Eco-Tip: Make Your Lithium Batteries Last

From your laptop to your mobile phone to your trusty iPod, there's no doubt most of us rely on lithium-ion batteries each and every day. We think they are great, powering some of our favorite rechargeable gizmos and are well on their way to powering a new generation of electric vehicles. But even in all their rechargeable glory, lithium-ions do eventually lose their power. Here are 4 tips from Spicy Gadget Roll to help make sure your Crackberries and MacBooks stay powered without having to burn through batteries.

After you check out these tips, be sure to consult our excellent How to Green Your Electronics guide to get more tips on batteries, greener gadgets and energy consumption.Tip 1: Contrary to what you may have heard, lithium-ion batteries do not need to be completely drained and recharged before using. They will still come to a full charge later if you start using them right out of the box. In fact, leaving your lithium-ion battery empty for too long (or too often) can actually drain battery life.

The good news is today’s lithium batteries have a safety circuit in place to insure the battery doesn’t reach the point of no return. The safety circuit isn’t full proof of course, if you leave your battery completely drained for a few days, even the circuit’s protective measures won’t save it.

Tip 2: Although you don't want to leave your battery sans charge for too long, every once in a while it does a Li-Ion battery good to fully drain and recharge. If your laptop or cell phone's battery meter is no longer accurate, this will calibrate the battery back to normal.

Tip 3: Don't let your battery heat up.

If you were to leave your laptop plugged in and running for a year, you should expect the lithium battery capacity to be anywhere between 60% to 80% of it’s original max capacity. This is why people that use their laptops as desktop replacements will notice greatly reduced battery life performance after one year of use. This issue can be resolved by removing the battery while using a corded power source.

Tip 4: When it comes time to store away your lithium-ion battery in periods of non-use, put it in the fridge with a 40% charge. The 40% charge is high enough to fight the battery from losing its charge and low enough to ensure the battery doesn't fall victim to "unnecessary stress."

:: Via Spicy Gadget Roll

Tags: Batteries