Dave's 2¢ on ... it's time to recharge your batteries

Freeman, Dave
August 2005
Portable Design;Aug2005, Vol. 11 Issue 8, p8
The article examines the realistic expectations for a product's battery lifecycle. Recently, a group of early iPod owners took Apple to court because the integrated battery's performance did not meet their expectations. The plaintiffs alleged that the battery capacity fade was much faster than expected and that Apple had made false claims about the battery lasting the life of the product. The case was settled when Apple agreed to offer a $50 coupon toward the replacement of the battery and extended the iPod's warranty for two years. Rechargeable batteries have a natural capacity fade. Some chemistries fade faster than others, but they all suffer from a reduction in full-charge capacity with time. There are a couple of basic contributors to capacity fade. One of the larger contributors to capacity loss is an increase in battery impedance or resistance that is a function of battery age, temperature, and cycle patterns. For a given load, the available energy above the cutoff voltage diminishes as the impedance increases.


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