I was in college and my 15 inch Sony Vaio laptop was my precious possession. It was my first PC and probably the most important thing I brought to my dorm – it was both how I performed my duties and was my main source of entertainment. How could it turn my back on me in my plight?
During my first year of study, I worked on a report for a group project the next morning. Around the middle of the research, I saw that my battery percentage dropped to 15%. I had only been using my laptop for an hour and a half, so I was surprised how quickly it had to be recharged. I search desperately for my bag and to my horror I forgot my power adapter. Since I did not have a USB drive (and cloud storage was not widely available at the time), I was forced to complete my work on my dying laptop.
I started to reduce brightness to barely visible levels and bring Windows performance to a balanced level. With these adjustments I was able to tease out of the weak battery 20 minutes before switching off the laptop. I did not get the paper in time, which led to a C + after the late submission penalty.
At the end of the day, the broken battery of my laptop was my own fault. Out of the box, my laptop could hold a charge for about 5 hours ̵
While this case surprised me, a quick search revealed that this was common with lithium-ion batteries and my options should either buy a new battery or carry it with it. I bought a new battery that ran out just as fast.
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Unfortunately, that was not my only time with battery problems. While I learned about the situation, I did not learn everything and agreed on obvious conclusions rather than digging deeper. At the time, I still believed that shorter battery life was routine and not something that could be prevented. So I had the same sinking battery life on every smartphone I've ever owned, right down to my current device.
Over the years, I've heard so many conflicting reports about the best practices for charging a battery. Things like overnight fees can be dangerous and to avoid a complete layoff were recommended with reports that there is no harm in charging over 100% and draining your phone to 0%, leading to the assumption that the research is behind it all that just was not conclusive. 19659002] While researching this article, I learned that I'm not the only one who felt that way.
We asked readers on Twitter what their worst method of loading is% of the results. From the conversation with the individual respondents, however, it seems that many people are like me and confused about which charging habits are actually bad for your battery. But here's the thing – the research is conclusive . There is a right way and a wrong way to manage your battery.
Right now, proper management of our batteries is crucial. Each year, OEMs are hired to develop new, more powerful smartphones that also have an amazing battery life. In previous years, cell phones with larger batteries were delivered in proportion to their screen size, but as consumers want thinner phones, the idea of a larger battery becomes more and more implausible.
While chargers and batteries have become smarter over the years, the increase in fast charge creates additional problems due to the extra heat they generate with slow chargers. As a result, it worsens many bad habits regarding bad battery management. And since replaceable batteries are a thing of the past (thanks to consumers who ask for water resistance), replacing the battery after battery replacement is much more difficult and expensive.
Bad habit # 1: Charging overnight
Often using my laptop saw I watched videos and did homework late into the night battery that I had left to fulfill any task that I had. After that I put it in the charger and went to sleep for the night to wake up the full charge – but I never stopped thinking about what happens to the battery overnight after it reaches 100%.
Even then, without fast charging it did not take eight hours to fully charge a battery. But since a battery can only consume as much power, how does it remain fully charged without overcharging?
Lithium ion batteries consist of three main components: a cathode, an anode and an electrolyte. Electrons (negative ions) move through the electrolyte between the cathode (which is a positive electrode) and the anode (which is a negative electrode) during charging and discharging. Especially for charging, electrons move from the cathode to the anode. During this process, the battery communicates with the charger above the highest (and safest) voltage level that it can receive. This determines the beginning of the state of charge.
As described by Battery University, the voltage increases during the so-called Phase 1 until it reaches this accepted value. As the rise begins, the current flows to its highest level for a constant rate. Until the voltage approaches its limit, this current does not decrease. These parameters typically consume up to 50% charge, and this is the basic requirement for how fast the charging works.
In stage 2, the voltage approaches the limit and switches to saturation charge, a much slower increase in voltage. This time the current continues to flow to the battery at a decreasing rate. Stage 2 ends when the current is less than 3% of its original rate and the voltage is at the limit, indicating that the battery is fully charged. At this time, the voltage decreases and the charging stops.
Whether fast charging or slow charging, lithium-ion batteries in devices like my laptop or yours Smartphone reached this phase eight hours ago. Since smartphones are always connected to the Internet, they also consume battery while charging, when the screen is off. To keep your phone at 100% while it is still connected to the wall outlet, your charger "cuts" the battery.
