The questions on every laptop owner's mind, How do you get the most out of your Laptop Battery's Life? and How can I make it last a very long time?
Batteries do not last forever, even Lithium Ion batteries. Lithium ion batteries degrade or deteriorate continuously. Even when not in use they will deteriorate, at a smaller pace. The battery loses about 15% of its capacity every 100 cycles. A cycle is a discharge, charge event. After about 3 - 5 years, the battery will end up with very low capacity and this renders the battery unusable. As soon as the battery leaves the production line it is likely to start losing it's capacity.
All is not lost, listed below are some tips to ensure you can get the most out of your battery and prolong its life a littlt longer:
- Use the AC Adapter whenever possible, but not all the time, let the battery do some work as well. Exercise the battery regularly.
- Lower the brightness setting on the screen backlight. This uses so much power, but make sure the new setting is comfortable for your eyes.
- Remove all USB devices, PCMCIA cards and any others that are not being used. Whilst connected they draw a certain amount of power from the battery. Some require switching off by the software or operating system even if they are unplugged.
- Minimize the number of programs running at the same time, especially if you are not using them constantly. This makes the processor do more work and draws more power from the battery.
- Stop unnecessary processes that may be running in the background, withour your knowledge. Open the Task Manager in Windows, this shows all the processes that are currently running.
- Add more system memory, RAM. The system utilises this more and lowers hard disk access time.
- Set the Windows Power Management settings to maximum savings.
- Powersave settings in the BIOS needs to be enabled for the Windows Power Management to work properly.
- If you have a second battery, use it in rotation with the current battery.
- Fully discharge and recharge your battery about once every 3 months, even Lithium Ion batteries. This is simply because, the smart electronics gets a bit confused as to capacity. (Not very smart....)
- If you are taking the battery out to store it, make sure it is only has about 40 - 50% charge. (NOT FULLY CHARGED!! or FULLY DISCHARGED)
- Store the battery in an Anti-Static bag and in a dry, cool place.
- Clean the metal contacts on the laptop battery, with rubbing alcohol. Clean contacts ensure a good connection.
- When carrying the battery do not let it get in touch with other metal objects. This prevents the battery from short circuiting and causing damage to person and property.
- Do not drop or pierce the laptop battery and do not open the casing. The contents may be corrosive and harmful.
- Do not use a broken or damaged laptop battery, prevent serious damage to property and person
- Make sure the vents on the laptop are not blocked and the laptop does not overheat. Extreme heat causes the increases the self-discharge rate of the battery.
- Do not use a laptop or a laptop battery from extreme temperatures. Let them reach room temperature before use.