August 16 2011

The Do’s and Don’ts of Battery Use

Posted on the 07:41 am under Business,Computer Hardware by Darren Boyer

Ever wonder what the best method to maintain laptop batteries, mobile phone batteries and other rechargeable devices is? The information below from Battery Buyer an online resource for hard to find batteries. We thought it was very helpful.

Battery Do’s:

Fully charge/discharge battery up to 4-6 cycles before achieving full capacity of a new battery

Fully discharge and then fully charge the battery every two to three weeks for battery to keep its condition.

Run the device under the battery’s power until it shuts down or until you get a low battery warning. Then recharge the battery as instructed in the user’s manual. Remove from the device and stored in a cool, dry, clean place. If the battery will not be in use for a month or longer,

Recharge the battery after a storage period. Ensure maximum performance of the battery by optimizing the device’s power management features. Refer to your manual for further instructions.

Battery Don’ts:

Do not short-circuit. A short-circuit may cause severe damage to the battery. Do not drop, hit or otherwise abuse the battery as this may result in the exposure of the cell contents, which are corrosive. Do not expose the battery to moisture or rain.

Keep battery away from fire or other sources of extreme heat. Do not incinerate. Exposure of battery to extreme heat may result in an explosion.

My new battery isn’t charging. Is it defective?

Usually NO. New batteries come in a discharged condition and must be fully charged before use. It is recommended that you fully charge and discharge the new battery four to six times to allow it to reach its maximum rated capacity

It is generally recommend an overnight charge (approximately twelve hours). It is normal for a battery to become warm to the touch during charging and discharging.

When charging the battery for the first time, the device may indicate that charging is complete after just 10 or 15 minutes. This is a normal with rechargeable batteries. New batteries are hard for the device to charge; they have never been fully charged and not “broken in.” Sometimes the device’s charger will stop charging a new battery before it is fully charged. If this happens, remove the battery from the device and then reinsert it. The charge cycle should begin again. This may happen several times during the first battery charge. Don’t worry; it’s perfectly normal.

How can I maximize the performance of my battery?

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

Prevent the Memory Effect – Keep the 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.

Keep the 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 the portable device.

Exercise the Battery – Do not leave the 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 procedure described above.

Battery Storage – If you don’t plan on using the battery for a month or more, store it in a clean, dry, cool place away from heat and metal objects. NiCad, NiMH and Li-Ion batteries will self-discharge during storage; remember to recharge the batteries before use.

Sealed Lead Acid – (SLA) batteries must be kept at full charge during storage. This is usually achieved by using special trickle chargers. If you do not have a trickle charger, do not attempt to store SLA batteries for more than three months.

Battery Care (Lithium Ion Battery Chemistry) Charging and Operation

Only use the recommended AC Adaptor to charge the battery pack provided with your equipment.

Optimum charging and operating temperature is between 10 Degrees C and 30 Degrees C. Operating time will be shorter than usual at low temperatures.

After using the battery for a long time (Many Cycles), the battery pack should be replaced by a new one when the operation time of the completely charged battery has noticeably shortened.

The average Cycle life of a lithium battery is around 500 cycles.

For operation, safety, care and maintenance, see your equipments user guide.

Written by Darren Boyer

Darren Boyer

Darren Boyer is the founder and president of pcit.

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