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Kinds of Batteries

blur, charging, close-upToday, despite the many new gadgets, laptops are very much used by people who moves around. People in sales and students needs the flexibility and freedom to do their school work anytime and just about anywhere. The problem is laptop batteries quickly lose its charge capacity, which leads to its replacement. The life span of a battery depending of course on how the battery is charged and discharged.

Here are the different types of batteries:

  • Nickel cadmium (NiCad) is used by many electronic gadgets like cell phones, computers, old motherboards, and cordless phones. It is a highly known rechargeable battery that loses its charge faster when it gets older. This is called the “memory effect.” This happens when the battery thinks it is fully charged but is not. For example, the battery thinks it is 100% charged when in fact, it is just say 70% charged. This will result to shorter gadget usage.  NiCad battery is made of nickel, in the form of Nickelic Hydroxide and Cadmium. Moreover, this heavy metal battery is not environmental friendly. If you are buying a new battery, look at the sticker. If it is not NiCad, then you do not have a problem.
  • Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries (NiMH) appeared in the market in the 1980s to replace the toxic NiCad batteries. Instead of cadmium, it uses hydrogen as its active element. It contains no toxic metals that makes it environmentally friendly, and has a higher energy density. Its capacity is more or less two times the capacity of NiCad. NiMH is also receptive to “memory effect” but in a lesser degree. It is more expensive than NiCad but it is more superior and good for our environment.
  • Lithium Ion (Li-ion) is the most common rechargeable batteries in newer laptops. Li-on is lighter compared to NiMH batteries and can provide an increase when it comes to the total charge capacity. This is good when it is crunch time. Compared to NiMH that automatically discharge 30% power in a month’s non-usage, Li-on loses 10% to 15% of its total power making it a better battery. This is the type of battery is ideal to be used in laptops and other mobile devices. The best part? It is environmental friendly.

Laptop batteries degrade, but you can do your part to make sure they last longer by following a few simple steps:

  • Make sure your laptop battery is in the right temperature. The guide is, when you are working and you are uncomfortable, your laptop is the same too.
  • If you are not using your laptop, make it a habit to drain your laptop battery from 40-60% once a week.
  • Make sure that you also discharge and recharge it once or twice year. Experts advise us to remove the battery when you plug in your laptop to avoid overheating.

Lessen the work your battery does. That is the key to a prolonged battery life. If you want to learn more, you can check out the tips on how to care for your laptop battery, and the guide on extending your laptop battery life.

How to Care for Your Laptop Battery

Charging the batteries

Charging a device.

It is not enough to know how to extend your laptop battery life. You also have to know how to care for your laptop battery. You have to know what is harmful, and what is not. Back then, laptop batteries are nickel-metal hydride (NiMH). Most laptop batteries now are lithium-ion (Li-Ion), and these lithium-ion batteries last about 4-5 years at most. Refer to the guide below on how to treat your batteries well:

  • Remove the battery when A/C is plugged in. In normal circumstances, inserting the battery in your laptop is fine because as soon as it hits 100%, your battery will stop receiving charges. If it is suffering from excessive heating, it is best to remove your laptop battery. This may be happening because you are opening too many applications simultaneously, playing heavy games, or anything that tires your hard disks. The heat is your battery’s number one enemy especially if the battery is lithium-ion.
  • If the battery has been inactive for a long time, make sure it has around 40-50 % charge left. You will still need to check it from time to time. If it is not recharged, a depleted battery will stay dead forever. Yes, it can die by simply staying dormant.
  • In storing batteries, keep them in a dry cool place. You can store them in a fridge, but make sure that the battery is isolated from other harmful elements.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures. Your battery might have stayed cool, but you left your laptop in the car afterwards. Do not leave your laptop in any place where it can get very hot. Like what I said above, batteries hate heat and exposing it to too much heat is one way to kill the battery faster.
  • A common misconception about this is that you need to fully discharge a lithium-ion battery. No, you do not need to do that. Waiting for your laptop to shutdown, or reach 0% should be avoided at all costs because this wears the battery. Always use your laptop battery without bottoming it out and avoid letting it discharge below 20%, or whenever your system warns you about the batteries.
  • Moreover, you do not need to reach 100% when recharging the batteries. The ideal maximum charge limit is around 80-85%. Not charging the battery to 100% will help by lessening the battery degradation with time. The good thing for older laptops is you can replace the battery. For newer models like the Chromebooks, Ultrabooks, and MacBooks, the batteries are built-in. Warranties may be null and void if you decide to open the laptop yourself, and replace the battery.

Remember that not all laptops are the same, and they serve different purposes. Thus, these batteries are not made of the same specifications. The recommended practice is to perform partial discharges and frequent charges. Just rinse and repeat the last two tips. (This works for tablets with lithium-ion batteries too.) If you decide to buy a spare battery, make it sure that it has as much capacity as your original battery. Check the mAh rating of the batteries.