Lesson #3 – How to Recondition Laptop Batteries

Table of Content:
  • The most common problems with laptop batteries
  • 1. Age or loss of capacity
  • 2. The battery is overheating
  • 3. Swollen battery
  • 4. Discharge
  • 5. Production defect
  • 6. Memory Effect
  • Types of laptop batteries
  • How to define battery of what type does your laptop have?
  • Device for testing a dead battery
  • How to recondition a laptop battery at home
  • Kit for a laptop batteries reconditioning at home
  • How to choose and where to buy a new laptop battery?
  • How to extend the life of your laptop battery
  • How to set up a business on reconditioning and replacing laptop batteries

The most common problems with laptop batteries

Hi, there! You, probably, have a laptop. It’s not a big deal to have a laptop today. We use it everywhere: at work, home, when we chat with friends or watch a movie. But sooner or later you will face a problem: your laptop’s battery will die. So you have to know how to deal with it. To start with, I am giving you a list of most common problems with laptop batteries.

laptop_battery

1. Age or loss of capacity

The lifespan of any battery is limited. Every battery has a capacity measured in mAh. Have you noticed, when you just bought a notebook, the battery was fine – you could watch an entire movie without plugging it in a socket. But a year later, it wasn’t as good, after two years it could last without a socket only for half an hour. I’ll tell you why, the batteries capacity shrinks over time, and it’s not possible to fully charge all of its cells.

2. The battery is overheating

Perhaps, it’s a good option, if you work outside somewhere in Minnesota, so you won’t get cold. But, seriously, if your laptop’s battery is overheating, it’s the reason to check if the laptop is well ventilated or clean it.

3. Swollen battery

Also your battery can get swollen. If this happens, you must replace it. It’s very dangerous to have it swollen, because it can explode and damage the laptop or hurt you, which is worse.

4. Discharge

If you don’t use your notebook for a long time, it takes more time to recharge it. You can charge it all night, but when you unplug it, it immediately asks to be charged again. So it means that it should be replaced.

5. Production defect

You must have heard about the problem with Samsung batteries in their mobile phones. Sometimes, you are just unlucky to buy a laptop with the malfunctioning battery. Technologies develop very fast and mistakes are the cost of the progress. Unfortunately, batteries with production defect should be replaced too.

6. Memory Effect

It’s more typical to the old models. Old Ni-Cad laptop batteries needed to be discharged, at least, once a month. Otherwise, they become unable to use all of their cells, which lead to significant capacity reducing.

Types of laptop batteries

As you already know, there are several types of laptop batteries. Each battery has advantages and disadvantages. Here, we are giving you a table where you can find pros and cons for each type.

Type of batteryProsCons
Lithium-ion

Performs due to the lithium ions movement from the negative electrode to the positive electrode

  • Lightweight
  • High performance characteristics
  • Without “memory effect”
  • More environmentally friendly than the other types
  • High price
  • Sensitive to high temperature
  • Aging effect
Nickel-cadmium (NiCad)

Uses nickel oxide hydroxide and metallic cadmium as electrodes

  • Difficult to be damage
  • High energy density
  • Lower self-discharge rate in comparison with NiMH
  • Suffers from “the memory effect”
  • High environmental impact
  • Highly toxic
Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH)

Uses a hydrogen-absorbing alloy instead of cadmium in the chemical reaction

  • Has higher capacity and are less toxic than NiCad batteries
  • Longer lasting than NiCad batteries
  • Suffers from “the memory effect”
  • Can be damaged because of the complete discharge

Also, some laptop batteries are non-removable (like in MacBook Air and Dell Adamo). If you have such a battery, it is almost impossible to replace it, but laptop producers decide to make the batteries non-removable, because it helps them to make a laptop thinner and lighter for you.

How to define battery of what type does your laptop have?

Well, there are several ways to do it. Firstly, you can search for your laptop characteristics description and find the battery type there. Secondly, you can disconnect your battery (make sure the notebook is switched off and unplugged), battery type is usually shown there. Thirdly, you can download special software which can show you what battery is used in your device.

Device for testing a dead battery

It’s very easy to test a dead battery if you have a special device. You need to search for universal laptop battery tester, there are plenty of options on Amazon. The device is quite simple, but not less useful because of it. It looks like a multimeter and can be attached directly to a battery or to a laptop. With the device you also get software to read indicators on the computer.

The device allows you to study a lot of important indicators, such as battery voltage, current battery capacity, full charged capacity, current capacity percentage, charge/discharge current, charge/discharge cycle count. Using them, you can make a conclusion about your battery state.

