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Lock. Load. Recharge September 17, 2010

Posted by bobv451 in ideas, inventions, iPad, science, web & computers.

Visiting yesterday’s blog once more, this time with a bit more definitive information. Gordon was unsure about recharging LiIon batteries, such as in the iPad, to get the best life out of them. A great tidbit he passed along is not to leave the battery (iPad, iPhone, whatever) plugged in allt he time. That will sizzle its little guts.

MIT PhD Drew Bennett had the advice:
“This is a favorite topic the model airplane community who are heavy LiPo users. Try checking places like http://www.rcgroups.com or similar.

“Short answer: no deep discharges and keep the discharge rate relatively low compared to the battery’s capa…city.

“However: your device has a bunch of conditioning electronics between you and the battery. Anything you do is heavily influenced by that. You need to know what the logic is inside that part in order to affect any changes…”

Which puts the definitive answer squarely on Apple’s shoulders. What kind of charging gizmo do they have included and why can’t they be upfront about the best way to recharge? If anyone knows, they ought to.

Added to the mix is Bob Zigenthals, of Texas A&M fame:

“I’ve taught Electronics for 37 years, and over those years I’ve been frustrated with the lack of informative battery information. First with NiCd, then NiMH, then various lithium chemistries, so I went to about a bajillion battery manufacturers’ sites. No footnotes here, but here is what I learned: FOR LONGEST LIFETIME: (1) NiCd: charge fully and discharge only as necessary, except about once in 20 cycles, when they should be fully discharged to avoid “memory” effect. NiCd is best kept charged. (2) NiMH doesn’t care. (3) Lithium chemistry, in general, discharge to no less than 2/3 capacity before recharge–and expect 3 years life regardless of what you do. These are generalities, so there are an infinite number of gotchas you can charge (sic) me with.”

That covers the other rechargeables, too.

Putting Gordon, Drew & Bob’s advice together gives fairly concrete info for maximizing the battery life. Don’t leave your iPad plugged in all the time, let it discharge to 65% or so, then recharge. I had despaired of finding an answer but one seems to have surfaced. My iPaddy was down to 70% so I am recharging at this moment.



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