The Care and Feeding of Lithium-ion Batteries

May 26th, 2010 by steve

Tim and I are always arguing about batteries in our laptops.

He says that you can use and use your battery without accelerating it’s degradation and that keeping a lithium-ion battery fully charged is constantly exposing it to one of its greatest enemies: heat. I say that it’s best to keep it fully charged — that the battery’s enemy is exhaustion of life-cycles. I had once read that the average lithium-ion battery has a life expectancy of 300 cycles. If you cycle it daily, it will die in under a year.

This chart gives good information:

So the chart says Tim is right
–you can use and use your lithium-ion battery. Heat and deep discharges are the enemy.

It still puzzles me that he’s been through two batteries in four years at school and in the four years I’ve had this PC, I’ve only been through one.  My guess is that it’s because of the deep discharges his experienced while sitting in the dorm lobby watching football.

So — the bottom line: Use your battery in your laptop, but don’t deeply discharge it needlessly.

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2 Responses to “The Care and Feeding of Lithium-ion Batteries”

  1. alacy Says:

    I have had this corp laptop for about 4 years, battery still last a couple of hours. I read something similar to this when I got, maybe even this actual article.


  2. steve Says:

    That’s a good article. Thanks, Allen.