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Better to keep plugged in?

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posted on May, 28 2012 @ 07:06 AM
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Is it better to keep your laptop plugged in and charging all the time, or better to unplug it when charge is complete?

I've heard that it's better to unplug it when it's fully charged and not plug it in again until the battery is almost dead. Something about the battery's ability to keep a charge will change in regards to amount of time it will stay.

Any experts out there know which is better?




posted on May, 28 2012 @ 07:11 AM
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reply to post by Ellie Sagan
 


it's best for the battery to let it discharge and then recharge it. If you keep the charger on it all the time, the battery will loose it's charge. Then one day when you need it to be mobile, it won't be.



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 07:14 AM
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The very old style of batteries may have benefited from cycling.

Most modern Laptops use Li-Ion batteries, in fact they use type 18650. (Just in case you want to redo an old pack, about $5.00 ea on Ebay)

Modern Laptops perform much better if left plugged in.

P



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 07:14 AM
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reply to post by network dude
 


Thank you so much. I've always wondered if it was true because I didn't understand the reason. Can you explain the reason? I like to know how things work.



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 07:15 AM
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network dude speaks the truth. Just like any lithium battery, you should drain the battery completely before recharging. This will keep your battery healthier and with a higher capacity for many moons. This goes for the lithium battery in your cell phone too...

It's also best to let your laptop charge to full while it's off, and to STOP charging when you have a full charge. This can be inconvenient for some people - so if you're one of those who aren't likely to practice these charging habits you should get a second battery, that way you can always make sure you have the time to charge the unused battery correctly.



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 07:15 AM
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reply to post by pheonix358
 


Ok now I'm not sure what to do. This laptop is only a year or so old and I don't know what kind of battery it has. It's an HP. Duh, I guess I can open it and look.

*Plugs computer back in*
edit on 28-5-2012 by Ellie Sagan because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 07:18 AM
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reply to post by TinkerHaus
 


I didn't know it kept charging when it was off. You would have to turn it back on just to see if it was charged all the way though. Or it wouldn't matter, because it wouldn't be on to be using the charge up, right? Gah, I feel like such an idiot not knowing this stuff.

*Unplugs computer again*

LOL
edit on 28-5-2012 by Ellie Sagan because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 07:20 AM
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reply to post by Ellie Sagan
 


Lithium ion batteries (laptops, ipods, cell phones) have a limited amount of "charge cycles" that they can do before they start to degrade.

Charge cycle doesn't refer to a full charge, it means the act of charging at all.

So, in respect to the life span of the battery, charging it from 0 to 100% does the same "damage" that charging it from 90% to 100% does.

The best plan of action for a laptop is let the battery drain as close to zero as you can, and then charge it fully and unplug. When a battery is fully charged and plugged in, it's actually draining a little then charging a little, constantly.



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 07:20 AM
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Batteries have different chemical compositions.

We started with very old tech NiCd, they needed the cycle to avoid the memory effect. Unfortunately cycling cost longevity as anyone with older cordless power drills would know.

Next came NIMh batteries, these did not have a great memory problem and were much better.

Now we use Li-Ion (Lithium Ion) batteries that do not suffer at all from memory effect and the chemical composition prefers to be at greater than 75% charge.

Look up battery types on google for more info.

P



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 07:24 AM
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reply to post by phishyblankwaters
 


Well thank you! You explained that quite simply, which is exactly what I need to understand stuff.



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 07:26 AM
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reply to post by pheonix358
 


Ok I understand that part now. Thank you for your reply again. But phishy explained what I was wondering about. The life of the battery, not performance. If I understand correctly.



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 07:30 AM
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reply to post by Ellie Sagan
 





I didn't know it kept charging when it was off. You would have to turn it back on just to see if it was charged all the way though. Or it wouldn't matter, because it wouldn't be on to be using the charge up, right? Gah, I feel like such an idiot not knowing this stuff.


Yes as long as the laptop is plugged in, even if it's turned off, it's still charging the battery. And, much like a cell phone, it charges better that way, with less background applications running.

