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iamdh
Posts: 144
Registered: ‎03-15-2008
Location: Indonesia
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HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR LAPTOP'S BATTERY LIFE

[ Edited ]
Hi all,

I had this bad experience of this wide problem in laptops, battery failure. It happens almost just after your warranty expires :smileymad::smileyvery-happy: many will agree, funny & true..battery stops charging, shows less than 100% or 0% charge no matter how you try to charge it..etc. Also many complain that the battery shows only remaining charge time, and not the time remaining (read 9th tip below).

Though Mark, Andy, vkyr, nonny, jhem, bill, myles and other admin guys are here to help on this forum, I thought of writing this based on my own experience of these batteries till date..I had compiled a few tips and information for dummies about the use of battery here which might help you to extend battery life:

NOTE to moderatos--please check / modify / add / edit in the following if you find any wrong information.
NOTE to all -- These tips in no way will harm your system, except the 9th tip and also if you remove battery without shutting down laptop :smileywink:
All are welcome to add any new tips or corrections.:smileyhappy:


1. Never discharge battery to 0%. Always, ALWAYS let battery discharge to a lower limit of up to about 5 to 10%.

2. To run it or not on AC supply without battery If you use laptop most of the time at home or a place where there is a continuous (= uninterrupted) power supply, then simply remove battery from laptop and run laptop on AC power. If you are doubtful about current surge in AC supply, use a surge protector or a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) unit, which doesn't cost much. But be prepared, sometimes you may lose the data which is not saved, due to any accidental interruption. As [Bill] pointed out there might be a performance degradation due to power failure.This is not recommended if you are unsure of power supply.

3. If you use AC power most of the time, then store battery with 30 to 50% (about 40% optimum) charged condition in a dry, away from any magnetism. At least once in a week or two weeks, run the laptop on only battery supply, let discharge it to about 10%, connect to AC supply, charge battery to 100%. Shut down, disconnect supply, remove battery from laptop and then use AC power supply as usual again.

4. If you are running out of remaining battery time, then instead of shutting down PC, hibernate it ( you need to enable hibernation before through power settings in control panel). Shutting down takes more time than hibernation and without saving anything, you can resume your work after hibernation. After hibernating, even if you remove battery, it won't lose any data and will resume once you connect laptop to a power supply.

5. Use power schemes (power management profiles), modify options available in power options under control panel in windows according to your usage & habits. Instead of using a blank screensaver or a screensaver which looks cool, turn OFF monitor, use lenovo power management options or windows power schemes to do this.[Tom&Wjli2]

6. When running on batteries, to save power - reduce brightness of screen (using keys Fn + F10 to reduce, Fn + F11 to increase), mute volume & turn off any unnecessary devices that you are not going to use like (thanks to [Nicolas])bluetooth / modem / plug&play monitor / network adapters(wireless/ethernet/lan/1394) / PCMCIA adapter. Use 'control panel->system->hardware->device manager' to turn these devices on and off.
Changing color schemes to dark or black colors doesn't save power in case of LCDs. (http://savingenergy.wordpress.com/2006/11/21/saving-energy-one-monitor-at-a-time/)

7. Whatever you try, a battery has a specific life time (no. of charging/discharging cycles), and it discharges slightly/continuously over a long period even when not in use. So if your battery is giving problems after about 3 years of service, then it is time for its replacement. Don't assume that if you don't use battery more often, it will last longer, it may usually, but battery failures are unpredictable.

8. If your battery has started to show problems, it will most likely fail sooner or later. Consult experts if battery is under warranty, else buy a new one.

9. Either use lenovo's default program or you might try a program like Notebook Hardware Control (http://www.pbus-167.com/ ) to monitor your power & hardware / temperature. This program shows remaining battery time once you modify advanced options for battery. Also it shows various temperatures for CPU/HDD and warns you if temperature reaches preset limit.

Caution: though this program allows, don't try to modify voltage settings under advanced options, it can harm to your system.

Added:
10. Never run a hot laptop or a hot battery. It damages the battery/laptop, so be sure to keep temperatures within normal range.(below 140 F or 60 deg C).

11. There are few more good/advanced points added by Tom on Page 2.


Message Edited by iamdh on 04-11-2008 09:24 PM

Message Edited by iamdh on 04-11-2008 10:07 PM

Message Edited by iamdh on 04-11-2008 10:08 PM

Message Edited by iamdh on 04-22-2008 05:21 PM

Message Edited by iamdh on 05-31-2008 05:50 PM

Message Edited by iamdh on 05-31-2008 06:06 PM
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zuby
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎04-06-2008
Location: USA
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Re: HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR LAPTOP'S BATTERY LIFE

I definitely agree with #2, not just for laptop power but also for all your electronics. Surge protectors are very inexpensive and sometimes offer equipment protection guarantees if you register your surge protector. I have lost many electronics because the power adapter had a short and fried the equipment. Every time you vacuum or every time your refrigerator motor turns on it causes spikes in power demand, and a surge protector is definitely something your should have connected at all times.



