Lithium batteries seem to be everywhere these days. We can find them in our cellphones, laptops, portable media players and etc. We all want to make our batteries last as long as possible, but some well intentioned advice from friends, could be harming your Lithium battery life span.
1. Battery Memory – When I first got my new cellphone, my friend recommended to fully drain the battery before recharging it. His reasoning was connected to the idea of battery memory. Allowing the battery to fully discharge then recharging to max, supposedly gives you the complete battery capacity. Otherwise, if you simply charged from the half way point to max battery capacity, the battery would treat the half way point as the empty point, thus cutting your battery capacity in half.
Problem is battery memory doesn’t apply to Lithium batteries, this advice was meant for Nickel based batteries. Fully discharging your Lithium battery frequently can actually be quite harmful to your battery’s health, possibly rendering it completely unusable if energy levels go too low.
The good news is today’s lithium batteries have a safety circuit in place to insure the battery doesn’t reach the point of no return. The safety circuit isn’t fool proof of course, if you leave your battery completely drained for a few days, even the circuit’s protective measures won’t save it.
2. Battery Calibrating – There is some benefits to fully discharging your lithium battery periodically, for laptops especially this can be important. If you start to notice your battery meter is becoming more and more inaccurate, it may be time for some battery calibration. By allowing your lithium battery to fully drain, this will help the battery recalibrate allowing for more accurate measurements of battery life. This should be done once every 30 charges or when you notice battery readings are off.
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