Ever bought a new laptop only to find the battery life declines vastly as each month passes? Often to the extent it can only be used plugged into the mains? This annoyance could soon be a thing of the past thanks to a Cambridge company and their intelligent plug.
The Eliminata Laptop Saver prolongs the battery life and reduces energy consumption through its innovative smart plug, which provides the device with just the right amount of energy it needs.
The intelligent plug checks the power level of the laptop at intervals and recharges at the optimum moment without the owner being aware.
John Halfpenny, co-founder of Cambridge-based Energy Reducing Products, explains that if the lithium-ion batteries used in laptops are kept cool and topped up regularly it can add up to an extra year to the life expectancy of the battery.
“Laptop batteries cost about £40 and have a limited lifetime which is a called a half-life. This is typically 500 discharge cycles, which is when the battery is taken from full to empty.
“Each time the battery is fully discharged it degrades… so after 18 months you will see a significant drop in runtime, perhaps from three hours to less than 90 minutes.
“The best way to look after the battery is to recharge it before it becomes 50% discharged. This can triple the number of cycles possible, extending the lifetime of the battery and the maintaining the runtime of the computer for longer.”
Most laptops have internal power management, so the temptation can be to leave the laptop plugged into the mains but this is also damaging to the battery. Even on standby it is still consuming energy and a slow trickle charge to a battery when at full capacity is harmful.
Eliminata avoids these problems by switching on at regular intervals to monitor the battery’s charge level, recharge if needed before disconnecting when it does not require energy. This can reduce wasted energy by £15 a year compared to plugging the laptop directly into the mains. If every first year university student used Eliminata it could save the UK £6m in energy costs.
The beauty of Eliminata, according to Mr Halfpenny, is its simplicity: “With Eliminata you just plug in and forget and it will help protect the laptop.”
Tips for extending battery life:
- Don’t let the laptop run flat and charge the battery frequently;
- If not in use, discharge the battery to 40% and keep in a cool place;
- Keep battery away for extremes of heat, don’t leave in the car or charge inside the carry case;
- Use laptop on surfaces that allow airflow;
- Use an Eliminata laptop saver to manage recharging energy efficiently and prevent trickle charge damaging the full charged battery;
- Try to keep battery within 20% – 80 % charged.