Why Batteries Not Last For Longer?

Why Batteries Not Last For Longer? 


Ever wondered how the battery in your phone actually works? Don't say you've never thought about it because whatever mad electrochemical voodoo is going on in there matters a great deal why? Because this technology isn't just the basis of your funky little social media machine it's also behind all modern electronic vehicles most orbiting satellites and it could potentially hold the key to weaning mankind of its unhappy reliance on fossil fuels armed with this knowledge you may even be able to extend the life of your battery and keep your precious phone running longer. Let’s find why i-phone batteries don’t last longer.


i-phones and all modern smartphones for that matter run on so-called lithium-ion technology first commercialized by Sony back in 1991. It's by no means the only method of storing power for use on the go but it is the clear favorite for most modern applications for reasons. We'll go into shortly, for now here's a quick primer on how lithium-ion batteries do their thing the lithium-ion battery. Inside your phone is divided into two sections an anode and a cathode when your battery is fully charged. The anode typically made of graphite and copper is like a tank holding lithium-ion atoms and crucially they're all important electrons.


So the anode is a store of potential energy in much the same way the water tank up in the attic of your house is a store of fast flowing water, for release whenever you switch on your bathroom faucet the lithium ions in the anode have a surplus of electrons, they're naturally inclined to get rid of just as water in your attic tank is naturally inclined to flow downstairs. The cathode region of the battery on the other side of a separating wall in the cell is different. The lithium ions situated there in an aluminum and metal oxide container have fewer electrons than they'd like and desperately want to attract some more. 




The instant you engage in electrical circuit connecting anode to cathode by checking in with your favorite YouTube channel for instance, electrons burst free of their anode prism and race along a circuit towards that thirsty cathode and all its alluring ions as the electrons make their way from anode to cathode. They power your device in much the same way water rushing downhill can be used to power a water wheel. Here's the really clever part after the electrons have fled their nest. Lithium ions from the anode are now permitted to slip silently across that separator wall and set up home in the cathode room when you plug your phone in like you do at night. The lithium ions in the cathode buddy up with external electrons from your local power grid and the whole process runs in reverse meaning when you wake up the anode is yet again surging with charged lithium ions ready to power your phone throughout the day.


Why are lithium-ion batteries so popular certainly not because they're the most powerful kind of battery but they strike a useful balance between being rechargeable holding a useful energy density and being slim enough to fit in a sleek modern device. They don't get too hot and they're not as catastrophic for the environment as other technologies. So why don't they last longer?


Recent research by the US department of energy no less suggests that the constant back and forth of ions across that separating wall, technically – a non-aqueous electrolyte. Since you ask causes microscopic irregularities in the battery cell, these irregularities end up over time forming clumps which stem the flow of ions and ultimately gum up. The back and forth process making the battery less efficient which means it starts to run down at annoying moments like at the start of a long bus journey after maybe 400 charge cycles it's reckoned your phone battery will typically lose around a fifth of its capacity which is why under normal everyday usage conditions lithium-ion batteries for cell phones have a working life of around three years.


So can anything be done about that there's obvious things you can do like turning off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when you don't need them don't use your phone at 100 brightness 100 of the time unless strictly necessary of course and keep an eye out for background-running battery-hungry features like Facebook's autoplay software updates, apple's regular iOS re-jigs do plenty in the background to help prolong battery life without you having to think about it even going so far as to throttle older iphones to squeeze extra precious months out of an aged lithium-ion cell. 


Apple iOS


This is controversial last year the company was forced to shell out 500 million dollars in response to a successful class action lawsuit highlighting this dishonest practice with CEO Tim Cook forced to issue a groveling apology. Nonetheless apple stands by its view that users would on the whole prefer to have a slow phone than a dead phone. Most importantly do whatever you can to stop the battery indicator bottoming out at zero percent; lithium ions are especially susceptible to problems when this happens. Indeed your phone will have a protector unit built in that cuts out your phone when the battery reaches the end of its useful charging cycle as the consequences can be deadly to the battery and even cause overheating and fire battery technology will continue to evolve but for now the short life cycle of your phone battery is alas all part of what makes it so versatile cheap and light in the future your home may well have its own Tesla style battery pack which can help store solar generated juice for use on non-sunny days.


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