Laptop batteries and batteries in general are paramount to our survival in this wireless mobile world. Without power for our devices, we will be standing still or looking for the nearest AC power outlet. Until a limitless power cell or battery is invented, we are stuck with the ones that we have now and the only way to prolong the battery life is by taking very good care of the battery. Typical battery life is about 1.5 – 3 years which is about 500 – 800 charge/discharge cycles.
Batteries contain chemicals which react together and produce electricity. The three main types of battery chemistries are Lithium Ion, Nickel Cadmium and Nickel Metalhydride. One of the latest types is Lithium Polymer Ion. Due to health and safety and inefficiencies Nickel Cadmium batteries and Nickel Metalhydride batteries are being phased out. For more technical information check the Battery Types and Chemistries page on BatFaq website.
Ni-Cd batteries “forget” their full capacity. This is called the memory effect. When a battery is put on charge whilst it is only partially discharged, it charges partially, not to its full capacity. To avoid this, use the device without AC power until battery is fully discharged and then recharge the battery completely. This should be carried out once a month, to obtain optimum results from the battery.
If your battery is not lasting as long as it should, even the batteries designed into laptop computers can be easily replaced by the user. Since laptop batteries are a special shape and often contain circuitry to talk to the laptop they are not available from most computer shops. They can be safely purchased on-line from a quality supplier such as PowerUP who will guarantee their compatibility with your laptop.
Ni-Cd, NiMH and Li-ion batteries have different chemistries and require different charging patterns. Some devices accept more than one type and some only one particular type. Make sure your device is capable of accepting different types, by referring to the manual.
When looking for a replacemet battery, voltage(V) should match the original battery. Refer to the manual or it may be printed on the battery itself. When a device takes both Li-ion and NiMh, then there will be a difference in voltage. Refer to the manual whether your device is capable of accepting different types of batteries.
Milli-amp hours (mAh) is the capacity or run time of the battery. This doesn’t cause incompatibilities. In fact most replacement batteries have a higher capacity - so they last longer.
For the most comprehensive list of frequently asked questions on laptop batteries charges and adaptors check the Laptop Battery Frequently Asked Questions page on BatFaq website.
All batteries, regardless of type and size should be recycled as they contain metals and chemicals which are harmful to the environmnet. Check Envirogreen's website and REBAT's website for more information.