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Is it good to discharge batteries all the way?

The age-old question: should you discharge Lithium-Ion batteries all the way? The answer is no. The more you use a Lithium-Ion, or Li-on, battery, the more it will chemically degrade overtime. Therefore you should charge it as soon as possible, performing a so-called "shallow discharge".

Most electronic devices are equipped with Lithium Ion batteries these days. Some example devices include: iPods, cell phones, laptops, bluetooth headsets, and so on. To check whether your device is a Lithium Ion-based system, open the battery compartment and look at the text printed on the battery. If it says "Lithium-Ion" battery pack then these rules will apply.

Note that other types of batteries exist, such as Nicad batteries. Nicad batteries should generally be discharged all the way.

It is also worth pointing out the batteries naturally degrade with use and will ultimately need to be replaced, generally after 1 to 2 years. This time can be accelerated or slowed down depending on how much the system is used.

by Margaret Walker on Thu, 05/27/2010 - 00:30

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