for photovoltaic panels to charge your lithium-powered gadgets while not connected to the grids. When charging a lithium battery outside, the ideal option is a Jackery Solar Generator with a bigger capacity. If you want your battery to function at its best and survive for years, it's essential to know how your device charges it and to take precautions when charging it.       

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