Mobile devices have changed how and where we stay connected. The lifeline for all mobile devices lies within the battery. There have always been myths and half-truths regarding maximizing battery life and battery run time. Fran Hoffart, an applications engineer for Linear Technology Corporation, published an article that ran on EET Asia with some real-world suggestions for prolonging the life of your Li-Ion battery, and thus, maintaining maximum run time.
In this article, I will examine the information (or misinformation) that I commonly find on the internet regarding Li-Ion batteries. By pooling several sources, including that of Hoffart, I hope to debunk the top 5 misconceptions of Li-Ion batteries in an effort to maximize up-time and battery longevity for all your digital devices.
Myth 1: Li-Ion Batteries, like all batteries, have the memory effect and must be completely discharged to alleviate this problem.
– The reality is Li-Ion and Li-Ion polymer batteries are built around a technology that is much different than traditional solid metal anode/cathode rechargeable batteries where electrons migrate. Unlike regular batteries, Li-Ion rechargeable batteries have anodes and cathodes that can host the moving Li+ ions. Because of this, there is no common memory effect for Li-Ion batteries. There is, however, a digital memory effect where the circuitry in the battery that communicates with the device will not recalibrate its ““fuel gaugeÃ¢â‚¬Â properly, sometimes giving a false reading for maximum capacity and thus results in lower battery run time. To alleviate this problem, it is recommended you do a full cycle discharge/recharge every 30 partial charges.
Myth 2: Keeping your Li-Ion battery constantly charged is a good practice for the prevention of battery degradation.
– The reality is Li-Ion batteries are sensitive to heat. Keeping your laptop plugged in, for example, can diminish the life expectancy of your battery. The combination of temperature and battery charge level can negatively affect your battery’s longevity.
Myth 3: Li-Ion Batteries only have 300-500 charges in them before they go belly up.
– Although Li-Ion batteries are only good for 300-500 charges, it means full charge cycles. To prolong your battery’s lifetime, avoid full charge/discharge cycles whenever possible. Li-Ion batteries are much more content on partial charges. If you discharge every 30 cycles to prevent digital memory, a Li-Ion battery would easily last 2-3 years.
Myth 4: Li-Ion batteries should be stored after a full charge.
– The proper way to store your battery is to discharge it to about 40% and store it in the refrigerator. According to www.batteryuniversity.com, battery capacity decreases over time when stored at full charge. In any case, the worse thing to do is to store a completely depleted battery.
Myth 5: Fast chargers do no harm to Li-Ion batteries.
– The truth is faster chargers put more wear and tear on the battery. The same can be said about discharging. Devices with higher energy draw will deplete the battery faster and correlatively will diminish battery longevity. Here is another chart from www.batteryuniversity.com indicating the longevity of a battery given various charge/discharge rates:
Are there any other tips you have that would benefit battery life and/or longevity?