Saturday, February 27, 2010

Battered Battery

MOST of us use our laptops plugged into the wall outlet without ever realizing the effects of the same on the battery being used. Most lappies use the Li-Ion batteries, and for most efficient use, its highly recommended to use the wall outlet only for the purpose of charging the battery. I will explain as to why this is neccessary...

When a battery is connected to an AC source, the electrodes erode as the electric current is passed through the contacts and through the battery in a process called as 'electroplating'. The deposits on the anode and cathode in turn gradually but certainly, increase the internal resistance of the unit. This causes a voltage drop
across the polar caps of the cells as the amperage drawn by our computers remain the same. As this happens continuously over time, the run-time of the battery lowers from 88,000 mh useable (3 hrs) to about 14,000 (35 mins) over a period of 2-3 years.
Li-Ion batteries usually have an efficient age limit of 2-3 years depending on the usage. To best avoid this run-away electro-erosion, I would highly recommend to use your laptop batteries in a constant charging and discharging cycles per use. Li-ion batteries should be charged typically to 100% and discharged to utpo, if not less than 12-15%.

Lot of other tips are available online, but I found most of them redundant and producing negligible results. However, this method has been tried and tested by me over a period of over 6 years. Using this method of charging and discharging, my battery backup time remained in the efficient bracket of upto 3 hrs when new, to 1:10 mins after 3 years.