In the last two parts of this series, I covered the factors of temperature and charging. While the high temperatures inside modern laptops are probably the worst enemy of a Li-ion battery, frequent discharge/charge cycles will negatively influence a battery's life. If your laptop is a desktop replacement, then you probably only need the battery every now and then. It can be quite frustrating if you want to use your laptop for the first time after a year without AC, only to realize that your batteries are already dead even though you never really used them. However, if you remove the battery from the laptop and store it accurately, there is a good chance that it will be in good condition when you need it next time.
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Don't store a battery that is almost empty. Stored batteries continue losing energy, albeit at a much slower pace. If the stored battery is totally discharged, it could be destroyed.
Store the battery at a low temperature. I usually put it in the fridge. It keeps my battery fresh and crisp. Check out this table at Wikipedia. 0°C (32°F) seems to be the best storage temperature. I wouldn't put the battery in the freezer even though Li-ion batteries only freeze at approximately −40°C.
Store the battery in a dry place. A moist environment will accelerate discharging the battery.
Check the battery state every now and then. I would remove it from the fridge at least every 30 days to calibrate it (fully discharge and charge).
Let the battery warm up a little before you put it back into your laptop. If the temperature is raised too fast, it will strain the battery.
When I started this article, I thought I'd just share a few tips I've found on the web. But then I realized that there are quite a few things that can be done wrong with laptop batteries. That's how I ended up with three articles. It is quite amazing that we can build space ships that have enough energy to fly to the moon but still have no decent portable energy sources for simple laptops. Perhaps fuel cells will change the picture in a few years.
Please note that even though physics was my minor in college, I consider myself a layman when it comes to battery preservation. Any comments and tips are welcome. Here are some of the articles I've read about this topic:
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- Lithium-ion battery, Wikipedia
- How to prolong lithium-based batteries, Battery-University.colm
- Laptop Battery Care, Battery.com
- Take Care Of Your Li-On Battery, Ezine @articles
- How to Take Care of Your Laptop's Battery and Make it Last, Associated Content
- Notebook Battery Guide, NotbookReview.com
- 5 Tipps: So halten Sie Ihre Akkus fit, PC-Welt
- Should I Remove the Laptop Battery For A Desktop Replacement Laptop?, About.com