Laptop battery exchange - again - now what?

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CarrotCake
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Laptop battery exchange - again - now what?

Post by CarrotCake »

Hi guys (and gals),

I'm not 100% sure this is the correct subforum (I hesitate about posting this in Hardware, but as it's not really a specific Linux Mint issue...) so please excuse me if it isn't.

So, I have my Mint install running on a HP Envy from 2015.
Although not the newest laptop, with Mint it runs fine and snappy, so I don't see a reason to upgrade or replace it.
Except for one thing: the battery.

In 2019, when the laptop was just about 3.5 years old, I replaced the original battery with a white brand replacement one, as the original battery was having capacity issues so the laptop would maybe only run ~60-75 mins on a full charge.
But now, I'm having the same issue; although Mint seems a bit more lenient in its power usage than Windows did.
The battery has a design capacity of 3800 mAh (original HP was, I think, 3950 mAh).
But according to TLPUI, it now is down to 1594 mAh full charge, so ~40%.
It now runs ~1h45-2h on 1 charge, meaning I should be able to run about 4h on a full charge if the battery has the designed capacity.

So, I'm planning to (again) replace the battery. It'll set me back about €70 ($80 or so, for the non-Europeans here).
A small cost compared to a full replacement of the laptop, which would easily be 10x that cost. And additionally, I just don't feel the system needs replacement (although that is kudos to Mint as well!).

But, what is then the best way to use it... I hope to get more life out of it than I did in my previous one.
My use is about 50% at the kitchen table (where I have an outlet available I could plug it in at will) and about 50% mobile (e.g. on the couch).
So, what is the best approach ... should I best keep the system plugged in when using, also if the charge is at 100%?
Or should I remove the charger once the battery is full, and then let it drain? And if so, what is the best percentage to start charging, assuming that situation allows it? I did hear about Li-ion batteries not liking to be discharged too far, but then again, what is the use of a mobile laptop if the battery doesn't like being used?

So, what is the best strategy here?
Running Linux Mint 20.1 Cinnamon on an HP Envy laptop with i5-6200U processor and a mere 4GB RAM.
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Re: Laptop battery exchange - again - now what?

Post by cliffcoggin »

In simple terms:
[1] Keep it on charge whenever practicable, even when not in use. The software is far better at protecting the battery than you can ever be with manual intervention.
[2] Never let it run flat. Nothing kills lithium batteries more effectively than depleting them. The practice of draining them completely is an obsolete hangover from the days of nickel-cadmium batteries which suffered a memory effect.
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Re: Laptop battery exchange - again - now what?

Post by CarrotCake »

Hi cliffcoggin,

OK, that's a clear one, but there is still some question spinning in my mind...

So if on the kitchen table, I'll keep it plugged in regardless of charge.
But regarding (2), what percentage is then the best to plug it back in again?
IIRC Linux Mint changes the color of the battery icon when it reaches 20% or lower, so I assume that is a good point to not let it drain any further if at all practically possible?

So, it's also always better to plug the charger back in at, say, 50% then wait for the 20% mark again?
And if I can't charge it from, say, 50% back to full, b/c of limited time, is it then still better to charge it as far as time allows, even if that's <100%?
Running Linux Mint 20.1 Cinnamon on an HP Envy laptop with i5-6200U processor and a mere 4GB RAM.
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Pierre
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Re: Laptop battery exchange - again - now what?

Post by Pierre »

like cliffcoggin, said .. some ideas are now well out-of-date . .

this applies especially to an Modern Smart Phone .. and there is an App for That :)
( AccuBattery is one )

you can apply the same rules, though .. the old 80/20 rule, in fact.
- - charge to about 80% ( even to 90% )
- - discharge to about 20 % or so.
repeat . . each time
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Re: Laptop battery exchange - again - now what?

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

Some laptops have a preinstalled app (or a setting in the BIOS) that will charge your battery up to 80% (or thereabouts), then not charge anymore until the charge level drops to 40%. There also is an app you can install that does the same thing (I can't remember the name of it so if anyone knows, feel free to chime in).

Lithium battery life is dependent on the number of recharges made. No matter how deep or shallow the charge is, all sessions on the charger will reduce battery life by the same amount. If you run a laptop on AC pretty much all the time, the battery will be getting charge pretty much continuously which will quickly wear out the battery. The same is true if you run on the battery only for part of the day, drawing down the charge level only a few percent, then charge it back up at the end of the day. Not fully charging up the battery, then letting it discharge most of the way down before recharging, you can reduce battery wear significantly. Letting a lithium battery completely discharge will wear out a battery far faster than recharging when it reaches at a higher minimum level.

