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#1 2012-09-27 01:49:39

Anandawardhana
Member
From: Sri Lanka
Registered: 2011-12-20
Posts: 13

A question about charging a notebook battery

Hello friends,
Yesterday I purchased a notebook computer - Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook - and I am a little confused about one of the advices given to me by the person who handled the sale at the computer store. He gave me intructions on how to charge and maintain the battery. This is how it went:

1) First charge it for six hours without turning the machine on.

2) Then unplug, and use it until the battery gets low to somewhere around 10%

3) Shut down the machine again and charge for anoter six hours. Now the battery is ready for normal use.

4) When you work, use the battery power and never keep it plugged to a power supply.

5) When you charge it always do it while the machine is shutdown.

He said this will give the battery a longer life.

This is the opposite of what I have *heard* before. I've seen lot of people using the direct power supply whenever possible, (aiming to help the battery have a longer life). And on the manual says simply to "plug in before turning on for the first time".

I'll be much obliged if you could suggest me what's the best practice - based on your experience. Thanks very much. How should I charge it for the first time? And how should use it for a longer battery life? Thanks loads in advance,

Last edited by Anandawardhana (2012-09-27 01:52:38)

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#2 2012-09-27 02:10:26

dkeg
#! Die Hard
From: Mid-Atlantic Grill
Registered: 2011-12-05
Posts: 716

Re: A question about charging a notebook battery

not sure whether right or wrong, but this is my thought and what I do.  First, I agree that before first use charge all the way.  Typically, what I believe is that if you always keep it plugged in that is not good for the battery.  Best to use the battery, drain it down as low as possible, then charge.  I can't really speak about charging while in use.  I do use while charging. 

Why I do what I do.  You don't want to 'mistrain' you battery.  You want it to use all its cells, hence draining down when on batt power, then recharge.  Seems to have worked for me pretty well.  Laptop is a couple years old and batt life seems same as when new. 

If you are going to be plugged in, and the batt is charged up, might even want to just take off the battery entirely, so soley powering off plug, and not 'overcharging' the battery.  I don't do that too often, in case the plug is pulled out by the kids or cats, or in case I just forget i took out the battery, but nonetheless....

enjoy the new machine!


grill it | the rocky path may just be the best path

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#3 2012-09-27 02:44:38

Anandawardhana
Member
From: Sri Lanka
Registered: 2011-12-20
Posts: 13

Re: A question about charging a notebook battery

dkeg wrote:

not sure whether right or wrong, but this is my thought and what I do.  First, I agree that before first use charge all the way.  Typically, what I believe is that if you always keep it plugged in that is not good for the battery.  Best to use the battery, drain it down as low as possible, then charge.  I can't really speak about charging while in use.  I do use while charging. 

Why I do what I do.  You don't want to 'mistrain' you battery.  You want it to use all its cells, hence draining down when on batt power, then recharge.  Seems to have worked for me pretty well.  Laptop is a couple years old and batt life seems same as when new. 

If you are going to be plugged in, and the batt is charged up, might even want to just take off the battery entirely, so soley powering off plug, and not 'overcharging' the battery.  I don't do that too often, in case the plug is pulled out by the kids or cats, or in case I just forget i took out the battery, but nonetheless....

enjoy the new machine!

Hmm, I see. That makes sense. I too might not be able to turn off the machine when I have to recharge, Thanks very much! smile

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#4 2012-09-27 02:44:57

greywolf
Member
From: Sydney, Australia
Registered: 2011-02-28
Posts: 38

Re: A question about charging a notebook battery

I can't say without knowing exactly what type of battery you have, but, the old "battery memory" issues only applied to (now fairly ancient) NiCad (Nickel Cadmium) batteries.

I believe all modern cell phones, notebooks, etc, etc have moved on to Lithium Ion batteries. These new batteries do not have the old "battery memory" issues.

I have used dozens of laptops in the last few years and I have not noticed any particular detriment to battery life by running on AC power with the battery left in. I have had a few dud batteries from day one though?!

What I will tell you is that, should you ever be tempted to open tha machine up, not only always remove the battery first but IN ADDITION make sure you press the power button for a few seconds with no AC or battery power connected.

You MUST discharge any left over current floating around components inside; and you will be amazed at how much can still be there!! You do not want to stick your finger in there and find out the hard way!!

just my observations,
cheers,
Greywolf.


Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...
it's about learning to dance in the rain.

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#5 2012-09-27 02:52:09

Anandawardhana
Member
From: Sri Lanka
Registered: 2011-12-20
Posts: 13

Re: A question about charging a notebook battery

@greywolf thanks a lot for the advice.

And yes this is a Lithium Ion battery.

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#6 2012-09-27 03:27:21

Anandawardhana
Member
From: Sri Lanka
Registered: 2011-12-20
Posts: 13

Re: A question about charging a notebook battery

I just found this
http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/arti … arge_table

"It's best to turn the device off during charge; parasitic load can alter full-charge detection and overcharge battery or cause mini-cycles "

Last edited by Anandawardhana (2012-09-27 03:41:28)

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#7 2012-09-27 03:29:56

pidsley
Window Mangler
Registered: 2012-05-23
Posts: 1,752

Re: A question about charging a notebook battery

There have been several topics about this subject on this board. Here is one: http://crunchbanglinux.org/forums/topic … -on-linux/ (the topic title is "saving power on linux" but there is a lot of information about batteries in the topic)

You can find many other topics on this subject using the "search" box at the top right corner of your screen. You will see a lot of anecdotal information and many varying opinions. You might get better information from a battery manufacturer.

