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Prolonging Lithium Ion Battery Life


Most of the batteries we are using in our notebook computers and smart phones are Lithium Ion. These function quite differently from the older Nickel Cadmium technology. Here's how to prolong battery life.
  • They hate being drained all the way down and will throw a tantrum. Avoid this.
  • Fully charge before the first use.
  • Keep them charged up. If you drain it down to 10% you may get 400 re-charges, while if you recharge at 60% you'll get 1200. These batteries do not mind being recharged after a limited discharge.
  • Don't make your smart phone battery work harder than it needs to. Turn off services and reduce updating and checking intervals. They actually prefer being charged when off, rather than in limited use while sleeping.
  • Feel free to charge multiple times a day. Feel free to turn it off and let it totally reboot instead of just sleep.
  • Remember, smart phones check wifi, download updates, check email, and monitor systems even while asleep!

More information is at the wonderful Battery University .

Questions and Answers


Can I break my battery? Almost. If you fully discharge it (which can happen by merely not using it for a couple of weeks), protective circuits are enabled to disable the battery. This prevents the damage of a full discharge. On a notebook computer this will stop it from coming on at all. To reset the protective switch

 

  1. Remove the battery and unplug the power cord
  2. Hold power button down for over 45 seconds.
  3. Plug-in AC adapter with no battery
  4. If it works, then shutdown and put battery back in.
What if I stop charging before it is fully charged? No problem. It doesn't care.

 

Can I overcharge? No. Not if the battery is made properly. After a full charge, the battery switches to the charger for power, and stops using or charging the battery. It runs off the AC current.

But my phone tells me to unplug the charger when it is fully charged. Doesn't my phone know best? The reason some phones tell you to remove the phone when it is charged, is because they are being green. Why waste electricity? Those chargers often continue to consume electricity even if they aren't charging. Rather than make the charger to totally shut off, they tell you to unplug it.

What about temperature? Do not charge when it is below freezing or above 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

How do I store the battery? Partially charge it and then remove the battery and store in a cool place.



Date: February 2012


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This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

 
 
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