Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Why Does Your Laptop Battery Deteriorates

My Dell Inspiron 630m is 7 months old (I've blogged about it here). It belongs to the company I work with. Before I even use a laptop, I was using an old Pentium 3 500MHz Optiplex to do all kind of stuff including developing the company's website. For me, as long as it is a computer, I can do a lot of things with it.

After 7 months of usage, shortly after Dell recalls it's 4 million laptop batteries (Click Here to read about My Dell Laptop Survived The Battery Recall, I got this message on my Dell laptop:

Dell Battery Warning

It had just been 7 months, why is it that my battery's life is coming to its end? So, I clicked on the more information link to get more information.

Dell Battery Warning details

Oh no! my laptop battery is not covered under the warranty. What did I do wrong? Is the battery manufacturer is trying to get extra profit by reducing the battery's life span?

My Laptop Battery duration's of life

I was losing 2 hours of battery usage compared to when I first got my hand on the laptop. I also noticed the past few weeks, my Dell laptop is generating some excessive heat but I ignored it because here in Malaysia, it is always hot and humid. Little do I realized that heat dissipation consume a lot of energy thus reducing it's life span.

Laptop batteries are expensive. Being dissapointed, I searched for some resources which hopefully could revive back my poor Dell laptop battery. I found this article:

How To Prolong Lithium-Based Batteries

Based on my reading from the above article, I've concluded what I've done wrong:

  1. Heat: I contained my laptop from dissipating it's heat. My house is really warm and humid. I'll sweat like crazy if the ceiling or the standing fans is not operating. What I should have done: Only use my laptop in a cool place or in an air conditioned room. Keep it COOL!
  2. Choose between Battery or AC Power: I'm just too lazy to took out my batteries while pluggin in to the AC Power simultaneously. I spent countless of hours on AC Power while neglecting my batteries. The laptop just baked the batteries and I thought it wouldn't do no harm. What I should have done: I should have just stored away my laptop battery in a cool safe place and use the AC Power adaptor instead.
  3. Charging Up and Fully Discharge: I thought the way to make a laptop battery longer was to discharge it frequently so that it doesn't remain dormant. I was constantly charging the batteries at it fullest. Lucky it didn't burned out. What I should have done: I shouldn't frequently rely on my batteries since my house has extra electricity cord all over. In my office, I don't do mobile computing much often, my laptop is always plugged in most of the time. My batteries were suppose to be just on standby whenever I needed to go mobile. That's it..

My laptop and battery

Since the damage is already done. I can only minimize the damage and make sure that my spare battery (I'm considering to buy one) would not go to through same thing again. I hope by sharing this experience, I hope my readers would appreciate take care of their laptops better than what I've done.

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