2 Replies Latest reply: Mar 2, 2014 2:03 PM by Kappy
Bergen Jersey Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

how often should i drain battery in MacBook Air (late 2011)


MacBook Air, Mac OS 9.2.x
  • PlotinusVeritas Level 6 Level 6 (14,705 points)

    Absolutely NEVER is the answer to that one. 

     

    Try not to let it get to less than 10~15% or so on any sort of frequent basis

     

     

    General consideration of your MacBook battery

    Contrary to popular myths about notebook batteries, there is protection circuitry in your Macbook and therefore you cannot ‘overcharge’ your notebook when plugged in and already fully charged.


    However if you do not plan on using your notebook for several hours, turn it off (plugged in or otherwise), since you do not want your Macbook ‘both always plugged in and in sleep mode’.


    A lot of battery experts call the use of Lithium-Ion cells the "80% Rule", meaning use 80% of the full charge or so, then recharge them for longer overall life. The only quantified damage done in the use of Lithium Ion batteries are instances where the internal notebook battery is “often drained very low”, this is bad general use of your notebook battery.


    A person who has, for example, 300 charge cycles on their battery and is recharging at say 40% remaining of a 100% charge has a better battery condition state than, say, another person who has 300 charge cycles on their battery and is recharging at say 10-15% remaining on a 100% charge. DoD (depth of discharge) is much more important on the wear and tear on your Macbook’s battery than the count of charge cycles. There is no set “mile” or wear from a charge cycle in specific. Frequent high depth of discharge rates (draining the battery very low) on a Lithium battery will hasten the lowering of maximum battery capacity.

     

    All batteries in any device are a consumable meant to be replaced eventually after much time, even under perfect use conditions.

     

     

    If the massive amount of data that exists on lithium batteries were to be condensed into a simplex, helpful, and memorable bit of information it would be:

     

    1. While realistically a bit impractical during normal everyday use, a lithium battery's longevity and its chemistry's health is most happy swinging back and forth between 20% and 85% charge roughly.

     

    2. Do not purposefully drain your battery very low (10% and less), and do not keep them charged often or always high (100%).

     

    3. Lithium batteries do not like the following:

    A: Deep discharges, as meaning roughly 10% or less on a frequent basis.

    B: Rapid discharges as referring to energy intensive gaming on battery on a frequent basis (in which case while gaming, if possible, do same on power rather than battery). This is a minor consideration.

    C: Constant inflation, as meaning always or most often on charge, and certainly not both in sleep mode and on charge always or often.

     

    From Apple on batteries:

    http://www.apple.com/batteries/notebooks.html

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1446

    "Apple does not recommend leaving your portable plugged in all the time."

     

     

     

    There is no calibration of current Apple portable Macbooks with built-in batteries.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1490

     

    There is no battery calibration with current Apple portable Macbooks with built-in batteries. Lithium batteries have essentially a 0-‘memory’, and all such calibration involve the estimations fed to the system controller on the SOC (state of charge) of the battery over long periods of time as the battery degrades. The software based battery controller knows the battery's characteristics, or SOC and adjusts itself. This is why there is both no need and purpose to periodically deeply drain your macbook battery, since it doesn’t affect the characteristics of the battery, and further still deep discharges are something you should not do on purpose to any lithium battery.

     

     

     

    In a lithium battery, deep discharges alter the chemistry of the anode to take up lithium ions and slowly damages the batteries capacity for the cathode to transport lithium ions to the anode when charging, thereby reducing max charge levels in mAh. In short, radical swings of power to lithium cells disrupts the chemical ecosystem of the battery to hold charges correctly which likewise impedes the perfect transfer of lithium ions both in charging and discharging.  In charging your lithium battery, lithium ions are “pushed uphill” (hard) to the anode, and discharged “downhill” (easy) to the cathode when on battery power. Deep discharges, damages this “upward” electrolyte chemistry for the battery to maintain a healthy charge and discharge balance relative to its age and cycles.