Laptop battery over-charging?

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Al Dykes, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. Al Dykes

    Al Dykes Guest

    These days my laptop is seeing heavy use as a desktop replacement and
    it is plugged in all the time. I've killed the battery on previous
    laptops due to over-charging when the laptop was mostly shut down.

    I guess it makes sense that a turned-off laptop doesn't have fancy
    battery protection circuitry.

    Is there any chance that a modern laptop (an Inspiron 1464 running W7
    in my case) protects the battery from over-charge as long an the OS is
    running?

    If no, I'll continue to watch the gas gauge and unplug the power brick
    as needed.

    --
    Al Dykes
    News is something someone wants to suppress, everything else is advertising.
    - Lord Northcliffe, publisher of the Daily Mail
     
    Al Dykes, Oct 30, 2010
    #1
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  2. Al Dykes

    BillW50 Guest

    In news:iahcua$k8p$,
    Al Dykes typed on 30 Oct 2010 11:17:30 -0400:
    > These days my laptop is seeing heavy use as a desktop replacement and
    > it is plugged in all the time. I've killed the battery on previous
    > laptops due to over-charging when the laptop was mostly shut down.
    >
    > I guess it makes sense that a turned-off laptop doesn't have fancy
    > battery protection circuitry.
    >
    > Is there any chance that a modern laptop (an Inspiron 1464 running W7
    > in my case) protects the battery from over-charge as long an the OS is
    > running?
    >
    > If no, I'll continue to watch the gas gauge and unplug the power brick
    > as needed.


    I have and many others always remove the battery on AC. And if you
    really don't use it just throw it in the drawer and charge it up once a
    year (maybe once every 6 months). And mine are lasting 10 years doing it
    this way.

    Some argues that if I loose AC, my laptop shuts down. Well okay keep
    buying a new battery every 2 to 3 years. Or go out and buy a UPS which
    can run more than just your laptop. That is what I do.

    I have a big beef with laptop manufactures. As they try to squeeze all
    of the capacity they can out of a battery. And they generally charge
    them up to 4.2 volts per cell. Sure you can squeeze more capacity out of
    them, but they don't last as long. If you charge them up to only 4.1
    volts per cell they last twice as long.

    Another thing that kills them is heat from the laptop. Anything higher
    than 110°F will destroy them in time. So that is another reason to pull
    them out and throw them in the drawer.

    --
    Bill
    Gateway M465e ('06 era) - Centrino Duo 1.8G - 2GB - Windows XP SP3
     
    BillW50, Oct 30, 2010
    #2
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  3. Al Dykes

    George White Guest

    On Sat, 30 Oct 2010, Al Dykes wrote:

    > These days my laptop is seeing heavy use as a desktop replacement and
    > it is plugged in all the time. I've killed the battery on previous
    > laptops due to over-charging when the laptop was mostly shut down.
    >
    > I guess it makes sense that a turned-off laptop doesn't have fancy
    > battery protection circuitry.


    There are some tradeoffs -- some types of batteries last longer if they
    are not fully charged, but then you lose run-time, so if you don't require
    max run-time then you are better off charging to something less than
    "full". Vendors are motivated to maximize run-time even if it sacrifices
    some battery life. Did you ever see a review that included both
    "run-time" and "time-to-replacement"?

    > Is there any chance that a modern laptop (an Inspiron 1464 running W7
    > in my case) protects the battery from over-charge as long an the OS is
    > running?


    Battery technology is improving all the time, so past experience isn't
    useful as a guide.

    > If no, I'll continue to watch the gas gauge and unplug the power brick
    > as needed.


    You would have to take out the battery when it reaches your personal
    optimal charge level, which for those who are nver away from an outlet
    for more than an hour would be less than the vendor's optimal level.

