Care and feeding of your Lithium-Ion batteries

Yes, I am exceedingly happy with my laptop. More about this later.

In the meanwhile, read this for the low-down on the care and feeding of your Lithium-Ion batteries (in most modern laptops). In short: partial charging is better than fully discharging and recharging, although a full discharge-recharge cycle every once in a while is good for calibrating the digital fuel gauge. Lithium-Ion batteries hate high temperature, especially the temperature in your laptop. If you’re going to be running on wall power for a while, remove the battery. Ideally, store it in a cool place at between 30% and 50% charge.

3 thoughts on “Care and feeding of your Lithium-Ion batteries”

  1. > If you’re going to be running on wall power for a while, remove the battery. Ideally, store it in a cool place at between 30% and 50% charge.

    You’re kidding right? So now I have to go through the hassle of removing the battery from my laptop everytime I “dock” it at work. Also… storing your batteries at 30-50% charge meens you will never have a full load when you need it. I have an extra ‘multi-bay’ battery pack for my IBM T30 that I keep in my back-pack at all times in case I need more ‘juice’, say when I have a long airplane flight. If I have to keep that extra battery at 30-50% charge, I will be wasting alot of the energy density available to me.

  2. Now now children, there’s no need to get all emotional. I deliberately used terms such as “…on wall power for a *while*” and “*Ideally*, store it in a cool place…”.

    As with all advice in life, this is supposed to be taken with a big dose of your own healthy common sense. Apply your own weight factors.

    Of course you won’t remove the battery when you dock for a day… but if you’re planning a weekend stint on the wall power completing that new novel or article, it might be something to consider. Getting the battery at between 30% and 50% charge should also only be considered if you’re going to store the battery for a week or more (this is different for everybody), else it’s far too much hassle. The difference in permanent capacity loss after 1 (one) year in storage between a battery stored at 25 degrees celsius and 100% charge level, and a battery stored at 25 degrees celsius and 40% charge level, is 16%.

    All of these battery factoids, in concert with your own estimations of the value of a topped-up spare battery, available cash for buying new batteries, etc., will result in a different equation for everyone.

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