Thursday, April 30, 2015

How To Care For Those Lithium-Ion Batteries Powering Your Portable Devices

Our modern portable devices are inherently dependent on batteries. Smartphones, Tablets, Laptops and Watches all rely on fully charged cells to provide optimum performance. Battery technology today, is vastly different than it was - even five years ago. Modern Lithium-Ion technology, coupled with more energy efficient processing power has provided all day productivity - on a single charge. Unfortunately, many users continue to follow the "battery care" instructions that were appropriate for the previous generation.


The days of the Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd) batteries, that developed a "memory effect", if they were not routinely discharged, are long gone. Most of our current devices lack customer removable batteries, making care and maintenance more important than ever before. So, how can you prolong the life of those Lithium-Ion batteries lurking in your favorite device.

  1. Don't routinely, completely discharge your battery. Let it discharge 20% and then recharge, if possible. If you must discharge the battery daily, consider adding more charging stations.
  2. Many modern devices include firmware that tracks the current charge of the battery. When you use frequent shallow charges the tracking mechanism can become confused. You should completely discharge the battery (down to 2-3%) every month, or so, to refresh this cycle and keep the reporting accurate.
  3. Don't keep your device permanently connected to the charger. Instead, discharge the battery to around 40% for long term storage.
  4. Don't subject your battery to extreme temperatures. Heat, in particular, can substantially reduce the life of you Lithium-Ion battery.
  5. Avoid power hungry apps and games that discharge the battery rapidly. Connect the charger in these situations.
  6. Wireless (inductive) charging is convenient, but it produces excessive heat. Use a direct cable connection to prolong the life of your battery.

In general, connect your device to the charger as often as possible, but don't leave it connected for long term storage.