    --
    George White <> <>
    189 Parklea Dr., Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia B3Z 2G6
     
    George White, Oct 31, 2010
    #3
  4. Al Dykes

    crkeehn Guest

    "Al Dykes" <> wrote in message
    news:iahcua$k8p$...
    > These days my laptop is seeing heavy use as a desktop replacement and
    > it is plugged in all the time. I've killed the battery on previous
    > laptops due to over-charging when the laptop was mostly shut down.
    >
    > I guess it makes sense that a turned-off laptop doesn't have fancy
    > battery protection circuitry.
    >
    > Is there any chance that a modern laptop (an Inspiron 1464 running W7
    > in my case) protects the battery from over-charge as long an the OS is
    > running?
    >
    > If no, I'll continue to watch the gas gauge and unplug the power brick
    > as needed.
    >
    > --
    > Al Dykes
    > News is something someone wants to suppress, everything else is
    > advertising.
    > - Lord Northcliffe, publisher of the Daily Mail
    >


    Does Dell do what Samsung does with their batteries. Samsung has a setting
    for a laptop which is plugged in most of the time. The battery is charged
    only to 80% and then the charging stops. It is "supposed" to prolong
    battery life.
     
    crkeehn, Oct 31, 2010
    #4
  5. Al Dykes

    BillW50 Guest

    In news:p,
    George White typed on Sun, 31 Oct 2010 07:36:29 -0400:
    > There are some tradeoffs -- some types of batteries last longer if
    > they are not fully charged, but then you lose run-time, so if you
    > don't require max run-time then you are better off charging to
    > something less than "full". Vendors are motivated to maximize
    > run-time even if it sacrifices some battery life. Did you ever see a
    > review that included both "run-time" and "time-to-replacement"?


    I can verify what George has said. As I have experimented with lithiums
    for over 10 years. And 4.1v per cell is about the highest I feel safe in
    charging lithium. Nor does it seem to shorten their life much at all.

    Although it takes a hit on capacity. And especially for laptops, this is
    bad for sales. As laptop manufactures want as long running capacity as
    they can. So the charging circuits at set for 4.2v per cell.

    Another damaging thing to lithium batteries is heat. Usually up to 110°F
    is okay. But much higher and their life shortens pretty fast. And
    laptops generally get pretty warm and usually exceeds this temperature.
    Thus why many of us with lots of experience with laptop batteries,
    recommend leaving the batteries out when not needed. Thus the heat of
    the laptop isn't also heating the battery along with it.

    --
    Bill
    Gateway M465e ('06 era) - Centrino Duo 1.83G - 2GB - Windows XP SP3
     
    BillW50, Dec 22, 2010
    #5
  6. Al Dykes

    BillW50 Guest

    In news:,
    Timothy Daniels typed on Sun, 31 Oct 2010 11:51:00 -0700:
    > "George White" wrote:
    >> [....]
    >> You would have to take out the battery when it reaches your personal
    >> optimal charge level, which for those who are nver away from an
    >> outlet for more than an hour would be less than the vendor's optimal
    >> level.

    >
    > Why must one remove the battery? Wouldn't just unplugging the
    > charger cable from the laptop suffice?


    Hi Tim! Well there is lots of forum stuff with Celeron M still draining
    batteries when they are off. So if you have one of these you can test it
    after a few days to see how much the charge has dropped. Some have
    reported a dead battery within 7 to 14 days. So that is something to
    think about. Also I have found removing the battery and reinserting
    seems to stop the power drain on the battery when it is off. Otherwise I
    guess you can leave the battery in the laptop if you want too. But for
    safety reasons I always pull them out.

    --
    Bill
    Gateway M465e ('06 era) - Centrino Duo 1.83G - 2GB - Windows XP SP3
     
    BillW50, Dec 22, 2010
    #6
  7. Al Dykes

    BillW50 Guest

    In news:,
    Timothy Daniels typed on Wed, 22 Dec 2010 17:31:19 -0800:
    > How do you tell if the battery voltage has gotten to 4.1 volt?
    > Does your charger have some sort of meter on it?


    Hi Tim! Well a digital meter is the best way. But your computer already
    knows. And there are utilities out there that can read the voltage. Like
    "BattStat v0.98 Beta" is one of my favorites. Although you need to
    figure out how many cells are in series. Usually three or four. And you
    can find out by the voltage written on the battery.

    This one I just grabbed says 14.4v. Dividing it by 4 comes out to 3.6v.
    This other says 11.1v and dividing by 3 comes out to 3.7v. So the first
    example it is 4 cells and the second is 3 cells. They usually come out
    to 3.6v per cell or really close to it. So if your utility is reading
    say 12v for 3 cells, you are at 4.0v per cell. Any questions?

