How to Maximize the Life of your Rechargeable Battery


>
A Longer Battery Life
> A Faster Charging Time
>
A Higher Charging Capacity
> An Extended Battery Life Span

A common difficulty with portable equipment is the gradual decline in battery performance after the first year of service.

Although fully charged, the battery eventually regresses to a point where the available energy is less than half of its original capacity, resulting in unexpected downtime. For a battery to reach its natural life, proper maintenance is necessary.

There are several things you can do to maximize the useful life of your battery: 

> If you purchase a new mobile phone (or a new battery), the rechargeable battery is shipped uncharged and must be fully charged prior to its first use. The first time you charge the battery, the device may indicate a false full charge after 10 to 15 minutes. This is normal. Unplug and plug the charger to "restart" the charging process. Several charging-discharging cycles (2-3) are required for the battery to reach the maximum capacity, best performance and hold a full charge.

> Make sure to charge the battery fully and drain it fully before recharging. This will properly condition the battery and will ensure that it will operate at its maximum capacity. This is recommended for many types of mobile phone batteries. You can discharge most mobile phones by unplugging the power adapter and leaving it turned on until completely discharged.

> Keep the battery and the contact terminals clean. The battery contacts are the number one source of charging problems. Clean the battery contacts (battery + device) with alcohol and a cotton swab. Make sure no cotton is left on the contact points.

> Avoid letting your battery sit dormant for extended periods of time. Batteries that sit idle for extended periods of time without charging tend to lose their ability to hold a charge and will self-discharge. Charge and re-condition (full charge / discharge) when the battery is new or after an extended idle period.

> Unplug your power adapter if you are not using your device or mobile phone. Batteries that sit idle for extended periods of time without charging begin to lose their ability to hold a charge and will self-discharge, so remember to charge them again before use.

> Do not use cigarette-lighter adaptors for charging your battery, if you can. The battery can be damaged and its performances reduced by the use of cigarette-lighter adaptors, which do not properly regulate the incoming current.

> Always store batteries in a cool, dry place away from heat and metal objects. 

> You can increase your actual battery life by removing some features and use options and accessories that you really need: For mobile phones, remove or switch off GPRS, Bluetooth, backlight, ring volume, vibration mode, etc...

> For optimal performance it is recommended to use genuine batteries from the device manufacturer.

> Avoid exposing the battery to extreme heat, sun and cold.

> Depending on your battery type, overcharging or undercharging it could result in a shorter life.
Due to the chemical processes involved, batteries deteriorate over time. After a certain number of cycles, the battery's maximum charge capacity drops to below 80% of its original capacity.

 Type of Battery
 "Memory" Effect
 Charging Cycles
 Li-Ion
 Lithium Ion
 No
 500-1,000
 Li-Po
 Lithium Polymer
 No
 300-500
 Ni-Cd
 Nickel Cadmium
 Yes
 1,500
 Ni-Mh
 Nickel Metal Hydride
 Small Effect
 300-500

> If you do not fully discharge the battery before recharging it, gradually the capacity of the battery will be reduced. This is called the "memory" effect, and is due to the accumulation of gas bubbles on the cell plates.
NiCad batteries are especially prone to this problem. Therefore users should try to discharge the battery fully after each use, a process called conditioning. NiMH batteries are less susceptible to the memory effect, but even then you should condition them once every one to two weeks. Li-ion and Li-Po batteries are immune from the memory effect.

   Safety Precautions

 While Charging a Battery 

Danger
> When charging the battery, use dedicated chargers and follow the specified conditions.
> Do not connect directly to an electric outlet or cigarette lighter charger.
> Do not store battery close to fire or inside a car where temperature may be over 60°C/140°F degrees.
> Use the battery only in the specified equipment.
Warning
> Stop charging the battery if charging is not completed within the specified time.
Caution
> Thoroughly read the user's manual for the charger before charging the battery.
> Do not charge in the place which generates static electricity.
> The battery can be charged within 0°C/32°F~45°C/113°F temperature ranges.

 When Using the Battery 

Danger
> Do not heat or throw battery into a fire.
> Do not store battery close to fire or inside the car where temperature may be over 60°C/140°F degrees.
>
Do not immerse in, or apply, fresh or saltwater to battery.
> Do not put batteries in your pockets or a bag together with metal objects such as necklaces, hairpins, coins or screws.
> Do not short circuit the (+) and (-) terminals with metal.
> Do not place battery in a device with the (+) and (-) in the wrong way or when you connect a battery to the charger.
> Do not pierce battery with a sharp object such as a nail.
> Do not hit with a hammer, step on, throw or drop to cause strong shock.
> Do not disassemble or modify the battery.
> Do not solder directly.
> Do not use a battery that is severely scarred or deformed.
Warning
> Do not put battery into a microwave oven, dryer, or high pressure container.
> Do not use battery with dry cells and other primary batteries, or batteries of a different package, type, or brand.
> Stop using the battery if abnormal heat, odor, color, deformation or abnormal conditions occur.
> Keep away from fire immediately when leakage or foul odor are detected.
> If liquid leaks onto your skin or clothes, wash well with fresh water immediately.
> If liquid leaking from the battery gets into your eyes, do not rub your eyes. Wash them well with clean water and contact a doctor immediately.
Caution
> Store batteries out of reach of children so that they are not accidentally swallowed.
> If a child uses a battery, their guardian should explain the proper handling.
> Before using the battery, be sure to read the user's manual and cautions on handling thoroughly.
> For information on installing and removing from equipment, thoroughly read the user's manual for the specific equipment.
> Batteries have life cycles. If the time that the battery powers equipment becomes shorter than usual, the battery life span is at an end. Replace the battery with a new one. Remove a battery whose life cycle has expired from equipment immediately.
> When the battery is thrown away, be sure it is non-conducting by applying vinyl tape to (+) and (-) terminals or put it in a recycling box for a rechargeable battery recycling program.
> When not using battery for an extended period, remove it from the equipment and store in a place with low humidity-temperature.
> If the terminals of the battery become dirty, wipe with a dry cloth before using the battery.
> The battery can be used and stored within (-20°C/68°F~60°C/140°F) temperature ranges.