What is battery cycle life?
Battery cycle life is the typical number of charge and discharge cycles that a battery can undergo before it reaches the end of its useful life. This number of charge/discharge cycles is a function of the conditions under which the battery was used, the ambient temperature, and the method used to charge the battery.
- A battery cycle is one full discharge and recharge of a battery.
- A battery cycle life is the number of battery cycles a battery can undergo before it can no longer hold 80% of its original capacity.
- A typical battery has between 500 and 1,000 cycles
Understanding Battery Cycle Life
In theory, modern rechargeable batteries should last forever as long as we recharge it to full capacity each time we recharge it. But in reality, every battery has a finite life that is determined by a host of factors such as the operating conditions, temperature, and even just time.
Each time a battery is fully discharged and then fully recharged is called a battery cycle. The battery cycle life is the number of full discharges the battery is able to support before its total capacity falls under 80% of its original capacity.
A battery’s full cycle life will typically range from 500 to more than 1,000 cycles. In practical terms, that is likely to be between 1.5 and 3 years for most batteries and can vary quite a lot based on the conditions in which the battery is used. For example, a battery in a warm climate will discharge faster than one in a temperate climate due to the heat.
In addition, time plays a part in a battery’s cycle life as well. Eventually, even if unused, a battery will deteriorate and die due to the loss of electrolyte, internal crystallization, and even increased internal resistance. In fact, for a standard lithium-ion battery, aging is usually the primary cause of battery degradation vs battery cycling.
Battery – A storage device for electrical energy, typically in a chemical solution, that can be used as a source of power.
Charge Rate – The amount of energy added to a battery over a given unit of time. Often measured in Amps.
Discharge Rate – The amount of energy removed from a battery over a given unit of time. Often measured in Amp-hrs.