A battery for a laptop looks very simple on the surface. Some plastic and some contacts. Under the shell, however, there is more to think about!
Many laptop batteries have overcurrent protection, overvoltage protection, short-circuit protection, overcharging protection, overheating protection, and other electronics to optimize your use of the computer. In addition to these characteristics, one must think about which cells the batteries are made of. Here it is important to use only the absolute best cells for each type of battery.
Battery cells are also fresh products, so it is important for stores to make sure that batteries are not left in stock for too long.
Make sure you also get the most out of your laptop without having to worry about security!
Instructions for use for rechargeable batteries
Properties of modern batteries
In the past, it was quite easy to charge batteries. Then there was only Nickel Cadmium and lead-acid batteries to take into account. All you had to do was connect the battery to a circuit that regulated the voltage so that it did not exceed the battery capacity (milliampere hours – mAh) by more than 50%. A few hours later, the battery was fully charged. Not even a milliampere (mA) error was a problem but only affected the life of the battery a little grand.
Today it looks different. Lithium Jon (LiIon) batteries dominate the market as they have the most advanced technology and the lowest weight per energy generated. Unfortunately, these are much trickier to charge and more sensitive to take care of. Charging voltage and charging current must carefully follow certain curves over the charging time, which is usually 180 minutes.
The LiIon battery uses a special circuit that controls the charge and limit values until the battery is fully charged. Likewise, the circuit checks the supplied current and communicates with the computer about the remaining charge. The computer includes a power supply monitoring software that monitors the battery and controls the computer’s power-saving features.
The monitoring circuit in the battery also has temperature protection functions to protect the battery from overcharging and overheating. Some batteries have overheating fuses that trip at temperatures around 50-60 degrees Celsius. Other batteries have temperature-sensitive resistors that measure and deliver data for the battery temperature to the power supply program. At too high temperatures, charging stops. Because modern batteries are sensitive, many of the above features are included in today’s batteries.
Usually, the battery is charged almost fully in 80 minutes, but to achieve a full charge, it must be charged for 180 minutes. This can be worth remembering if you quickly need battery power but first need to charge. The reason for this is that batteries are not charged linearly but logarithmically.
However, a new battery must always be fully charged the first 3-4 times to “run in” it properly.
Rechargeable batteries – Care tips and longevity
First read your user manual to take note of the specific characteristics of your computer when charging batteries.
Before first use, the battery must be fully charged, preferably for at least 15-20 hours. The battery should be recharged and fully discharged 2-4 times before being put into sharp operation. If this is not done, the battery will not reach its full capacity.
If you have a Nickel Metal Hybrid (NiMH) battery, it can be completely discharged before recharging. If you have the modern battery type LiIon, it should never be completely discharged. Start charging already when 10-20% of the capacity remains.
Note that it is perfectly normal for the battery to become hot during charging and discharging.
New batteries can be difficult to charge for your particular computer as they have never been fully charged before. If your computer stops charging before it is fully charged, remove the battery and insert it again. Charging should then start automatically again. This can actually happen several times the first time you charge the battery. This is completely normal and not a fault in the battery.
To extend battery life, remove the battery when it is discharged. Alternatively, it should be fully charged immediately. A battery that is not to be used for a long time should be stored in a cool, dry, and clean environment.
Be careful not to short-circuit the contacts on the battery. A short circuit can cause serious damage to the battery.
Impacts and shocks to the battery should be avoided as there is a risk of loose contact and leakage.
Batteries should be kept away from rain and dirt.
Exercise your battery. Never leave your battery unused during lower periods. We recommend that you use the battery at least once a month. If the battery has not been used for a long time, the “first charging procedure” should be performed.
LiIon batteries are worn out for two reasons: 1) active use and 2) natural aging. For that reason, the goal of care is to minimize this wear and tear.
Remember that the battery always loses some of its charge. The higher the temperature they stay in, the shorter the time of use, ie they are discharged. A battery works best around 18 degrees Celsius. This means that a cooling below this temperature is also not desirable.
Note that the battery loses charge as the battery is used and the number of discharges to which it is exposed. This leads to a very interesting conclusion:
A computer with the AC adapter and the battery plugged in at the same time will mean that the battery is exposed to a constant discharge and charging cycle depending on the temperature developed. The battery is discharged due to the temperature level. When the battery has lost enough charge, the battery monitoring program will provide some extra charge to the battery to compensate for the previous loss. As a result, the battery becomes even hotter and loses charge faster and faster. The older the battery, the more frequent these charge cycles will last.
LiIon batteries normally last between 600 to 800 charge and discharge cycles over a period of 1 to 3 years. When you constantly use your computer as above, several cycles are consumed per day.
Finally, some brief tips on rechargeable batteries
- New batteries come discharged from factory. Fully charge them before using them.
- Keep the battery cool, but do not stop the refrigerator!
- Do not use the battery unless you have to! Remove the battery if you are running on electricity from a wall socket.
- Avoid running the battery completely empty.
- Do not charge the battery if you are not going to use it. Save the charge just before you need to use it.
- Do not forget that rechargeable batteries are also consumables. The more you use them the more often you need to buy new!