All of the portable electronic hardware we carry around uses some kind of battery as its power source. The issue with modern batteries is that they eventually start losing power. Their lifespan is finite. As the batteries age, they start losing power and become more difficult to charge up fully.
The batteries that power most of these portable devices use a technology called lithium-ion, and, as their name suggests, they use lithium ions as their main component. A lithium-ion battery gets charged as the lithium ions move from the cathode to the anode. They move through an electrolyte solution inside the cell. This movement forces the electrons to concentrate near the negative side, on the anode. As the battery discharges, the electron moves towards the positive side, and this is what gives off the power the devices need to function.
The development of the lithium-ion batteries has been a long process and it is still ongoing. Scientists are continually improving the formula of the chemical mix inside the cell. These tweaks are intended to give the battery a longer lifespan, to charge faster, and to help them do their job more efficiently. But even with all the improvements that have been made over the years the batteries still lose power over time. This is because the recharge cycle can be repeated only a set number of times due to the nature of the chemical reactions going on inside the battery. As the electrons move from the anode to the cathode and back, a thin layer of atoms forms inside the battery and this limits the effectiveness of the electrodes. Most of the batteries last about two to three years depending on use.
To prevent this, people need to implement something called a shallow discharge/recharge cycle — old batteries needed to be fully discharged and then fully charged straight out of the box. This has changed over time as the batteries became better and more efficient.
A shallow charge and discharge means that you are not connecting the battery to a charger before it reaches 50 percent or less. It also means you are not charging it “beyond” 100. People should always disconnect the device from the charger when it reaches 100 percent. This is not a safety measure, since batteries have built-in systems to stop them from exploding. The reason you need to do this is to prevent the battery from aging, as it ages faster when it charges while at 100 percent.
Shallow charges are just the start. A good practice is to let the battery reach five percent at least once a month for it to recalibrate itself. This recalibration allows the phone or laptop to give you a somewhat accurate estimate of battery life remaining. Regularly discharging a device completely also needs to be avoided. A battery needs to be kept at about 20 percent most of the time.
All of this are just guidelines, not the rule so that some tweaking may be done here and there depending on the device.
Finally, storing the lithium-ion battery is essential as well. When leaving a device and not turning it on for an extended period, you need to leave it at about 50 percent. The device must also be switched off, and the room temperature needs to be moderate.