When the battery level begins to drop, the charger increases the voltage and allows power to flow to the battery at a decreasing rate. When fully charged, the system stops charging and the voltage drops.
Due to this "refill" function, a night charge is not recommended. As you may have noticed, if you use your phone while charging, it gets pretty hot. The same thing happens when you refill overnight. Heat is the kryptonite of lithium-ion batteries – it charges the battery and thereby reduces the maximum amount of energy it can store (known as battery capacity) and impairs its integrity, which can lead to exploding equipment.
The effects The heat on the battery is alarmingly high. Battery University demonstrated this by keeping batteries at the same temperature for a year. After one year, the capacity reduction was measured. At 77 ° F (25 ° C), battery capacity was reduced by 20%, meaning that the maximum energy the battery could store was now 80% of its original capacity. Another set of batteries was stored at 104 ° F (40 ° C) – these saw a reduction of 35% .
For perspective, the operating temperature during fast charging can reach up to 113 ° F.
In addition, batteries experience stress at 100% charge. In the same test mentioned earlier, another set of batteries was kept at similar temperatures, but at a charge of 40%. Under the same parameters, 77 ° F reduced battery capacity by 4% compared to a charge reduction of 20% when tested at 100% charge. This pattern also applies to other temperature ranges and shows that charging at every temperature overnight may affect battery capacity.
While we're on the subject of heat, I'd like to tap Wireless charging. Standards like Qi or PMA allow you to charge your phone on a mat without plugging it in, but the process of wireless charging is generally not as energy efficient as wired charging. The loss of energy is converted into heat, which has the same effect that the "fill up" feature has over night during charging. Therefore, you should avoid wireless charging as much as possible, but at least you should not leave your phone on the charger for long after it has reached 100%.
Bad Habit # 2: Battery Discharge
While many of us charge our phones before they drop below 15%, there are times when we need to press our device a little bit more. I remember a few times at the university where I took my laptop out of my dorm without the charger and was forced to zero it to do some homework. What I did not know was that it affected my battery life.
In 2013, there were few articles stating that lithium-ion batteries have something known as the "memory effect." It is said that this is due to users performing partial loads (charging the battery from a starting point other than 0%). The battery is said to "remember" the shortened cycle and reduce the capacity based on that amount. To restore your capacity, you need to fully discharge your battery (from 100% to 0%) so that your battery remembers its full capacity.
As it turns out, this is not true – you certainly will not do it. You do not have to drain your phone's battery. "Memory effect" refers to nickel-cadmium batteries, another type of battery that is found in older laptops. Lithium ions do not benefit from the practice of completely discharging the battery, but are hampered by this action.
Every time you discharge a battery completely, you increase the likelihood of mechanical degradation of the cathode. If this happens, the ability to store energy will be affected and the battery life of your device will be reduced.
Lowering the battery to zero also increases the depth of discharge. Discharge depth is the difference between the percentage of the starting battery and the percentage of the end battery that determines the number of battery discharge cycles. Each battery has a finite number of discharge cycles – after this number, the battery will no longer accept charge.
While there is a standard definition, a cycle is understood to be a complete discharge of a charged battery followed by a recharge. On average, a lithium-ion battery has about 300-600 cycles. However, you can extend this number by using a lower depth of discharge. For example, if you only discharge to 40% (charged to 100% when it reaches this point), you would increase your cycles to between 600-1,500
Bad Habit # 3: Use Knockoff Chargers
Another bad habit that has been acknowledged by about 14% of our readers has been the use of knockoff chargers. At that time, when I had my Sony Vaio, I bought a replacement charger to replace the defective OEM charger. With OEM chargers that cost much more than a discount, it was hard to justify buying first-party equipment. I also thought that all chargers are the same. Oh, how wrong I was.
In exploring this topic, I learned how sophisticated OEM chargers can be. Especially after the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 debacle, many smartphone makers have done everything to ensure that their devices do not suffer the same failure.
All devices that use lithium-ion batteries must meet certain protective requirements. The heart is the protection circuit. The International Electrotechnical Commission (an international organization that publishes standards for all electronics and related technologies) requires that these protection circuits include several safeguards to protect against common problems that can affect a battery.
