If you use your rapid charger routinely...

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  • Updated 12 months ago
You might want to read this short article, as fast charging may be killing your batteries.
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Posted 12 months ago

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SCDC, Champion

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Meh... We are talking a few dozen times a year.   My batteries seem to last as long now as the day I got them and that's 4 years.
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My understanding is Ego has gone the step to build in circuitry that buffers the rapid charge damage.  The lack of this safeguard is why cheaper batteries like Ryobis, B&Ds, and even your little Energizer rechargables wear out much faster.    Given that Lithium is a finite resource, everything we can do to make existing batteries work longer is important.  Another reason to support Ego. 

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Even the "quick charger" isn't all THAT fast...it charges about the same rate or lower as the discharge (My lawnmower uses up the battery faster than the quick charger can re-charge it.)

This isn't quite the same as a 150 kw DC fast charge of an electric vehicle.
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William E Hanson

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This is disheartening and hope the study is somewhat flawed because I use the rapid chargers almost all the time and only use the standard one if both rapid chargers are busy.
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it does not pertain to Ego batteries, as I mentioned above.  Their battery management circuitry is designed to protect against this kind of damage.  
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Bill in Calgary

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Feedback directly from EGO would be welcome.
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szwoopp, Champion

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As mentioned Ego has designed their batteries and chargers to reduce heat and ill effects of use and recharging.  It only makes sense that if you recharge faster it puts more stress on the battery.  Will you notice the effects of fast charging over slow charging Ego batteries?  My guess would be that it is likely minimal with the Ego designed system. 

Ego no longer participates on this board.  So they will not give direct feed back.  This is a user board.
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Ken, Champion

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I do tend to use the standard charger most of the time with an eye toward the long-term health of the batteries. I almost always plan ahead when I'm going to do my yard work because of the weather, so I'm just in the habit of charging the batteries on the standard charger the night before I use them. If I have a surprise need to mow (or blow snow) then I use the rapid charger and don't worry about the occasional use.

I have a lot of hobbies that use lithium batteries, so I've had a particular care routine that long predates my use of Ego tools. I figure why mess with what works?
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Dr. Jeff Dahn from Dalhousie University made a very interesting lecture a little while ago on why lithium-ion batteries die. I dug a bit and found the link. It has been recorded and posted here: 


Heat is a big factor, alongside other chemical and physical reactions from the movement of electrons between cathode and anode. I have seen this phenomena of the "gulk" clogging the anode has also been simulated in BIOVIA (formerly Accelrys) which allowed a much faster cycle testing of the reaction than a real physical test of charging and discharging, demonstrating that what he describes in the lecture is very accurate. 

This lecture "dates" a bit... relatively speaking... but 5 years in the field of battery is long in the current era... In the past 5 years, a lot of advancements have been made to utilize different materials in a battery cell (for anode, cathode and other components), but also, the advancements in additives, trying to prevent this "gulk" to form has progressed a lot.  The 18650 we have now in our batteries are quite different than what they were 10 years ago. (although I am a bit disappointed that EGO still stick to a somewhat "old" version of 18650... but I understand the financial aspect of the decision... and this is the subject for another post... :) 

This being said, there is a correlation between fast charging and battery longevity. A rapid charger will induce more heat as the flow of electron is greater. On the other hand, the EGO pack is fairly well thought. The arc shape helps a bit to spread the heat (bigger surface to dissipate heat than a block like pack (Milwaukee, Dewalt, etc). And EGO puts a sort of covering material around the cells, which almost turns into gel under heat,  to further help heat control. I also assume the PCB does have a cut off should the heat becomes to high. So EGO has put most of the available technology available, for the size of the pack... to help controlling the heat. 

I still think if one can, try to charge in the coolest area you have available (basement?) and avoid a charging station in a garage, for example, where temperature can get fairly high in the summer.