Laptop Computer Battery Buying Guide

Not every notebook battery is the same and it is important to be aware of the make and model you require them for. It is also important to be aware that the voltage on your battery pack is not the same as the voltage on the power supply.

Notebook Battery

Knowing the voltage and capacity of your battery pack and the chemical construction of the battery can help to verify that your provider is selling you the right type for your computer. This information is usually on the outside of the battery pack you are replacing.

Lithium Ion or Li-ion is one of the newest types of notebook battery. It is also the lightest battery commercially available and is more powerful than the other two main battery types. However, due to the high cost to produce it, the Li-ion battery is much more expensive than Nickel Metal Hydride or Ni-MH batteries or Nickel Cadmium, Ni-Cd, cells.

The most common type of laptop’s battery is Nickel Metal Hydride which is relatively inexpensive to produce and is consequently cheaper than Li-ion. However, it is very important to take good care of this type of battery because it is vulnerable to what is known as “memory effect.” This means that you consistently partially discharge your battery before recharging it, instead of fully discharging it, your Ni-MH battery can forget it has the ability to completely discharge. This risk, however, is even higher with Nickel Cadmium or Ni-Cd batteries.

When you first buy a new laptop computer battery, it is important to fully charge and discharge it a few times so that it can reach its maximum capacity. This is known as conditioning the battery. Ni-MH and Ni-Cd batteries should be conditioned at least once a month to limit the “memory effect.” In other words, do not always use your power supply if you want to keep your batteries healthy.

You can expect a new notebook battery to last between a year and a half and three years with normal usage. As the battery begins to die you will notice that it lasts for much shorter periods of time. Keeping the batteries of your laptop in the refrigerator (in a dry environment) when not in use can slow the rate of discharge into the environment and increase the life span of the batteries.

However, if you do this it is important to allow the batteries to re-acclimatize to room temperature before replacing them in your laptop. If you regularly use your notebook computer battery power it may be a good idea to purchase an extra battery and an external charger to reduce downtime. It is important, however, that your charger is a correct match for your battery.

For example, Ni-Cd and Ni-MH are chemically similar and the Ni-Cd charger can work however there is a serious risk of over-charging. Unlike the Ni-Cd charger, the Ni-MH charger has a temperature sensor and shutoff to eliminate the risk of overheating.

The chances are high that if you recharge your NI-MH battery with a Ni-Cd charger, your battery will overheat. This can cause internal battery damage and shorten its life. If you ensure you purchase the right battery for your computer and look after it carefully, you will maximize your battery’s life and minimize your costs and inconvenience.

Types of Laptop Batteries Revealed

There are three types of notebook batteries:

  1. Nickel-Cadmium (nicad or NiCd).
  2. Nickel Metal Hydride batteries (NiMH), and
  3. Lithium Batteries (Li-Ion, Li-Poly).

Some Facts About Notebook Batteries

  • The Lithium batteries hold charge better than the Nickel batteries, therefore if you are going to purchase a Laptop it is better that you choose one with Lithium battery so that it will hold charge better and for a longer length of time.
  • These kinds of types of laptop batteries, Li-Ion (and Li-Poly) batteries, are the Leading Edge battery technology and are currently the ideal selection for use on Laptops due to their high energy density and high voltage.
    A typical Li-Ion cell is rated at 3,6V and this is three times more than the typical NiCd or NiMH cell voltage (1,2V).
  • Batteries charge depends on their capacity to hold power. Generally battery of laptop will hold charge for four to five hours. This depends on the usage of the laptop, if you are going to use the laptop actively for all functions, then the battery might hold charge for a lesser period of time. One way of conserving power, with all types of notebook batteries, is to go to your Power Management settings icon in the Control Panel. You can shut off settings or programs you do not use. Also consider dimming your screen and shutting off your wireless card when you don’t need it.
  • Most of the three types of laptop batteries today are designed for a recharging approximately 400 times.
  • Technically, your battery should give you good service for about two years. You should follow instructions given by the manufacturer when you buy your Laptop.
  • All batteries, regardless of the type, should be recharged once they tell you that the recharge is necessary.
    It is not advisable that you allow your battery to blank out before every recharge. This will most likely damage the battery and reduce the battery life.
  • All batteries start losing their capacities once the charging is not done properly, it will take you some time to notice the change. A battery which once lasted for more than three days, now requires charging everyday.
    Once this starts happening, the deterioration is faster and you may require replacing the battery within a few months or earlier.
  • In case of Li-Ion Notebook batteries you can try rebuilding them (see below information about rebuilding batteries).
  • Batteries need to be handled carefully and their recharging routine needs to be followed carefully, without which there might damage, thus reducing the life of the battery.