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Mark_Lenovo
Posts: 8,026
Registered: ‎11-19-2007
Location: RTP, North Carolina
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Re: HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR LAPTOP'S BATTERY LIFE

iamdh,
 
Great! :smileyhappy:
 
A very thoughtful and valuable contribution to the forum.   I certainly appreciate those that volunteer their time to helping provide answers and content for others.   Thanks for setting a good example, and an example that I am encouraged other members follow and have taken the initiative to set positive examples as well.
 
Thanks.
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ckhown
Posts: 117
Registered: ‎01-19-2008
Location: Malaysia
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Re: HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR LAPTOP'S BATTERY LIFE

Dear all,,
 
 
For examples,
 
My laptop battery charge 100% and now showed powered by AC Adapt, it's mean there's no charging to battery am i correct .... means  If my battery is 100% full charged at office, i shutdown my pc and turn off power, and when i at home, plug-in AC Power and start my laptop, the system will showed On AC Power.  So mean there is no use battery, so this case it's same as i remove battery from laptop ?  because if always take out and plug-in battery feel like not good looking.
 
INFO: I am using Lenovo Y410.
Nicholas K.H.Chai
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billbolton
Posts: 1,865
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Re: HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR LAPTOP'S BATTERY LIFE



iamdh wrote:

2. If you use laptop most of the time at home or a place where there is a continuous (= uninterrupted) power supply, then simply remove battery from laptop and run laptop on AC power. If you are doubtful about current surge in AC supply, use a surge protector or a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) unit, which doesn't cost much.

This is not good advice and may impact system performance, not to mention system data integrity when there is a power outage.  There is no real benefit in removing a battery.


3. If you use AC power most of the time, then store battery with 90 to 100% charged condition in a dry, away from any magnetism. At least once in a week or two weeks, run the laptop on only battery supply, let discharge it to about 10%, connect to AC supply, charge battery to 100%. Shut down, disconnect supply, remove battery from laptop and then use AC power supply as usual again.


This is also poor advice.  If you must store a LiON battery out of a system (not recommended), it should be stored at about 40% charge.
 
Discharging/charging LiON batteries unnecessarily does them no good at all.

 
7. Whatever you try, a battery has a specific life time (no. of charging/discharging cycles), and it discharges slightly/continuously over a long period even when not in use. So if your battery is giving problems after about 3 to 5 years of service, then it is time for its replacement. Don't assume that if you don't use battery more often, it will last longer, it may usually, but battery failures are unpredictable.
 

3 years is a good life span for a LiON battery whether it has many cycles or not.  The LiON technology gives great energy density but it does decay with time even if not used much.
 
Cheers,
 
Bill
------------------------------
I don't work for Lenovo
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iamdh
Posts: 144
Registered: ‎03-15-2008
Location: Indonesia
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Re: HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR LAPTOP'S BATTERY LIFE

Thanks Mark and Bill, for correcting the above points and discussing. I have made sure to highlight the corrections.
Only about the 2nd point, its major benefit I might say that I don't need to carry the heavy battery ....(at the moment, I don't have a battery at all:smileyvery-happy:)
But in my case I am well assured of the power supply, which is backed up by an uninterrupted power supply circuit. But this is really not a general case and any one should make sure of the AC power supply before continuing to use it.

I had searched for a battery manual or instructions which state all these storage/charging/discharging/handling information, but found nothing on lenovo website. But I came across a HP website providing similar information for their batteries. Lenovo might want to include such a guide.

@ ckhown:
Battery is required in cases where the supply is interrupted by accident. Also in cases where the power is not available.
It is a backup power supply and also a sufficient surge protector.
With battery inside your laptop, you don't need to worry about the AC supply interruption or any small current surges.
So battery is required for above reasons.
If you want to run laptop without battery on AC supply, read the 2nd point above.

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Nicolas
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎04-22-2008
Location: Belgium
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Re: HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR LAPTOP'S BATTERY LIFE

[ Edited ]

Hi,

:smileyhappy::smileyhappy:Here is my contribution to this valuable post :

Point 5 : in addition to the screensaver blank option, you may also create a special "theme" with dark colors (black desktop, see tab 2, and color model with dark backgrounds, see tab 4). When you need more battery autonomy, all you have to do is to activate the theme, because the dark colors will use up less battery energy. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Point 6 : I would desactivate all those devices you never use or don't use much oftem, such as the 56K data-fax modem, the plug & play screen, the PCMCIA (unless you use it), the Ethernet card (if you work with wifi), etc ..

