Wednesday, March 17, 2010

charge up!

Now that almost everything is portable... batteries, both disposable and rechargeable, are everywhere.

Current consumer concerns are usually how to make their batteries last longer... whether it's trying to make you celfone charge last the day, or making your music player's internal battery life longer.

There are a few tips that can help preserve your rechargeable battery.

Try not to leave your device plugged in all the time. Trickle charging shortens over-all battery life. If you have a laptop that you want to use at home, remove the battery, if possible, when it's fully charged.

Do NOT completely drain lithium based batteries. Unlike the old school NiCd, or NiMH, lithium batteries do not like being completely discharged. Doing this can shorten the life of your battery, and in some cases keep it from charging at all.

Rechargeable batteries aren't the best for everything. Low drain, long-term use devices like remotes, smoke alarms, and emergency flashlights perform better when using disposable alkaline batteries. They are also better for the environment since the only need to be replaced every few years. Frequently used flashlights, however, should be run off NiMH for better performance. Wireless mice and keyboards also benefit well from NiMH.

Keep your device away from extreme heat. This may damage your device as well, aside from your battery. Batteries are not fond of extreme temperatures.

If you plan to not use your device for a while, store the battery fully charged. Keep away from all heat sources and direct sunlight.

Use specified chargers only! There is a danger of fire, or explosion, with lithium based batteries when not charged properly. Most electronic devices today have the proper temperature sensors and internal charging cut-off switches that monitor battery health, but some no-name brands, or counterfeit batteries and chargers do not... these are not very safe, and can go dead or cause a fire if over-charged even by a few minutes.

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