Things You Should Know About Lithium Ion Battery

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By Xenova, Senior Member on 14th July 2011, 03:48 AM
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Too many people I’ve met have misconceptions, wrong understanding or simply no idea at all about how to maintain the batteries inside their new spanking new electronic gadgets. More often than not, it will be one of those nifty, super-slim lithium-ion variants. So I decided to write this little primer to help you, erm, I mean, your techno-phobic friends along.

Note that my recommendations are catered along the lines of practical convenience as well as pure battery maintenance facts alone. As with everything, there is often more than a way to skin a cat. I do try to explain my rationale behind my recommendations, so do try to read on before clobbering me on the head with your PhD in advanced materials science.

Tip #1: Lithium-ion batteries are limited by their life-spans
Found an e-bay offer for a lithium-ion battery pack for your ageing notebook or PDA at bargain prices? Or saw that battery pack for your gadget in its dusty sealed package at the corner store of the flea market? Before you jump and snap it up, be sure to first check the manufacturer date.
We all know that all batteries are limited by a finite number of charging “cycles”. However, it is a little publicized fact that the lifespan of lithium-ion batteries are also limited by their manufacture date.

Your lithium-ion battery starts dying the moment it leaves the factory

The fact is, your lithium-ion battery starts dying the moment it leaves the factory! Of course, the actual life-span of an unused lithium-ion battery can vary by a fair amount based on its internal charge as well as the external temperature. But suffice to say that you can expect to irreversibly lose 20% of a lithium-ion battery’s charge every year from its original date of manufacture.
PDA came with more than one spare battery? Take it out of its shrink-wrap and use it interchangeably – today. Thinking of buying a “spare” battery for use in future? Well, just save the money and buy it only when you are ready to use it.

Tip #2: Avoid allowing your device to discharge completely

Every wondered why your modern phone, PDA or iPod is able to cheerfully tell you that “Your battery is now exhausted” for several seconds on its brightly-lid LCD screen before switching off? The reason is simple; there is an artificial circuit that shuts off the device when the charge in the battery is too low.
This extraneous circuit is built to protect from the damage that could result if the charge of your lithium ion battery falls too low. If you still don’t get it: if the charge of your lithium ion battery falls too low, the battery can get irreversibly and permanently damaged. So since Lithium Ion has no “memory effect”, it is better to simply charge your portable device as and when you can or remember.
To set your mind at ease, a “charge cycle” means a single iteration of depleting followed by a re-charge until 100% of battery charge. If you consume 50% of your iPod’s battery on day 1, recharge to 100% at night, and do the same thing on day 2, then you would have just finished up one charge cycle of its battery life.

Constantly recharging a lithium ion battery does not shorten the battery life more than normal usage would

Hence constantly recharging a lithium ion battery does not shorten the battery life more than normal usage would. Avoid letting it sit on empty for too long; instead, keep it charged-up if you can.

Tip #3: Take the battery out of your notebook computer when connected to AC helps… not!

Well ok, actually, taking out the battery from your notebook computer might help, but the reason it does is not really what you think it is.
It is not because of over-charging as most people might believe. There are some really smart circuits monitoring your lithium ion battery (See reason #2 above), and these circuits also ensure that your precious lithium ion never gets overcharged.

However, if there is another killer of lithium ion batteries other than old-age, then it would be heat. Long term exposure of a lithium ion battery to temperatures higher than 40 degrees Celsius permanently reduces its total charge capacity by noticeable percentages chunks per year. Having said that, I would hazard that modern processor like the Centrino Duo runs quite coolly overall.

On the other hand, it is really painful to see someone plug their AC adapter to their laptop, carefully remove the battery and put it aside, then finally sit down and switch on their laptop. Then have someone trip over their AC adapter an hour into an unsaved document. Ouch.

Unless you are setting up the laptop at Wal-Mart or Carrefour to run practically 24/7 until its time to sell it off at “display unit” pricing, my recommendation would be to save yourself the trouble and just leave the battery in. Actually, I think the real motivation to take the battery out of shop display units is to prevent theft. Really, why make it so inconvenient for yourself when the battery will be literally unusable in a few years time.


Some also claimed that we should minimize the duration of the battery remain at high voltage (e.g. 4.2v / 100%). This is spoil the battery because the corrosion activities are relatively high when the battery is in high voltage/ full charge.
Put it short, after fully charge your battery, please use it ASAP. It won't give birth little baby battery if you leave it there with full charge

One way of Storing Battery for Long time
If you were to store your battery for a long time, discharge it to 40%. Keep it in a dry and cool place.
For me, my engineer friend teach me a way to keep battery, and i have tried this myself for last few years.
I put the battery into the industrial grade vacuum bag and vacuum it (almost no air in the package), then i store it in my refrigerator (around 0 -3 Celsius). I do this if i want to keep the battery there to sit few months.

NOTE: Make sure it is really a vacuum bag. Else the air in the bag will become moist and may spoil your battery. Careful

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14th July 2011, 12:13 PM |#3  
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nice! Didnt know about the battery cycles!

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14th July 2011, 12:49 PM |#4  
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Cheers for the info. Knew a few things but still did Tip #3
14th July 2011, 04:51 PM |#5  
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thanks for tip #2.

have to change the habit.
14th July 2011, 04:52 PM |#6  
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everyday i learn something new. Brilliant post.
14th July 2011, 11:40 PM |#7  
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Thx for the lesson

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15th July 2011, 04:53 AM |#8  
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Original Here >> www . techatplay . com /?p=61

April 7th, 2007

Author: Paul Mah
15th July 2011, 05:18 AM |#9  
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This is a lot of very useful information. I can guarantee that I have always been misinformed on two out of three of these tips. Though really do hardly ever let my batteries discharge completely, and only remove my batter from my laptop when absolutely necessary. Still, nice to know so I know what not to do anymore!
15th July 2011, 05:41 AM |#10  
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Very good post and you are absolutely right about everything. Leaving the battery in a laptop for long periods of time with the computer being on generates an enormous amount of heat and kills cells within the battery. One thing I'd like to mention, however, is that you should always leave a lithium-ion based battery between 40-60% to have the longest battery life; 20-80% is a realistic range you should keep the battery in and is the next best thing. You never want to fully charge a battery, just like you should not let the battery die (cycling the battery would be something that should happen though if you are not getting the best of your battery life). Again, try not to have your battery passed 80% and not below 20%.

Another good tip is to not let your lithium-ion based devices (such as a GPS) in your car when it is hot out (or at all) because it will get hotter in your car than outside, your device's battery will be outside of its operating temperature and it will have cells that die out which will decrease the lifespan of your device's battery.
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15th July 2011, 06:55 AM |#11  
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Originally Posted by Reign255

20-80% is a realistic range you should keep the battery in and is the next best thing. You never want to fully charge a battery, just like you should not let the battery die (cycling the battery would be something that should happen though if you are not getting the best of your battery life). Again, try not to have your battery passed 80% and not below 20%.

Thanks for the sharing guy. That means u never charge ur phone until full? u plug off middle of charging (when it about to reach 80%)? This is true, but i hardly implement it because normally i leave it charged overnight. But the best time i can do is to minimize the time my battery will remain at high percentage (90 - 100%).
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