Overcharging?

Discussion in 'Smartphone Battery Discussion' started by altjx, May 23, 2012.

  1. altjx

    altjx Member

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    I sort of asked this question in someone else's thread...

    Is there any thing such as "overcharging"? For example, I've developed a habit years ago of always keeping my phone on the charger when I'm not using it. I keep it on the charger when I'm at work and when I'm at home. The only time I take it off the charger is if I'm driving, calling someone on the phone, or just not near a charger and out and about.

    Being that I left my previous phones on the charger for the most part, is there any harm in this? I've always done this because ever since a year ago, I've experienced a situation to where the lights went out at home, and I had to depend on my phone's flash light app to get me around, but I didn't have enough battery life. Or when the Internet went out at home and I had to depend on my phone for the Internet. Ever since these two situations, I've always made sure my phone's battery was as full as possible.
     
  2. blackhawk1134

    blackhawk1134 Member

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    I wonder the same thing.
    I do that too. I heard it doesn't hurt these newer types of batteries
     
  3. jkaod

    jkaod Active Member

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    I don't think it will hurt anything. As far as I know, the phone will turn off the charge mode and go into trickle maintenance mode when the charge is full.

    Foxkat is the resident expert on all things battery (and most other stuff as well). I'd like to hear his opinion as well on this.
     
  4. altjx

    altjx Member

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    Interesting. Can anyone verify this?
     
  5. Xfactorx316

    Xfactorx316 Active Member

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    I think it could cause some bad battery meter readings on days where it is off the charger (but I dont' think it will actually hurt the battery), but I'm not sure. As Jkaod said, I'd be really interested to hear FoxKat's take on it.
     
  6. FoxKat

    FoxKat Super Moderator
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    This is not a problem for these phones and for this type of battery, as long as the charging system on the phone is working properly and you are using the stock charger (the one that came with the phone). If you are using any other charging appliances, all bets are off.





    jkaod is nearly 100% correct (no offense intended :biggrin:). The type of battery you have in this phone is called a Lithium Ion Polymer Pouch Cell, and unlike other batteries that can take a continuous charge (like Nickel Cadmium and Nickel Metal Hydride), or in some cases actually prefer to be on charge constantly (like Lead Acid batteries), these batteries can not sustain a continuous charge - whether at full current or even reduced "trickle" rate. If this battery were to remain on constant charge, the battery would eventually self-destruct in a pretty violent way (noxious gasses, small explosion, torch-like extremely high temperature flames...).

    Now, don't panic since as jkaod explained, the phone knows this and once the battery reaches about 90% of full, the charging system reduces the charge rate to a "trickle" and will continue to gently "top off" the battery to 100% - the maximum recommended charge. Once it reaches 100%, the phone's charging system actually shuts down charging altogether. You can tell when that's happened by looking at the battery indicator. If it's charging, it will have a tiny black lightning bolt on it and the level will appear to be going from a low to full level and back again. If fully charged and the charger has shut off properly, the battery will be a solid green and there will be no animation or lightning bolt. The phone will also report on the display when you hit the power button that the phone is fully charged, and to unplug the charger to conserve energy.




    You bring up a great point. We are creatures of habit - yes, but also every one of us operates differently (different habits) than any other, so I may use my phone for long periods of time off the charger, and may charge 1-3 times during the day (night, in the car going to work, again when coming home), where you may plug in at every opportunity (as altix does), and only depend on the battery when absolutely necessary, and someone else may only charge once every night. Since we're not all created equal, but the battery in our phones are, different usage and charging patterns have different effects on our individual phones.

    A phenomenon known as a "parasitic load" is created when charging the phone while the power is on. This causes the metering system to become confused as to what the actual power in the battery is and how much current the battery is drawing during charge versus how much is the phone actually using at the same time. Over time, this causes the meter to become out of sync with the battery and can result in either indication of levels that are less or more than actual, and can even result in phones that will not respond to a charger at some point. Fortunately if the phone is powered off when charging, the parasitic load isn't there, AND it also corrects the error in charge level reporting by the meter...if you practice "safe charging" as I indicate below.

    To minimize meter error by "training" the meter to the true capacity of your individual battery you should practice "safe charging" about every 2-3 months. Follow these steps and you'll be fine;


    1. [*=1]Next opportunity when you won't need the phone for several hours, power the phone off (press power and hold until the menu, then choose "Power off".)[*=1]Now, plug the phone into the stock Motorola wall adapter that came with the phone and using the stock Motorola cable.[*=1]The phone will self-boot into "Charge Only" mode (and a large animated battery will appear on the screen).[*=1]Allow the phone to charge uninterrupted for at least 3 hours, or until it indicates 100% (to check, press either VOLUME button briefly and the display will awaken).[*=1]Once the phone has reached 100%, you can remove it from the charger, power it up and use normally, but do not charge again until the phone reaches the "Low battery" warning at 15%.[*=1]Once the phone has reported "Low battery", repeat steps 1 thru 4.[*=1]After the 2nd full charge, you can use and charge the phone as you normally would until the next 2-3 month "safe charge"

    So in short, every 2-3 months, charge with power off to 100%, use to 15%, charge to 100% with power off, and then you are practicing "safe charging".

    Also, avoid allowing the phone to discharge to 0% (self-power down), under any circumstances, and if it should power down on its own due to a depleted battery, get it onto a charger as soon as humanly possible to prevent deep-discharging the battery and suffering "white light of death", "bootlooping", or other depleted battery problems.

    Good luck! :biggrin:
     
  7. Xfactorx316

    Xfactorx316 Active Member

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    Thanks FoxKat!
     
  8. jkaod

    jkaod Active Member

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    Thanks oh great guru (Foxkat). No offense taken at all. I've learned everything I know about batteries from you. I bow to the vastness of your knowledge:hail:. Whenever there is a battery question, which is frequent, I think we all wait for the master to speak.
    Someone else recommended a battery sticky. That would be a great idea and have Foxkat be the first post with all of the above advice. It would save you lots of time not having to repeat the same thing over and over. It should be a sticky or a separate sub-forum for every phone as it applies to all cellphone batteries.
     
  9. YellowJacket

    YellowJacket Active Member

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    There should be a "stickie" thread compiling all of foxkats battery advice and tips.

    Awesome job. :hail:

    David
     
  10. jkaod

    jkaod Active Member

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    By the way Foxkat, don't tell the Boy Scouts I work with about that "torch like, extremely high temperature flame" thing. It might give them ideas.
     
  11. altjx

    altjx Member

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    Good stuff man. Thanks!
     
  12. Rogus

    Rogus Member

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    What about this:

    Consider, for a second, your evening routine. After washing up and slipping into pajamas, the last thing you do before hitting the pillow is drop your phone into a charger. Cell phone users around the world have all adopted this habit. But could it be bad for your phone's long-term battery life?

    Leaving your phone to re-charge overnight is convenient—you're able to wake up in the morning to a full phone battery that will last through the workday and into the evening. But leaving your phone plugged in after reaching 100 percent is not best for your phone's battery long-term.

    Tech tips blog Lifehacker shares some strategies for prolonging a device's battery life, including this advice about leaving a phone to charge overnight:

    Similarly, lithium-ion batteries don't need to be charged all the way to 100%. ... If you do charge it to 100%, don't leave it plugged in. This is something most of us do, but it's another thing that will degrade your battery's health.
     
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