The Power Adapter

There should be no issues with charging from a 60W Thunderbolt dock with PD.

3 Likes

for even more sustainability: make both cords optional for those of us who have a massive box of cables we’ve collected throughout the years!

9 Likes

I’m curious about how you implemented the passthrough.
Any images of its inside?

I may well have missed it but do we know the data speed available on the cable it comes with?

It’s a USB 2.0 cable.

1 Like

As a work-around for another notebook, I wrote a Python script to monitor the battery charge level and turn on or off a smart plug that the charger is plugged into. It works well, but the computer must be on. Other systems (like Lenovo) work even when the notebook is powered down. I’m hoping that will be the case with Framework’s models.

3 Likes

My daughter’s MacBook Air USB-C charger worked well with the Frame.work computer.

One great thing about the Framework charger is that it’s a fully capable USB-PD charger. You can also charge other devices like recent phones, tablets, and USB power packs that use USB-PD charging. That’s a useful way to cut down the number of things you need to carry when you travel.

2 Likes

So, does the Framework Laptop support PPS? It’s not entirely clear from this wording. Researching PPS, it would be great for the battery if it did.

I avoided buying a 90W 2-port USB PD charger (60W for the Framework Laptop and 30W for my phone) because it did not have PPS.

I don’t recall if the hardware on the Framework Laptop supports PPS in this generation, but we don’t have any firmware support for it at the moment. We enabled it in the Power Adapter to be more forward looking on it.

6 Likes

@nrp Thank you for your respose.

Can the Framework PC be reliably charged with an Anker Nano II 45W charger (GaN based compact charger)? I understand it would not be as fast as the stock 60W but could be more compact for travel…

Yes, it can be. The laptop will accept all input voltages between 5V-20V

This is possible (and fairly simple) in Linux.
In Windows it’s tricky (as most things are in Windows) and I haven’t found a solution unless provided by the manufacturer (Lenovo and Huawei offers some control via their software suite and I’m sure there are others).

Charge limit alarms work well. Alarm rings and you unplug. For Android I use AccuCharge. With rooted Android you can program charge limits!

This is easily implemented and perfectly aligned with their vision so I assume it’ll come. I’ll almost guarantee. :slight_smile:

The following text has a TL;DR at the bottom:
Your experience corresponds with a pile of scientific studies. For Lithium batteries it’s universially true that a high state of charge increase wear. Lower SOC limit also matters. Ideally, you’d cycle between a few percent in the middle (say 60-55%, I don’t know the optimal number of percentage drop). This is the best practice unless the circuitry allows for drawing power directly from the PSU and let the battery sit without discharging it. Obviously it’s a lot better to not cycle the battery if you can avoid it (as long as you don’t let the battery sit at a high state of charge, this is still detrimental).

In the real world you strike a compromise between battery life and health preservation because practicality matters.

The higher the state of charge, the higher the wear. It increases progressively as you increase SOC. Meaning, setting a limit to 90% as opposed to 100% will benefit you a lot more than the difference between 70% and 60%. Just reducing the limit from 100% to 95% will do a lot.

However, I recommend something between 80% and 90%. This is with the assumption the device will commonly be used unplugged and you need the buffer “in case you gotta run”. If it’s constantly plugged in set a much lower limit (and determine how much energy reserve you need). Again, if the device can draw power from the PSU without drawing from the battery - this is the best (granted healthy SOC %).

There is no “best % limit”. It’s all a compromise that you need to determine yourself.

Having said that, nobody needs to abuse the battery at 100% all night and it’s also possible to have a charger in the car, at work, at school and charge more frequently rather than keeping it at 100% and charge not before it reaches 5%.

(Note: You’ll see people claim on forums that since the charger stops at 100% it’s all good. This is ignorance.)

Now, both low and high temperatures also increase wear. Studies have shown (in electric cars) that quick charging doesn’t really matter that much for wear (or at all). But then again, EV batteries are (often) liquid cooled and thermally managed. Some (especially low-cost EVs) are passively cooled.

Laptop batteries are quite primitive in comparison and will suffer more extreme temperatures. So charging at lower power might help prolong longevity. It’s uncommon for batteries (or cells) in (consumer) electronics to be cooled. They are also pushed to higher voltages and abused to a degree that you never see in EVs (most EVs have a 10 to 20% buffer and if not they have an adjustable charge limit set default to 80 or 90%).

Regardless of cooling or not, limiting the upper and lower SOC will do wonders for battery life and the difference will be considerable.

Battery degradation is inevitable and follows an S-curve. Initial quick degradation that then deaccelerate (long slow degradation) and after many cycles it starts to accelerate again. Preserving battery health will keep the capacity (battery time) for longer and will considerably delay its death.

A reasonable charge limit can double its life compared to just regular abuse like is so common. Studies have shown a much larger difference than a doubling but it all depends on chemistry, voltages and to what length you go to preserve the battery health.

The common definition for a “dead battery” is when it hits 70% capacity. At that point the capacity will degrade at a faster rate. Having said that, it’ll likely still work and a lot of companies actually repurpose “dead batteries”. Batteries are also (in various degree, newer technologies nearing 100%) recyclable and no matter how worn it is, the raw materials are still there. Chances are that technology has advanced so much that you can make a battery with 2 or 3 times the capacity along with other improvements. We’ve seen this advancements in EVs but it’s not really something you notice with consumer electronics. It also depends on the chemistry. There’s a bunch of them and they all have different properties.

Note: Framework claims a very good cycle life (assuming one cycle is defined as 100-0-100% as it should be). Battery preservation practices will still improve this a lot. Also, this cycle life might be based on lab testing where heat would escape easier and thus keep a lower temperature.

