1. vpblaze's Avatar
    Yes....another battery question. I have been going through the search results for some time now(over 500 of them) and I figured whats one more thread about batteries.
    So here is my question...How is everyone charging their lithium batteries? Be it on your PB or your phone. From what I have read in the other threads there is quite a lot of people that charge it whenever they can, doesnt matter if it needs it.
    I have always charged all my phones and such as soon as they are close to dead all the way up to full. Making sure not to let it shut off completely and making sure not to over charge it for several hours. Now am I doing damage to my PB's battery by letting it get down to 5 percent and charging it back up to 100? What about for my Torch?
    How do you charge your batteries? What are the results you see after the type of use you put your device through?
    Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!
    01-28-12 09:57 AM
  2. peter9477's Avatar
    The best advice for the PlayBook so far is to avoid concern for your battery, as long as it appears to be working properly, and just charge it whenever and as much as you want. Almost all advice you'll hear telling you not to leave it on the charger, to always leave it on the charger, never to fully discharge it, to fully discharge it all the time, to keep it at 40% at all time, or to keep it stored in petroleum jelly and use it only on Tuesdays... all that advice is either bogus, obsolete (from past battery technologies), or anecdotal "evidence" drawn from other devices which don't actually behave the same.

    The charging subsystem (hardware and software) is designed to Do The Right Thing under all conditions, and while it may not be perfect, nobody has yet identified any particular way to improve on what it does. (Or, if they have, they've provided no evidence to back up their claims.)

    You don't even need to worry about fully discharging it, and doing so may actually help the OS recalibrate the battery level indicator so it's more accurate in future. I discharge mine roughly once a month, at arbitrary times, without concern, and I sometimes leave it on the charging pod for several days, without concern. (It does not actually keep charging that whole time: it's totally safe.)

    People who are really concerned about their battery buy my Battery Guru app. ;-)

    Those who aren't concerned, or who don't really care to have any extra insight into how various apps and styles of use will affect the battery life, don't really need to buy it though. Just use and enjoy your PlayBook.
    Last edited by peter9477; 01-28-12 at 10:15 AM. Reason: add link
    01-28-12 10:14 AM
  3. dugggggg's Avatar
    Your charging practice is probably typical of most users---but not optimal.

    No battery appreciates a heavy discharge, so it's better to charge early and often. You cannot overcharge the battery, since the algorithm reduces the charge current to zero once full charge has been attained.

    I might also add that since the PB's batteries are not easily replaceable, it is wiser to be proactive/prudent rather than reactive/regretful. Great question!
    Jake2826, yauchunh and vpblaze like this.
    01-28-12 10:21 AM
  4. vpblaze's Avatar
    Thanks for the input! That does help me understand it a bit better. I just hate being attached to a cord. I think I will stop discharging it so low and see what happens.......
    01-28-12 12:12 PM
  5. Talon88's Avatar
    :::

    Charge wheneven you know you will heavily use later,
    or charge it arround 20-40% is a good timing.

    :::
    Last edited by Talon88; 01-28-12 at 01:32 PM.
    01-28-12 12:38 PM
  6. ummie4's Avatar
    Thanks for the input! That does help me understand it a bit better. I just hate being attached to a cord. I think I will stop discharging it so low and see what happens.......
    From my professional experience... you do not need to worry about fully discharging your devise and hurting the battery. The firmware on the playbook board will MOST LIKELY turn off your playbook when to voltage out put of the batteries drops to a certain level. This level is not zero, so you don't have to worry about damaging the battery from fully exhausting it. I would think that even RIM would not be stupid enough to allow you to damage the battery in this way.

    2nd thing to consider for those who of you who frequently do partial charges. "smart" devices such as the playbook keeps track of charge cycles of the Li battery. On SOME devises the charge cycles are limited to a certain number (500, 1000, 2000....) to prevent battery damage, or create a need for a replacement battery pack. Depending on the programing a charge cycle could be when the battery out put is detected below lets say 3V and then raised above 3.2V or in percentage terms 20% battery left to 40% battery left. You could more quickly reach that predefined limit of charge cycles doing partial charges than if you would let you batteries fully charge.

    DISCLAIMER: I have know idea how the PB handles the charging of it's batteries. I do know that there are devises on the market that handle the charging of its battery cells in the manner described above.
    01-28-12 01:16 PM
  7. peter9477's Avatar
    ummie4, you're right, RIM isn't that stupid. The PlayBook shuts itself off when the voltage drops to around 3.4V, which is well above the level at which any significant damage to the battery would occur. Provided it does actually shut off (and of course a bug could, conceivably, prevent it from doing so in rare cases), it is certainly safe and well above any level that would truly be considered "fully discharged".