However, because the liability of a defective battery is decreasing Many companies have redundant systems at the manufacturer to back up their existing compulsory systems. These systems rely heavily on communication between all parts connected to the store. Through this communication, the system can detect and stop overvoltage, overvoltage and overheating at any point in the fault.
But if you use a knocker, you lose that communication and coordination with the phone. Because a charger failure can interfere with the system's ability to detect and prevent it. Instead, the system is forced to rely solely on mandatory protection without backup.
Fast charging makes communication between the phone and the charger even more important. Voltage and current must be adjusted and regulated during charging. OEMs design their devices to work best with their devices and test the safety of their chargers. Therefore, the use of Discharge Chargers increases the risk of an error occurring.
Due to this lack of communication, overcharging can occur. When this happens, the best case is that your battery capacity is decreasing. Often, however, phones ignite on fire, as high temperatures can cause overcharging, the battery burns and the phone catches fire.
Now that you know why these habits are bad and how they affect your battery, what is the right way to charge your device? How can you reduce the burden on your battery, keep it safe and keep it performing over the years? Well, we have four recommendations for you and two for OEMs.
The first thing you need to do is use the fast-charging system, which can be found on smartphones of all price ranges. While fast charging puts a strain on the battery because of increased heat until OEMs have the option to turn this feature off, it's the only way that many of us can charge our phones. Therefore, use its advantages to combat the battery load by reducing the total charging time.
When you wake up in the morning, plug in your phone. Most of us have at least 30 minutes to prepare. Fast charge should have at least 50% of your battery. Depending on how high the battery charge is, when you start charging, 30 minutes can cost you the whole day.
The second thing is to keep your depth of discharge by hovering around the sweet zone: 25 -85% battery charge. In this area you get the best balance between depth of discharge and running time. Staying in this zone helps maximize battery life and keep battery life much longer.
The third thing is to keep your phone in a cool area while charging. This does not mean that you put your phone in the freezer or in the refrigerator (the batteries are not charged at extremely low temperatures), but to avoid direct sunlight and excessive heat during charging. Look for flat, cool metal surfaces, as they dissipate most of the heat from the phone and provide the best air circulation.
The last recommendation I have for you is to avoid third-party chargers at any cost. Not just the loading tile, but also the cable. If you need a replacement charger, buy only one from your phone manufacturer – preferably one for your smartphone model.
While researching for this article, I came across a fantastic website called Battery University. I interviewed Isidor Buchmann, CEO of Cadex Electronics, the company behind Battery University. Much of the information I've explained here was first explained to me by Mr. Buchmann – I honestly can not thank him enough.
As an expert on all things, Mr. Buchmann has a recommendation he would like to share with smartphone manufacturers. He suggested that OEMs should have an option to manually disable Fast Loading – and while I recommend using fast loading to avoid bad habits, there's a good reason for that.
The heat generated by fast charging causes stress for the battery. While most of us do not want to return to a non-fast charging world by giving users the option to disable this feature, they could at least continue their bad habits at lower levels of stress to their batteries. Especially for the stubborn people who can not break their overnight loading habits, this would make the process much safer.
A second recommendation is based on an article on their website that describes the differences between electric vehicles and smartphones. Both use lithium-ion batteries, but optimize them for a different purpose. Electric vehicles strive for longevity, while smartphones prioritize the runtime.
Electric vehicles achieve this longevity by actually outsmarting the user. They define what a full charge and a discharge is to prevent complete cycles. Instead of 100% capacity, electric vehicles cost only 80% and consume only 30%. In this way, each electric vehicle lives its entire life in the sweet zone, and as the battery capacity decreases, the system slowly increases the depth of discharge to maintain the same battery life while maintaining the battery.
I suggest a similar option before on smartphones. While users would need to log in, you could set the parameters that you would like to load and unload, so after initial setup, you never have to worry about keeping the sweet zone. Instead, the phone would do it for you. But if you wanted maximum runtime or in case of emergency, you could turn off the full access feature.
I knew at school what I know now that I would have mastered this task. The battery of my Sony Vaio would still have been able to charge a charge if I had just taken the time to implement these charging best practices. Of course it's too late for that, but it's not too late for your smartphone.
If you do not learn anything else from this article, remember at least: remove your phone from the charger as often as possible, keep it cool during charging, always use a first-charger, and try to keep your battery in 25-85% own zone.