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Battery Tips

Any battery or accessory you purchase from us is guaranteed!

  • 100% Original Manufacturer Compatible
  • Guaranteed to Meet or Exceed Original power specifications
  • Full 1 Year Warranty (on most items)

Duracell and Hi-Capacity batteries are made using the highest quality cells available and utilize all of the proper logic boards, thermal protectors, thermistors and circuit breakers to ensure the highest levels of battery safety, reliability and efficiency. In order to guarantee optimal battery performance and life we recommend that you read the answers to common battery-related questions below.

 
 

General Battery Usage

  1. What are the different types of battery chemistries/technologies?
  2. Is it possible to upgrade my device's battery to a newer chemistry?
  3. What is the "Memory Effect"?
  4. My battery won't charge. Now what?
  5. How can I maximize battery performance?
  6. How are batteries rated? (What are Volts and Amps?)
  7. How long do batteries last?
  8. How can I recycle the old battery?
General Battery Usage
 

1. What Are The Different Types of Rechargeable Battery Chemistries/Technologies?

Batteries in portable consumer devices ( laptop batteries, notebook batteries, camcorder batteries, cell phone batteries, PDA batteries, digital camera batteries, cordless phone batteries, , etc.) are principally made using either Nickel Cadmium (NiCad), Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) or Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) technologies. Each type of rechargeable battery technology has its own unique characteristics:

  • NiCad and NiMH: The main difference between the two is the fact that NiMH batteries (the newer of the two technologies) offer higher energy densities than NiCads. In other words, pound for pound, NiMH delivers approximately 100% more capacity than its NiCad counterpart. What this translates into is increased run-time from the battery with no additional bulk to weigh down your portable device. NiMH also offers another major advantage: NiCad batteries tend to suffer from what is called the "memory effect". NiMH batteries are less prone to develop this dreaded affliction and thus require less maintenance and care. NiMH batteries are also more environmentally friendly than their NiCad counterparts, since they do not contain heavy metals (which present serious landfill problems).
  • Li-Ion has quickly become the emerging standard for portable power in consumer devices. Li-Ion batteries produce the same energy as NiMH batteries but weigh approximately 35% less. This is crucial in applications such as camcorders or notebook computers, where the battery makes up a significant portion of the device's weight. Another reason Li-Ion batteries have become so popular is that they do not suffer from the memory effect AT ALL. They are also better for the environment because they don't contain toxic materials such as Cadmium or Mercury.
  • Li-Polymer: This is a newer type of Li-Ion battery. It uses a solid polymer electrolyte that looks like a plastic film. It contains a gelled electrolyte which is less susceptible to leaking and uses a bag type enclosure rather than a rigid metal case. This leads to a lighter and thinner battery and it is considered safer because the gelled electrolyte is less likely to leak. It is also more resistant to overcharge.
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2. Is it Possible to Upgrade My Device's Battery to a Newer Chemistry?

NiCad, NiMH and Li-ion are all fundamentally different from one another and cannot be substituted unless the device has been pre-configured from the factory to accept more than one type of rechargeable battery. The difference between them stems from the fact that each type requires a different charging pattern to be properly recharged. Therefore, the portable device's charger must be properly configured to handle a given type of rechargeable battery.

Refer to your owner's manual to find out which rechargeable battery types your particular device supports, or simply use our search engine to find your device. It will automatically list all of the battery types supported by your machine.

 
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3. What is the "Memory Effect" ?

NiCad batteries, and to a lesser extent NiMH batteries, suffer from what's called the "memory effect". What this means is that if a battery is continually only partially discharged before re-charging, the battery "forgets" that it has the capacity to further discharge all the way down. 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. Your battery will remain functional, but only at 50% of its original capacity. The way to avoid the dreaded "memory effect" is to fully cycle (fully charge and then fully discharge) your battery at least once every two to three weeks. Batteries can be discharged by unplugging the device's AC adaptor and letting the device run on the battery until it ceases to function. This will insure your battery remains healthy.

 
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4. My battery won't charge. Now what?

When batteries are shipped they are not fully charged. As a result before the battery is used the first time you should fully charge and fully discharge the battery. This charge/discharge cycle should be repeated two to three times before initial use. When you do this you help to ensure that the battery will provide its full power capacity. Please be aware that rechargeable batteries may become slightly warm during the charging process and this is a normal part of operation. If your battery does not charge up to full capacity you should remove it from the device and then place it back inside of the device. Then start the charge/discharge cycle again.

 
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5. How can I maximize battery performance?