    Also, the PlayBook's recharge count is "smart", and does not simply count up whenever it is recharged. It will count up when it thinks you've done enough charging to represent a full charge. That should mean that if you discharge only to 90%, then back to full, it may take about ten such cycles before the recharge count will actually go up. To be honest, I've never tested it that carefully since what I've observed suggests it's close enough to that to be considered "smart" that way.

    I'm also confident RIM has not built in any artificial limiting of the battery through monitoring the recharge count. When the battery naturally drops in health (max capacity) to the point where you start to consider it impractical to keep using it (e.g. a full charge gives you only, say, 2.5h of use), that's when you'll want to replace it... not because the OS suddenly says "sorry, max recharge count of 500 has been reached".
    ummie4 likes this.
    01-28-12 01:57 PM
  8. diegonei's Avatar
    I am guilty of playing Dead Space/Spider-Man till battery dies.

    Apart from that, I charge it overnight. These batteries like being full, and I want my PB happy.

    A tip I got from jafobabe, standby+air plane mode whenever you're not using the device will same you an incredible amount of juice.
    xXBLACKBERRYXx5 likes this.
    01-28-12 01:59 PM
  9. TheScionicMan's Avatar
    I charge mine every night, both my BB and my PB. Been doing that for years with my BB, never had to replace a battery. The way I see it, what good is getting a few more days or weeks out of a battery's overall life if it's dead during the day when I NEED it? And it's never been proven that any of these techniques provide any extra benefit for all of the hassle and worry.
    peter9477 likes this.
    01-28-12 02:26 PM
  10. fj_cruiser's Avatar
    I was thinking about this... Just recently I have acquired two charging pod's and I love the way the PB sits on it and charges. I put one of my PB on the night stand and use it as an alarm + Pic Frame and the second PB is in the living room sitting on the pod and is also used as a pic frame when not in use.

    90% of the time the PBs are not being used, they are sitting on the pod (charging needed or not). I dont even look at the charge % most of the times; if its not being used, it goes straight on the pod.

    Is that cool or am I killing the batteries? My third PB and third Pod are on their way.... I hope am not messing these up....

    Thanks.
    01-28-12 02:28 PM
  11. TheScionicMan's Avatar
    How do you guys charge your laptop? Do you only bring it up to full charge and then use it unplugged or is it sometimes on the charger for days and days during use? Or do you not think about it and just use it?

    01-28-12 02:40 PM
  12. fj_cruiser's Avatar
    How do you guys charge your laptop? Do you only bring it up to full charge and then use it unplugged or is it sometimes on the charger for days and days during use? Or do you not think about it and just use it?

    I plug in my laptop if there is a charger around (and there usually is) regardless of whether it needs charging or not... I think the newer LIon battery technology doesn't need the batteries to be broken in and have them go through a certain number of full charge cycles etc. etc... But again, the reason I asked my earlier question is that I am not sure if this is truly the case. And if the battery were user-replaceable I could care less....
    peter9477 likes this.
    01-28-12 02:46 PM
  13. dugggggg's Avatar
    For simple charge cycle counting purposes, it's probably true that a single discharge from 100% to 0% is equivalent to five separate discharges from 100% to 80%. However, a constant regime of deep discharges will result in significantly premature capacity loss as compared to shallower discharges.

    The following graph http://www.mpoweruk.com/images/dod.gif of lead acid chemistry illustrates this well. All real battery technologies---including lithium polymer---exhibit similar performance.
    01-28-12 06:25 PM
  14. peter9477's Avatar
    As I've said before though, such advice doesn't mean much if you don't quantify "deep discharge".

    I'd say it's impossible to deeply discharge the PlayBook's battery, as it will shut itself off when the voltage reaches 3.4V, which is well above the point where any "significant premature capacity loss" would occur.

    I also question any application of experience with other battery technology to lithium polymer. They're apples and oranges...

    I would say it's probable that discharging all the time to 0% will cause some measurable -- but not necessarily significant -- degradation over the life of the battery. On the other hand, some literature suggests that so will charging it to 100% versus not charging it fully. So... do you go 100% down 80% all the time? Or maybe 20% to 0% would be better? Or 60% to 40%? Without real data, nobody really knows.

    Besides, who wants to try following some complicated charging or discharging ritual with a device like this, based on fear of what may turn out to be a 2 month difference in how long it is before your battery is down to half its current maximum capacity (over, maybe a four-year life time)?
    01-28-12 07:03 PM
  15. batboris's Avatar
    How do you guys charge your laptop? Do you only bring it up to full charge and then use it unplugged or is it sometimes on the charger for days and days during use? Or do you not think about it and just use it?

    got a Lenovo couple of months ago... after 3 days of constant plug in to the power supply, Lenovo's software suggested me to change the battery usage mode from battery performance to battery life.
    When I agreed, the software stopped recharging the battery till it reached 50%.

    So, I think one thing is for sure - don't stay connected to the power supply all the time.

