How to prolong life of Laptop Battery?

  ened 17:54 01 Aug 09
Locked

I have a laptop for the first time ever.

I want to ensure I don't shorten the battery life by doing anything stupid.

Some people seem to be saying you should never run with the power cord in and the battery inserted.

This doesn't seem very logical to me and I thought I would ask some of the more experienced members of this Forum how I should carry on in order to maximise the life of the battery.

I have already looked (via Google) and can't seem to get a definitive answer.

This question is on the topic of longevity, not how to get the most out of one charge!

I don't want to be having to buy a new battery in six months and apparently they are not covered by the warranty.

  woodchip 18:24 01 Aug 09

If you are not going to use it outside, Charge the battery Take it out of pc then put in a Plastic bag and put it at the back of your fridge at the bottom will do. This will help stop battery running down as fast charge about one every two months. Just run with Mains cable in.

I have a Medion That Id did that its about 4 to 5 years old now and still going strong, PS my daughter now uses it but the battery is left in

  kindly 18:26 01 Aug 09

Hi ened, you can run with the power cord in ok. Thats whats it is for, to charge the battery as you go. To help with power usage when on battery only, try to lower your screen brightness to a level that is ok for you and not at full brightness. If you are not using it to connect to the net then just press whatever button you have to switch of the wireless part of it. I find that running the battery down to where it gives me a warning and then charging does not hurt the battery at all. My HP compaq is Three years old now and I get around 2-3 hours general surfing. If I watch a dvd I usually get to see it all but its some times close.

  kjrider 18:29 01 Aug 09
  ened 18:41 01 Aug 09

Mine is a Compaq as well.

If you leave the cord in and the charge reaches 100% it won't cook it will it?

  Quiet Life 19:09 01 Aug 09

No it is protected for complete discharging and over charging.
For srorage, keep the battery cool. In addition, store the battery at a 40 percent charge level. Never fully charge or discharge the battery before storage. The 40 percent charge assures a stable condition and it will self-discharge more slowly. I find that after a couple of months it has discharged very little
Most battery manufacturers store Li-ion batteries at 15°C (59°F) and at 40 percent charge. As Woodchip said the fridge is good.
If you are constantly using the laptop with battery fitted it is clearly inconvenient to take the battery in and out but if using a power supply for long periods it is worth storing the battery.

  mooly 19:31 01 Aug 09

There is no "definitive" answer to this.
A lot also depends how "new" the battery was in the first place. They deteriorate from day one, used or not.
Lithium Ion cells cannot stand any form of trickle charging, it causes catastrophic failure in a short space of time, so you will find that the laptop charges the battery to a nominal "100%" which in practice will be below "100%" of what the battery is capable of. They play it safe. The battery is then (assuming you don't switch to battery power) allowed to self discharge naturally until say 96% capacity is reached when it is "topped off" again. Modern laptop batteries are complex and often have inbuilt electronics that keep tabs on the state of charge and provide "feedback" to the charging circuit. It's good as mentioned to occasionally discharge them fully to the low battery cut off point.
I understand the view of keeping the battery separate, in the fridge etc, but to me that defeats the whole point of a laptop. I have heard of some laptops that
Vista's power plans are very "customizable" and I have done some tests on this, and you can easily add an extra 10 to 15% run time by appropriate settings if not more. Again as has been mentioned turning the brightness down results in massive savings... and you soon get used to it. I run mine at 3 on a 15 point scale.
My Acer is 2.5 year old and I reckon battery life is pretty much as it was when new, I leave the battery in all the time.

  mooly 19:33 01 Aug 09

That should read above,
I have heard of some laptops that "object" to no battery being present.

  Procrastinus 20:46 01 Aug 09

May I direct you to Rick Maybury's excellent website that has an article on 'Prolonging
the Life of your Laptop Battery'

click here

  rdave13 21:03 01 Aug 09

I've had a compaq for two years and I just use it for my own convenience and don't worry about the battery. The battery is always in the laptop more for safety of my OS rather than anything else. Sometimes I'll run the laptop on AC power whether it's fully charged or not. Other times I'll run on battery for nearly 2 hrs and then shut down. Not use it for a few days and then run on AC. If I need the laptop to run on battery for any special reason then I'll charge it up specifically for that day and as I'm waiting will run security apps on it. Better than just charging it up and the machine not doing anything..
Think about not having the battery installed and you have a power cut. Batteries are not cheap but much cheaper than another laptop.

  ened 08:35 02 Aug 09

Thanks for taking the time to explain all that.

Every contribution has been really constructive and we'll see how we go!

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