The lithium-ion battery works on ion movement between the positive and negative electrodes. In theory, such a mechanism should work forever, but shelf life, cycling and temperature affect the performance. Because batteries are used under many demanding environmental conditions, manufacturers take a conservative approach and specify a battery life between 300 and 500 discharge/charge cycles. Life cycle testing is easy to measure and is well understood by the user.
Similar to a mechanical device that wears out faster with heavy use, so also does the depth of discharge (DoD) determine the cycle count. The smaller the depth of discharge, the longer the battery will last. If at all possible, avoid frequent full discharges and charge more often between uses. If full discharges cannot be avoided, try utilizing a larger battery. Partial discharge on Li-ion is fine; there is no memory and the battery does not need periodic full discharge cycles other than to calibrate the fuel gauge on a smart battery.
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