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What is it that kills laptop batteries?

What is it that kills laptop batteries?

There are many superstitions on what you must never do lest your battery become worthless - and by worthless I mean hold about 16 - 24 seconds of charge. This has happened to every laptop I have ever owned, and I just got a new one, so please help me sort out fact from fiction. Here are some of the things I've heard:

Asked by: Guest | Views: 56
Total answers/comments: 3
Guest [Entry]

"http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries has some useful information. It suggests the following tips regarding lithium-ion batteries:

Don't fully discharge the battery (partial discharges are best)
Don't heat up the battery when it's fully charged
Ideal storage is about half charged in a cool environment.

Tip 2 would support the idea of not using a laptop while fully charged and plugged in, as laptops generate significant heat, and 3 would suggest against leaving a laptop in a car that's in the sun.

In the end I would think it's just simple degradation that renders batteries useless. There's only about 500 charge cycles on a lithium-ion battery before it becomes next to useless. Sure this improves as the technology matures, but I don't believe anything radical has changed since the linked article was updated."
Guest [Entry]

"I leave my laptop on 24/7 for weeks at a time, and after a year, I get around 1 1/2 hours of charge, so it has lost about half an hour.

I think it mainly comes down to the circuitry and how advanced it is. I know that my laptop keeps saying 95% charged and every 6 or so hours seems to cycle or do something - like discharge 5% here and there.

I think the main thing that kills them is simply complete charge/discharge cycles. At the end of the day, you get about fifty without seeing any affect, then I would say you loose a few seconds for each charge past that.

As you said, the first two are related to the memory effect which does not affect lithium-ion batteries.

Lastly, if you are using a battery pack that uses standard cells, you can replace them yourself if the manufacturer wants a fortune for a new one. A friend's laptop was getting about 3-4 minutes of charge and Sony wanted to charge £290 which is ridiculous as you are better off getting a new netbook for that! I opened it up and replaced with identical cells which costed around £25. For example, here is the inside of an Apple battery:"
Guest [Entry]

"Here is a short guide on how to make it last/live longer:
Battery Life saving tips."