Rechargeable Batteries - Our Daily Green

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rechargeable Batteries

Rechargeable batteries can be a green home's best friend. However, when they are not properly cared for, they can run out of charge quickly, frustrating the owner and quickly losing the convenience factor. Green is only a good idea when it works well, so we'd like to offer a few tips to prolong the life of your rechargeable batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries  have a higher energy density and lower self discharge rate than other types of rechargeable batteries. In other words, they hold more energy for a longer amount of time than other rechargeable batteries. Lithium-ion is the most common battery for cell phones, personal computers and apple laptop batteries.

To prolong the life of lithium-ion batteries, we have a few simple guidelines:
  • The first guideline is to make sure the battery is fully charged the first time you use it. Wait for the battery indicator to reach full charge. 
  • Let the battery run down before recharging it. Batteries need to be cycled a few times in order to be properly conditioned to run at capacity. 
  • Use the battery. In other words, even if you're by an outlet, unplug the power source to allow your battery to run your device instead of keeping it in a constant state of charging, which will reduce the life cycle of the battery. 
  • Do not expose your battery to extremes in temperature. High heat will cause the battery to drain faster, cold will not allow it to generate as much energy. 
  • If you are not using your device for an extended period of time, remove the battery before storing it so the maintenance functions (such as date and time keeping) do not discharge the battery. 
When a rechargeable battery needs to be replaced, they must be disposed of properly, they cannot be thrown out with regular trash. Search Earth911 for proper disposal sites.

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