Battery Knowledge Tips & FAQ


Batteries Care Instructions

Battery Do's:

  • A new battery comes in a discharged condition and must be charged before use (refer to the devices manual for charging instructions). Upon initial use (or after a prolonged storage period) the battery may require three to four charge/discharge cycles before achieving maximum capacity.

  • When charging the battery for the first time the device may indicate that charging is complete after just 10 or 15 minutes. This is a normal phenomenon with rechargeable batteries. Remove the battery from the device, reinsert it and repeat the charging procedure.

  • It is important to condition (fully discharge and then fully charge) the battery every two to three weeks. Failure to do so may significantly shorten the battery's life (this does not apply to Li-Ion batteries, which do not require conditioning). To discharge, simply run the device under the battery's power until it shuts down or until you get a low battery warning. Then recharge the battery as instructed in the user's manual.

  • 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, clean place.

  • It is normal for a battery to become warm to the touch during charging and discharging.

  • 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 of the Hi-Capacity battery will often be higher than the one on the original battery. A higher mAH rating is indicative of a longer lasting (higher capacity) battery and will not cause any incompatibilities. A Hi-Capacity battery will, in most cases, outperform the original by 30% to 50%.

  • Actual battery run-time depends upon the power demands made by the equipment. In the case of notebook computers, screen brightness, the use of the CPU, the hard drive, and other peripherals results in an additional drain upon the battery, effectively reducing the battery's run-time. The total run-time of the battery is also heavily dependent upon the design of the equipment. To ensure maximum performance of the battery, optimize the computer's power management features. Refer to the computer manual for further instructions.

    Battery Don'ts:

  • Do not short-circuit. A short-circuit may cause severe damage to the battery.

  • Do not drop, hit or otherwise abuse the battery as this may result in the exposure of the cell contents, which are corrosive.

  • Do not expose the battery to moisture or rain.

  • Keep battery away from fire or other sources of extreme heat. Do not incinerate. Exposure of battery to extreme heat may result in an explosion.

    General Battery Information

    What Are The Different Types of Rechargeable Battery Chemistries/Technologies?
    Batteries in portable consumer devices (laptops and notebooks, camcorders, cellular phones, etc.) are principally made using either Nickel Cadmium (NiCad), Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) or Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) technologies. Each type of rechargeable battery technology has its own unique characteristics:

    NiCad and NiMH:
    The main difference between the two is the fact that NiMH batteries (the newer of the two technologies) offer higher energy densities than NiCads. In other words, pound for pound, NiMH delivers approximately twice the capacity of its NiCad counterpart. What this translates into is increased run-time from the battery with no additional bulk to weigh down your portable device. NiMH also offers another major advantage: NiCad batteries tend to suffer from what is called the "memory effect". NiMH batteries are less prone to develop this dreaded affliction and thus require less maintenance and care. NiMH batteries are also more environmentally friendly than their NiCad counterparts since they do not contain heavy metals (which present serious landfill problems).

    Li-Ion
    Li-Ion has quickly become the emerging standard for portable power in consumer devices. Li-Ion batteries produce the same energy as NiMH batteries but weigh approximately 35% less. This is crucial in applications such as camcorders or notebook computers where the battery makes up a significant portion of the device's weight. Another reason Li-Ion batteries have become so popular is that they do not suffer from the memory effect AT ALL. They are also environmentally friendly because they don't contain toxic materials such as Cadmium or Mercury.

    What is the "Memory Effect"?
    NiCad batteries, and to a lesser extent NiMH batteries, suffer from what's called the "memory effect". What this means is that if a battery is repeatedly only partially discharged before recharging, the battery "forgets" that it has the capacity to further discharge all the way down. To illustrate: If you, on a regular basis, fully charge your battery and then use only 50% of its capacity before the next recharge, eventually the battery will become unaware of its extra 50% capacity which has remained unused. The battery will remain functional, but only at 50% of its original capacity. The way to avoid the dreaded "memory effect" is to fully cycle (fully charge and then fully discharge) the battery at least once every two to three weeks. Batteries can be discharged by unplugging the device's AC adapter and letting the device run on the battery until it ceases to function. This will insure your battery remains healthy.

