Sunday, May 25, 2008

2:05 hours (92%) remaining

I've already complained about the performance of my laptop battery. Last year, it was 45 minutes after being fully charged. It had become only 20 minutes in the past few months and made me too busy looking for electrical plug while traveling.

I got it replaced, finally, yesterday. It is 2:05 hours for 92% remaining, as compared 0:18 hours for 100% remaining previously.

Now, I am looking into how to better maintain the battery performance. Especially with the dock I am using at work. The Battery University, again, is helpful with some general information about battery charging. They're so good; they analogize battery to human: "Batteries behave like humans; some live to a great old age, others die early."

Here are some Q&A to maximize battery performance from cradle to grave from the Battery University for Lithium-ion batteries.

How should I prepare my new battery?
Li-ion comes partially charged. You can use the battery right away and charge it when needed.

Can I damage my battery if incorrectly prepared?
No; Li-ion is forgiving to partial and full charge. No priming is needed when new.

Should I use up all battery energy before charging?
No, it is better to recharge more often; avoid frequent full discharges.
Yes, on batteries with a fuel gauge, allow a full discharge once a month to enable reset.

Should I charge my battery partially or fully?
Does not matter. Charging in stages is acceptable. Full charge termination occurs by reading the voltage level and charge current. Charging a full battery is safe and does not cause harm.

- Should I remove the battery from the charger when full?
- Should I remove the AC when my laptop is not in use?
It does not matter. The charger automatically cuts the charge current when the battery is full. A laptop may be connected to the AC when not in use.

Should the battery be kept charged when not in use?
Best to store at 40% charge or 3.75-3.80V/cell open terminal. Cool storage is more important than state-of-charge. Do not fully deplete battery because Li-ion may turn off its protection circuit.

What should I know about chargers?
Charger should apply full charge. Avoid economy chargers that advertise one-hours charge. Fastest full-charge time: 2-3 hours.