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Old 01-13-2007, 09:13 PM
k007 k007 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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Default The eight main myths about your laptop’s lithium–ion battery

The eight main myths about your laptop’s lithium–ion battery

1. When you buy a new laptop, some people believe that it is necessary to completely use up the battery and then recharge it and then completely use it up and recharge and it again up to three times. It is believed that this is necessary to get the battery to work at full effectiveness, just like the batteries of a cellphone. Unless your laptop was made and then left in a warehouse for a year or more, it is not necessary to deplete the battery and recharge it three times. This is since the batteries have already been activated during the manufacturing process. Also, when the batteries are installed into the laptop, they are checked first to make sure that they have been activated.

2. Another myth is that you must charge your battery for over 12 hours the first time you charge your battery. The reason that this is a myth is due to the battery itself. Nickel-cadmium batteries must be fully recharged or they will lose capacity whereas the new laptop batteries are lithium-ion batteries and can be partially recharged without loss of capacity. Another reason is that even the slowest recharge rate will have the battery completely charged after about six hours. In reality, it is best to use up all of the electricity stored in the battery first before charging for the first time.

3. Yet another myth: batteries need to be tuned every month by using up all of the power on the battery and then charging it for at least 12 hours. If you are using a nickel-cadmium battery, this is required; however, if you are using a lithium-ion battery, you still have to do this tuning, but a less frequently. Lithium-ion batteries don't lose as much capacity as nickel-cadmium batteries, but they still lose a bit of capacity. If you use your battery frequently, you should only recharge when your battery is at about 10-15% capacity. If you let it drop to 0-1% capacity, it may be harmful to your battery. If you use your lithium-ion battery frequently, you should probably tune it every two months. If you do not use it frequently, you can extend that period to three months.

4. Some people believe that by tuning their batteries in the above-mentioned manner, they can continuously increase the capacity of their battery. Sometimes, your computer will believe that your battery is partially charged when it is not. When this occurs, the capacity of your battery will appear lower since the laptop will stop charging when it believes that the battery is full. To fix this, drain the batteries and then fully recharge them. This, however, will only bring the batteries back up to their original capacity and repeatedly doing this will not increase the maximum capacity of your battery above the original capacity. Actually, if you frequently do this, it is more harmful to your battery than helpful. Some companies provide the user with battery configuring programs to help the user monitor their batteries.

5. Another mistake that some people make is that they believe that laptop power adaptors are all compatible. This is not the case. Every adapter has specific specifications that are made to work with the laptop they came with. If you use another adapter, the current may be too low, which may cause damage to your hardware, and if the current is to high, it may fry your hardware. Even adapters made by the same company are not necessarily compatible.

6. Some people believe that it is necessary to fully charge or fully empty your laptop's battery before putting it away for long-term storage. This is a mistake. If you keep it stored fully charged, it will not be able to let out as much power the next time you use it, and if you store it with an empty battery, you may not be able to fully charge it next time. Thus either way, the capacity of your battery drops. The correct method of charging your laptop’s battery before storage is to charge it to about 40% of its capacity.

7. If the battery no longer stores energy properly, you can fix it yourself. The majority of laptop batteries have a self-locking mechanism that will lock the charging portion of the battery if it is separated from the portion that actually stores power. When this lock is activated, even if you replace the storing part of the battery, you will not be able to use the battery anymore. If you want to fix this problem, you should go see a professional.

8. Once you have reached 99% of capacity, if you continue charging, the battery will explode. This is a myth. The likeliness of a laptop's battery exploding is very small. At most, it will usually get very hot and melt. It is very unlikely that it will short circuit or cause sparks. This is because the battery's charging portion can tell when the battery is fully charged. Once it is fully charged, the charging portion will cut the battery off, thus halting any further charging. It will also cut off the battery if it has been charging for more than a given amount of time and is still not at 100% (ie.: 99%). Newer laptop batteries even have another feature. If the temperature of the battery gets too high, it will also be cut off.
Even though it is inevitable that the battery degrades (usually working at only 60-70% of it's original effectiveness), we hope that you will be able to maximize the life of your battery using the above information.

Last edited by bigfoot : 01-13-2007 at 10:55 PM.
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