    Without all of this, just watching the capacity and removing the battery
    anywhere between 85% to say 90% should be lower than 4.1v per cell
    anyway. This method is very simple, but less accurate.

    > If leaving the battery out keeps the battery cool, the laptop PC must
    > be getting power from somewhere else to generate the heat. Do you run
    > your laptop off the charger without the battery inserted?


    Yes I do. Sometimes the AC is plugged into an UPS and sometimes it
    isn't. It depends on how important the work I am doing. Most laptops
    work just fine without a battery and running on AC.

    --
    Bill
    Gateway M465e ('06 era) - Centrino Duo 1.83G - 2GB - Windows XP SP3
     
    BillW50, Dec 23, 2010
    #7
  8. Al Dykes

    crkeehn Guest

    "Timothy Daniels" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "BillW50" replied:
    >> Timothy Daniels typed:
    >>> How do you tell if the battery voltage has gotten to 4.1 volt?
    >>> Does your charger have some sort of meter on it?

    >>
    >> Hi Tim! Well a digital meter is the best way. But your computer already
    >> knows. And there are utilities out there that can read the voltage. Like
    >> "BattStat v0.98 Beta" is one of my favorites. Although you need to figure
    >> out how many cells are in series. Usually three or four. And you can find
    >> out by the voltage written on the battery.
    >>
    >> This one I just grabbed says 14.4v. Dividing it by 4 comes out to 3.6v.
    >> This other says 11.1v and dividing by 3 comes out to 3.7v. So the first
    >> example it is 4 cells and the second is 3 cells. They usually come out to
    >> 3.6v per cell or really close to it. So if your utility is reading say
    >> 12v for 3 cells, you are at 4.0v per cell. Any questions?

    >
    >
    > No questions. For simplicity, though, I think I'll just charge the
    > battery up until the icon shows 90%, then take it out of the laptop.
    > The current battery is already 3+ years old and it has been held at
    > full charge virtually constantly during that period, so I think I'll
    > start
    > the 90% thing when I finally get a new battery.
    >
    >
    >> Without all of this, just watching the capacity and removing the battery
    >> anywhere between 85% to say 90% should be lower than 4.1v per cell
    >> anyway. This method is very simple, but less accurate.
    >>
    >>> If leaving the battery out keeps the battery cool, the laptop PC must be
    >>> getting power from somewhere else to generate the heat. Do you run your
    >>> laptop off the charger without the battery inserted?

    >>
    >> Yes I do. Sometimes the AC is plugged into an UPS and sometimes it isn't.
    >> It depends on how important the work I am doing. Most laptops work just
    >> fine without a battery and running on AC.

    >
    >
    > <LOL>. For some reason, using a UPS with a laptop with the battery
    > removed sounds like pushing a car to save gas, but I *guess* it makes
    > sense. What may be funnier, though, is that when I use my laptop at
    > my desk, I have the battery installed AND the power adapter is plugged
    > into a UPS. Nothing but smooooooth voltage for *my* laptop. :)
    >
    > *TimDaniels*
    >
    >

    Does Dell offer a charging setting for desktop replacement use? My Samsung
    offers a setting which charges the battery to about 80% of capacity to
    prolong battery life. It does give a much shorter battery operation time
    but I generally operate my laptop in the vicinity of an outlet.
     
    crkeehn, Dec 23, 2010
    #8
  9. Al Dykes

    RnR Guest

    On Wed, 22 Dec 2010 19:45:28 -0800, "Timothy Daniels"
    <> wrote:

    >"BillW50" replied:
    >> Timothy Daniels typed:
    >>> How do you tell if the battery voltage has gotten to 4.1 volt?
    >>> Does your charger have some sort of meter on it?

    >>
    >> Hi Tim! Well a digital meter is the best way. But your computer already knows. And there are utilities out there that
    >> can read the voltage. Like "BattStat v0.98 Beta" is one of my favorites. Although you need to figure out how many
    >> cells are in series. Usually three or four. And you can find out by the voltage written on the battery.
    >>
    >> This one I just grabbed says 14.4v. Dividing it by 4 comes out to 3.6v. This other says 11.1v and dividing by 3 comes
    >> out to 3.7v. So the first example it is 4 cells and the second is 3 cells. They usually come out to 3.6v per cell or
    >> really close to it. So if your utility is reading say 12v for 3 cells, you are at 4.0v per cell. Any questions?

