Battery Farming

I’ve been doing my best with my laptop, but I’ve never been entirely sure on the best strategy for looking after your laptop battery. Keep it plugged in? Discharge it daily? Keep it in the fridge? People seem to support strategies for battery care like they support football teams.

Yesterday, after 20 months and 515 battery cycles, my Macbook Pro’s battery health dropped to a lowly 4% (which equates to about 7 minutes with the wifi and bluetooth turned off and the brightness down to minimum). As is the nature of things, it jumped back to 22% today, but I figured it was about time to bite the bullet and order a new one.

As it comes out of their budget, I went to see one of the techs and asked his advice. He said that 20 months and 515 cycles is not bad for a battery, especially given how heavily I use the thing. We discussed the various theories for a while and he went to look at the Battery University. Having done so, we’ve settled on a new strategy.

  • Plug in whenever possible
  • Remove the battery if I’m going to be plugged in for a while
  • Try to keep the battery above 40% at all times
  • Do a full discharge and recycle about once a month

I’m a little worried I’ll forget and pull the plug out without a battery in place a few times, but other than that I’m reasonably hopeful.


3 thoughts on “Battery Farming

  1. Two questions, Mark:

    1. Have you tried plugging in your MBP without the battery? I haven’t, but I’m sure I’ve read somewhere it doesn’t work like that?

    2. Why are you still using Edublogs?! 😉

  2. 1. I’m using it like that right now! I’ve managed to dislodge the power supply once, which forced an immediate shutdown (no drastic errors, but I may run a permissions repair overnight just in case)

    2. No hosting to worry about, it’s reliable, I have enough things to do without worrying about a migration. Although if you’re offering free reliable hosting and are prepared to do the migration for me, then have your people call my people :-p

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