Li-Polymer Battery Facts
The Lithium-Polymer battery
is a variation of the Lithium-Ion battery, which is why it's
also called the Li-Ion Polymer battery. The difference is the
Lithium-Polymer has a gelled electrolyte instead of a dry
electrolyte and separator. This allows for the slimmer battery
(smaller form factor) in demand for cell phones, which is why
this battery was developed.
It doesn't have more capacity
than a similarly-sized standard Li-Ion battery (it has actually
a bit less). It just fits better into small portable devices.
One advantage of the Li-Ion
and Li-Polymer battery is it can accept partial charges without
degrading the battery or developing "memory." Because these
batteries are sized very small to fit into very small devices,
this is no small advantage. It's a crucial one (see the tips and a caution at the end of this
People want devices that have
sound, color, fast processors, and other power-hungry features
or components. They also want this device to fit into a pocket.
To accommodate these requirements, something has to "give." And
that is invariably the battery.
If you want whiz bang
features and small size, you can't have super-long battery life.
Period. We're up against the laws of physics. But you can have sufficient battery life. For example, properly charge an
iTravl battery and the unit can run all day.
Facts about battery size vs.
The amount of energy a
battery can store is a function of the physical size of certain
battery components and thus of the battery itself. As you go
up in battery capacity, you also go up in size and weight.
Battery life is a function of
how much energy a battery stores and the rate at which that
energy is used. As you add power usage, you must also add
size or reduce battery life.
Essentially, you are storing
a charge in the physical materials of the battery. To store more
charge, you need more material. And that material adds both size
and weight. But nobody wants to carry a brick around. Do you?
Thebattery of the iTravl and the 900-series translators is a
Lithium Polymer. We have had a few complaints that the battery
doesn't seem to hold a charge. But we have evaluated several
iTravl batteries and also compared them against the batteries in
other devices and find the batteries hold a charge just fine.
If you own an iTravl or other
device that uses an Li-Ion (or Li-Polymer variation) battery,
you've made a good product decision. You just have to remember
that engineering involves making choices and compromises to get
the desired result.
If you follow the tips provided
should rarely--if ever--find yourself with a dead device.
Do not charge the device "until the charging light goes out." The circuitry required to
accurately determine battery condition would not fit into the
case of any pocket device. In fact, not even 1/4 of the required
circuitry would fit into any pocket device. The key is the
amount of time under charge while using the recommended AC
Adapter that comes with the device.
on iTravl battery life. We have tested these units
extensively and found they have consistently long run
One test consists of leaving the device to play
the 3 hour, 8 second Paris Versailles audio book with
screen set to 80% and Power Off set to Never, then
coming back after six hours and finding the iTravl still
hasn't drained the battery.
You will read battery
complaints on the various forums, but we guarantee you
those folks failed to properly charge the battery.
a 900mAH battery with a 300mAH charger. Battery charging
isn't linear, so it's not 3 x 300mAH to charge it up. It
takes about 6 hours.
When the user
basically does everything possible to drain the battery as
quickly as possible, then, yes, the battery is going to seem
like it just doesn't last. There is no getting around this,
because the battery has only so much capacity.
What you can do:
Keep a spare battery or two with you, if you're going to be out
Buy a cradle charger and a car charger. Charge your translatorl frequently.
Avoid power-hungry usage
patterns if you won't be able to charge for a while.
Charge the battery for 6
to 8 hours before first usage of the device. Six hours
should give you a full charge. Additional charging won't add
any runtime. A couple hours over won't hurt, but if you get
to six you are done.
Caution: Do not charge Li-Ion
(or Li-Polymer) batteries longer than 24 hours. Think in terms of "sip" not "drown."
Myth: Li-Ion batteries are
dangerous and explode at airports.
Reality: All batteries produce gas (just like politicians).
When you overcharge one of these batteries, it builds up gas.
When you subsequently overheat it, that gas expands and the
battery bursts. In laptops with battery burst problems, the
battery was located too close to the processor and the battery
was very likely overcharged by the owner. You still don't want
to overcharge your iTravl battery, but it's not sitting next to
an overclocked mega-processor that can burn your leg. To test
this, just feel your iTravl with your hand.