    Is it Possible to Upgrade the Device's Battery to a Newer Chemistry?
    NiCad, NiMH and Li-Ion are all fundamentally different from one another and cannot be substituted unless the device has been pre-configured from the factory to accept more than one type of rechargeable battery technology. The difference between them stems from the fact that each type requires a different charging pattern to be properly recharged. Therefore, the portable device's internal charger must be properly configured to handle a given type of rechargeable battery.
    Refer to the owners manual to find out which rechargeable battery types the particular device supports or use our QuickFind search engine to find the device in our database. It will automatically list all of the battery types supported by the machine.

    The New Battery Isn't Charging. What's the Deal?
    New batteries are shipped in a discharged condition and must charged before use. We generally recommend an overnight charge (approximately twelve hours). Refer to the user's manual for charging instructions. Rechargeable batteries should be cycled - fully charged and then fully discharged - two to four times initially to allow them to reach their full capacity. (Note: it is normal for a battery to become warm to the touch during charging and discharging).

    New batteries are hard for the device to charge; they have never been fully charged and are therefore "unformed". Sometimes the device's charger will stop charging a new battery before it is fully charged. If this happens, remove the battery from the device and then reinsert it. The charge cycle should begin again. This may happen several times during the first battery charge. Don't worry; it's perfectly normal.

    How Can I Maximize Battery Performance?
    There are several steps you can take to insure that you get maximum performance from the battery:

    Break In New Batteries
    New batteries come in a discharged condition and must be fully charged before use. It is recommended that you fully charge and discharge the new battery two to four times to allow it to reach its maximum rated capacity.

    Prevent the Memory Effect
    Keep the battery healthy by fully charging and then fully discharging it at least once every two to three weeks. Exceptions to the rule are Li-Ion batteries which do not suffer from the memory effect.

    Keep the Batteries Clean
    It's a good idea to clean dirty battery contacts with a cotton swab and alcohol. This helps maintain a good connection between the battery and the portable device.

    Exercise the Battery
    Do not leave the battery dormant for long periods of time. We recommend using 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. Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries must be kept at full charge during storage. This is usually achieved by using special trickle chargers. If you do not have a trickle charger, do not attempt to store SLA batteries for more than three months.

    For Notebook Users

    To get maximum performance from the battery, fully optimize the notebooks power management features prior to use. Power management is a trade off: better power conservation in exchange for lesser computer performance. The power management system conserves battery power by setting the processor to run at a slower speed, dimming the screen, spinning down the hard drive when it's not in use and causing the machine to go into sleep mode when inactive. The notebook users guide will provide information relating to specific power management features.

    How Are Batteries Rated? (What Are Volts and Amps?)

  • There are two ratings on every battery: volts and amp-hours (AH). The AH rating may also be given as milliamp-hours (mAH), which are one-thousandth of an amp-hour (for example, 1AH is 1000mAH). The voltage of the new battery should always match the voltage of your original unless the batteries are different chemistries (NiMH and Li-Ion batteries have different voltage ratings, even if they're for the same laptop). Some Hi-Capacity batteries will have higher amp-hour ratings than the original battery found in the device. This is indicative of a longer run-time (higher capacity) and will not cause any incompatibilities. 

  •  New Rating Watt-Hour (Wh):

    Watt-Hour, or Wh, is a more accurate unit to show the power capacity than Amp-. Hour (Ah) that was used before. The Watt-Hour unit means the wattage that the battery can provide within one hour. 90 Watt-hour (Wh) capacity means the battery can theoretically last 90 hours if the device it powered only needs 1 Watt power, or 1 hour if the device need 90W power. A typical 6-cell internal notebook battery capacity is about 49 Watt-hour. A typical 12-cell internal notebook battery capacity is about 98 Watt-hour.

