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Frequently Asked Questions--Battery F.A.Qs

Some Battery Terms, see the Battery Glossary

  1. What is a Battery?
    Battery can be any device that stores energy for later use. The word battery is limited to an electrochemical device that converts chemical energy into electricity, by use of a galvanic cell. A galvanic cell is a fairly simple device consisting of two electrodes (an anode and a cathode) and an electrolyte solution. Batteries consist of one or more galvanic cells.
    A battery is an electrical storage device. Batteries do not make electricity, they store it. As chemicals in the battery change, electrical energy is stored or released. In rechargeable batteries this process can be repeated many times.
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  2. How do I identify which battery I need?
    The fastest and most effective way to correctly identify your battery is from the part number, this is usually located on the base of the battery. Other information which can be found on the battery is the voltage; this should always match the original voltage, (note: this is not the same as the voltage on the power supply) the capacity (i.e. this is measured in mAh, (Milliamp-Hours) the higher the figure, the longer the running time of the battery) and chemical construction (i.e. Li-ion, Ni-MH or Ni-CAD). This information can be used to ensure that you will receive the correct battery. Further to the part number the make and model is also useful information i.e. Toshiba Satellite 1700 series.(Return to Top)

  3. What is the difference between Li-ion, Ni-MH and Ni-Cd batteries?
    Li-ion (Lithium Ion). This is one of the latest cell It is also the lightest battery type currently available on a commercial basis and can provide more power than the other main cell types. There are no known problems of memory effect with this battery type and it is the easiest battery type to care for. The downside of this battery is that it has the highest engineering costs and therefore the price is usually considerably higher than other cell types.

    Ni-MH (Nickel Metal Hydride). This cell type is very popular and is widely available for laptop computers; although Li-ion is rapidly becoming the most popular. This battery type is relatively cheap to manufacture and therefore tends to be cheaper than Li-ion. This cell type is prone to memory effect, so it is important to take good care of your Ni-MH battery to ensure that you obtain the best run times

    Ni-Cd (Nickel Cadmium). This is one of the older cell types and is generally only found in older laptops. The main advantage of this cell type is its ability to handle higher loads, and therefore is more commonly found in portable power tools or devices that need a lot of power to work efficiently. The main downside of this cell type is that it is notorious for suffering with memory effect so good care must be taken with this battery to ensure most effective use.(Return to Top)

  4. How long will my battery power my laptop?
    A battery's running time is very difficult to determine as it depends on many varying factors; such as the use of the screen, hard drive and all other accessories. These factors effectively reduce the battery's running time, so the more power demands made on the battery by the equipment, the shorter the running time. The total running time of the battery is also dependent upon the design of the equipment. A new Hi-Capacity battery will run 30% to 50% longer than the old battery did when new.(Return to Top)

  5. How to Maximize and Battery Performance?
    It is recommended to condition a battery for two cycles so it will reach its maximum rated capacity.

    Condition the Ni-MH and Ni-Cd battery at least once a month. It will reduce the memory effect.

    This can be achieved by fully charging then discharging the battery. We recommend that for Ni-Cd and Ni-MH batteries that this conditioning process should be carried out once a month to reduce the memory effect and store any batteries in a dry and cool place. We recommend cleaning the metal connectors with an alcohol or electronics cleaner this allows good conductivity which improves the power conduction from the battery. We also suggest fully optimizing the power management features, the system bios and operating system as this will improve the batteries performance. Please consult your user manual to fully understand the usage of these features.

  6. How long does Batteries Last?
    Check! As a rechargeable battery begins to die the running time of the battery will start to decrease.

  7. How do I charge my batteries?
    Our Ni-MH chargers are fully automatic. Plug your charger into an A/C (or D/C power source for the Powerex MH-C204F-DC) and place your batteries into the charger in matched pairs of two or four batteries to begin charging. Red lights indicate charging in progress. The lights will turn green when charging is complete and the charger will automatically switch to a trickle charge. The trickle charge will keep your batteries fully charged and ready for use. Refer to our Charger Manuals page for more detailed operating instructions for your model charger. (Return to Top)

