Definition and Technology of Notebook Battery
The Notebook battery is a rechargeable battery built into the Notebook. Depending on the model, it can be removed easily or you have to open the lower part of your Notebook case. Some batteries, also called backup batteries, are external and connect to the Notebook using a USB cable or a power cable. Since around 2010, almost all Notebook batteries are in Li-Ion technology that is to say that they are made with Lithium-Ion, an alkali metal. This technology replaces the old Nickel (Ni-Mh) or Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd) batteries. A new generation of batteries called Li-Polymer, also Lithium-Ion has been on the market since 2013. This technology is not very widespread because it is very expensive.
The characteristics of Notebook battery
The Notebook battery must be chosen according to a compromise between autonomy and weight, and also in relation to the use you have of your Notebook. A standard battery is considered to have autonomy of around 2 hours. For better autonomy, you need a powerful battery; but the more powerful the battery, the heavier and larger it will be. On the product sheets, a fourth variable is sometimes mentioned: the number of cells. This number varies between 2 and 8. It represents the number of independent energy modules making up the battery; to schematize, we can consider that it is the number of batteries contained in the battery. The higher the number, the better the quality of the battery.
Notebook Battery Life
On the market, you will find batteries with autonomy ranging from 30 min to 10 h . Batteries with very small autonomy, less than an hour, are to be avoided. The choice of battery is directly linked to the choice of Notebook and its use: mainly used as a fixed or traveling computer, for office automation, games, video, graphics, etc. Special case of ultra portable computer batteries: New models of ultra portable computers incorporate an unchangeable battery. You must therefore rely on the autonomy indicated by the manufacturer who takes into account, in his calculation, the internal energy management of the ultra portable.
You are a very good judge to change the battery: if after several full charges, the autonomy is not at all what you had at the time of the purchase, it is time to use a backup battery or to buy a new one. But how does it work? A complete discharge of the battery leads to chemical degradation of the elements within the battery. Because of this, recharging the battery, after being completely drained, is dangerous for the life of the battery. This is why an internal circuit (a control card, integrated in the battery, which always remains supplied with power) can prevent recharging in order to avoid any incident. The main consequence is that the battery becomes unusable.
Some batteries are easily accessible; others require opening (with a suitable screwdriver) the bottom cover of your computer. In both cases, to replace your battery, use the model already installed; if you choose a generic model, compatibility with the model of your Notebook must be indicated on the product sheet. This was true with the old nickel-cadmium batteries which required regular charge and discharge cycles, even calibration, in order to keep them in good condition. The arrival of new Li-ion (Lithium-Ion) batteries has changed the situation. It is no longer necessary to respect the charge and discharge cycles. It is however recommended to carry out a complete charge and discharge cycle once a month. This is called calibration; it consists of “crop” the full charge of your battery. When your battery is fully discharged, that is to say when your computer goes to sleep, you will need to fully charge your battery without interruption and use at the same time. This will allow it to maintain it. A full discharge risks losing 20% of the total capacity of a current battery. Recent operating systems are designed to put computers to sleep and avoid reaching this level of discharge. So if you see your Notebook shut down, your battery will not lose its autonomy. The computer will simply be activated, a form of security to preserve the rest of the battery charge.