Updated 5/10/2004
JT's Blog
The weblog of Zaz Corporation founder Kevin JT Binder.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Have you had your laptop long enough to wish you'd known how to extend the life of it's battery?

You will when you go to purchase a replacement. I spent nearly $150 for my latest laptop battery replacement.

And, what about the new batteries? What's different about a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery?

Do I treat it the same as I did the first Nickel-Cadmium rechargable batteries? The answer is: No.

Lithium-Ion Batteries Have No "Memory"

The main thing to know about these new Lithium-Ion recharbeable batteries is this: they have no "memory" like Nickel-Cadmium (NiCad) and Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries do.

What this means is that you don't need to make sure the battery is fully drained before charging it up again. With NiCad and NiMH batteries the effective life of the battery is reduced considerably because of this "memory" effect. Not so with Li-Ion.

With your Lithium-Ion battery feel free to charge it any time, no matter how discharged it is. Charging the battery while it still has quite a bit of charge makes absolutely no difference to the overall life of the battery.

However, your computer's "fuel guage" may eventually get a bit innacurate without a complete discharge. Read on for details.

"Fuel Guage" Accuracy

It's recommended that every 30 charges or so that you completely discharge the battery so that the "fuel guage" can recalibrate itself. If you don't, your computer may eventually say that the battery is empty when in fact it's half full, for example. When this happens the computer could actually operate for a longer period of time than it thinks it can.

Doing a complete discharge followed by a full recharge will keep the gauge accurate.

Li-Ion Battery Life Span

The other thing to know about Li-Ion batteries is that the newer they are the better they are. Their ability to hold a charge diminishes every day, starting the day they're manufactured. Li-Ion batteries' effective life span is around 2-3 years.

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

Keep 'Em Cool, Store At a 40% Charge

A Li-Ion Battery's useful life diminishes considerably if it's subjected to high heat, and oddly enough if the battery is left fully charged for long periods of time.

If you take advantage of your laptop-enabled mobility, as I am, you want ready access to a full battery when you're out and about, so we're stuck with that aspect of our Li-Ion's deterioration. But if you don't plan to use your Li-Ion battery for a while, don't leave it fully charged. It's life will be extended if you first bring the charge level down to around 40%. (Also note that it's best not to leave a Li-Ion battery fully discharged. Short term is fine, long term: 40% is best.)

Li-Ion Phone Battery?

If you happen to have a Li-Ion battery for your mobile phone: watever you do, don't leave the battery sitting on the dash of your car in the hot sun! That'll reduce it's life big-time.

Quote ("Avoid purchasing ... clearance prices.") and Reference: Isidor Buchmann's web site, batteryuniversity.com. Mr. Buchmann is the founder and CEO of Cadex Electronics Inc., in Vancouver BC.

Laptop & laptop batteries images found at: Apple

"Li-Ion" Batteries image source: LG Chem

Phone battery found at: Amazon

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Blog Index

Federico Fellini's Classic "I Vitelloni" -- Filmed in Rimini Italy


"Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion" Movie -- And Dalai Lama Statement

Antarctica Was Once Warm and Wet: Dinosaurs & 'Lost World' Found


Mel Gibson's Movie "The Passion of The Christ" -- The Pope Says, "It is as it was."

Lithium-Ion Battery Care -- How to Prolong Your Laptop Computer's Battery Life


Apple G5 Supercomputer - World's Most Powerful University Supercomputer


Spencer Tunick - One Day in a Photographer's Life - 450 Unclothed Women at NYC Grand Central Terminal


Bill Joy - Legendary Software Designer


Diane Arbus' Favorite Thing

Clive Barnes on Television

Martin Luther King Jr. on Being Vocal

Samuel McChord Crothers on Facts

Ernest Shackleton on Optimism & Courage

Supercomputing - The Grid: The Next Web Revolution

File Swappers Beware - Legislation & Legal Action

Blogs: Talk Radio for the Wired -- Blogs' Shake the Political Discourse

JULY 2003

Allure of Europe Is Drawing Students

Windows Viruses and Spam

Apple G4 Cube - Alive and Selling

Napster Version 2.0 -- Napster Comes Back To Life

Rabbit-Proof Fence

Love Me - A Story by Garrison Keillor

San Francisco Harbor & Ferry Building Restoration

Patents: Rewarding Innovation

Vaclav Havel on Hope & Truth

Hackers Defacement Challenge: a Hoax

Technology Meets the Mob

Matrix Revisited? HotZaz #1 Matrix-XP

Work-Life Balance, Edwald Kist

Emerson on Energetics

Windows Messenger Service -- Spam Stopped

PC Viruses 625 Times More Likely than on Macs

Holland's 1000 Foot Blogger

Scientists pick the G5

Emerson - Paths & Trails

Dog versus iMac

A.C. Clark - Advanced Technology

[Hoax] Hackers Offered Most Points to Hack a Mac

Laptop Sales Beat Desktops For The First Time

New 'TV's': Project into 'Thin Air'

JUNE 2003

Katharine Hepburn: 96 Years of Life

Vatican Virtual Tour


World's Fastest Personal Computer

"Video-Phone's" Time Has Come -- Video Conferencing Made Easy

Movie-Making Possibilities, Sharing Tea with a Moth

Travel Back-In-Time 12 Billion Years

Four Secrets to Staying Young, Being Happy, and Achieving Success

What's a Domain Name?

Net Identity -- Feature-Rich Email and Web Services

Evening Walk, Trident Cafe Writing & Photo Capture

64 Bit Macs & Mac OS X

Brunch on Pearl Street Mall

Best of The Web

Weblog-O-Rama, Hi Profile Bloggers, & David Winer

Cebuano Anyone? Translation On-The-Fly: Hindi to English

100% Up-Time DNS

What's a Blog? (Part II)

What's a Blog? (Part I)

U.S. Computer Coach

Moving to India

The Land of Blog -- Sudden Impact

Dot Pro - Confidential Quid Pro Quo


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