My System 76 POS laptop has a setting in the BIOS that manages battery charging to prolong battery life. System 76 recommends setting the maximum charge where the charger will cut off at 80% and not recharging until it drops to 40% (hence the figures I gave in the first paragraph). Other manufacturers may suggest other settings for their machines (then again, maybe not).
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CarrotCake
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Re: Laptop battery exchange - again - now what?

Post by CarrotCake »

Hi Lady Fitzgerald,

Now I'm even more confused as what you say seems to counterfact what cliffcoddin said.
So, according to you, as it doesn't really matter at what percentage you start charging, the wear on the battery is equal whether you start charging at 20% or 95%? And that keeping the charger continuously attached is a bad idea?

I did see a setting in TLPUI that seems to do what you mention: start charing below a certain percantage only, and only recharge until a different percentage.
But it is noted as a Thinkpad setting, specifically.

So, I'm still unsure. I really appreciate the different answers, though - they seem to indicate that indeed, this is a field where there is some debate.
Running Linux Mint 20.1 Cinnamon on an HP Envy laptop with i5-6200U processor and a mere 4GB RAM.
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Re: Laptop battery exchange - again - now what?

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

CarrotCake wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:52 am

...Now I'm even more confused as what you say seems to counterfact what cliffcoddin said.
So, according to you, as it doesn't really matter at what percentage you start charging, the wear on the battery is equal whether you start charging at 20% or 95%?...
That is correct.
CarrotCake wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:52 am

...And that keeping the charger continuously attached is a bad idea?...
Yes and no. If the charger is continuously charging, that will prematurely wear out the battery. However, some laptops have software (or a setting in the BIOS) that will prevent further charging after the charge level achieves a preset high and will not resume charging until it reaches a preset low, even though the charger is connected and powered up at all times so the computer can run directly from the mains instead of from the battery. This is what cliffcoggin was referring to when he said, "Keep it on charge whenever practicable, even when not in use. The software is far better at protecting the battery than you can ever be with manual intervention."

I do turn off the power to my laptop's charger when the computer is shut down to reduce wear and tear on the charger and avoid wasting the tiny amount of parasitic power a charger will draw even when there is no load on it. However, I could just leave the charger connected and powered up even with the computer shut down without harming the battery because of the power management setting in my laptop.

I'm sorry I confused you.
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Re: Laptop battery exchange - again - now what?

Post by antikythera »

In addition to the prudent advice above, only use original manufacturer batteries or branded third-party ones from specialists where possible with Laptops. Don't buy cheap 'white box' batteries off internet marketplace or auction sites because you don't actually know what is going to be in them. They can be missing critical charging safety circuitry which can lead to risk of electrical damage to your laptop or worse explosion (burnt privates and thighs if you use it on your lap occasionally) and if left unattended house fire.

https://www.rhyljournal.co.uk/news/1856 ... -rhuddlan/
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Re: Laptop battery exchange - again - now what?

Post by rickNS »

If your sitting next to an outlet, and using your laptop battery, your wasting it, period.
A Li-ion battery has predetermined life expectancy of so many cycles, or more accurately, a certain number of watts in/watts out. If you want to get more "years" out of your battery leave it plugged in more.

Further, the 80% / 20% SOC (state of charge) is another myth, started by someone, and perpetuated across the internet to the point it is now "common knowledge". For one, the manufactures should know (and do), that the upper voltage limit of an individual cell is safe, and acceptable at 4.2 volts. By stopping the charge at 80% of full charge you never let the BMS do it's job, and that is to balance the cells, which happens at the end of the charge cycle. Balancing happens to be VERY important to the health, and longevity of the pack.

I'll agree with those that say when you charge 80/20 you get more cycles, yeah, but with half the "power" out of each charge, net gain is exactly zero. This particular nonsense has been discussed to death on the e-bike forums.

Extra reading; Real life experience, although of two different brands?
I had a brand new acer laptop, that I wanted to do the right thing battery wise. So I charged to full, drained to 80%, removed battery from machine then stored it for 6 months (when the clocks change), remove from storage, drain some, then repeat. After 3-4 years, and very little actual use the battery had almost no capacity left.
Second machine, currently my main laptop a lenovo t420, almost 10 years old. It's battery stays inside, and is plugged in 99+% of the time, AND inxi reports it still has 90% of it's capacity. I unplug it occasionally use it for an hour, and battery meter says it's good for 4 more hours.

inxi report
rick@t420 ~ $ inxi -Fxz
System: Host: t420 Kernel: 4.15.0-45-generic x86_64 bits: 64 gcc: 7.3.0
Desktop: MATE 1.20.1 (Gtk 3.22.30-1ubuntu1)
Distro: Linux Mint 19 Tara
Machine: Device: laptop System: LENOVO product: 4236EY2 v: ThinkPad T420 serial: N/A
Mobo: LENOVO model: 4236EY2 serial: N/A
UEFI [Legacy]: LENOVO v: 83ET61WW (1.31 ) date: 07/07/2011
Battery BAT0: charge: 42.2 Wh 99.2% condition: 42.6/47.5 Wh (90%)
model: SANYO 42T4763 status: N/A
Mint 19.0 mate on 2 identical Thinkpad T420's
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Re: Laptop battery exchange - again - now what?

