Monthly Archives: April 2013

How to prolong lithium-based batteries

Simple Guidelines

* Avoid frequent full discharges because this puts additional strain on the battery. Several partial discharges with frequent recharges are better for lithium-ion than one deep-one.

Recharging a partially charged lithium-ion battery does not cause harm because there is no memory effect (in this respect, lithium-ion differs from nickel-based batteries). Short battery life in a laptop is mainly caused by heat rather than charge / discharge patterns.

* Batteries with fuel gauge (laptops) should be calibrated by applying a deliberate full discharge once every 30 charges. Running the battery pack down in the device would do. If ignored, the fuel gauge will become increasingly less accurate and in some cases cut off the device prematurely.

* Keep the lithium-ion battery cool. Avoid keeping it in a hot car cabin. For prolonged storage, keep the battery at a 40% charge level.

* Consider removing the battery from a laptop when running on fixed power. Some laptop manufacturers also concern about dust and moisture accumulating inside the battery casing.

* Avoid purchasing spare lithium-ion batteries for later use. Observe manufacturing dates. Do not buy old stock, even if sold at clearance price.

* If you have a spare lithium-ion battery, use one to the fullest and keep the other one cool by placing it in the refrigerator. Do not freeze the battery. For best results, store the battery at 40% state-of-charge.

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What is the difference between Ni-Cd, Ni-MH and Li-ion

1) Li-ion (Lithium Ion). This is one of the newest cell types available. It is also the lightest battery type currently available on a commercial basis and can provide more power than the other main cell types. There are no known problems of memory effect with this battery type and it is the easiest battery type to care for. The downside of this battery is that it has the highest engineering costs and therefore the price is usually considerably higher than other cell types.

2) Ni-MH (Nickel Metal Hydride). This cell type is the most common cell type currently available for laptop computers, (although Li-ion is rapidly becoming the most popular) this battery type is relatively cheap to manufacture and therefore tends to be cheaper than Li-ion. This cell type is prone to memory effect so it is important to take good care of your Ni-MH battery to ensure that you obtain the best runtimes.

3) Ni-Cd (Nickel Cadmium). This is one of the oldest cell types and is generally only found in older laptops. The main pro for this cell type is its ability to handle higher loads, and therefore is more commonly found in portable power tools or devices that need a lot of power to work efficiently. The main downside of this cell type is that it is notorious for suffering with memory effect so good care must be taken with this battery to ensure most effective use of battery.

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Three Tips for Finding the Right Battery

Even though finding the right battery quickly can be a difficult task, here are three tips that should help make the process pain-free:

1) Locate the make and model of your machine: The make and model of your machine should be in plain sight on your computer/camera/camcorder/power tools etc. On many Dell laptops the make and model are listed near the power button. Many other models, including HP and Toshiba, have the make and model information near the power button or on the top of the computer.

2) Determine which cell size of battery you need: The cell size of a battery determines how much of a charge it holds once disconnected from a power source. Most laptops come standard with a 6 cell battery, but you can also get laptop batteries with 9 cells or 12 cells. You can determine which cell count you have currently by removing your battery from your laptop and reading the product information on the outside of it.

3) Decide how much you want to spend: Depending on your individual needs, you may or may not need to spend a lot of money on your replacement battery. If you are a casual user, the chances that you need a high capacity battery that can hold a charge for an extended period are slim. Many casual users can get a replacement laptop battery from $50-$70. If you are a power user, then you may find yourself wanting to spend anywhere from $80-$150 for a high capacity battery that has an extended life.

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How Can I Maximize the performance of My Battery

There are several steps you can take to insure that you get maximum performance from your battery:

1) Breaking In New Batteries – new batteries come in a discharged condition and must be fully charged before use. It is recommended that you fully charge and discharge your new battery two to four times to allow it to reach its maximum rated capacity.

2) Preventing the Memory Effect – Keep your battery healthy by fully charging and then fully discharging it at least once every two to three weeks. Exceptions to the rule are Li-Ion batteries which do not suffer from the Memory Effect.

3) Keep Your Batteries Clean – It’s a good idea to clean dirty battery contacts with a cotton swab and alcohol. This helps maintain a good connection between the battery and your portable device.

4) Exercise Your Battery – Do not leave your battery dormant for long periods of time. We recommend using the battery at least once every two to three weeks. If a battery has not been used for a long period of time, perform the new battery break in procedure described above.

5) Battery Storage – If you don’t plan on using the battery for a month or more, we recommend storing it in a clean, dry, cool place away from heat and metal objects. Ni-Cd, Ni-MH and Li-Ion batteries will self-discharge during storage; remember to break them in before use.

6) For Notebook Users – To get maximum performance from your battery, fully optimize the notebook’s power management features prior to use. Power management is a trade off: better power conservation in exchange for lesser computer performance. The power management system conserves battery power by setting the processor to run at a slower speed, dimming the screen, spinning down the hard drive when it’s not in use and causing the machine to go into sleep mode when inactive. Your notebook user’s guide will provide information relating to specific power management features.

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How to Replace Cordless Drill Batteries in the Battery Pack

  • Step 1: Remove the cordless drill from the charging station. Turn the drill off.

  • Step 2: Remove the battery pack. The battery pack is located on the bottom of a cordless drill and can be loosened by pressing two tabs, one on each side of the drill. Once loosened, pull the battery pack downward to remove it.
  • Step 3: Remove the battery cap. It usually just slides off, but it may be held in place with a small screw, depending on the cordless drill manufacture. If there is a screw, use a small Phillips-head screwdriver to unscrew the screw and then slide off.
  • Step 4: Remove the old batteries. Place the new batteries into place.
  • Step 5: Place the battery cap back over the batteries. If needed, screw the screw back into place.
  • Step 6: Slide the battery pack back into place on the bottom of the cordless drill. You should hear a snap or pop when the battery pack is firmly in place. Allow the new batteries to charge for at least 24 hours before use.
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    What is the battery“Memory effect”? How does it mean?

    Memory effect, which is often know as lazy battery effect, battery effect or battery memory, is an effect happen in the Ni-CD rechargeable batteries. This effect will cause the Ni-CD Batteries to hold less charge. It describes one very specific situation in which certain Ni-CD batteries lose their maximum energy capacity little by little if they are repeatedly recharged after not being fully charged.

    For example, if a 100% charged Ni-CD battery is used to 20% but not being fully charged, let us say it, charged to 80%, then the battery will “remember” 80% is a fully charged circle, so, in this case, the battery carry less capacity than before.

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