:smileyindifferent::smileyindifferent:I only have ONE QUESTION remaining, about Point 2 :

Let's assume the surge in AC supply is 100% reliable.  Is it a good idea FOR THE BATTERY LIFE to remove it when you work with AC supply ??  There was no conclusion on this debate between your post and the comments.

Nicolas



Message Edited by Nicolas on 04-22-2008 06:26 AM
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iamdh
Posts: 144
Registered: ‎03-15-2008
Location: Indonesia
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Re: HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR LAPTOP'S BATTERY LIFE

Nikolas,
I found this interesting article on power savings.

http://savingenergy.wordpress.com/2006/11/21/saving-energy-one-monitor-at-a-time/

# 5
As it states LCD monitors are sensitive to brightness, but not to the colors displayed on screen. These monitors consume same power for all colors.

# 6
And yeas, turn off the unnecessary devices like 56k modem/bluetooth/network adapters/pcmcia adapter unless you are using it. Use 'control panel->system->hardware->device manager' to turn these devices on-off.

# 2
Need a battery expert's opinion on this.
Occasional use of battery in 10-15 days and use of reliable AC power for other times should help to increase battery life.
But batteries have chemicals inside it and there is always a possibility of manufacturing defects. Such parameters make its life unpredictable in some cases. That is why Lenovo provides warranty for such cases.





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Nicolas
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎04-22-2008
Location: Belgium
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Re: HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR LAPTOP'S BATTERY LIFE

[ Edited ]
Dear iamdh,
 
:smileyhappy:Thanks for your answer and your update of the main post. I also read the various interesting articles you mentioned.
Now, I would like to submit to you these interesting questions :
 
Question 1 : Please do the following test : Open Paint, enlarge to full screen, set image size at least the size of your LCD (e.g. 1500 x 1200 dots) and use bucket tool to fill the whole image in pure black. Now, go to control panel, display, screensaver tab, and select Blank screensaver and test it with the View button. DO YOU SEE A DIFFERENCE between the black screen in Paint and the blank screen of screensaver ?
I don't see any difference (I use a vaio A517S laptop with high brightness LCD), so the conclusion might be that the blank screensaver uses up the same energy than a black color screen. A 2nd experiment leads to the same conclusion more conclusively : View again the "blank" screen (in screensaver tab, View button) and play with the Fn Keys to change brighness. You will notice that that it is impacted by brightness level which means the blankscreen is NOT a real "blank". WHY IS IT IMPORTANT ? Because, if choosing the Blank screensaver uses up the same energy as a black screen, AND because the black screen doesn't make any difference with a white screen on a LCD (remember the paper you found), then, why choose the Blank screensaver !!? Or, is it the fact that colors don't make any difference with LCD which is wrong !?? At that stage, I only ask. It is logic, it is one or the other, isn't it ? Any comments welcome.
 
Question 2 : You remember that energy transforms into various forms : light, temperature, strength, movement, etc... Now, let's come back to LCD monitor : IF a black full screen and a white full screen uses up the same energy (youy remember the paper http://savingenergy.wordpress.com/2006/11/21/saving-energy-one-monitor-at-a-time/), then, there is a interesting point : Because the white screen gives more light than the black (you can check that in the middle of the night using your laptop as a spotlight torche !), it means that the black uses up its energy into an other form.  ...What could it be, other than temperature ? LET'S PUT IT AGAIN DIFFERENTLY : The black screen and the white screen use up the same energy, but why it is used for brighter light with the white, it is used for higher temperature with the dark.  WHY IS IT IMPORTANT ? Because higher laptop temperatures damage batteries quicker, then it means that we should avoid dark colors and prefer light colors in our windows settings. .. any comment welcome
 
:smileyindifferent:Really, the central point of discussion is the fact that electricity LCD consumption is not impacted by colors, even white or black. Has it been really double checked by many ? A story to follow..


Message Edited by Nicolas on 04-24-2008 01:34 AM

Message Edited by Nicolas on 04-24-2008 01:35 AM
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iamdh
Posts: 144
Registered: ‎03-15-2008
Location: Indonesia
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Re: HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR LAPTOP'S BATTERY LIFE

:smileyhappy: Interesting discussion Nic. I could write a thesis/research paper if I go into further detail.
The blog(link i posted) gives some graphical data, which looks authentic. But in case of LCDs, it has only stated that change in colors does not affect power consumption by LCDs. No plots. In my opinion, there might be a possibility of very slight difference in power consumption for different colors(black/white etc), which the author thinks is negligible enough, in LCD case.
Blankness and black color, i really don't think have a big difference in power consumption in reality.
A screensaver moving fast can have more power consumption than a still blank/black or monitor off condition, logically.
When you compare black & white screensaver, even if one is bright and another not, both can consume same power.
You can compare a 40W bulb and 40W white light tube, they may consume same wattage power, but they have different principles which give different lumen intensity of light.

 
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