In real life, you might see a scenario where you’d be unable to reach this cycle life because the battery has experienced much higher temperatures (using it in the sun or while plugged in a lot or situations where air intakes are restrained (e.g. if it’s used in bed placed on… the thing you put over yourself to keep yourself warm called “dyne” in Norwegian. Not pillow, but… the large “blanket-like” thing.).

Might have forgotten something or explained better. Ask or comment if you want.

TL;DR:
State of charge matters for battery health and longevity. Proven by a pile of studies.

Lowest wear (while using) is when state of charge (SOC) is somewhere in the middle. Temperature also affect wear (lower or higher temperatures will progressively increase wear). The number of times you charge a battery doesn’t matter (it matter how, at what SOC and temperature). Best practice is charging up to a reasonable limit (not too high) and then draw power from the charger. Second-best practice is to let it charge and discharge (cycle) between a certain range in the middle of the SOC.

Best storage practice: Depends on the storage time. 50-60% in a perfect world. Batteries will discharge slowly even when unplugged. This is the reason we prefer a higher SOC to account for this.

Self-discharge rate varies by cell chemistry and temperature (warmer = faster self-discharge).

Best charge limit? It’s a compromise between battery time and health preservation. But, consider the progressively increased wear the higher the SOC.

Time spent at a high SOC matters (why overnight charging is horrible!). Don’t make the mistake of assuming there’s no battery degradation when it’s unplugged or not used.

Temperature affects wear too.

10 Likes

Thank you very much for a detailed reply! The info is much appreciated!

My question/suggestion was not only to simulate the start/stop of the charging. All my Dell XPSes have the charging controls as well (like you mentioned for Lenovo/Huawei), their built-in functionality differs from what you describe in that when the laptop stops charging, it doesn’t go “on battery” and instead consumes all the electricity needed from the charger while it’s plugged in. For scenarios where the laptop is plugged in 90% of the time, it eliminates a huge amount of battery wear because the battery is not constantly cycled between charging thresholds.

This same functionality also helps when you’re using a USB-C PD battery bank because if you can tell the laptop not to charge the battery from the power bank but only use what it needs to run the laptop itself, the battery bank lasts much longer.

The same would be good on the phone, thank you. Currently I’ve got an Xperia 1 phone, and it has a charge threshold setting, but when it reaches it, say 80%, it starts consuming battery, so what happens is it constantly cycles the battery between 79% and 80%, wearing it out in the process. This is quite stupid, so what I requested was a behavior like I described in a Dell XPS where no cycling occurs. This will certainly need both hardware and firmware support, and a handy Windows app to control it, like a Dell Power Manager, will be appreciated, too.

3 Likes

Note: I added and rewrote a lot in my message after you read it. I tend to do that. :stuck_out_tongue:

This is without question the best way to do it, thanks for bringing up that point! It might or might not be what Lenovo and Huawei are doing as well. I hope it’s the case.

(I’ll change my message above to avoid confusion regarding this to better reflect “the optimal” scenario. Obviously if the circuitry allows for it there’s no point cycling the battery.)

Yeah, cycling 1% doesn’t sound optimal. But sure is much better than no charge limit. :slight_smile: I would keep the charge power low, though. As for temperature, it can get very high in a phone. Especially with high display brightness.

Yep, a non-bloated, low-resource and snappy utility to control this. Preferably with custom profiles. It should replace the Windows battery utility and integrate those features. I hate when you have two icons for sound, two for network, two for battery etc. It becomes a royal cluster f… I mean mess. :innocent:

2 Likes

Yep, I’ve read everything below the TL;DR warning. Very insightful! :slight_smile:

And yeah, my Samsung Galaxy had a Slow Charging Mode setting, but for the Sony I’ve had to dig up an old 1 Amp charger so that it charges slowly and doesn’t overheat.

I’d say, at the moment battery care is slowly exiting enterprise market in laptops and is a very young concept in phones, so hopefully it’ll mature in both markets in the next 5-10 years :slight_smile:

I cherrish my old and slow chargers (might be inefficient though. Luckily we have green hydropower in Norway).

I’m reluctantly optimistic. However, I fear that the manufacturers will play the game of reducing the cycle life to compensate. They already push the voltage quite high to gain that paper spec (and I don’t think it’s crazy to suggest many executives might prefer faster battery wear to stimulate sales).

This is even more important as batteries today aren’t replacable. Everything glued together. I’m disappointed that the government hasn’t demanded a minimum cycle life for electronics. It would essentially put everyone at the same level and manufacturers wouldn’t feel tempted to sacrifice cycle life to reduce cost and gain a possible spec sheet advantage.

The rate at which humans consume resources is in no way sensible or sustainable. It’s true that companies will die if products last forever (did you know that the old light bulb could easily last virtually forever but they introduced an artificial limitation on lifespan to protect their income?).

So we need to find other ways to do this because we’ll keep on consuming either way. It has to be sustainable. Lower cost, a solid high-yield recycle loop will help manufacturers maintaining healthy profits.

I won’t make this political but I wonder if we can improve capitalism in a way where it’s more sustainable and companies aren’t so inclined to make unethical, harmful and “evil” decisions.

Framework and the community are already making changes to the norm. I think open-source software and hardware might be quite benefial for both parties. I digress.

Btw., there’s a device called “Chargie” (dot org). In the event you find it interesting. The app might be a bit janky but I got it to work. :slight_smile:

Dell actually has some adapters to go from their barrel plugs to USB-C. I’ve picked up both 7.4mm and 4.5mm variants in the past and they’ll pass through 60-65w iirc.

1 Like

Volta makes an excellent magnetic charging cable with good hold and a pretty safe tip and cable designed to prevent shorts. Previous versions have been so good the shady factories sold the design to a bunch of other companies who have sold them on Amazon and elsewhere.

3 Likes