General Question

boxing's avatar

Will, taking out the battery in a laptop while AC power is used, prolong the life of the battery?

Asked by boxing (1051points) August 12th, 2008
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

8 Answers

redsgirl4eva's avatar

i’m not sure but I am also wondering now so thanks for posting this question.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Not really. Notebook batteries have circuitry to disconnect themselves from the charging current when they are fully charged. They draw no current from the adapter when they don’t need it, so it’s much the same as if they had been removed altogether.

In addition, newer laptop batteries are Lithium Ion types, that do not have a memory effect. They don’t have to be fully discharged to stay healthy – in fact, it’s not a good idea to drain them completely. The down side is that they start to die when they’re shrink wrapped at the factory. Even a lightly used notebook battery will be shot after 4 or 5 years, tops. I keep waiting for methanol fuel cells, but they seem to be a pie in the sky right now.

XCNuse's avatar

Not using them in any way won’t help them actually, once you buy a battery it only goes downhill from there, yes using your battery once a month or so will keep it in shape, but no fully draining it, that will only hurt it.

Just make sure that if you DO take it out for removal, keep it around 50%, it does discharge over time, and keeping it full can damage it, and keeping it empty can damage it the most.

I wouldn’t give them 4 to 5 years, no way, more like 2 years! My sister’s laptop will run on its battery 15 minutes before it dies. But that was a crappy battery anyway, who knows.

Don’t worry to much though, by the time your battery life starts getting to the point where it is useless there will be far better mAh batteries out there you can upgrade to.

I don’t use my battery much since I have a 17” laptop, but when I can’t get out much time when I’m trying to do stuff like at school in a group or just in class rooms it isn’t fun when your battery is near death.

When you are running on your battery though turn off everything you don’t need. I’ve set my laptop up to the best I can so when on battery in power save it’ll only use 5% of the core’s power, graphics card will run at lowest, and I get about 2 and a half hours on it, and when I turn bluetooth and wifi off I gain another 45 minutes, and if I turn the brightness down (from brightest) down two stops I gain 10 minutes for each two steps in brightness decrease.

boxing's avatar

Ich, but, if the battery drops to, say 99%, it will be charged again, right? And my understanding is, battery can only be charged so many times. I travel often, so I do wonder, while I have access to AC, once it is charged to 100%, I remove it, and put it back when I need to take it along again, this way I can minimize the number of times it is charged.

And yes, XCNuse, those are the things I do too while the laptop is on battery only.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Agree that 4 years is a reach, but I’ve got one that age, and it still works. I’m pretty sure there is some hysteresis in the charging cycle, too. Not 99%, maybe 90%. Never looked into one of the things to see. You are also correct that they can only be recharged so many times, but it’s quite a few cycles. My 2 yo cell phone battery is holding up pretty well, despite being charged every 3 days or so.

XCNuse's avatar

I don’t understand cell phones, I mean I had a phone for about 3 years and by the time I got my new one with the new plan it still lasted about 6 days on its battery.. 3 years!
It might have lost 24 hours of its life by the end of the 3 years, but it was the best battery i’ve ever had, I always charged it full and drained it until it needed it.

Laptop batteries.. I never hear them lasting that long with that much capacity at the end of their lives.

Oh well, really can’t wait for this gold phosphor stuff to be made then wrap my laptop in it and that saran wrap stuff that cools stuff, and heck I got a laptop that will stay cold (or cool if I want), and will discharge heat and will constantly be charging from the sun at 90% efficiency!

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