Maintaining and managing laptops: batteries

So, did you buy a new laptop or such portables recently or planning to buy one? Is it good enough to just simply turn on the computer and start using it right away without having to worry about anything else? From a tech, in fact, manufacturer point of view, certainly you can unless you care about your laptop’s longevity and performance in the long run.

The things that you generally do to maintain your desktop computer applies to the portable computers other than some things which is quite distinct between them. You need to update your operating system, use a stable version, more recent drivers. Need to have appropriate tools stand by to monitor health of your storage drives and clean up those unwanted files. This is only the surface, so let’s look at some issues for laptops.

Basic knowledge about laptop batteries

Over the years manufacturers have used few types of batteries for portable computers. For instance, Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH), Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Cd), Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion). Those former days are gone and now only Li-Ion battery dominates since its battery chemistry has the highest energy density for the weight and has few problems with any external factors.

Lithium-Ion batteries are incredibly powerful and last way longer than the former Ni-MH and Ni-Cd that was quite common in 1990s. If we look for a downside for Lithium-Ion battery, that would be it may explode out of overcharge or punctured. Lithium batteries are only able to power any systems designed to use them. Li-Ion batteries cannot be replaced for other type of batteries that were available before.

Proper usage of laptop batteries

To care and feed your laptop’s battery keep these following facts and discussion in mind. First and foremost, always store batteries in cool place. Sometimes keeping them inside a freezer may seem like a cool place but stuff like extremely freezing cold, metal racks, food and so on, makes it a bad idea. Secondly, always keep the battery charge at least to 70-80 percent.

Thirdly, never drain the battery completely all the way unless required for something important like for, battery calibration. This is basically done so in a way where you reset the battery according to the instructions provided by your manufacturer.

For rechargeable batteries, they have a limited number of recharge-discharge cycles before their overall battery performance is dropped. Fourth one, never ever handle battery that is damaged, punctured or broken. One of the most dangerous chemical contains inside battery as well as they are extremely flammable. If you want to have a taste of what happens when you puncture a Li-Ion or Li-Po battery. Last and final one, develop a mindset of recycling old batteries.

Dealing with old laptop batteries

In case of any portable device battery lying around, you need to get rid of them as soon as possible. This is because, all of these battery got quite hazardous and toxic chemical inside, so you cannot simply just dump it in the trash.

Make an online research if there is any battery recycling centre near you. Electronic retailers often are much better who accept wide range of e-waste including batteries. They often have some quantity limit.

You can also take old laptop batteries to an auto parts store which disposes old car batteries. It may sound a bit odd but this is how it works eventually. If you have any auto part stores near you, chances are they will do this for you.

Many cities offer some sort of hazardous material disposal and recycling service. Look up online or someone you know for, how local government helps you dispose of your old batteries.