Cracking some myths about your Laptop Battery…

Posted by Knonie

One of my friends discussed some confusions about laptop battery, and I’m sharing that communication here for others to get benefit. – Knonie.

Knonie Bhai !
I need to ask you something related to charging laptops. What is the proper way in terms of time to charge a laptop? When to turn off the charging and when to put it on charge? Is it okay to charge when the half of the charging is remaining? When to use it on high performance and when on the power saver? & tell me does the charging stops automatically when the battery is full, because i noticed that that adapter cools down when the battery is full, and does over charging have any effect on the battery life because sometimes i forget to turn off the charging.
Give me some useful tips bro.
Thank you.
Shehroze Khan Khattak

 

Knonie’s Reply:

There are some misconceptions about this concept and I’ve been guiding many friends lately. The biggest misconception is that you should disconnect the charger when the battery is full. First you need to understand something about battery and charging. In layman’s words, Battery is something that stores electricity in it from external [AC] power and uses it to run a laptop. When that electricity inside battery uses itself to run a device like laptop, it starts going low. To fill it again, you connect it again to external AC power source.

Modern laptop batteries stop charging themselves when they are full, so there’s no concept of over-charging in these batteries. When the battery is full and AC power is connected, your laptop uses AC power to run the laptop and battery remains at rest. [You can try it by removing the battery and using external power to run the laptop. That time it will run even without battery in it]. This means when you have AC power available and you are using a Laptop, keep it connected. But if you’re not using laptop, it’s better to turn off AC power. Not because it’s bad for battery, but because it keeps on consuming a little electricity. It’s OK if you forget to turn it off.

Knonie's MacBookNow something about discharging and recharging. Battery charges and discharges depend upon the condition of external AC power and battery state. If you only use 20% battery in 1 day and again charge it to 100%, then you have only discharged 20%. If you then use 10% more battery and again charge it to 100%, then your total discharge will be 30% only. This concept explains that it doesn’t matter if you start recharging when the battery is at 15% or at 85%. It’s like filling a glass of water again if some of water is taken out.

For those Performance settings in Control Panel, it depends on your use. Performance settings actually control the way your laptop uses electricity. Like in Power Save settings, laptop will set properties that use less battery like dim display, closing some apps and processes that need more performance, etc. When you have a good laptop and AC power is available, you don’t have to worry about limited power, but if you’re travelling and using laptop for some serious work and you want your battery to give more time, you’ll use Power Save mode. So these settings are actually a way to use your battery effectively depending on the conditions.

Another thing, the Calibration of battery. That percentage meter showing battery state gets disturbed after many charging/discharging cycles. A 20% meter might be actually 14%. Then you need to calibrate it. You may Google what’s the proper way of calibrating your battery according to manufacturer. That is, in easy words can be summarised as: It’s good to completely discharge, and give a few hours rest to the battery once or twice a month to set its 0-100% scale.

So that is the basic idea for your understanding and I hope it cleared all your confusions.


5 Responses to “Cracking some myths about your Laptop Battery…”

  • waqas ahmed Says:

    MODERN BATTERIES (LITHIUM- ION) SHOULD ALWAYS BE PLUGGED IN. THE MORE THEY ARE PLUGGED THE LONGER IS THE BATTERY LIFE,

    OLDER BATTERIES ( nickel-cadmium (NiCad) and nickel-metal hydride (NiMH)) WERE THE ONES WHICH REQUIRED THE POWER CUT WHEN THEY WERE CHARGED MORE THEN 80 PERCENT TO INCREASE THE BATTERY LIFE.

  • waqas ahmed Says:

    SIMPLE VERY WILL WRITTEN BY THE GURU HIMSELF

  • Shehroze Says:

    Awesome. Bohat alla answer. Aik Aik cheex exactly clear =D

  • Hummad Says:

    Dear Knonie,
    What about the battery cycles in solid fuel batteries? Is that concept wrong…(what I have learned) In solid fuel batteries, there are limited number of charging cycles depending upon maker, version, substances used in the battery…like hp 530 battery has less than 50,000 charging cycles and when these are used(charging circle being utilized at each charging irrespective of charging at 10% or 85%) battery starts wearing out…is it correct?

  • Knonie Knonie Says:

    Hi Hummad!
    As I generally discussed the case above without going into technical stuff, but you can see that it deals with almost all of modern computers. HP 530 uses Li-ion battery, just like almost all of the laptops. That works the way I described above. The charging cycles are irrespective of remaining charge. So if it’s at 50% and you recharge it to 100%. Then again consume 50%; and again recharge it to 100% and then again consume 50%, that will make a complete cycle, 50%+50% charging, and 50+50% discharging. It is counted as 1 cycle instead of 2.

    Coming to your point about the number of charging cycles of batteries, actually the capacity to hold charge decreases with time, so these values are usually provided by manufacturers to notify that you might need to replace it after these many cycles because its performance is now quite reduced. So if you follow the above tips and use AC Power when available instead of always discharging and recharging batteries, you can extend the period of its performance.

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