Improving Handheld Computer Battery Life

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Handheld Computer BatteryIt can be so frustrating when you are in the middle of an important project and your handheld computer battery dies.  Below, I have jotted down some tips that I have found useful for extending the life of my rechargeable Lithium Ion batteries.  These batteries are often used in both handheld computers and scanners, among other devices.

Lithium Battery Storage:

Lithium Ion battery packs are shipped from the factory at an optimum state of charge to provide the longest life and prevent battery damage caused by self discharge storage.

  • Batteries should not be stored in the terminal, device or charger.  These devices, when not powered, will subject the battery to higher-than-normal self discharge currents that may cause battery damage.
  • Batteries should be stored in a cool, dry area, avoiding very high or low temperature extremes.  Ambient storage between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended.
  • Batteries should be stored at the optimum storage state of charge, which is between 30% and 40%.
  • Avoid storing battery packs at either full state of charge or low state of charge.  Batteries stored at full state of charge will age faster and batteries stored at low state of charge can cause cell damage and activation of low cell lockout level which can permanently disable the battery.
  • Storage longer than 6 months is not recommended for Lithium Ion battery packs.  Where conditions require longer term storage, a regularly scheduled maintenance plan should be implemented to ensure that the battery packs are kept at the optimum state of charge.  The maintenance plan should include periodic testing of the battery state of charge and brief charging where required to maintain optimum state of charge.
  • Batteries with an unknown charge state should not be returned to stock without checking the state of charge.  A state of charge between 30% to 40% should be confirmed.
  • Users should be informed to fully charge battery before first use.
  • Spare batteries that are not intended for immediate use should be kept at the optimum storage state of charge to ensure long, trouble-free service.

I hope these tips were helpful to you.  If you have any questions or comments about handheld computers, scanners or other similar devices that use rechargeable batteries, please comment!  Additionally, please feel free to add any additional tips you might have for extending handheld computer battery life.