Maximizing Your Battery's Performance
Rechargeable batteries have become very popular for use as power
sources for consumer electronic devices, because their energy density (energy per unit weight or volume)
is very high relative to nickel
cadmium (Ni-Cd) and nickel metal hydride (NiMh) batteries. Li-ion
batteries are also much less polluting than the heavy-metal Nickel
Cadmium battery. Cellphones,
digital cameras and camcorders, laptop computers, shavers, and other
devices now use lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium batteries also are being developed for other uses,
including energy storage devices for electric and hybrid electric
vehicles, biotechnology, and for space use. However, as battery developers work to
create better batteries, they are faced with numerous
challenges such as safety, cost, and calendar life.
Types of Batteries
types of batteries use different types of chemicals and chemical
reactions. Some of the more common types of batteries are:
Alkaline batteries -
The usual Duracell and Energizer you find in stores. The electrodes
of alkaline batteries are zinc and manganese-oxide, and the
electrolyte is an alkaline paste.
Lead-acid batteries - These are
normally used for car batteries. The electrodes
are made of lead (Pb) and lead-oxide (PbO2 or PbO3) with a strong acid
(commonly H2SO4 or Sulfuric Acid) as the
Lithium battery - These are used in cameras for the
flash mechanism. They are made with lithium, lithium-iodide and
lead-iodide. They usually supply electricity to capacitors which
then provide the electrical surge for the flash.
Lithium-ion battery -
This type of battery is found in cameras, camcorders, laptop
computers, cell phones and other high-use portable equipment. Today
Li-ion batteries are the most popular consumer advice. They are
lighter than Ni-MH batteries.
Nickel Metal-Hydride (NiMH) batteries offer
much higher energy densities than NiCad batteries. This means increased run-time from the battery
at the same weight/size. NiMH also does not suffer from the
"memory effect" (explained below). Finally, NiMH batteries are environmentally
more friendly than their NiCad counterparts, since they lack heavy metals.
Nickel-cadmium or NiCad battery - The electrodes are
nickel-hydroxide and cadmium. The electrolyte is
potassium-hydroxide. This battery used to be the primary type for
all types of consumer electronics, including cameras, shavers
etc. But it has been mostly been replaced witht he Lithium-Ion
battery, mentioned above.
Zinc-carbon battery or
standard carbon battery - Zinc and carbon are used in standard
AA, C and D dry-cell batteries. The electrodes are composed of zinc and carbon,
and a paste of acidic
materials between them serves as the electrolyte for ion flow.
Maximizing Your Battery's Performance
Here are several steps you can take to insure that you get maximum performance from your battery:
Most new batteries will be semi or fully discharged upon arrival and must be
charged before use. The battery may require three to four
charge/discharge cycles before achieving maximum capacity. This may also
apply after prolonged storage of the battery.
It is normal for a battery to become warm during charging and
It is important to condition the battery every four to five months by
taking it through a charge/discharge cycle. Simple fully charge your
battery, fully discharge it, and charge it again. Note that this does not
apply to lithium ion batteries, which do not require conditioning as they
don't have the so called "memory effect" problem.
If the battery will not be in use for a month or longer, it is
recommended that it be removed from the device and stored in a cool, dry,
A charged battery will eventually lose its charge if unused. It may
therefore be necessary to recharge the battery after a storage period.
The milliamp-hour (mAH) rating our batteries may often be higher than
the one on your original battery. A higher mAH rating indicates a longer
lasting (higher capacity) battery and will not cause any incompatibilities.
Our batteries will, in many cases, outperform the original (OEM) product by
30% to 40%.
Actual battery run-time depends upon the power demands made by the
equipment. For example, using the LCD display in camcorders reduced battery
run time; using the viewfinder will prolong run time. In the case of
laptops, the use of peripherals like CD/DVD drives, backup drives etc results in an additional drain upon the
battery, reducing the battery's run-time. In the case of computers,
try to optimize your computer's power management features. Consult your
computer manual for further instructions.
Keep Your Batteries Clean - Clean dirty battery contacts with a cotton swab and alcohol. This
will help maintain a good connection between battery and device.
Exercise Your Battery - Do not leave your battery dormant for long periods of time.
It is recommended to use the battery at least once every two to three weeks. If a battery has not been used for a long period of time, perform the new battery break in procedure described above.
Battery Storage - If you don't plan on using the battery for a month or more, we recommend storing it in a clean, dry, cool place away from heat and metal objects. NiCad, NiMH
and Li-Ion batteries will self-discharge during storage; remember to break
them in before use.
So how do these batteries work? >>>