Spaulding Technology - June 2013 News and Information

Maintaining Your Portable Electronic's Rechargeable Battery

Originally Published June 7, 2013
by Christopher Spaulding

   We are so dependant on our mobile technology that we need a battery that lasts throughout the day without charging. It doesn't matter if it is a laptop, smart phone, or tablet, they all need batteries. Some batteries are not removable in certain devices, and some give us the advantage to remove the battery, or swap them out. There are batteries on the market to help prolong the use of your device without having to take time out in the day for a recharge. A few years ago we were advised to use a battery's charge until it is completely diminished before recharging it again. Today's lithium Ion batteries do not have a "memory" and therefore doesn't need to be charged completely, then discharged totally before being recharged again. However, if you purchase an "extended capacity" battery reading the instructions may go against this information. The reason being is that the devise, not the battery keeps on ongoing record of the charge capacity and if you use a newly purchased extended capacity battery to replace the original battery, the device will think its charging cell is smaller and may give you false indications that the battery is close to empty when its not. The reason you are being told that is to traine the devise against its expectation that the battery lasts much longer than the device's meter is expecting the battery to last. So, for the first few times the battery is introduced to the devise, by going through its extremes traine it on how long the battery is going to last. Otherwise it would be showing you a very pessimistic percentage and that may disappoint your expectations of that extended battery life. For Lithium Ion batteries, it is really best to keep them charged all the time. The universal agreement is this, unlike prior technologies or chemistries, Nickel Cadmium and Nickel Metal Hydride which is actually the same fundamental electric chemistry, had a memory effect. So, if you only discharged them a little bit and recharged them again often, they would forget that there is alot more room down below from the point you would start the recharge. So the logic there was to run them all the way to "empty" before recharging them full again. And if you can't, you could reset their memory by deliberately doing deep cycles. Lithium Ion is a completely different story. It has no memory, and it is actually better for the chemistry NOT to be running it down all the way to empty. The logic there is to charge often and if you are in a situation that you have a plug or adapter ALWAYS use the adapter when you can. Now, thanks to Nokia some instructions will tell you to unplug the wall charger (or what teckki's call WALL WARTS) and the reason behind it is that they draw power even when they are not connected and charging a devise. So, it's a environmentally GREEN issue than anything. However, it is annoying to feel how warm they are which is a giveaway that any devise is expending energy. On the other hand if you ever watched your devise, it seems to have an automatic shut down function before the battery reached 0% charge capacity. Now you understand why...

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