Most people keep their laptop plugged in to charge the battery when they are not using it. Unfortunately, this is about the worse thing you can do to the battery. If your battery is fully charged, unplugging your laptop will extend the life of your lithium-polymer battery.
Actually, to get even more life out of the battery you should only charge it to 80 percent, says Cadex Electronics CEO Isidor Buchmann. You should not drain the battery to less than 40 percent, Buchmann adds. Keeping the battery in this range can extend its life by as much as four times.
A lithium-polymer battery is made of cells and each cell is charged to a certain voltage level. The higher the charge percentage, the higher the voltage and high volt storage puts stress on the cell. The higher the stress on the cell the fewer times it can go through charge/discharge cycles. Charging your battery constantly to 100 percent will typically get 300-500 discharge cycles from the battery, while charging it to 70 percent will allow 1,200-2,000 discharge cycles.
Heat also accelerates the natural degradation of your battery. In extreme situations, it can cause the cells to bubble and expand. It is not a good idea to actually keep your laptop on your lap when you are using it and the more ventilation it gets the better.
Trying to keep track of the power level of your battery while you are working can be distracting. However, if you keep track of the time it takes to reach the charge/discharge levels and set a timer you can keep your mind on your work and just wait for the timer to go off. It may take a little effort to maintain your battery this way but the money you save is well worth the effort.
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