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Battery Basics

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Rechargeable batteries have become an essential component of portable electronic devices. The information below should help you better understand how your battery functions and performs.

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Battery Types

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There are three common types of common rechargeable batteries used in portable electronic devices today.

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Nickel-cadmium (Ni-CD) – Ni-CD batteries are used in devices where longer life, higher power and duration in more extreme temperatures are neededThese battery types are commonly seen in power tools and two-way radios.
 
Nickel-metal-hydride (Ni-MH) – Ni-MH batteries provide more energy than Ni-CD batteries but for a shorter period of time. These battery types are commonly seen in mobile phones, PDAs, and older notebook PCs.
 
Lithium-ion (Li-ion) – Li-Ion batteries are the most advanced batteries currently used in portable electronic devices such as notebook PCs, cellular telephones, and portable DVD players. Li-Ion batteries are lighter, store more energy and retain their charge longer than nickel-based batteries of comparable size. Also, Li-Ion batteries can be recharged before they are fully discharged without losing charge capacity to the memory effect.

Battery Safety

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HP takes safety very seriously and makes battery Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) available that provide general safety information about the third party (non-HP) batteries used in HP products and throughout the industry.  In addition, HP works closely with third party battery suppliers to drive continuous safety and design improvements that help deliver higher levels of safety and reliability.  In the unlikely event of a potential safety issue, HP uses proven best-in-class processes and works closely with the appropriate worldwide regulatory agencies to help deliver the highest possible level of safety and best customer experience.

General Battery Warnings:

  • Do not disassemble, crush, or puncture a battery; short the external contacts on a battery; or dispose of a battery in fire or water. Do not expose a battery to temperatures above 60C (140F).
  • Keep the battery away from children.
  • Only the battery provided with the computer, a replacement battery provided by HP, or a compatible battery purchased as an accessory from HP should be used with the computer.

This information and more is available in the documents listed below.  These documents are provided with your notebook PC in printed form, on a CD that was included with your notebook PC, or on the hard drive of your notebook PC.  These documents can also be located online by visiting www.hp.com, selecting the “Support and Troubleshooting” link and entering your notebook PC model information.

  • Getting Started Guide
  • User Guide
  • Regulatory and Safety Notices Guide

 To learn more about HP notebook reliability, refer to the HP Notebook PC Professional Innovations website.

Battery cycle life and aging

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The life of your battery will vary depending on the product configuration, product model, applications loaded on the product, power management settings of the product, and the product features used by the customer. As with all batteries, the maximum capacity of your battery will decrease with time or use.

All rechargeable batteries gradually lose their capacity to hold a charge.  The battery cycle life is the total number of charge cycles a battery supplies before it can no longer hold a useful amount of charge.

This loss in capacity (aging) is irreversible and cannot be restored. Gradually, less and less active material is available within each cell to electrochemically store a charge. Consequently, the battery provides less useable time to power the computer.

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries typically have a lifespan of between 300 and 500 cycles. With moderate use, Lithium-ion batteries can be expected to deliver around 80% of their original capacity after 300 cycles or about one year of use (see graph above).

Note: The graph above illustrates 80% of original capacity after 300 cycles at an operating temperature between 77 F and 104 F (25 C and 40 C).  Higher operating temperatures can result in a 70% or more loss of capacity given the same number of cycles.
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