Last edited by pidsley (2012-09-27 03:47:52)

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#8 2012-09-27 03:48:40

Anandawardhana
Member
From: Sri Lanka
Registered: 2011-12-20
Posts: 13

Re: A question about charging a notebook battery

@pidsley
Thanks! That's a very useful thread indeed.

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#9 2012-09-27 17:51:57

dura
Bloated Gimp
From: interzone
Registered: 2012-09-15
Posts: 2,106

Re: A question about charging a notebook battery

You'll probably buy another one in 3 years so I don't think it really matters. What is always more worrying for me is the power regression issue that effects kernel 2.6x to kernel 3.3, and which you have to make grub mods to fix.

My point is: power saving measures are more important because they mean that in general your system canes your battery less: I made a mod to grub and my power consumption dropped 70%.

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#10 2012-09-27 17:57:26

el_koraco
#!/loony/bun
From: inside Ed
Registered: 2011-07-25
Posts: 4,747

Re: A question about charging a notebook battery

The dude in the shop is an idiot.

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#11 2012-09-27 20:13:23

pvsage
Internal Affairs
From: North Carolina
Registered: 2009-10-18
Posts: 11,502

Re: A question about charging a notebook battery

Most important thing to know from that page:  "Deep discharge wears the battery down."  The dude at the shop would have been giving you good advice if modern netbooks used NiCd batteries, but they don't.  Every deep discharge on a LiIon battery permanently reduces its charge capacity.


Yes; as a matter of fact, I am a cop.  Why do you ask? cool
I'm a moderator here.  How are we doing?  Feedback is encouraged.

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#12 2012-10-01 08:44:01

KrunchTime
#! Die Hard
From: Not Where I Belong
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 1,721

Re: A question about charging a notebook battery

For what it's worth, I believe Apple recommends discharging no lower than 20% before recharging.  Supposedly, following this advice gives the best life for lithium ion batteries.

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#13 2012-10-01 08:46:45

pvsage
Internal Affairs
From: North Carolina
Registered: 2009-10-18
Posts: 11,502

Re: A question about charging a notebook battery

I flagrantly disregarded such advice with my netbook, and needed to replace the battery after two years because it wouldn't hold more than a 1/2 hour charge.  The netbook now has a big, ugly battery with twice the capacity, which not only means it can be used for longer before reaching the 20% charge state, but more importantly (at least from a battery life perspective) its discharge rate is now well below 1C, even with the CPU running flat out.

Last edited by pvsage (2012-10-01 08:50:03)


Yes; as a matter of fact, I am a cop.  Why do you ask? cool
I'm a moderator here.  How are we doing?  Feedback is encouraged.

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#14 2012-10-01 08:50:34

KrunchTime
#! Die Hard
From: Not Where I Belong
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 1,721

Re: A question about charging a notebook battery

greywolf wrote:

I have used dozens of laptops in the last few years and I have not noticed any particular detriment to battery life by running on AC power with the battery left in.

I guess it depends on how long you run a laptop on AC power with the battery left in.  I used to always run a laptop on AC power with the battery left in and the battery life was always compromised.  The batteries usually would get to the point that they wouldn't hold a charge for more than 30 - 45 minutes.

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#15 2012-10-01 08:51:48

KrunchTime
#! Die Hard
From: Not Where I Belong
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 1,721

Re: A question about charging a notebook battery

pvsage wrote:

I flagrantly disregarded such advice with my netbook, and needed to replace the battery after two years because it wouldn't hold more than a 1/2 hour charge.  The netbook now has a big, ugly battery with twice the capacity, which not only means it can be used for longer before reaching the 20% charge state, but more importantly (at least from a battery life perspective) its discharge rate is now well below 1C, even with the CPU running flat out.

I had the same experience with a Compal laptop.

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#16 2012-10-01 09:23:23

tao te
Member
From: Berlin
Registered: 2012-07-30
Posts: 43

Re: A question about charging a notebook battery

I guess it's an overestimated issue, nowadays.

My Thinkpad got a Li-Ion battery with ~100 cycles and still a capacity >100%,
without caring about charge thresholds or "intelligent (dis)charge" and I've done
some "deep discharges". With the current technology in battery-controllers, you
shouldn't get any problems.
The Thinkpads from my former Work were used by different people, trainees and nobody
even thought about sparing the battery. After years of use the T510's still perform well.

With newer Lithium-polymer battery it will get even better.

... or maybe this is a thinkpad-thing.


T420s - i5-2520M, 4+4 GB Ram, 64 GB mSATA SSD, #! Linux

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#17 2012-10-04 01:57:38

Anandawardhana
Member
From: Sri Lanka
Registered: 2011-12-20
Posts: 13

Re: A question about charging a notebook battery

thanks loads everyone. even though noone seems to be in agreement on this issue, your feedback helped me not to worry too much about this. and it was a bit ridiculous on the computer shop's part to recommend charging the batteries while the computer is turned off. that means 4-5 hours of work and 2 hour break for charging. cannot afford doing that. anyways thanks a lot again.

Last edited by Anandawardhana (2012-10-04 01:58:52)

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