Post by Welcome »

rickNS wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:58 am
Second machine, currently my main laptop a lenovo t420, almost 10 years old. It's battery stays inside, and is plugged in 99+% of the time, AND inxi reports it still has 90% of it's capacity. I unplug it occasionally use it for an hour, and battery meter says it's good for 4 more hours.
Two laptops, about 11 years old, original batteries, plugged in 98% of the time:

Code: Select all

Battery:   ID-1: BAT1 charge: 75.7 Wh condition: 75.7/86.6 Wh (87%) volts: 12.4/11.1 model: SDI DELL N853P01L serial: B543 status: Full 
Battery:   ID-1: BAT1 charge: 72.7 Wh condition: 72.7/86.6 Wh (84%) volts: 12.5/11.1 model: SDI DELL N853P02S serial: B341 status: Full 
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CarrotCake
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Re: Laptop battery exchange - again - now what?

Post by CarrotCake »

This is very helpful!!
I'll agree with those that say when you charge 80/20 you get more cycles, yeah, but with half the "power" out of each charge, net gain is exactly zero.
Yeah I wondered about that. If your battery life is twice as long but you use only half of its capacity... but I wasn't sure it would work that way.

So, generally: if possible, always plug it in, regardless of charge.
If not plugged in, do not let discharge to zero.
Running Linux Mint 20.1 Cinnamon on an HP Envy laptop with i5-6200U processor and a mere 4GB RAM.
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Re: Laptop battery exchange - again - now what?

Post by rickNS »

CarrotCake wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:34 am

So, generally: if possible, always plug it in, regardless of charge.
In my opinion (and experience) yes.
CarrotCake wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:34 am
If not plugged in, do not let discharge to zero.
Also, yes, but don't worry about it too much as the BMS (Battery Management System) will take care of it, and activate the LVC (Low Voltage Cutoff) shutting the battery off at about 3 volts, protecting it. So the battery can never actually go to "zero". If somehow that did happen it would be ruined, and not be able to be charged.
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Re: Laptop battery exchange - again - now what?

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

rickNS wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:58 am
If your sitting next to an outlet, and using your laptop battery, your wasting it, period.
A Li-ion battery has predetermined life expectancy of so many cycles, or more accurately, a certain number of watts in/watts out. If you want to get more "years" out of your battery leave it plugged in more.

Further, the 80% / 20% SOC (state of charge) is another myth, started by someone, and perpetuated across the internet to the point it is now "common knowledge". For one, the manufactures should know (and do), that the upper voltage limit of an individual cell is safe, and acceptable at 4.2 volts. By stopping the charge at 80% of full charge you never let the BMS do it's job, and that is to balance the cells, which happens at the end of the charge cycle. Balancing happens to be VERY important to the health, and longevity of the pack.

I'll agree with those that say when you charge 80/20 you get more cycles, yeah, but with half the "power" out of each charge, net gain is exactly zero. This particular nonsense has been discussed to death on the e-bike forums.

Extra reading; Real life experience, although of two different brands?
I had a brand new acer laptop, that I wanted to do the right thing battery wise. So I charged to full, drained to 80%, removed battery from machine then stored it for 6 months (when the clocks change), remove from storage, drain some, then repeat. After 3-4 years, and very little actual use the battery had almost no capacity left.
Second machine, currently my main laptop a lenovo t420, almost 10 years old. It's battery stays inside, and is plugged in 99+% of the time, AND inxi reports it still has 90% of it's capacity. I unplug it occasionally use it for an hour, and battery meter says it's good for 4 more hours.

inxi report
rick@t420 ~ $ inxi -Fxz
System: Host: t420 Kernel: 4.15.0-45-generic x86_64 bits: 64 gcc: 7.3.0
Desktop: MATE 1.20.1 (Gtk 3.22.30-1ubuntu1)
Distro: Linux Mint 19 Tara
Machine: Device: laptop System: LENOVO product: 4236EY2 v: ThinkPad T420 serial: N/A
Mobo: LENOVO model: 4236EY2 serial: N/A
UEFI [Legacy]: LENOVO v: 83ET61WW (1.31 ) date: 07/07/2011
Battery BAT0: charge: 42.2 Wh 99.2% condition: 42.6/47.5 Wh (90%)
model: SANYO 42T4763 status: N/A
Curious. You are the first I've seen to question keeping LION batteries connected at all times (Welcome is the second). Not only the recommendations to charge them as infrequently as possible and keep their charge between 80% and some other lower percentage pretty much universally accepted, even manufacturers, such as my laptop's manufacturer and the manufacturer of the Shark vacuum cleaner I used to have, recommend it.

