On this instructable (well, not really an instructable), I will show you a few tips and tricks to increase life for a few different types of batteries for electronics.
There has been an instructable about "Increase battery life for electronics" posted already, but this one is a much better version...
I hope you enjoy this instructable and learn something new!
Step 1: Increase Alkaline Battery's Storage Life
If you want to increase the alkaline battery's storage life, you should store them in a cool, dry, and non-corrosive place, like in a closet or other places like that.
Storing the alkaline batteries in a cool place will slow down the chemical's reaction activity thus increasing the alkaline battery's life.
However, if you store the alkaline batteries in a warm or hot place, it will dramatically decrease the alkaline battery's life because the chemical's reaction activity speed's up. However, there is an advantage of having the alkaline battery's fast chemical's reaction activity, it will give much better performance in electronics like digital cameras...
You should never ever try to recharge the normal alkaline batteries! They will heat up so dramatically that it can melt the charger and catch on fire...
You can only recharge the the rechargeable alkaline batteries.
Step 2: Increase Rechargeable Alkaline Battery's Useful Life
The rechargeable alkaline batteries are an unusual type of rechargeable batteries, because they are not common, they charge differently form the normal Nicad and NiMH batteries...
But I will tell you how to treat them properly and other.
Always use an alkaline battery charger for only the rechargeable alkaline batteries. Never use the alkaline battery charger for the other batteries like normal alkaline, Nicad and NiMH batteries. And never charge the rechargeable alkaline batteries on the Nicad and/or NiMH battery charger. Because of this, the alkaline battery charger and the Nicad and/or NiMH battery charger are different from each other, they have different output voltages and currents.
Charging an rechargeable alkaline battery on the Nicad and/or NiMH battery charger will not get charged and possibly damage the rechargeable alkaline battery.
Charging an Nicad and/or NiMH on the alkaline battery charger will overcharge and damage the Nicad and/or NiMH battery and possibly cause an nasty explosion.
The good thing about the rechargeable alkaline battery is they have an ability to hold their charge for a few years, where the Nicad and/or NiMH battery can only hold their charge for no more than 90 days...
However, the rechargeable alkaline battery is not suitable to use in high-drain devices like digital cameras, they are good for using in low-drain devices such as remote controls, and for periodically used items such as flashlights, television remotes, portable radios...
Step 3: Increase the Nicad Battery's Useful Life
Here is a few ways to extend the Nicad battery's useful life...
- Before you charge the Nicad batteries, they should be fully discharged first then you can charge them. Because you have to do this is the Nicad batteries suffers from memory effect,so if you charge the Nicad batteries from a particularly charged state, they will suffer from memory effect and their life useful is dramatically decreased... So discharging and charging the Nicad batteries properly will extend the Nicad battery's life.
- You should never leave the Nicad batteries in the discharged state! Because the crystals will begin to grow inside the battery and eventually, the crystal will short out the battery and become unusable... But they are ways to make the battery come back to "life" again, check out this instructable about how to's... Revive Nicad Batteries by Zapping with a Welder
- Store them in a cool, dry, and non-corrosive place. It will extend the Nicad battery's life.
- Use smart chargers. It may be expensive but it will increase the Nicad battery's life. If you don't use the smart chargers but use ordinary chargers, you are very likely to overcharge the NiMh batteries, and that can result a permeant damage to the Nicad batteries...
Step 4: Increase the NiMh Battery's Useful Life
Here is a few ways to extend the NiMh battery's useful life...
- In every few months or so, completely discharge the NiMh battery and recharge them again. Doing so will prevent crystals forming inside the battery...
- Do not leave the NiMh batteries in the discharge state as the crystals will begin to grow inside the batteries and result a permeant damage to the NiMh batteries.
- Use smart chargers. It may be expensive but it will increase the NiMh battery's life. If you don't use the smart chargers but use ordinary chargers, you are very likely to overcharge the NiMh batteries, and that can result a permeant damage to the NiMh batteries...
- Store them in a cool, dry, and non-corrosive place. It will extend the NiMh battery's life.
Step 5: Increase Your Laptop Battery's Working and Useful Life
Here is a few ways to extend your laptop battery's working life...
- Defrag your hard drive regularly. Defragging your hard drive will make the hard drive work faster, and when the hard drive works faster, it demands less energy from the laptop's battery...
- Dim your laptop's screen! Dimming your laptop's screen will dramatically increase the laptop battery's working life, so dim your laptop's screen to the lowest level you can tolerate.
- Turn off all of your computer's unused program in the back ground! Having many unused programs on at the same time will draw more power from the battery because the CPU and the RAM will need to do more work to support the unused programs therefor taking up more energy from the laptop's battery.
- Turn off the active wireless communication when not in use! Doing so will make the battery work longer, because the active wireless communication is another big energy consumer of the computer and cell phones, it need a lot of energy because it need to make strong radio-waves for the receiver to pick up...
- Clean your laptop's air vents. If the laptop's battery is exposed to high temperatures it will shorten its useful life, so cleaning your laptop's air vents will not only extend the laptop's battery, it will also extend your whole laptop's life...
- Charge your laptop's battery properly. When you charge your laptop's battery, let it charge all the way to 'full' point before you unplug the laptop's power supply, that will increase the laptop battery's useful life, and don't leave the battery in the discharge state, it may decrease the laptop battery's life...
Step 6: Increase Lead-acid Battery's Useful Life
- Charge the lead-acid battery properly, use an "smart" charger. Overcharging the lead-acid battery will decrease its life and if its over charged even more, the battery will overheat and cause the electrolyte to boil and the battery may explode...
- Never discharge any 12v battery below 10.5v, if you do, the lead sulfate crystals will begin to accumulate, harden and that reduce the capacity of the battery and shortened its life.
- Do not let your lead-acid battery freeze during cold weather. This will cause the electrolyte to expand when freezes, and that can damage the plates, separators or even crack the battery case. If the battery is frozen, you must let your battery thaw, physically inspect case for leakage, then fully recharge it with a "smart" charger.
- Provide adequate ventilation. High ambient temperatures above 80Â° F (26.7Â° C) will shorten battery life, because it increases positive grid corrosion, causes "thermal runaway" and increases its self-discharge rate.
Step 7: More Information About Batteries
If you cannot find what you are looking for, try some of wikipedia's sites, they have more information about the batteries and might help you.
Rechargeable alkaline battery
Nickel-metal hydride battery
Lithium-ion polymer battery
If you still cannot find what you are looking for, check wikipedia's list of battery types.
Step 8: Endings
I hoped you enjoyed this instructable, and if feel there is something missing or incorrect, PLEASE tell me and I will edit this instructable.
Also if you know any more types of batteries and want information about how to increase its life, tell me and I will do some research and edit this instructable.
If you liked this instructable or find it helpful, or need help, or anything, please comment!
Oh, and sorry for the bad quality pictures...
First Prize in the
Burning Questions: Round 5