Battery life

  1st spring 13:13 06 Mar 2010

Lap top battery life. What is the best way to take care of a laptop battery. I have been told (a) let it run right down, (b) Not to let it run right down, and something to do with taking the battery out. Will it be alright to leave it in indefinitely, as I will be using it lots at home off the mains?

  MAJ 13:36 06 Mar 2010

I've had mine about 14 months now and I leave the battery in the laptop all the time. The laptop runs from the mains all the time, I rarely use it (mobile) on the battery for normal use. Obviously therefore the battery is always charged to 100%, so about once a month I run the laptop on battery just to discharge it, then plug it in again and run the laptop on the mains to recharge. This seems to work okay, it appears that I haven't lost any of the original time that the laptop will operate via battery, about 2 hours in the case of my Dell Inspiron 1545.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:37 06 Mar 2010
  ame 14:13 06 Mar 2010

Leave it in, but use laptop on battery and let it discharge (at least to nearly completely "flat") at least once or twice a month.

  Procrastinus 14:34 06 Mar 2010

Look at Rick Maybury's Top 10 Tips on battery care as well. It may help.

click here

  robin_x 19:26 06 Mar 2010

Top ten tips are fine.

As an electronic engineer I wanted to know more a few weeks ago and found the following

click here

Read it, but if too much, stick to the easy guides.

I was surprised to find that, for example, power tool lithium ion batteries are different from laptops and have slightly different characteristics.

Google lithium battery life. There is quite a lot of info.

  robin_x 19:28 06 Mar 2010

PS I leave mine plugged in 24/7, since it is next to my armchair in the living room.

Bit like testing smoke alarms, must remember to sort it out every once in a while. Only 3 months old at the moment.

  1st spring 22:51 06 Mar 2010

The way I read it is to do about three fully discharge at first then part discharge there after. Do you agree?

  1st spring 22:57 06 Mar 2010

The worst condition is keeping a fully charged battery at elevated temperatures, which is the case with running laptop batteries. If used on main power, the battery inside a laptop will only last for 12-18 months.

This sounds as if I shouldn't use the Laptop on the mains as it will not last above 18 months. am I correct?

  1st spring 23:23 06 Mar 2010

Removing the battery from the laptop when running on fixed power protects the battery from heat.

Some lithium-ion batteries fail due to excessive low discharge. If discharged below 2.5 volts per cell, the internal safety circuit opens and the battery appears dead.

Does this mean the battery has been fully or almost fully discharged?

Batteries with fuel gauge (laptops) should be calibrated by applying a deliberate full discharge once every 30 charges. Running the pack down in the equipment does this. If ignored, the fuel gauge will become increasingly less accurate and in some cases cut off the device prematurely. This is nice to know.

  robin_x 23:29 07 Mar 2010

1 : Yes.
2: Possibly. Depends on laptop design and how hot it gets.
As I said, I run mine 24/7 plugged in. But that I havent really got around to worrying about battery life yet.

My old laptop battery didnt work for years and I just ran off mains.

Maybe best bet is to take the battery out and keep in a cool place. And I would not recommend the fridge for spare batteries to avoid condensation problems.

Just keep it in the laptop bag, not in direct sunlight, not next to a radiator.
Refit and use every few weeks or months.

3: If safety <2.5V is fitted and operates, it may mean discharged or old knackered battery I think.

My knowledge is based on that article I gave the link for. I have no long experience on these batteries.
At work, batteries just get replaced without worrying too much whether they lasted 12 or 24 months or longer.

As a home user...bit damn expensive to do that.

I do have two 4 year old Li-ion cordless drills which I have not followed recommendations at home.

Both still seem fine. Another old Ni-Cad drill drills about 3 holes and then dies on either of itss full charged packs.

But as I mentioned, drills and laptop batteries maybe slightly different even if both Li-ion.

Sorry I cant give more exact answers.

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