By Tony Olson, President of D2
One of the most common things people do is the worst thing ever.
So, what causes a battery to wear out? Much like any human being, a battery’s health starts to deteriorate immediately after it is made. The aging process is both chemical and mechanical in nature. All batteries are perishable. It is the rate of aging where you can have some impact. The temperature, the charge method, the depth of discharge, maintenance procedures and just plain time all play a role in the life of a battery.
If you know anything about Li-Ion batteries (click here ) to learn even more, you may think it’s a no-brainer top choice for most battery powered products that require a rechargeable battery. Well, hold on. Let’s take a look at what happens when the real world hits the battery. Consider one of the most common usage models for a laptop computer: a desktop replacement. The Laptop is plugged into the AC outlet, with the battery fully charged. The laptop power profile in this mode is typically cranked to maximum performance. You don’t need to worry about the battery draining, because it is plugged in. Sounds great, right? Well, this is the absolute worst case scenario for Li-Ion life expectancy. The battery is basically sitting in storage with a full charge and at a very high temperature since the unit is running full-bore.
Some people recommend that you take out your battery and just run the laptop off AC power alone. But that is an over-kill response. It defeats the built-in UPS feature that laptops have with the battery installed. With the battery, the system can handle power glitches, brown-outs and even complete power outages without losing any work. Don’t remove your battery. Instead, look below for useful tips on extending your battery life.
Getting back to the general case, batteries usually just don’t up and die. They slowly lose health. This is demonstrated by their ever increasing inability to store and/or deliver a full amount of energy. But there are things you can do to help prolong battery life.
Preserving battery life: Get the biggest bang* for your buck
*To find out more about Li-Ion batteries, including the fact that they can explode (with links to see explosions) click here
If you look at battery types, relative to the new emerging applications, current usage volume, and new research being conducted, you will see that Li-Ion batteries are the clear winner for portable electronic devices. Given this, let’s look specifically at how you can maximize the life of your Li-Ion battery:
Do’s and Don’ts on battery usage for a long life
Once your Li-Ion battery is worn out
Get a new battery, not ripped off (or worse)
In summary, Li-Ion rechargeable batteries pack a lot of energy in a small package. Proper battery care and maintenance will allow your rechargeable battery to provide you years of safe service. Finally, carefully consider where you buy batteries and ensure they are a reputable brand.
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