Battery life protection

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 2' started by dcdivenut, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. dcdivenut

    dcdivenut New Member

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    Hi there... I find myself going from being on the road about 3-4 days a week to being in the office 2-3 so my Pro2 is spending a lot more time on the docking station.
    With previous laptops (Lenovo and Dell) there was a "docking" or battery protection mode.
    I think the way it worked was to keep the charge between 75-80% rather than at 100.
    The idea was that this would extend the useful life of the battery and it seemed to worked really well.
    I cant seem to find anything like this on the Surface and now that I think about it, this was not a native Windows app or setting but a manufacturer thing.
    Does anyone know of a MS, Surface or 3rd party equivalent?
     
  2. jrapdx

    jrapdx Member

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    Not sure how to answer your question. However, checking battery status (with: powercfg /batteryreport) shows essentially no change in "Full Charge Capacity" since April, hovering around 40900 to 41100 mWh in that span. I acquired the SP2 in Jan 2014, and its initial capacity was ~42000. IOW there's been very little change in charge capacity after a slight drop in the first 6 weeks.

    Most of the time I use the SP2 on AC power with "High Performance" profile. On average, about once a week I do use it on battery and "Power Saver" profile. Using the SP2 "lightly" when on battery, it's lasted >=10 hr at times. ("Batteryreport" estimates ~8 hr battery life.)

    To minimize battery charge capacity loss over time, it's been suggested to use the SP2 on battery at least monthly and running until charge remaining is < 30% before recharging. I really don't know how essential that is.

    It appears the SP2 is doing a good job of preserving the battery charge capacity. According to info in other threads, the design life span of the device is 3-5 years. The battery, so far, seems to be on track to achieve that duration without further intervention.
     
  3. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes Well-Known Member

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    This is a hardware level thing you are asking. The Surface Pro (1, 2, and 3) doesn't have this.
    Microsoft uses very high quality batteries, that sustain heat, and are designed to retain 80% of their capacity when charged 5 days a week, and the battery is covered by Microsoft for the duration of the warranty of the device that you have (1 year default, or if you got the extended coverage giving you 2 years). It cost 200$ U.S to replace the battery out of the device warranty.
     
  4. jrapdx

    jrapdx Member

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    Gosh, if my SP2 is still working in 2 years, by then they'll probably be releasing the SP6 or 7 or 8!

    That's actually not a bad price--seems comparable to similar capacity OEM replacement batteries...
     
  5. Philtastic

    Philtastic Active Member

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    Given how fast technology develops, especially today in the mobile space, it's generally not worth the hassle to try to preserve the battery since something significantly better will be out by then. As GoodBytes said, these are high quality batteries that are designed to be abused. Just use it in appropriate environments (eg. not covered in blankets or with the vents blocked) and you should be fine for at least 2 years - and that's just saying that you will have at least 80% of the original battery life: the device should still work fine beyond 2 years just with shorter battery.

    With non-removable batteries, one thing that you can easily do to lengthen the life of your battery is to, when you can, always plug it into an outlet when used, especially heavy use such as video games. Although this has a pressure to lessen the lifespan of the battery due to being closer to 100% charge all the time, this is exceeded by using less charge cycles of your battery since your device will use the outlet power instead. With lithium ion batteries, you shouldn't need to discharge the battery monthly: that is a relic from nickel cadmium. The reason you might want to partially discharge the battery is to recalibrate the power meter so that it will be more accurate in telling you how much battery is left. That should happen naturally as you use your device on battery (unless you are always plugged in, which shouldn't be the case since you presumably bought the SP2 for portable use) so no need to intentionally discharge it.
     
  6. dcdivenut

    dcdivenut New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies... for some reason reply notification was turned off so I am just seeing these.
    Agree that these should be high quality batteries, and that there is only so much that can be done, but given that I paid about $1800 for this setup (256G with docking station, office, warranty and so on) I would love to get close to 2 years from it. Currently, running a battery max profile All That Nerdy Stuff I am not getting much more than 5-6 hours tops on battery.

    Looking at my battery report I seem to have lost 3.9% of battery capacity and gone through 199 cycles since I got it in October 2013
     
  7. Philtastic

    Philtastic Active Member

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    I could totally believe that you've been through almost 200 cycles in 8 months (roughly 240 days or almost one charge up per day). Losing 4% in that time is expected if not very good (expect to lose 20% in 24 months. 8 months = 1/3 = ~7%).

    Your actual battery life will depend on how you use the device. 8-9 hours is if you do really light tasks such as browsing the web or doing word processing. 5-6 hours if you watch a lot of video. 1-4 hours for a variety of video games.

    I don't look out for my battery at all and leave it on balanced settings (a combination of performance and moderate power savings) and easily get 6+ hours in any given day with mostly light stuff. The best thing to do is to just not think about it: it's good enough to look after itself. The only thing you have to look out for is for the high CPU usage bug(s) that might pop up when you come out of sleep/hibernate: that will drain your battery even if you aren't doing much so I recommend that everyone check Task Manager right after they wake the device to do a quick check.
     
  8. jefhart

    jefhart Member

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    I've lost 3% on 26 cycles since 11/13. I usually have it plugged in or docked. Am I doing something wrong?
     
  9. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes Well-Known Member

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    No. Wear level is an estimate. Every itme you charge your battery, that number will change.
    It will go to 7% at times, go down to 0%, up to 5%... well you get the idea.
     
  10. jollywombat

    jollywombat Member

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    Yah, if you keep a close eye on your capacity it will drive you crazy since it changes so frequently. I gave up monitoring it all the time and just take a glance once a month to make sure there has been no huge dip in capacity is all.
     
  11. jefhart

    jefhart Member

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    "The battery doesn’t need to be empty or low before you recharge. You can recharge the battery whenever you’d like. However, it’s best to let the battery run to below 10 percent at least once per month before you recharge it."

    The Surface site says to discharge once a month, you think it is just to calibrate the battery meter?
     
  12. Philtastic

    Philtastic Active Member

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    Lithium ion batteries do not have a memory effect, thus do not NEED to be discharged. As far as I've read, unnecessarily discharging a lithium ion battery is purely to keep battery meters accurate.

    It could also be generally there because lithium ion does degrade faster if kept over 50% charge for prolonged periods of time so perhaps this is their way of making sure that people actually use their battery for a bit to relieve this effect. Basically, if you actually use the Surface Pro as a portable device and use it on battery frequently, you shouldn't worry too much. If you keep it plugged in every time you use it, well, then you may want to start using it on battery occasionally.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014

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