The battery uses a chemical reaction, like all batteries. The more you charge it, the more deposits of crap for in the electrolyte, making it less efficient, and reducing the batteries ability to hold a charge, and making it take longer to achieve a full charge.

Anyways, you said it's an HP. What model? I deal with, oh, around 10,000 HP laptops currently, several models, nx6110, 6710b, 6530p, 4510s.

Let me tell you, if you plan to replace the battery, be careful. We've tried several different manufactures to replace our batteries and so far HP branded ones last twice as long as the replacements, and considering they charge 3 times what the replacements do, it makes sense.

You "can" crack open the battery and replace the lithium cells, they are the same you'd find in most old cameras, they look almost like a double a battery but maybe 1/3 as long. I would avoid against this for a million and one reasons though, leave that to someone who knows what they are doing.

Depending on your model of laptop from HP, you might be able to go to the HP software and drivers page and download the HP battery check tool. We use this to verify battery integrity. Tiny little app that scans the battery and gives you the life span, expectancy, full charge ratio, amount of charge cycles completed, date it was manufactured, and in advanced mode, the manufacturer.

If you have a "simplo" battery, I feel sorry for you, they die within 6 months.



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 07:36 AM
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reply to post by phishyblankwaters
 


Thank you again for that information. I'm gonna try that to see what it says about my battery life.

I'm showing my ignorance again, I'm not sure what the model is. It says here on the sticker on the comp itself: Pavilion dv6-3217cl Entertainment PC Is that what you mean by model number?



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 08:11 AM
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Pheonic358 is correct if your using Lion-Poly batteries.

I use them for flying RC Helicopters. They DO NOT have the memory problems associated with the older types of battery.



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 08:20 AM
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My husband nags me to death about leaving my laptop charging. I tend to forget to unplug it, and he literally cringes and says "It's charged, unplug it!". LOL. I try to listen to him, as my previous laptop was a victim of constant charging, and it got to a point where it wouldn't hold a charge when I did unplug it, and it would die sporadically. Don't know if it's related to constant charging or not, but since I've been listening to my loving, yet determined husband, I've not had any such issues with this laptop.

It's kinda funny, actually, when I woke up this morning I saw that I had forgotten to unplug the charger... and I made the same cringe face my husband does, I could swear I almost heard him SIGH in my head! hahaha

But, I'd listen to whatever the advice of the techie people is!



posted on May, 28 2012 @ 08:33 AM
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OP you have two answers diametrically opposed.

My view based on Li-Ion tech is just leave it plugged in.

The modern charger internal to your laptop will not allow the batteries to overcharge.

When using the Laptop with the mains plugged in the batteries are not being used at all, they are just kept at full charge. If they were to be overcharged Li-Ion batteries explode. Since they have not you can be assured that they are not always charging.


You can't sort it out here so you will have to do your own research. Try the user manual, if you don't have it look it up on HP site. In any case understanding the different battery types will keep you in good stead.

That is it for me.

P



posted on May, 29 2012 @ 06:09 PM
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Originally posted by pheonix358
My view based on Li-Ion tech is just leave it plugged in.

I don't have a laptop, and only had a second hand one that didn't had a working battery, but one of my work colleagues has been using laptops since 1998 (or something like that), and he always fully charge, then discharge the batteries, and he has never had any problems.


The modern charger internal to your laptop will not allow the batteries to overcharge.

I think that's the biggest source of problems with the batteries.
Many years ago, when I was in school, one of the things I learned was how to make a battery charger, and one of the things it had was a way of sensing when the charge was complete. From that moment on it kept only what is called, if I'm not mistaken, trickle charge, keeping a charge only equal to the amount of discharge affecting the battery.

Two things about what I just wrote:
1 - This was with old lead-acid batteries
2 - This was for a battery being charged without being in use

Anyway, I think that a properly done charger can keep a battery in the best working conditions, but the makers probably choose cheaper chargers to keep prices low.





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