Battery Basics

  • How do I identify my battery?

There is usually a label on the battery, and some of this information on the label will help you identify your battery. Many have part numbers printed, which are unique to your battery. The label may also include the voltage of the battery pack (note: this is not the same as the voltage on the power supply), the capacity of the battery pack and the chemical construction of the cells inside e.g.Li-Ion, NiMH or NiCd. The make and model of your laptop would help any sales person identify the correct battery. See image below:

  • What is a battery cycle?

A battery cycle is a discharge and a charge. For example, if your battery is fully charged and you use the battery and it discharges and then recharge to full capacity, this is one cycle.

  • Can I upgrade my Laptop Battery to a newer chemistry?

NiCad, NiMH and Li-Ion are all different types. These cannot be substituted unless the laptop has been pre-configured from the factory to accept more than one type of rechargeable battery. Each type requires a different charging pattern to be properly recharged. Refer to your laptop computer manual to find out which rechargeable battery types your particular device accepts.

  • What if the Milliamp-Hour (mAh) rating is different to my original battery?

Different batteries have varied mAh ratings. This represents the capacity of the battery. If the rating is higher than the original battery, then the replacement battery will run for a longer time and if the rating is lower then the replacement battery will run for a shorter time.

  • How Are Batteries Rated?

There are two ratings on a battery, Voltage (V) and Milliamp-hours (mAh). Voltage is the rate at which energy is drawn from a battery. Milliamp-hours represents the capacity of the battery.

  • Can I use a battery which has a different voltage rating than my original battery?

No, the voltage rating has to match that of the original battery or as recommended by the computer manual. Using a battery with a different voltage setting can damage the laptop.

  • What is a “smart” Battery?

Smart batteries have internal circuit boards with smart chips which allow them to communicate with the notebook and monitor battery performance, output voltage and temperature. Smart batteries will generally run 15% longer due to their increased efficiency and also give the computer much more accurate “fuel gauge” capabilities to determine how much battery running time is left before the next recharge is required. For more technical information on Smart Battery System, see the Smart Battery System Implementers Forum page.

  • I have lost my battery, How do I identify which battery I need?

Check your notebook computer’s manual. If you cannot find this, most suppliers would be able to find the battery from make and model of your notebook computer. Also, the manufacturer’s part number from the base plate on the underside of the notebook computer can help identify which battery you will need.

  • What do the LED lights on the battery do?

The little LED lights on the laptop battery is the fuel gauge of that battery. It tells the relative amount of capacity in the battery. The images below are an example. One LED light would mean that the battery is nearly empty and if all the LEDs are lit then it would mean the battery has full capacity.