Keeping a battery in good health,

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Hey just had a quick question..



after a year of owning my ibook G4 (got it last christmas) the battery died, it would not hold a charge for longer than a half an hour...





so apple replaced my old one with a new refurb, now this one will last nearly 4 hours on a single charge,



how do I keep it at that health for as long as possible? is it better to charge it overnight, then leave it unplugged during the day and when the battery dies plug it up?



or is it better to leave it plugged up as much as possible?



any other tips on how to make it last longer for longer?



Thanks!

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    pbpb Posts: 4,233member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Frugle



    how do I keep it at that health for as long as possible? is it better to charge it overnight, then leave it unplugged during the day and when the battery dies plug it up?



    or is it better to leave it plugged up as much as possible?



    any other tips on how to make it last longer for longer?



    Thanks!




    You can always read what Apple has to tell us about notebook batteries. I hope it will at least give you some idea on how to make the most of your battery.
  • Reply 2 of 14
    I should save this somewhere. . .







    Lithium Ion Batteries and You: a user's guide



    LiIons are wonderful little things. They are high voltage, high capacity cells and they exhibit generally less serious "memory effect" symptoms than most other chemistries. But they have one tragic flaw: they are very structurally and chemically delicate, and the anodes and cathodes of the batteries are suspect to rapid depletion if you don't baby them. Every generation of LiIons seems to be more robust than the last, but they still are subject to the same usage guidelines.



    1. Battery longevity is due in part to the charging and discharging electronics. That is, the people that engineered your LiIon powered device may have done a shabby job. As a rule of thumb, a LiIon cell should NEVER be let to discharge below 3.0V. It can be hard to determine where 3.0V is, but just make sure never to leave your device sitting around unplugged for a long time. This is a bad thing.



    2. LiIon chargers are not created equal. The cell manufacturing companies specify, generally, that after 500 charge-discharge cycles, the cell will be at 90% of original capacity. Often, the deterioration is much faster than this because the battery chargers do not follow the recommended charging patterns. Furthermore, the listed charging figures in the manfacturer short-form datasheets are always atrificially high. Good chargers are generally bulky, intelligent pulse-chargers, like the kind you used to see in LG cellular phone docks. Bad chargers do not adjust their current/voltage output to match that optimal to the battery. Most chargers (85%) are poorly designed. The only way to be certain in charging is to start charging when your battery is about 25%, and to prematurely end charging at 95%.



    I will continue later. . . sit tight.
  • Reply 3 of 14
    "A" is actually the right thing to do. The fact that it didn't work for you means that Apple either designed the charging circuits poorly or bought batteries that were marginalized to begin with (for a discounted price).



    Designing a good battery charger requires some fairly pricey components, and requires a reasonable amount of board space. It's very easy to skimp in these areas. From the sound of it, Apple didn't put in big enough Tantalum capacitors on the battery output. This means that current spikes from the iBook ended up hitting the battery very hard, instead of just draining the capacitor buffer.



    There's no real "solution" other than to not buy stuff that has poorly designed battery electronics. It seems like a lot of people have problems with the iBook's battery.



    The real big problem with "C" is that doing so usually results in the CPU being down-clocked and the L2 cache turning off.
  • Reply 4 of 14
    progmacprogmac Posts: 1,850member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Splinemodel

    "...Apple didn't put in big enough Tantalum capacitors ....



    don't EVEN get me started on small Tantalum capacitors!
  • Reply 5 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally posted by progmac

    don't EVEN get me started on small Tantalum capacitors!



    Not a lot of reason to use small Tantalum Caps, since multi-layer ceramic caps have lower ESR and are cheaper. But they don't come in larger capacitances.



    Yes, I know you were joking. I believe this is post 4000. I am such a dork.
  • Reply 6 of 14
    you can use Coconut Battery to check the condition of your battery. Download here:

    http://macupdate.com/info.php/id/19085



    I personally found out the hard way with my last powerbook battery that if I use the battery to below 25% that my battery loses a chunk of capacity. After about 8-10 months of that my batt could only hold a 20 minute charge.



    Now I recharge the batts everytime I get to about 40-50% and my batt is still holds 98% of the maximum capacity 5 months now.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Ichiban_jay

    you can use Coconut Battery to check the condition of your battery. Download here:

    http://macupdate.com/info.php/id/19085



    I personally found out the hard way with my last powerbook battery that if I use the battery to below 25% that my battery loses a chunk of capacity. After about 8-10 months of that my batt could only hold a 20 minute charge.



    Now I recharge the batts everytime I get to about 40-50% and my batt is still holds 98% of the maximum capacity 5 months now.




