A Lithium-ion Polymer battery is designed to be recharged up to 550 times. This is the same battery technology commonly found in many cell phones and handheld computers, such as the Apple iPad, and other portable devices. The battery will need to be recharged regularly when used often, but unlike other rechargeable batteries, it will hold its charge for several months when the host device is not in use.
Here are some tips for maximizing the life of a Lithium-ion Polymer battery.
- Lithium-ion Polymer battery life is rated in charge cycles. The more often it is charged, the closer you get to the end of its life.
- The battery never needs to be fully discharged. Some cell phones recommend a periodic full discharge, but that is simply to reset the circuit that displays the battery charge level. It does not extend the life of the battery and in some cases can shorten the life.
- Do not leave a device connected to a charging unit. Trickle charging does not work with these batteries. The standard charging time is about 4 hours. Leaving a rechargeable device connected to a charging unit prevents the battery from running its normal discharge cycle, which actually shortens the life of a Lithium-ion Polymer battery.
- The ideal room temperature for charging these batteries is between 32 degrees F and 95 degrees F. In fact, it should not be charged when the temperature is outside of this range. That means that it should not be charged in a car or garage when the inside temperature is below freezing or above 95 degrees F. Normal room temperature is the best for prolonging the number of charge cycles.
- Do not store any device that uses a Lithium-ion Polymer battery in a hot location. Extended storage in temperatures above 95 degrees F will shorten the life of the battery. If you read the battery life advice advice offered by Apple and other portable device companies, they do not recommend carrying a cell phone in your pants pocket for long periods of time due to the temperature build-up.
- If you are storing a rechargeable device for an extended period of time, recharge the device before storage and again when when you plan to use it.
The simple advice is to charge your rechargeable device when you need to use it, do not overcharge it by keeping it on a charging device, and charge it with normal room temperature ranges. These simple rules will keep your rechargeable device working properly for a very long time.