How to recondition a laptop battery at home

To recondition the battery you need: tester or multimeter, copper (the power capacity should not be more than 40 W), autobulbs, cyanoacrylate adhesive, and paper cutter.

Follow our instructions:

  1. Disassemble the battery. Find the seam between two parts of the battery, use the paper cutter to carefully disconnect them. The halves stuck together very well that is why it would be quite difficult to do it, but still possible.
  2. Make sure that the battery is fully discharged. Attach the autobulbs and check the voltage with multimeter. If the bulbs light, and the lumped voltage is equal to the number of elements multiplied by 3.7, you can start the repair. In case if it’s lower, you should check all the battery elements, and replace the broken ones. Discharge all the elements (including the new ones that are to be inserted in the battery). Use the autobulbs for this purpose. You should reach the voltage of 3.2 V in every element. It is essential, if the voltage is different, the controller will not be able to charge the battery from scratch. With such voltage level, there should be no problems defining the battery charge level.
  3. The battery is not charging, although its voltage is 0. It’s very easy to fix it. All you need is to connect the laptop’s power supply source to the series circuit of the elements through the 5 W bulb and wait until every element reaches the voltage of 3.4 V.
  4. Assemble the battery. Start assembling the battery. You need cyanoacrylate adhesive to glue both halves of the battery.
  5. Insert the battery into the laptop and charge it. You can insert the battery into the laptop and charge it immediately after the glue dries.

Kit for a laptop batteries reconditioning at home

All you need to recondition the battery:
  1. Tester or multimeter;
  2. Copper (the capacity – not more than 40 w);
  3. Autobulbs;
  4. Cyanoacrylate adhesive;
  5. Paper cutter.

How to choose and where to buy a new laptop battery?

If you need to buy a new laptop battery, follow our advice to avoid any mistake.

  1. Look through the price range and carefully study warranty details. Prices for laptop batteries differ and usually start from $50. We recommend you to begin searching from the manufacturer’s web site and don’t forget to read warranty terms.
  2. Check the Internet for other suppliers. If your budget is tight, consider buying from other manufacturers. In the Internet you can find a lot of analogues, make sure it matches your laptop model, and don’t forget to read the reviews.
  3. Voltage and specifications compatibility. Ensure that a new battery will match your laptop, before purchasing, check the old battery voltage and size specifications, which are usually written on the surface.
  4. Check the battery capacity. Replacing a battery, consider the best option. Check the watt-hour or amp hour rating of the new battery, the higher this rating is, the better it is.

How to extend the life of your laptop battery

Here we would like to share with you a list of things you should not do to extend your laptop battery’s lifespan:

  1. Try not to discharge it to the minimum level. Don’t let the battery drop to zero percent. When this happens, the battery goes for a full range cycle, which brings it closer to death.
  2. Avoid hibernation modes. The hibernation mode does not allow your battery working at the good percentages. So it’s better to avoid these modes switching the laptop instead.
  3. Do not keep it inactive for a long time. If you have to leave your laptop not used for a long time, make sure it has around 50 percent charge left.
  4. Avoid overheating. Keep your laptop cool, consider buying a special laptop cooling pad.

How to set up a business on reconditioning and replacing laptop batteries

Managed to recondition your laptop battery? Well done. How about earning some money doing the same for other people?

You can start from advertising in the Internet, offering your services to the friends. Just think about it, everyone (well, almost everyone) has a laptop. That means everyone face the problem, when his battery is losing its initial capabilities. Eventually, everyone will have to change his battery. You can offer people to recondition a battery instead of changing it. Here are some advantages of this business:

  1. It’s many times cheaper than buying a new battery. $3 – is the average price of reconditioning for you, $50 – the starting price of a new laptop battery. So, for example, you can charge around $25 and make 8 times more than you spend.
  2. Your customer will not have to bother about finding the proper battery to his laptop – he should just bring the laptop to you, and you will do the rest. Another competitive advantage you can have is offering free delivery to your customer.
  3. Pick up old batteries from broken notebooks and recondition them. Find people with broken notebooks, buy the batteries for a very low price, recondition them and sell twice cheaper than new batteries.

This is just few ideas how you can make money out of reconditioning old laptop batteries. And remember it’s not just about earning. It’s about saving our planet for future generations, because if people restore batteries instead of throwing them away, they make our planet a better place to live in.

What you can do right now:

  • Bookmark this page in your social networks, so you can easily get back to it.
  • Read our detailed instructions on reconditioning almost any batteries.
  • Create your own expert kit to service laptop batteries.

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