    Sent from my Playbook
    accord97 likes this.
    01-28-12 07:38 PM
  16. dugggggg's Avatar
    I think it's rather cavalier to assume that lithium polymer is some miracle battery technology, somehow immune to degradation to the extent suggested. Lipo may be good, but it's a long way from perfect.

    I don't consider setting my PB in its pod after 2-3 hours of use to be some "complicated charging ritual". It might be interesting to conduct a poll of BG users to see if there's a correlation between the "battery health" figure and depth of average discharge.
    01-28-12 08:04 PM
  17. peter9477's Avatar
    I think it's rather cavalier to assume that lithium polymer is some miracle battery technology, somehow immune to degradation to the extent suggested. Lipo may be good, but it's a long way from perfect.
    I didn't mean to suggest any extent to the amount of degradation. That's really my point: I don't think anyone has that data, or at least nobody has offered it yet. I've seen graphs for LiPo batteries similar to the one you linked for lead acid, but the depth of discharge involved was way below what the PlayBook allows.

    It might be interesting to conduct a poll of BG users to see if there's a correlation between the "battery health" figure and depth of average discharge.
    That's a great idea, and I'm hoping we'll be able to do that some day. So far, unfortunately, I've seen no sign of any perceptible drop in health for anyone who's reported data to me, aside from the expected adjustments in the first month or two of use.

    My own original PlayBook from May showed a health of 89% some time last summer, if I recall, and it's still sitting there right now, with something like 150 recharges on it.

    Anyone have data that might show any drop that might actually be attributable to battery wear? I'd say you'd have to see at least 2-3% drop after the initial drop to the 85-95% range that you should have seen in the first 20 or 30 recharges, or the first month or two.

    People with relatively high recharge counts would obviously be a good target, but it remains unclear which of age or number of recharges is more significant... Possibly the early adopters are all good candidates even if they've used it relatively little.
    01-28-12 09:40 PM
  18. TheScionicMan's Avatar
    On my PB, according to Peter's app BatteryGuru, my Recharge Count is at 268 and battery health is 86%. I bought it a week after launch. My wife's, that I picked up just before xMas, has 21 cycles and shows 90% health. I haven't noticed any change in battery longevity. If anything, it seems to have gotten better as the OS has progressed. I'm on the OS2 beta.
    01-28-12 10:24 PM
  19. dugggggg's Avatar
    I've had my PB almost ten weeks now. Recharge count, 36. Battery health has remained pretty constant---94 initially, peaking at 96 last month, now at 95. I rarely take my PB below 50% charge.
    01-29-12 12:03 PM
  20. FuzzyFish's Avatar
    What about using the 2A charging pod or the rapid chargee vs. the regular wall charger? Theoretically will it shorten the life of the battery?
    01-29-12 12:44 PM
  21. dugggggg's Avatar
    What about using the 2A charging pod or the rapid chargee vs. the regular wall charger? Theoretically will it shorten the life of the battery?
    In theory, yes. However, the general rule of thumb for lipo is, don't charge at a rate greater than 1C---otherwise cycle life will be affected. For our 5.4 amp-hour batteries, that means don't exceed 5.4 amperes. So even with the 2-amp rapid charger, we're well under this.

    Even if the 2A at 12V is internally converted to 4.8A at 5V, we're still good. Moreover, the charge current is regulated, proportional to the depth of discharge, tapering to zero at full charge. In other words, the more deeply you discharge before charging, the more current you subject the batteries to when charging.

    That's yet another reason to charge early and often.

    (Regarding the 1C rule, the PB's modern batteries may be rated higher---but since we don't know the actual rating, best to assume 1C.)
    Last edited by dugggggg; 01-29-12 at 01:51 PM.
    FuzzyFish likes this.
    01-29-12 01:26 PM
  22. PineappleUnderTheSea's Avatar
    That's yet another reason to charge early and often.
    Agreed. There is plenty of data that shows that it is best NOT to fully discharge a Li-ion battery, as it "wears" it out more. I had the same argument with someone a few months ago, and basically found data that showed that you can get about 3 times as more cycle life if you don't deplete past 50% (as compared to depleting at 100%). You get get 5 to 10 times more cycle life if you only use up 25% or less of the battery before recharging, but that becomes somewhat inconvenient, imo.

    I try to recharge when it drops below 50%. I should do it before that, but it's a lot of work to bend down, grab the plug, and plug it into the way. Call me lazy.
    01-29-12 01:59 PM
  23. vpblaze's Avatar
    So when everyone is saying discharging, how low are they talking? Some say 50, some say less. I hate being attached to a cord, charging it when it gets to 50ish would just be annoying for me. But if I have to I would. I am trying to manage my battery so I can get a long use out of a single charge.
    01-29-12 03:57 PM
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