Powering Up With Batteries

Batteries have become one of the most common pieces of technology computer repair businesses around the world see. Batteries, especially rechargeable batteries, are used in almost all electronic devices. What use would all of these high-tech mobile devices be without a battery?

Batteries are used in almost everything from simply powering one’s cell phone up to the highly developed batteries used for hybrid power train vehicles.  They even improve the efficiency and electric current amperage of power plants. Truly these power supplies are some of the most important and significant advances in technology we have.

Higher efficiency and greater power in batteries are the first step in further pushing along the development of mobile devices. Regular batteries and rechargeable batteries of all types are available to customers. There are a few things an end user should know however.

Basics of Batteries

Initially, batteries for mobile electronics came in the form of the common AA, AAA, D-cell and 9v forms. These are easily replaceable, but frequent replacement consequently produces a lot of waste. And it is not just ordinary waste: it is potentially toxic waste and so must be handled carefully. Also, these types of batteries are not as light and powerful as those required by new laptops and cellular devices. To meet the weight and space demands of the various devices, specific form factor custom batteries have been developed.

Rechargeable Batteries

Initially, rechargeable batteries were made with Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) chemical compounds. This was the industry standard until the development of the Nickel Metal Hydride battery, which is two to three times more powerful and efficient than the NiCd batteries.

A good rule to follow in order to maximize battery life and reliability is to properly charge and discharge whichever device it is you are using. When first activated, a device such as a smartphone benefits from draining the battery completely, then completely charging it before use. This plays into battery memory. If the battery repeatedly sees full charge and discharge cycles, it will better retain its efficiency.

Also, batteries such as NiMH compound units can be affected by heat and shock damage. Heat causes the polymers inside the battery to expand and eventually touch, which damages the system. Shock damage can cause the same issues, which is why laptop batteries are commonly seen swelling or looking generally misshapen.

A damaged battery needs to be replaced and recycled immediately, as a swelling battery runs the risk of either exploding or combusting into flames. This combustion can release toxic gases and cause serious burns. Proper battery maintenance and precautions are necessary to promote reliable and efficient system use.

The good news is that batteries are easily replaceable in most systems. If you are concerned about replacing a computer battery, your IT professional can assist in getting a good and compatible replacement.

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