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Need Advice for Charging & Prolonging Life of New Laptop Battery

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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October 22, 2010 10:02:47 PM

Hello everybody,

I always do research before I commit myself to performing an action. My father recently purchased a new replacement Lithium-Ion battery from a distributor of Toshiba products for his Toshiba Satellite laptop. His old laptop battery did not last longer than 10 minutes when fully charged (2-3 years old) because he did not know how to properly take care of it and usually left it in the laptop for extended periods of time even though he was using the AC power, meaning the laptop was connected to an electrical outlet.

I have been trying to figure out what is the optimal way to properly configure the new laptop battery. From what I have read on this website and other websites, including laptop-battery.org, batteryuniversity.com, cnet forums and laptop manufacturer websites, there is no consistent belief to how a new laptop battery should be initially charged. Some people recommended charging the battery for over 12 hours, using the battery until it is depleted (forced shutdown), and then charging it again for at least 8 hours. It was posted that this "initial sequence will 'condition' the battery for maximum use." Others recommended doing 2-3 full discharges to ensure the battery is calibrated; and, finally, a few recommended doing partial discharges on the new battery (discharge until 10-20%) and applying a full discharge (forced shutdown at 3-5%) in a week or two.

So, you see, I am not sure what to do. I am currently using the new battery, which was taken out of the box yesterday and charged for over 10 hours (father insisted), and waiting for a few knowledgeable people to reply to this thread so I can properly calibrate the battery. I have been using it for about an hour and a half, so it is currently at 83% battery life remaining.

I understand this post is quite long and people do not want to use their time answering one person's question, so to shorten this up for people who just skim threads, here are the questions that I need answered:
1) A new replacement Lithium-Ion laptop battery was purchased. What is the best (recommended) way to properly configure/calibrate this battery for maximum battery life?
2) The Forced shutdown setting (critical battery alarm) is currently set to 4% on the laptop running the XP operating system. Is 3-5% recommended, with the higher or lower values being the best choice?
3) Aside from the basic tips to reduce the brightness, terminate unnecessary processes, remove any peripheral devices, and not use cpu-intensive applications (games, movies, music), what else can be done to ensure the best battery life possible when solely using the battery?

Thank you,
DJ

Best solution

October 22, 2010 10:22:54 PM

There really isn't a proper way to calibrate or charge a battery. The only thing that most people agree on is to try and keep the battery as cool as possible, in most cases this in impossible with out a cooling pad, and even this may not help. Charging/discharging cycles have very little impact on Li-Ion batteries. You enemy is heat.

As for warning, I have critical set at 7% and the rest (warning,etc) set at 15%.

Quote:
3) Aside from the basic tips to reduce the brightness, terminate unnecessary processes, remove any peripheral devices, and not use cpu-intensive applications (games, movies, music), what else can be done to ensure the best battery life possible when solely using the battery?

Nothing much else can be done.
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October 23, 2010 12:59:31 AM

Quote:
Charging/discharging cycles have very little impact on Li-Ion batteries. Your enemy is heat. As for warning, I have critical set at 7% and the rest (warning,etc) set at 15%.


What do you recommend that I do since it is a new battery? Should I let it fully discharge or should I charge it once it gets to 10-30%?

And should I change the critical alarm to above 5%?

P.S. What is up with the time on this forum? I live in California, but it reports 8:59 PM as the time I posted this message and 3:03 AM as the time I edited the message, even though I edited it four minutes later.
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Anonymous
a b D Laptop
October 23, 2010 4:22:39 AM

No don't let a LION battery fully discharge, nor fully charge it. Treat it like your mobile phone -- charge it as soon as level starts dropping but not so long that you're unable to go out of the house with it.

The time difference you note is because it's set to Western European time (one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time while Pacific time is 8 hours behind of GMT) .

You'll notice it changes shortly when Europe goes over to daylight saving.
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October 27, 2010 9:24:52 AM

Fihart: Thank you for the reply. Sorry that I responded back so late.
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October 31, 2010 7:07:13 PM

Best answer selected by leader.
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