1200mah-eee-pc-batteryAs I mentioned yesterday, when you buy an extended battery for your netbook or other device from a third party (in other words, any company beside the one that manufactured your computer), you run the risk of getting a unit that’s won’t really live up to your expectations. But Glogabl-Laptop-Batteries, a reseller of cheap third party batteries says there is hope. Sometimes all you need to do is charge the heck out of your batteries in order to maximize their life.

The company is selling 9 cell MSI Wind batteries, 6 cell Acer Aspire One batteries, as well as several high capacity batteries for the Asus Eee PC 901. At the bottom of each battery page, the store offers a few tips:

  1. The batteries come discharged, and you should make sure to fully charge them before use.
  2. After using the battery for the first time, you may need to completely discharge and recharge it several times in order for it to reach full capacity.
  3. It’s possible that your computer will report that the battery is fully charged after just 10-15 minutes when it’s really not. Just remove the battery for a moment and then try again.
  4. You may have to fully discharge and recharge the battery every few weeks in order for it to maintain a charge

Honestly, this all sounds a bit shady to me. While I always make sure to fully charge a new battery when I buy a new computer, I’ve never needed to fully discharge and recharge a standard netbook battery, and I’m not quite sure why you’d have to do this with a third party battery either. But I suppose it’s worth following these steps if you think you have a bad battery before trying to return it.

via GottaBeMobile

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16 replies on “How to get more from a high capacity netbook battery”

  1. mine is not a comment i need help with my aspire one acer notebook batterry that has stopped working and charging at thesame time just after the second day of buying.the funnest thing is that it still has 81% battery status from the initial 84%when it all began but it has not being powering on the notebook.i do not know what to do can some one in the house help becos certainly buying anoher one is out of the options.

  2. “I’ve never needed to fully discharge and recharge a standard netbook battery”

    Not wishing to sound aggressive but, you admit you have never done it. Then surely logic says, you aren’t in a position to actually know whether it would make a difference or not. Neither can you pronounce on whether there is a ‘need’ to do so. I don’t know either, but I would hesitate to write an opinion without actually trying it at least a few times first. 🙂

    Similar treatment of rechargeable batteries is very commonly advised in many products that use them, so commonly that I rather suspect that it does make a difference , but I don’t know it for a fact.

  3. Actually they do have a memory effect, just not the way you think. From MikeZ’s comment “Always discharge them to the auto-shut-down point (the controller should turn off at 2.6v per cell)” he knows what he’s talking about, the controller can’t allow them to discharge fully because at that point you can’t safely recharge them, so it stops the discharge at a pre-set shutdown point. If you don’t fully discharge the battery periodically then the zero-point will drift over time and the controller won’t allow it to be fully discharged any more. This phenomenon is called “silicon memory”, and is quite different from the old NiCd memory effect.

    In general the requirements listed by the OP are standard good-practice care requirements for LiIon batteries, not something dubious required by only this vendor. The fact that most people don’t know about them and/or ignore them is why people get far poorer performance out of LiIon batteries than they really should.

  4. One should use a credit card to buy from these semi-shady sellers so you can put the charge in dispute if the product is not as advertised.

  5. In the past rechargeable batteries like Nickel-Cadmium (Ni-Cad) had a memory effect nessecitating a full discharge – recharge cycle. If the batteries were only half discharged and then recharged they would develop a memory and only hold a half-charge.
    Modern materials such as Lithium-Ion do not have a memory effect, so they can be recharged when only half discharged and would then hold a full charge. However over time the power level indicator in the controller inside the battery will drift slighly giving an inaccurate reading. Running the battery all the way down every few weeks will help recalibrate the controller to a more accurate level.
    (The effect of decalibration in a lithium-ion battery can be seen when a battery is half discharged and recharged repeatedly. In recharge it will report as being full, but when in use will quickly drop down to showing low power.)

    1. Have you actually read what you’re linking to? From the pdf:

      “1.2 General Features

      – No memory effect

  6. There is nothing about the chemistry of li-ion batteries that requires you to fully charge or discharge them.

    However, when you swap batteries the battery meter in your laptop gets confused, so it may report that the battery is charged when it isn’t. Fully charging and discharging the battery resets it.

  7. If the battery is Li-Ion, yes they do have what is called a “memory effect” –
    Always discharge them to the auto-shut-down point (the controller should turn off at 2.6v per cell) –
    And then fully recharge them until (again trusting the controller to do its thing).

    If your battery is Li-Polymer – ignore the above, they don’t have a “memory effect”.

    1. Uhmmm…no, Li-Ion absolutelly don’t have a memory effect (it WAS common in Ni-Cd/Ni-Mh days, but those ended something like 10 years ago, in laptops at least (though what you’re saying is understandable – many, many people didn’t change the way they treat batterries…)).

      “Always” discharging them to auto shutdown point is actually WORSE than recharging them “as often as possible” – Li-Ion batteries have a certain minimal charge below which they become potentially dangerous. So If you leave completelly recharged battery too long in that state, its charge will drop below that value and, thanks to safety measures integrated in it, it’s dead. Permanently. (or, if safety circuit fails, the battery explodes some time later ;P )

      The ONLY reason why you’d want to make one (only one) full cycle from time to time is to recalibrate the controller that show battery capacity and shuts it down when near minimal safe charge, nothing more.

      And yes, you will say “but my batteries loose capacity over time”…well, that’s because Li-Ion batteries, while not having memory effect, suffer from ageing – from the moment they leave the factory. (BTW that’s why it’s best to get batteries manufactured as recently as possible; also, while Li-Ion don’t have memory effect, certain conditions (such as high temperature) accelerate their aging – THAT’S why it’s good to remove them while laptop is running on AC power, not some “memory effect”; and if removed for a longer time, keep them at around 70% capacity in a cold place (BUT NOT IN FREEZING TEMPS, it’s also potentially dangerous))

  8. In the above comment I was referring to the 9 cell battery for the EEE that you can find on deal extreme.

  9. I’m still disappointed we haven’t seen a cheaper high capacity battery for the acer aspire one like EEE users.

    But I have heard of recharging and discharging several times before you can achieve full capacity. I have seen it more often with iPods then laptops. Usually its because people are so eager to use it right out of the box that they do not read the instructions. I don’t think its too far fetched to have to recharge and discharge several times, but if you follow all of the instructions this shouldn’t be necessary, make sure you always read the return policy 😉

    1. It is too far fetched – modern Li-Ion baterries absolutelly don’t need several complete cycles to keep their full charge.

      The only reason why ONE full cycle is good from time to time is to calibrate/recalibrate the sensors that report battery capacity, nothing more.

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