Lithium Ion Charging

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Macoltrane, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. Macoltrane macrumors member

    Apr 16, 2006
    I realized that a lot of my electronics use lithium ion batteries. What is the general consensus on how these batteries should be charged? I understand that you arent supposed to drain the battery on every cycle, but when is it necessary to charge?

    Take for instance my digicam battery. My camera unfortunately does not have a battery indicator and only gives me a warning when the battery is almost drained. Is it OK if I were to charge this thing, after say, half of the battery is used up? Thanks ;)
  2. bbene macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2006
    Some of the general practices to follow are:
    Charge the battery to its fullest potential before you fully discharge it. (When it is new.)
    Don't leave your device plugged in to the charger 24/7. Use the battery, even when you don't need to.
    Fully discharge and recharge the battery about once a month.
  3. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    Lithium batteries are not very prone to damage and generally you can charge them practically however you like. Only recommendation is that you should not store them fully discharged.
  4. jtown macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2003
    When you have a power outlet, plug in the charger. That's it. There is nothing else to do. Ignore the "always run the battery all the way down" and "never leave your notebook on the charger" and "cycle your battery every month" crap.

    A Li-ion battery will lose capacity at a pretty steady rate over time. There's nothing that can be done to stop it that from happening and all of the coddling in the world will make almost no difference in the overall lifespan of the battery. You might save 5 minutes a year of runtime but it's just not worth the hassle.

    Again, when you have access to power, plug in.
  5. Eniregnat macrumors 68000


    Jan 22, 2003
    In your head.
    I will both agree and disagree with you.

    These days it's hard to do damage to a battery. I have 3, and have only worn one out. My primary battery is charged and discharged as needed. I plug in when ever I can. My secondary battery is only discharged and then charged, good battery karma. I don't top it off. Each battery has a small computer and memory on board that make sure that you can't completely discharge a battery. It will shut it off even in sleep mode, if it senses that the battery may be damaged. Completely discharging a modern battery and letting it sit is death. So is letting the battery sit discharged in a hot location for a while (like a car trunk on a hot day).

    There is a good reason for recommending that a battery is discharged until the computer goes to sleep from time to time. When this happens its internal computer can calibrate its remaining potential and you will get more reliable data as to how long you can run on that battery. It really wont diminish the pontental of your battery.

    As for battery karma, it really doesn’t matter these days. I have one battery that I charge as needed and another that I discharge completely and then charge. I get longer life on the second one, but that is also likely because I use it less frequently.

    Read the Apple articles on batteries. I beleve that at at 21C(70F) a battery, not in sleep mode, will loose 1% of it’s charge per day, at 32C(90F) it will loose 5% of its charge per day.

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