Long anticipated laptops and phones are finally here, but one problem still remains: how to prolong battery life. Lithium based batteries seem to be found in almost all portable electronics, including PCs and cellphones. Everyone wants their batteries to last as long as possible, but some well-meaning advice from friends can harm your lithium battery’s ultimate life span.
Many people believe it is better to charge when your portable electronic is almost empty, as it supposedly gives you the maximum capacity. Should you charge when the battery is half full, the battery would believe this point as the empty point, and your battery capacity would be shortened by half. However, this doesn’t apply to lithium batteries; this advice is meant for nickel based batteries. Doing this often will result in damage to your battery’s health, possibly making your device unusable if the battery is completely emptied too often. These days, there is a safety circuit in place to prevent the battery from reaching that point, but there are always exceptions. Leave your electronic uncharged for days on end, and even that safety circuit won’t save it.
There are, nonetheless, some benefits to discharging heavily, which is waiting until near zero to charge your device. Should you notice your battery readings becoming more and more inaccurate, many manufacturers advise discharging once a month in order to calibrate your battery meter, giving it more accurate readings.
Heat is another factor contributing to lowering your battery capacity. Leave a device containing lithium batteries charging and running, and after another year or so, the batteries will be downgraded to around 60 to 80% of its original max capability. This is the reason why people who switch their desktops with laptops notice a significantly reduced battery life performance after one year of use. This issue concerning laptops and computers can be fixed by removing the battery when using a corded power source. It may be wise to check out safety concerns, as some manufacturers have stated that the battery casings can collect such nuisances as moisture and dust that can cause a decrease in capacity.
Should you not plan on using the lithium battery for a long period of time, reduce the charge level to about 40% and place the battery in the fridge, not the freezer. Manufacturers recommend storing batteries at 40% as it prevents two extremes. Leaving the battery at 100% can apply unnecessary stress and can cause internal corrosion. If the charge is too low, the battery can become permanently unusable, due to battery self-discharge after a period of time.