Andrew Pollack's Blog

Technology, Family, Entertainment, Politics, and Random Noise

Things I didn't know about most current laptop batteries

By Andrew Pollack on 08/29/2007 at 10:38 PM EDT
Battery technology changes fast right now. Most current laptop models use Lithium Ion batteries. These are really odd things. They store an insane amount of energy for their mass. Any time you have that kind of energy density its dangerous. These batteries have complex electronics inside their packaging that's designed with a number of fail safe circuits so they don't just burst into flame. As we've seen recently, they haven't always been successful.

I'd forgotten how long this laptop could run without a charge when I first bought it. I'd gotten down to 30 minutes and would have been happy with an hour. it's a dual core machine with two gigs of ram. The new battery I put in -- an OEM replacement -- gives me that original 4-5 hour charge again.

I'd like to keep this one performing so well, so I did some research. What did I do wrong with the last one? Is there something I could have done to make it last longer?

The short answer is No. I didn't do anything wrong. I just used it for two years. Lithium Ion batteries do not have a "Memory". You don't need to be careful of discharging them all the way then recharging. It does not matter. What matters is just how many times you use them. They're good for around 250-300 full charge cycles before they start show real serious deterioration.

That's it. If you use your laptop every day doing a charge/discharge cycle, your battery is good for about one year. No matter what you do, this is the case. There are a couple of things you can do to help the situation, but they don't change the basic characteristics of 250-300 full charges.

Here's some tips that I've been able to find at least two sources for:

1. Keep in mind, its 250-300 times. After that, you're seeing diminished results. For me, in two years, I went from 4.5 hours to 30 minutes. Replacement is the only solution.

2. Keep them cool. If you use them and they hit temperatures over about 60 degrees Celsius they will not last long. A laptop cooler is a good idea. Using your laptop on cloth, your lap, or a bed is not as good a plan.

3. If you plan to store them, discharge them to about 40% first. Don't store them long term with a full charge. I don't know why, but all the tech people agree its bad.

There are  - loading -  comments....

re: Things I didn't know about most current laptop batteriesBy David Leedy on 08/31/2007 at 07:48 AM EDT
One thing that helps with long term life supposedly I guess because the battery
stays cool.. is don't keep the battery plugged into the laptop when you're at a
desk... So if you've not traveling for a week ot so and are just running on AC
power anyway..... take it out and put in your drawer....

Course you lose the built in UPS in the event of a power failure...

Other Recent Stories...

  1. 09/04/2018With two big projects on hold, I suddenly find myself very available for new short and long term projects. In twenty five years, I don't think I've ever written an entry like this, but if you need the kind of work I do now would be a great time to get in touch. Both of the big projects I had lined up for late summer and early fall have been placed on hold and will be that way for a while. With the kids now all off at college and careers, I'm open to more travel than such than I have been in decades, but unless something else comes along, I'll be here working on updates to Second Signal and other things that ...... 
  2. 07/13/2018Who is HCL and why is it a good thing that they are now the ones behind Notes and Domino?We need to address some biases here. IBM has made a deal under which the Notes & Domino software and intellectual property is now being developed and maintained by HCL America. HCL America is part of the very large "HCL Technologies" company that has grown from its roots in India to become an 8 Billion Dollar company with a global presence in the IT Industry. You could be excused for initially believing, as many people do when they hear this, that "they've outsourced the code to India where they'll milk it ...... 
  3. 03/21/2018Domino Apps on IOS is a Game Changer. Quit holding back.BOOM. This will be as important for the platform as Traveler. If your company has ditched Notes and Domino, I feel sorry for you. For companies that do use Notes/Domino this is a game changer and Apple should be paying attention. Here's why: There are hundreds of little Notes client applications you'd never spend the time and money to build and deploy for your internal user base on IOS that we use Notes for all the time (those of us still using it). Now, those are suddenly ALL available on the iPad. ...... 
  4. 02/15/2018Andrew’s Proposed Gun Laws 
  5. 05/05/2016Is the growing social-sourced economy the modern back door into socialism? 
  6. 04/20/2016Want to be whitelisted? Here are some sensible rules for web site advertising 
  7. 12/30/2015Fantastic new series on Syfy called “The Expanse” – for people who love traditional science fiction 
  8. 10/20/2015My suggestion is to stay away from PayAnywhere(dot)com  
  9. 08/07/2015Here is one for you VMWARE gurus - particularly if you run ESXi without fancy drive arrays 
  10. 08/06/2015The Killer of Orphans (Orphan Documents) 
Click here for more articles.....

pen icon Comment Entry
Your Name
*Your Email
* Your email address is required, but not displayed.
Your thoughts....
Remember Me  

Please wait while your document is saved.