How to prolong lithium-based batteries?
Battery experts agree that the life of lithium-ion depends on other factors than charge and discharge rates. Even though incremental improvements can be achieved with careful use of the battery, our environment and the services required are not always conducive to achieve optimal battery life. The longevity of a battery is often a direct result of the environmental stresses applied.
- Avoid frequent full discharges because this puts additional strain on the battery. Several partial discharges with frequent recharges are better for lithium-ion than one deep one. Recharging a partially charged lithium-ion does not cause harm because there is no memory (In this respect, lithium-ion differs from nickel-based batteries.). Short battery life in a laptop is mainly cause by heat rather than charge / discharge patterns.
- Batteries with fuel gauge (laptops) should be calibrated by applying a deliberate full discharge once every 30 charges. Running the pack down in the equipment does this. If ignored, the fuel gauge will become increasingly less accurate and in some cases cut off the device prematurely.
- Keep the lithium-ion battery cool. Avoid a hot car. For prolonged storage, keep the battery at a 40% charge level.
- Consider removing the battery from a laptop when running on fixed power. (Some laptop manufacturers are concerned about dust and moisture accumulating inside the battery casing.)
- Avoid purchasing spare lithium-ion batteries for later use. Observe manufacturing dates. Do not buy old stock, even if sold at clearance prices.
- If you have a spare lithium-ion battery, use one to the fullest and keep the other cool by placing it in the refrigerator. Do not freeze the battery. For best results, store the battery at 40% state-of-charge.
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