As far as your experience with your Acer laptop goes; the two Acer netbooks I had were garbage; neither lasted more than a year. The Acer desktop spent much of its time down for repairs. The Acer keyboard that came with the desktop was meh at best; the mouse was next to useless. Using anything Acer as your justification for your beliefs just don't hold water with me.

I've had three Lenovo notebooks. The batteries stayed in all three of them while I ran them on AC. The batteries on all three of them lost much to most of their capacity in only three or four years so I have some serious doubts about your claim that you had one last 10 years with only a 10% loss in capacity.
rickNS wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:58 am
...I'll agree with those that say when you charge 80/20 you get more cycles, yeah, but with half the "power" out of each charge, net gain is exactly zero. This particular nonsense has been discussed to death on the e-bike forums...
Your "math" is curious. How do you figure you are using only half the charge?
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Re: Laptop battery exchange - again - now what?

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

rickNS wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:07 am
...don't worry about it too much as the BMS (Battery Management System) will take care of it, and activate the LVC (Low Voltage Cutoff) shutting the battery off at about 3 volts, protecting it. So the battery can never actually go to "zero". If somehow that did happen it would be ruined, and not be able to be charged.
You are assuming all battery operated computers have a BMS that will protect battery life. Not all do. I never found it on my three Lenovos.
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Re: Laptop battery exchange - again - now what?

Post by Welcome »

Lady Fitzgerald wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:18 pm
I've had three Lenovo notebooks. The batteries stayed in all three of them while I ran them on AC. The batteries on all three of them lost much to most of their capacity in only three or four years so I have some serious doubts about your claim that you had one last 10 years with only a 10% loss in capacity.
Answer: Bell curve.

In my case, the first item I listed was a laptop I purchased originally for my wife. She never used it (she uses Apple products instead). I've maintained it, and kept it for her. It is a large and relatively heavy laptop. The second item was a laptop that I purchased for myself, the same model, etc. I've rarely used it, too. :roll:

Neither was moved or carried about, both were in a cool environment and not exposed to sunlight or other heat or radiation.

So, in my case, those two laptops are probably at the far end of the bell curve.
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Re: Laptop battery exchange - again - now what?

Post by rickNS »

Lady Fitzgerald wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:18 pm
so I have some serious doubts about your claim that you had one last 10 years with only a 10% loss in capacity.
OK, so you're calling me a liar...in so many words, that's OK, and your prerogative.

But you clearly don't have a grasp on Li-ion batteries, you said;
Lady Fitzgerald wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:33 pm
You are assuming all battery operated computers have a BMS that will protect battery life. Not all do. I never found it on my three Lenovos.
Did you take (smash) the battery pack apart...if not how would you find the BMS. I assure you your Lenovo laptops did indeed have one.
https://www.google.com/search?q=do+lapt ... ave+BMS%3F
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Re: Laptop battery exchange - again - now what?

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

rickNS wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:25 pm
...Did you take (smash) the battery pack apart...if not how would you find the BMS. I assure you your Lenovo laptops did indeed have one.
https://www.google.com/search?q=do+lapt ... ave+BMS%3F...
And yet they didn't last half as long as yours.
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Re: Laptop battery exchange - again - now what?

Post by MartyMint »

Lady Fitzgerald wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:01 am
Lithium battery life is dependent on the number of recharges made. No matter how deep or shallow the charge is, all sessions on the charger will reduce battery life by the same amount. If you run a laptop on AC pretty much all the time, the battery will be getting charge pretty much continuously which will quickly wear out the battery.
Limited charging cycles are an artificial limitations placed on the battery circuitry by the manufacturers.

Also, what you are mentioning about "quickly wear" does not apply to lithium ion technology. Chargers and circuitry can do battery conditioning in a way that older tech like nickel methylhydrate could not.
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Re: Laptop battery exchange - again - now what?

Post by MartyMint »

Lady Fitzgerald wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:33 pm
You are assuming all battery operated computers have a BMS that will protect battery life. Not all do. I never found it on my three Lenovos.
It's located on the battery's IC. You don't have access to it and there's no "user management" GUI.
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Re: Laptop battery exchange - again - now what?

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

MartyMint wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:14 pm
Lady Fitzgerald wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 3:33 pm
You are assuming all battery operated computers have a BMS that will protect battery life. Not all do. I never found it on my three Lenovos.
It's located on the battery's IC. You don't have access to it and there's no "user management" GUI.
And still my Lenovo batteries lost over half their capacity in three or four years.
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