    I'm on 10.3
  • Reply 8 of 14
    Here is what works for me:



    1) when you start charging your battery if you can help it, let it charge all the way to 100% before you disconnect the power adapter



    2) try to let your battery discharge completely before you charge it. By this I mean, do not connect the power adapter unless you need to charge your battery because you need to be mobile later (this is part of calibration Apple recommends, except Apple says keep it in discharged state for a few hours, (more about this later)



    3) If you do not need to be mobile leave the power adapter connected after the battery has been charged to 100% (this is part of calibration Apple recommends, not so long that it will start charging your battery because it's capacity has fallen down to 95%. Yes, the battery capacity will gradually go down even when you are running on power adapter)



    4) once in a while leave the PB for several hours after it has shutdown due to battery being fully discharged (part of calibration)



    The basic idea is that only charge when fully discharged, and avoid too many charge cycles. The problem with these are that a lot users need to plug in their PBs because they are at work and moving from room to room and they need to top up whener they can. But if you follow these as much as you can, not only will your battery last longer, but it will also keep its full capacity.
  • Reply 9 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally posted by YunusEmre

    Here is what works for me:



    . . .



    The basic idea is that only charge when fully discharged, and avoid too many charge cycles. The problem with these are that a lot users need to plug in their PBs because they are at work and moving from room to room and they need to top up whener they can. But if you follow these as much as you can, not only will your battery last longer, but it will also keep its full capacity.




    It's OK if there's a trickle current that drains the battery all the way to zero. (as long as there is a trickle charger that brings it back up). But it's not good to actively run your battery below 3.0V, or even 3.3V, per cell. The currents are too high and they will damage the batteries.
  • Reply 10 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Splinemodel

    It's OK if there's a trickle current that drains the battery all the way to zero. (as long as there is a trickle charger that brings it back up). But it's not good to actively run your battery below 3.0V, or even 3.3V, per cell. The currents are too high and they will damage the batteries.



    Well I expect the PB will shutdown at the rigth level (the battery calibration procedure tells you to let it shutdown due to low battery level). If Apple has released software or incorporated battery firmware that abuses your battery all bets are off. But so far what I've described never failed for me.



    BTW, there is no trickle charge as far as I can tell with the PB battery. If the battery level is not below 95%, the battery does not receive any power, neither does it supply any power. i.e. it is in idle mode. It very slowly goes lower due to the naure of the cell. The healthier the battery, the longer it takes it to loose it power without it being used. I always avoid charge cycles if I can help it. This has paid of for me. When the level falls below 95%, the PB starts charging your battery back to 100%. I always try to avoid this. To me this is a wasted charge cycle.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    I would not let the battery run down below 30-40%. As Spline said, do not let the battery go below 3.0V. When I used Coconut batt on my old battery, as you use the battery below the 30% point, the battery starts to run below 3.0V, Causing my battery to lose it's maximum capacity afterwards.



    I used the first battery in the fashion as I described before, never letting the battery go below 30-40% and the capacity barely dropped, but RIGHT after the first time I used the battery to 10% my capacity dropped by 20%, thereafter it dropped everytime I did it again (very predictable). Now it holds a 20 minute charge.



    BTW, the charger does trickle, because Coconut battery and iBatt (panther capatible but shareware) both state that the battery is in trickle when it reaches 98% full.



    As for charge cycle, a charge cycle is when you add up what % you used, each time it adds to 100% that is a cycle. So using your battery to 0% is one charge cycle, using the battery to 50%, charging up then using it to 50% is one charge cycle as well. For Li-ion batteries anyways.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    Trickle charging is pretty innocent. In general, the less burst current you put into the battery, and the less burst current you take out of the battery, the longer it will last.



    LiS cells should show dramatic improvement in cell lifetime, since they can take a lot more abuse in the burst current department.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Ichiban_jay

    I would not let the battery run down below 30-40%. As Spline said, do not let the battery go below 3.0V. When I used Coconut batt on my old battery, as you use the battery below the 30% point, the battery starts to run below 3.0V, Causing my battery to lose it's maximum capacity afterwards.



    I used the first battery in the fashion as I described before, never letting the battery go below 30-40% and the capacity barely dropped, but RIGHT after the first time I used the battery to 10% my capacity dropped by 20%, thereafter it dropped everytime I did it again (very predictable). Now it holds a 20 minute charge.



    BTW, the charger does trickle, because Coconut battery and iBatt (panther capatible but shareware) both state that the battery is in trickle when it reaches 98% full.



    As for charge cycle, a charge cycle is when you add up what % you used, each time it adds to 100% that is a cycle. So using your battery to 0% is one charge cycle, using the battery to 50%, charging up then using it to 50% is one charge cycle as well. For Li-ion batteries anyways.




    As I said, I always try to get the battery down to 0% before I re-charge it. And always try not to interrupt it before reaching 100%. This has worked well for me.



    The trickle charge you mention (after 98%) is part of the charge cycle. When people say trickle charge I take to mean being conneted to power all the time, in between being off charge for short periods of time, which is the kind of charge cycle that I think is bad for the battery. I do not think LiOn batteries are completely free from memory effect. Hence the suggested calibration procedure by Apple (and perhaps others). The way I use it, I try to calibrate as often as I can. So far I have had very good battery life whilst maintaining good capacity. I have a Lion battery that is over 6 years old, still going strong.
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