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Minimize Battery Wear?

By Saudate ยท 6 replies
Oct 2, 2013
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  1. I have an Acer laptop I bought last January 2013.

    It's a 10 month laptop and someone told me that I should be removing the battery when I am using AC power. I was hesitant at first so I installed a software called BatteryBar Pro. Upon installing, I was surprised that my battery wear was already at 10.3%!
    I was surprised that I had already wore 10.3% of my battery in just 10 months. Now I am worried that it will not last longer as expected.

    I use my laptop for coding, gaming and browsing (mostly on gaming) and I always run on AC power while the battery is plugged in.

    I tried some suggestions like removing the battery while on AC but when I did, my laptop did not power up. It does not open if the battery is out and AC is plugged in. I always put my laptop on an elevated stand I constructed when using it but is this enough?

    Are there any other ways to minimize my battery wear? Thank you!
  2. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,415   +145

    If your laptop allows you to, some laptops have an option to confine the battery to between 20% and 85% or something. That'll reduce wear if you can enable that. It'll also help if you manually do that as well.

    Li-Ion/LiPo "wear" is well documented and the causes are well known for consumer chemistries.
    Storing at high temperatures will increase degradation.
    Storing at 4.2v/cell (fully charged) will increase degradation.
    Keeping it below ~3.0v/cell (discharged) will degrade it.

    So, in general, spend as little time as possible depleted or fully charged. If you fully charge it before leaving for the day, then start using it within a few hours, the wear is very minimal so you shouldn't worry about fully charging it if you're planning on using it soon, just don't store it for long periods fully charged.
    Likewise if you leave it fully depleted for a long while, that will also accelerate wear.

    If you need to store it, 40% charge (3.85v/cell) is commonly recommended but there is very little difference between storing it between 20% and 80% charge. Again the only times that storage can heavily degrade the battery is if it's fully charged (4.2v) or fully discharged (<3.3v resting)
  3. Saudate

    Saudate TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Unfortunately, my laptop does not support capping the battery charge to 85%. What I did was set the low battery level to 20% which then notifies me if the battery has reached it.

    Well I discovered that my laptop can support AC only power even without the battery. It just so happened that my laptop was hibernated prior to this.
    1. Are there third party softwares that can help me set a cap for the battery?
    2. Should I instead set the low battery level to 40%?

  4. watalee

    watalee Banned

    It is better to remove the battery when you use the AC POWER but you should not care much more about the battery which has a normal life like a people. you should buy a new batter in 1-2 years that it is up to your battery's quality.

    and I think your laptop has some hardware problems already because it can not work without battery while the AC POWER is plugged in. you should let the repairer to check your laptop ASAP.
  5. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,415   +145

    1. Not as far as I know.
    2. No, and it's not necessary, if you stop near 20% it's fine. It's made to be used.
  6. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 971   +59

    I went through some laptops and personally owns two acer laptops that I use everyday. one bought in 2005 and now can still last for at least 15mins, and another bought in 2008 that today can last at least an hour.

    the latter one shows that I have 60% battery wear in 5 years and I don't baby the battery at all. I always keep it plugged to the computer and I occasionally deplete it to calibrate the battery sensors.

    this battery has thermal protection and will not charge if it's warm or the level is above 96%. that means, if your battery is full and you use it for a short time that it goes for say 98%, it wont charge. unlike my older acer laptop where it will keep the battery at 100% even if the battery is warm. this short charge techniques should not be done and will make your battery degrade faster. example: shutting down laptop and unplugging the battery before the laptop is fully turned off. I've seen many friends doing this and trust me, their battery wont make it in to 5th year.

    my opinion is that although people say lithium battery should not be deep-cycled, I disagree. it is true that the cell itself does not require deep-cycling, but the sensor inside the battery pack that observes the voltage and determine the level, will no longer be accurate if you dont deep-cycle it. easiest way to check this is to use battery eater program and observe the discharging chart. if it stays on say 10% for too long then you know that it is off calibration.

    original thread

    regarding whether you should leave it plug or not, I'd plug the battery to the laptop permanently. thats why some laptops especially ultrabooks will not let you remove the battery without dismantling the notebook itself. if you plug the AC adapter 24/7, the battery wont even be used not even to power up the CMOS clock. only if it reaches 95% the adapter will recharge it. in my experience, this takes place in about a week or more depending on your battery wear level.

    P.S. both my batteries are sanyo and I have good experience with them. imo the worst are sony laptop batteries. none of the vaios my friends and relatives had made it into 3rd year. not even one.
  7. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,415   +145

    It's not the voltage sensor that needs to be "calibrated" it's the coulomb counter afaik.
    Oh and if you ever store batteries long term, a cooler temperature is better for Li-ion(near 32F).
    On the other hand, their internal resistance is lowest around 90F.

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