There are several steps you can take to insure that you get maximum performance from the battery:
  • Break In New Batteries: New batteries come in a discharged condition and must be fully charged before use. It is recommended that you fully charge and discharge the new battery two to four times to allow it to reach its maximum rated capacity.
  • Prevent the Memory Effect: Keep the battery healthy by fully charging and then fully discharging it at least once every two to three weeks. Exceptions to the rule are Li-Ion batteries which do not suffer from the memory effect.
  • Keep the Batteries Clean: It's a good idea to clean dirty battery contacts with a cotton swab and alcohol. This helps maintain a good connection between the battery and the portable device.
  • Exercise the Battery: Do not leave the battery dormant for long periods of time. We recommend using the battery at least once every two to three weeks. If a battery has not been used for a long period of time, perform the new battery break in procedure described above.
  • Battery Storage: If you don't plan on using the battery for a month or more, we recommend storing it in a clean, dry, cool place away from heat and metal objects. NiCad, NiMH and Li-Ion batteries will self-discharge during storage; remember to break them in before use. Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries must be kept at full charge during storage. This is usually achieved by using special trickle chargers. If you do not have a trickle charger, do not attempt to store SLA batteries for more than three months.
  • For Laptop Users: To get maximum performance from your laptop battery, fully optimize the notebooks power management features prior to use. Power management is a trade off: better power conservation in exchange for lesser computer performance. The power management system conserves battery power by setting the processor to run at a slower speed, dimming the screen, spinning down the hard drive when it's not in use and causing the machine to go into sleep mode when inactive. The notebook users guide will provide information relating to specific power management features.
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6. How Are Batteries Rated? (What Are Volts and Amps?)

There are two ratings on every battery: volts and amp-hours (Ah). The Ah rating may also be given as milliamp-hours (mAh), which are one-thousandth of an amp-hour (for example, a 1Ah battery is 1000mAh). Amp-hours are a rating of the amount of energy that a battery can store. Another way of looking at it is to say that the higher a battery's amp-hour rating is, the longer the battery's run-time will be. Some of our batteries will have higher amp-hour ratings than the original battery found in your device and will not cause any incompatibilities. On the other hand, while the voltage of the Hi-Capacity battery may not be identical to the original battery, the voltages must be within a reasonable range. In order to rate the voltage of the cell, a voltage value between 3.0 and 4.2 must be picked. The voltage that is picked is called the "nominal" voltage, which means that it is for naming purposes only, whereas the actual voltage of the cell depends on the state of charge. Historically some manufacturers picked 3.6V while others picked 3.7V to name the cell. The functionality and performance of either cell is identical and cannot be differentiated by the device. The explanation above applies to a single Li-Ion cell in series.  When a battery has two or more Li-Ion cells in series, the voltage is multiplied by the number of cells in series, as in the table below:

Number of Li-Ion
cells in series
Nominal voltage Type of device
1
3.6V or 3.7V
Cell phones and Digital cameras
2
7.2V or 7.4V
Digital cameras and camcorders
3
10.8V or 11.1V
Laptops
4
14.4V or 14.8V
Laptops
Thus,
• A Li-Ion battery labeled 3.6V is the same as a Li-Ion battery labeled 3.7V.
• A Li-Ion battery labeled 7.2V is the same as a Li-Ion battery labeled 7.4V.
• A Li-Ion battery labeled 10.8V is the same as a Li-Ion battery labeled 11.1V.
• A Li-Ion battery labeled 14.4V is the same as a Li-Ion battery labeled 14.8V.
 
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9. How Long Do Batteries Last?

The life of a rechargeable battery operating under normal conditions is generally between 500 to 800 charge-discharge cycles. This typically translates into one and a half to three years of battery life for the average user. As your rechargeable battery begins to die, you will notice a decline in the running time of the battery. When your two hour battery is only supplying you with an hour's worth of use, it's time for a new one.

 
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10. How can I recycle the old battery?

Nicad, NiMH and Li-Ion batteries should be recycled. Be environmentally conscious - do NOT throw these batteries in the trash.

If you don't know where your local recycling facility is, call the Portable Rechargeable Battery Association at 1-800-822-8837. They will provide you with the address of the recycling center nearest to you. If there is no local recycling facility, send the old batteries to us at the following address:

DuracellDirect.com
Attn.: Recycling Dept.
1380 Flynn Road Camarillo, CA 93012

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Any statements and data in this file are for general information purposes. They represent the latest technical status at the time of publishing. We reserve the right to change the data in this file without prior notice. The technical information is given in a descriptive way and does not guarantee any properties or enlarge any warranties given.