How Laptop Batteries Work and the Types Available

by Troy M. Howe
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Batteries are the primary source of power for laptops. Original batteries that often come with the computer during the purchase are of good quality and last for a long time. An example is Batterie d’origine Asus A41-X550A which comes with a warranty too. Low-priced batteries can be very enticing, but most are low-quality and can damage your laptop. Depending on your laptop model, choose the right type of battery, ensuring the quality is top-notch. In this extract, we look at how laptop batteries work and the different types available.

How a Laptop Battery Works

A laptop battery has a positive and negative terminal where electrons are received and sent from respectively. The battery has cells that react with an acidic electrolyte within it, forming an electrochemical reaction. The reaction causes the movement of electrons from one place to another. This movement is the flow of current. The process continues till the electrolyte becomes basic and the laptop goes off. Once connected to a power source, ions are restored in the cells; the electrolyte becomes acidic and current flow is generated.

Types of Laptop Batteries

There are three types of batteries, namely Lithium-ion, Nickel-metal hydride, and Nickel Cadmium.

a. Lithium-ion battery

It is personalized to fit all laptop applications. Currently, it is the most popular due to its efficiency and ability to charge very fast. No one wants to spend hours charging a laptop, especially when you have lots of work to do and deadlines to meet. The battery doesn’t limit your time of charging; it all depends on you.

Its rate of discharging power is low; hence frequent charging is not needed. If left unused for a day, the power lost averages below 1%. It’s also lightweight, doesn’t way down the laptop, and has high energy density. The battery is environmentally friendly and doesn’t require any maintenance procedures. On the downside, it is highly flammable and is subjected to heat.

b. Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)

Some laptops have this kind of battery, but manufacturers are stopping its use on laptops instead of using it for satellite applications. However, its power capacity is high, making it more powerful, and it prefers to remain half charged since draining it entirely can result in damage. The battery functions well in different temperatures and continues to be helpful when moved to various zones.

Its disadvantages are that its life cycle is lower compared to others, not more than 300 cycles. It discharges power fast and takes longer to charge, resulting in the build-up of heat.

c. Nickel Cadmium

Standard laptop batteries have 300-500 life cycles, but this one has more than 1000. Few laptop models use it, and it’s mainly used in video cameras and medical equipment. It gets fully charged fast, but its discharge rate is also relatively high, primarily when not used. Unlike the NiMH, it has to discharge entirely before charging due to the memory effect.

Conclusion

Laptops are battery-specific, but some can function using different batteries as long as the size and power capacity are correct. Always use original and approved batteries to protect the laptop from damages such as explosions. Visit the manufacturer’s website to get battery information like installations and recalls before buying one. Identify your laptop type and model and get the ideal battery for proper functioning.

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