  8. What is memory effect?
    Ni-Cd and to a lesser extent Ni-MH batteries suffer from what is called memory effect. This means that if a battery is repeatedly only partially discharged before recharging, the battery forgets that it has the capacity to further discharge. To illustrate: If you, on a regular basis, fully charge your battery and then use only 50% of its capacity before the next recharge, eventually the battery will become unaware of its extra 50% capacity which has remained unused. The battery will remain functional, but only at 50% of its original capacity. To avoid memory effects fully cycle your battery (i.e. fully charge then fully discharge the battery) at least once every two to three weeks. For example laptop batteries can be discharged by unplugging the AC adapter and letting the device run on the battery until it ceases to function. This will ensure your battery remains healthy.(Return to Top)

  9. What is a battery cycle?
    Cycle life is measured by the amount of times a battery may be charged and discharged. Every time a battery is charged and discharged, it uses one cycle. Cycle life is very important in battery applications such as laptop batteries and emergency light batteries. A Ni-Cd battery has a cycle life of 500-1000 or more cycles. (Return to Top)

  10. Are there any advantages to storing my batteries in the refrigerator?
    Yes, there are advantages to storing your batteries in the refrigerator but only if they are keep dry. The higher the ambient temperature, the more free flow of ions or self-discharge from the battery. Storing primary batteries (i.e. AA's, AAA's, D's, C's 9 volt, etc) in a cooler environment slows down this rate of discharge that all batteries experience even when not in use, hence a longer period between charging prolonging the batteries life. However, if this is done, it is important that the batteries be kept as dry as possible by keeping them in an airtight container in the driest part of the refrigerator, for example the door. Long term exposure to moisture inside the refrigerator can cause internal corrosion to the battery. When removing your battery from the refrigerator, allow them to warm up to room temperature before using them in your device. (Return to Top)

  11. Can I use my older Ni-Cd battery charger to charge my Ni-MH batteries?
    No, you can use a newer Ni-MH charger to charge your old Ni-Cd batteries but you should not try to charge Ni-MH batteries with a Ni-Cd charger. Here's why: Ni-MH and Ni-Cd batteries are chemically very similar and when both are fully charged the battery voltage will start to drop. The Ni-MH voltage drop is much more subtle and more difficult to detect. Ni-MH chargers usually have an over temperature sensor and shutoff to prevent overcharge as well as a more sensitive voltage drop detector where Ni-Cd chargers usually only use the voltage drop to determine when to stop charging. If you charge Ni-MH batteries in a Ni-Cd charger it will probably miss the voltage drop and keep right on charging causing the batteries to overheat. Overcharge and overheating Ni-MH batteries can damage them internally and reduce battery life. (Return to Top)
  12. Where can I find more information on charging batteries for my Notebook Computer, Digital Camera Camcorder or others?
    Try these links for a more detailed batteries selection for laptop, Digital Camera, Camcorder and battery chargers.
    For a cheap notebook battery. Try
    Buy cheap Mobile phone battery. Try
    For the best digital camera battery. Try
    For the most modes of batteries. Try
    For high quality of power tools battery. Try
    For a more batteries information please Visit our
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Battery Glossary

  • Battery: Two or more cells connected together
  • Cell: An electrochemical system that converts chemical energy into electrical energy.
  • Capacity: This is amount of energy a battery cell or battery pack actually provides. The higher the capacity the longer the equipment will run on battery power. Usually measured in Amp hours (Ah) or Milliamp hours (mAh).
  • battery Charge: This is the process of passing electricity into the battery pack so the pack can be used to provide power when the user is away from mains power
  • Li-ion: Lithium Ion. This is one the newest battery types available. It can offer the same power as a Ni-MH battery in a smaller lighter package. This type does not suffer from 'Memory Effect' but it is expensive to manufacture.
  • Ni-Cd: Nickel Cadmium. This is one of the older battery technologies that are still in use. Usually found only in older equipment or applications that require a high power drain. Very prone to 'Memory Effect'.
  • Ni-MH: Nickel Metal Hydride. This battery type has virtually replaced the Ni-Cd batteries. This type offers higher capacities, around 30% more than a Ni-Cd cell of the same physical size. This type is also reported to suffer less from 'Memory Effect'.
  • Battery Float Voltage: A unit for measuring electrical pressure. All batteries provide DC (Direct Current) electricity. It is important to ensure that the equipment you are powering is being provided with the correct volt or else damage may occur.
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