Taking Care of your Rechargeable Battery
Firstly, important information you need to know
Batteries may become warm during charging - this is normal.
Do not expose the battery to rain, water or moisture and avoid any mechanical shocks like dropping.
Clean any soiled battery and charger terminals with a soft cloth or pencil eraser.
Don't allow the battery terminals to contact any metal surfaces (eg. keys, coins or tools) as shorting may occur.
Do not attempt to open batteries.
Do not expose the battery to heat or fire as it may deteriorate or explode.
Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) Batteries
NiCd Chemistry batteries have an inherent 'memory problem'. You should refrain from 'topping up' your battery (ie. charging) before it has been fully discharged.
This will ensure a longer and more effective life. NiCd batteries are designed for 'deep cycling' and should be run to full discharge every week.
Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) Batteries
NiMH chemistry batteries have a low 'memory' problem. You can 'top up' your battery's charge at any time and it can stand random charging. It is advisable to completely discharge the battery every month of constant use. Importantly the cycle life (ie. the full charge and discharge cycle) of a NiMH battery is only around one third of the cycle life of a NiCd battery. If a NiMH battery is treated like a NiCd battery it will have a short life. Replace the battery when the operating time has noticeably declined. It has a charge/discharge life of 500 cycles
Lithium Ion (Li-ion) Batteries
Li-ion batteries are small, expensive and have no 'memory' problem and are of higher voltage (3.6v per cell) and capacity. They are reported to have a shelf life of two years from date of manufacture! They are known to be volatile and dangerous if shorted, punctured or placed near strong heat. Li-ion batteries require a special charging unit. They are not known to be hazardous to the environment. It has a charge/discharge life of 300 to 500 cycles
Maintaining Battery Life
To maintain the battery packís maximum capacity, occasionally you should let the computer totally deplete its battery power before recharging. If you have not been doing this, and your battery life has decreased you may need to do this discharge-charge cycle a number of times (3-5) to improve the performance.
End-users without specialist battery cycling equipment should follow the instructions below in order to cycle their battery.
1) Create a bootable disk by inserting a blank disk, double-clicking My Computer then right-clicking the A: drive. Select format, then choose Quick Format making sure that the "Copy System Files" box is ticked.
2) Leave the disk in the drive and choose Shutdown->Restart.
3) Remove the power supply and allow the computer to drain itís battery.
4) When the computer switches itself off, switch it back on Ė keep repeating this until the computer only lasts a matter of seconds when turned on.
5) Leave switched off and allow to cool for 30 minutes (until the battery is less than 25C).
6) Plug in the power supply and allow to charge for around 12 hours.
If needed, switch on the machine (with the disk still in the drive) and repeat from step 3.
Please note that all rechargeable batteries have a life-span of between 300-500 charge-discharge cycles. If this procedure gives no improvement in battery life your battery may have reached the end of its life.