    There are many different ways to rate a battery capacity on market. A lithium-ion battery cell capacity is usually measured in Ampere-hour (Ah). Since a battery pack battery uses many battery cells, some cells are connected in parallel, some are connected in serial, using Watt-hour will be more accurate to rate its capacity. If using Ampere-hour to rate its capacity, it should state the Ampere-hour capacity is under which given voltage. For example, 4000 mAh at 11.1V means the battery capacity is 4000 mAh x 11.1V = 44.4 Watt-hour (Wh). 4000 mAh at 14.8V means the battery capacity is 4000mAh x 14.8V = 59.2 Watt-hour (Wh). Although the two batteries have same Ampere-hour, their actual capacity is different.

    How Long Do Batteries Last (What is the Life Span of the New Battery)?

  • The life of a rechargeable battery operating under normal conditions is generally around 500  charge-discharge cycles. This translates into one and a half to three years of battery life for the average user. The amount of charge a battery can hold gradually decreases due to usage and aging. When a battery that originally operated the notebook for two hours is only supplying the user with an hour's worth of use, it's time for a new one.

    Battery Life Expectations :
    Battery operating time is affected by:
  • Types of power conservation features activated on the computer
  • Computer's type of display and microprocessor
  • Number and type of PC Cards and other devices used
  • Types of application programs running

    Should I Recycle the Old Battery? How?
    NiCad, NiMH and Li-Ion batteries should be recycled. Be environmentally conscious - do NOT throw these batteries in the trash.
    If you don't know where your local recycling facility is, call the Portable Rechargeable Battery Association at 1-800-822-8837. They will provide you with the address of the recycling center nearest to you. Is it Possible to Upgrade the Device's Battery to a Newer Chemistry?
    NiCad, NiMH and Li-Ion are all fundamentally different technologies and cannot be substituted for one another unless the device has been pre-configured from the factory to accept more than one type of rechargeable battery. The difference between them stems from the fact that each technology requires a different charging pattern to be properly recharged. Therefore, the portable device's charger must be properly configured to handle a given type of rechargeable battery.

    Refer to the owners manual to find out which rechargeable battery types the particular device supports or use our QuickFind search engine to find the device in our database. The database will automatically list all of the battery types supported by the machine.

    What is a "smart" Battery?
    Smart batteries have internal circuit boards with smart chips which allow them to communicate with the notebook and monitor battery performance, output voltage and temperature. Smart batteries will generally run 15% longer due to their increased efficiency and also give the computer much more accurate "fuel gauge" capabilities to determine how much battery running time is left before the next recharge is required.
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  • The New Battery Isn't Charging. What's the Deal?
    New batteries are shipped in a discharged condition and must charged before use. We generally recommend an overnight charge (approximately twelve hours). Refer to the user's manual for charging instructions. Rechargeable batteries should be cycled (fully charged and then fully discharged) two to four times initially to allow them to reach their full capacity. (Note: it is normal for a battery to become warm to the touch during charging and discharging).

    New batteries are hard for the device to charge; they have never been fully charged and are therefore "unformed". Sometimes the device's charger will stop charging a new battery before it is fully charged. If this happens, remove the battery from the device and then reinsert it. The charge cycle should begin again. This may happen several times during the first battery charge. Don't worry; it's perfectly normal.

    And now the disclaimer: Any statements and data in this file are for general information purposes. They represent the latest technical status at the time of publishing. BiX reserves the right to change the data in this file without prior notice. The technical information is given in a descriptive way and does not guarantee any properties or enlarge any warranties given.

  • Batteries Warranty:

    We offer one year limited warranty for most of our batteries, which covers manufacturing and quality defects only. Batteries wear out during usage. A battery's lifetime and running time are depending on battery usage condition, which is not a warranty issue. The life of a rechargeable battery operating under normal conditions is generally around 500 charge-discharge cycles. As the rechargeable battery has been used for a while, the user will notice a decline in the running time of the battery. This is normal and is not covered by warranty.








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