Does the picture on the right look familiar to you? Of course yes! It’s a Nokia Mobile Li-Ion Battery.
Recently, I noticed that my mobile phone battery is discharging at a faster rate than before. I’m quite sure many of you have faced this before, so I decided to dig more into this topic to know what could be the reason behind this fast discharge, and how to get rid of it. I will also provide you with a simple circuit that can be used to charge any Lithium Ion battery which can be constructed easily.
Surfing through the web, you will find some general tips to save the more power of your battery, and I think most of us are familiar with, so here are some of these tips:
- Turn unnecessary applications or modules off. Modules like : GPS, Blue-tooth, Wifi, screen brightness, etc. consume a lot of power as well as applications.
- Make sure to update the mobile firmware regularly, usually manufactures add new features to reduce power consumption.
- Use batteries at rated operating temperatures. You can refer to my old post to know more about this subject.
- Charge the battery fully and make sure to discharge it completely.
- Clean the battery contacts on the battery, and inside phone. Over time, contacts may accumulate dirt.
- Stop searching for a signal. When you are in an area with poor or no signal, your phone will constantly look for a better connection, and will use up all your power. The best way to ensure longer battery life is to make sure you have a great signal where you use your phone.
To me, the above list sounds trivial and I assume many people knew it before, but here’s something new which can be applied to gain more power out of battery:
- If you are using Nokia, then use Nokia’s Power Saver option – Nokia gives you a default screen saver in your mobile phone which switches on your backlight to show its features etc. This is actually not needed to anyone, and it also eats up your battery without any benefit for you. Just turn this Off by activating Power Saver option On and set it with a minimum time so that the backlight turns off and your screen shows just the Date and Time.
- Use a single mode of network – There is an option of GSM, UTMS or Dual mode of networking when you go to Tools > Settings > Network settings. You should select any one network, not the dual-mode of networking, as you are already using a GSM SIM and need just that network to connect. The other modes are battery eaters, as many suggest.
- Your favorite theme? Have it in your phone memory – Only if there is some space in it. A small theme that you are using in your mobile, would be there On for all the time. And for this, the mobile system has to be connected to the memory card and receiving the info about it. Why not keep it in your phone memory and keep the 2 systems(Memory card and phone system) not connected? This would save some battery for sure.
- Never charge your battery for more than 14 hours
- Nickel-Cadmium (NiCad) batteries suffer from an affliction known as the memory effect. The battery will only charge to the level of which the battery was last discharged due to an accumulation of gas bubbles on the cell plates. If a battery is discharged to 30% and then recharged, the battery will only charge to 30% of its capacity and thus shrinking the battery’s “gas tank.” So the best approach to overcome this problem is by draining the battery until your portable phone shuts off, and then recharging it.
- If your battery used to last 8 hours and now only lasts 2 hours, it could be memory effect or just time for a new battery. NiCad batteries last approximately 700 charge/discharge cycles, or about one and a half years on average. However, NiMh batteries will normally last for only approximately 400 charge/discharge cycles.
Watch this tutorial for N95 battery saving tips:
Now, let’s get our hands dirty by designing a simple circuit that will charge any lithium-ion battery.
I found a nice charging IC by Texas Instruments with P/N: BQ24050DSQ with 800mA, Single Cell Li-Ion Battery Charging With Automatic Adaptor/USB Detection.
This looks interesting so let’s open the datasheet and see the application note which contains the following circuit:
Just make sure you follow design notes on how to select the values of the limiting resistors because these resistors will set the maximum charging current for your battery. Download the datasheet of bq24050. This IC costs about $3.6 which is cheap and can be shipped easily using DigiKey.
Some good sources:
3. Texas Instruments Li-Ion Battery Charger: http://focus.ti.com/docs/prod/folders/print/bq24050.html