    >
    >
    > No questions. For simplicity, though, I think I'll just charge the
    > battery up until the icon shows 90%, then take it out of the laptop.
    > The current battery is already 3+ years old and it has been held at
    > full charge virtually constantly during that period, so I think I'll start
    > the 90% thing when I finally get a new battery.
    >
    >
    >> Without all of this, just watching the capacity and removing the battery anywhere between 85% to say 90% should be
    >> lower than 4.1v per cell anyway. This method is very simple, but less accurate.
    >>
    >>> If leaving the battery out keeps the battery cool, the laptop PC must be getting power from somewhere else to
    >>> generate the heat. Do you run your laptop off the charger without the battery inserted?

    >>
    >> Yes I do. Sometimes the AC is plugged into an UPS and sometimes it isn't. It depends on how important the work I am
    >> doing. Most laptops work just fine without a battery and running on AC.

    >
    >
    > <LOL>. For some reason, using a UPS with a laptop with the battery
    > removed sounds like pushing a car to save gas, but I *guess* it makes
    > sense. What may be funnier, though, is that when I use my laptop at
    > my desk, I have the battery installed AND the power adapter is plugged
    > into a UPS. Nothing but smooooooth voltage for *my* laptop. :)
    >
    >*TimDaniels*
    >



    Tim, don't laugh. I took Bill's advice as far as removing the laptop
    battery and using a UPS when not on battery and so far, the battery
    seems to last longer tho I've only had the laptop for 6 months but I
    think Bill is on the right track. I didn't charge it to 90% tho (I
    did 100%) so I may have to do that too. Not sure I have a meter but
    I do show an icon which I can approx by eye.
     
    RnR, Dec 23, 2010
    #9
  10. Al Dykes

    olfart Guest


    >

    <snip>
    > Tim, don't laugh. I took Bill's advice as far as removing the laptop
    > battery and using a UPS when not on battery and so far, the battery
    > seems to last longer tho I've only had the laptop for 6 months but I
    > think Bill is on the right track. I didn't charge it to 90% tho (I
    > did 100%) so I may have to do that too. Not sure I have a meter but
    > I do show an icon which I can approx by eye.


    Actually a pretty good idea since the heat generated by the laptop can/will
    shorten overall battery life whether you are on Batt or AC power
     
    olfart, Dec 23, 2010
    #10
  11. Al Dykes

    Monica Guest

    Looks like I have a lot to learn about laptop batteries and laptop heat.
    Most of the laptop's use, so far, has been on a desk connected to a wall
    outlet
    with the battery installed. Likewise, most of the time when it's off, it's
    connected
    to an outlet with battery installed.
    If I'm reading right (I don't have the entire thread), this is what I've
    gathered...
    I should remove the battery when I'm using ac power and I should NOT charge
    it to 100% capacity?
    Also, I could have sworn I saw a place to view the current temperature of
    the laptop. Inspiron N5010.
    Does that feature ship with Dell's Win 7 laptops?
    Monica (who needs a crash course on the do's and don'ts of laptop batteries)
    :)

    "olfart" <> wrote in message
    news:ievvb0$r63$...
    >
    >>

    > <snip>
    >> Tim, don't laugh. I took Bill's advice as far as removing the laptop
    >> battery and using a UPS when not on battery and so far, the battery
    >> seems to last longer tho I've only had the laptop for 6 months but I
    >> think Bill is on the right track. I didn't charge it to 90% tho (I
    >> did 100%) so I may have to do that too. Not sure I have a meter but
    >> I do show an icon which I can approx by eye.

    >
    > Actually a pretty good idea since the heat generated by the laptop
    > can/will shorten overall battery life whether you are on Batt or AC power
    >
     
    Monica, Dec 29, 2010
    #11
  12. Al Dykes

    Monica Guest

    Mine is plugged in most of the time as says 100% charged.


    > Does Dell do what Samsung does with their batteries. Samsung has a
    > setting for a laptop which is plugged in most of the time. The battery is
    > charged only to 80% and then the charging stops. It is "supposed" to
    > prolong battery life.
    >
     
    Monica, Dec 30, 2010
    #12
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