Even though we are experiencing huge technical advancements in consumer electronics, battery technology still has not advanced much over the last couple of decades. We are surely making more efficient and smarter batteries, thanks to manufacturing processes and integrated circuits being implemented in batteries, we still use decade old technologies. What’s worse is that your laptop battery barely lives up to the OEM ratings. Most consumer laptops squeeze out a maximum of 2 to 3 hours on battery. That however, is very frustrating. Here are a few ways in which you can take care of your laptop battery.
1. Prevent Aging of Your Battery
Laptop batteries use lithium ion batteries. Lithium ion batteries either come as cells, or as prismatic Lithium ion batteries. Such rechargeable batteries can only be charged a certain number of times before they wear down. When a battery wears, it will stop charging to its full capacity. Initially, it will charge up to 90% or so, and over time, that will degrade to 80% and so on.
The battery ages faster as the more recharging cycles it experiences. Even you charge the battery from 95% to 100%, it may be counted as a cycle. Also, even if you charge it from 30% to 50% or so. So, to prevent aging, stop unnecessary charging.
Charge your laptop battery once it has depleted enough, and once you have started charging, make sure it gets completely charged in one go. Also, remember, battery is a consumable product. Do not use it unless absolutely needed,
2. Calibrate your battery
Calibrating does not exactly improve battery life and also consumes one charging cycle. However, it allows the battery to correctly report the charge level to the system. To calibrate your battery, you have to completely discharge your laptop battery and then charge it again from 0% to 100% in one go.
To bring your battery down to 0%, go to safe mode on Windows, and then run Prime95. Make sure that your laptop is well ventilated as Prime95 is a CPU hungry program and will heat up your laptop. Calibrating your laptop once in 2 to 3 months makes sure that your battery is reporting the correct charge levels.
3. Disconnect when not needed
When you are on AC power, disconnect or unplug your laptop battery. Keeping it disconnected will keep it away from overheating. It is normal for a laptop to heat up during usage. However, the too much heat is bad for the battery. So, it is recommended that you keep it unplugged when you are running on AC power.
To make sure that your laptop does not turn on during power outages, you can use an UPS too.
4. Keep your battery in check
Most OEMs have a utility to make sure that the laptop battery is alright. You can simply install and run that to see what your battery health status is. Generally, these programs can read the status right from the IC in the battery and hence give you a correct reading of your battery status. Most major OEMs such as DELL, HP, Lenovo, Acer and others have their own programs.