Feature Explanation: Sailing Mode

General explanation

The Sailing Mode is an addition to the Charge Limiter. While the charging of the MacBook is paused, i.e. the charge level is exactly at the set charge limit, the power supply is primarily used as a power source. However, small discharges of the battery still occur when a lot of power is needed for a short time. Then the battery of the MacBook steps in as a buffer. If the charge level drops below the charge limit due to these short discharges, AlDente recharges the battery to the desired charge limit. A second effect on why the battery loses charge is time. If a battery is left for weeks without charging or discharging, it will also lose charge over time. Also, in this case, AlDente would detect that the charge level has dropped below the charge limit and would recharge the battery to the selected charge limit. Furthermore, if you unplug your MacBook only for a short time and use only a couple of percent, your AlDente would charge your MacBook again. Since it is theoretically healthier for the battery to be charged 10% once instead of 1% 10 times, we have included the Sailing Mode feature. This allows you to set a lower limit, from which the battery will be charged up to the charge limit again. Depending on the settings and usage, it can take a long time until this lower limit is reached. So don’t worry if you do not see your battery percentage drop even when the Sailing Mode is activated.

Which interval should I choose for my battery to last as long as possible?

Unfortunately, we could not find any explicit studies on this topic yet. Therefore, we assume a value of 5-10%, depending on your own judgment.

Example 1:

The current charge level of the MacBook is 80% and the MacBook is plugged in and charging is paused because the charge limit on AlDente Pro is set to 80%. Sailing Mode is activated and an interval of 5% is set. The MacBook will not charge again until the lower limit of the interval, 75%, is reached.

Example 2:

The current charge level of the MacBook is 57 percent and the MacBook is plugged in and charging. AlDente is started and the charge limit is set to 60% and the Sailing Mode is activated and the interval is set to 10%. The MacBook continues charging until the charge limit of 60% is reached because the Sailing Mode is always started from the upper limit of the interval first. Afterward, the charging of the MacBook is stopped and the MacBook remains at 60% charge level and only charges again when the lower interval limit of 50% has been reached.

Example 3:

The MacBook is plugged in and charging is paused at the set charge limit of 80%. The Sailing Mode range is set to 10% which means that charging will be triggered again at 70%. The MacBook gets unplugged and is used for a while. It gets plugged in again with 74% of battery left. The Sailing Mode will pause charging since the lower limit of 70% has not been reached yet. The MacBook gets unplugged again and is used unplugged for longer. Therefore, the battery drops to 62% before it gets plugged in again. This time, charging will start and continue until the upper limit of 80% has been reached.

Help, Sailing Mode doesn’t work on my MacBook!?

The Sailing Mode is not intended to actively discharge your battery. Therefore, your MacBook will barely lose any energy even in Sailing Mode, since the power brick is the main source of energy. So do not worry when the battery percentage does not change even if the Sailing Mode is activated. Sailing Mode is still doing its thing.

Why does the Sailing Mode not charge and discharge the macBook between a certain range?

Unlike the common belief, it is actually way more unhealthy for a battery to always get cycled between a reasonable range (for example between 30% and 70%) than to just stay at a healthy percentage (for example 80%). This is due to even reasonable charge cycling adding a lot of charge cycles which results in more and faster battery degradation over time than just using the MacBook plugged in at a healthy percentage. However, this does not mean that you should not use your MacBook remotely. MacBooks are portable devices but if you use your MacBook in your office pugged in, it is better to just limit charging to a healthy percentage than to cycle between a certain range.