Memory effect

Memory effect, also known as lazy battery effect, is an effect observed in some rechargeable batteries that causes them to hold less charge. In its basic meaning it describes one very specific situation in which certain batteries gradually lose their maximum energy capacity if they are repeatedly recharged after being only partially discharged. Today, the term is commonly applied to almost any situation in which a battery appears to hold less charge than was expected, or when a battery is charged when it still has half of its life left several times, the battery will only discharge half the expected amount of power.

This Memory Effect applies almost exclusively to the older types of notebook batteries: Nickel-Cadmium (nicad or NiCd), Nickel Metal Hydride batteries (NiMH), and does not normally apply to the newer Lithium (Li-Ion, Li-Poly) batteries, however, Li-Ion batteries are not as durable as NiMH and NiCd batteries.

Rebuilding Types of Laptop Batteries

Although not recommended, due to the danger and effort involved, if you are a Technical Person and likes to do things yourself, it is possible to rebuild your battery yourself. We recommend you visit Electronics Lab for instructions on how you may rebuild your battery.
If you are going to rebuild your battery special precautions must be taken to avoid Li-Ion battery fire up or explosion that can cause serious injuries.
This is because Lithium when it comes in contact with water or air’s moisture burns violently. Never try to extinguish such a fire with water, but only with a suitable extinguisher.

The Universal Laptop Battery Revealed

What is a universal laptop battery? What should you look for? What’s important and what’s not? Discover the answers here. The simple fact of Laptop life is that they simply do not run as long on their batteries as they should. Even Laptops designed to handle two batteries, last only 8 hours on two batteries.

So, what can you do if you need like to boost your battery life by anywhere from 4 to 20 hours? One of your best options is a Universal Battery for Laptop made by a third-party company. These devices weigh between 1.6 and 3.3 pounds and range in cost from $150 to $600. In some cases, they can also power your cell phone or handheld device.
Universal Laptop Batteries provide your Laptop / Notebook computer with extra runtime from a single external battery pack.

These batteries are lightweight and slim for maximum portability, perfect for situations when you will not be near power outlets for extended periods of time, such on an airplane, in a meeting or on the road. These Universal Notebook Batteries have selectable output voltages and come with a variety of laptop tips, making them compatible with most laptop computers.

Universal Batteries for notebooks provide the mobile professional maximum availability to power no matter where you go.
If you do not mind lugging a few extra pounds, these batteries are easy to use because they simply plug into the Laptop’s AC power port and require no software.

There are a number of Manufacturers of Universal Laptop Batteries. We recommend that you look into the following leading manufacturers:
American Power Conversion (APC). http://www.apc.com
Electrovaya http://www.epowerpad.com/

Universal Notebook Batteries help you achieve True Portability: Do not let your need for power keep you from using your Laptop and being productive. They allow you to take your work everywhere you need to go. You may leave power cords and electrical outlets behind.

They are easy to carry, easy to charge, lightweight and in most instances can slide into your laptop’s carrying case.
The Lithium Ion SuperPolymer technology available in some Universal Laptop Batteries technology is capable of keeping you going with more than a full day of portable power.

Read also:

Best Laptop External Battery

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