How to Extend the Life of Your Batteries

Due to the higher energy requirements of the modern car, the average battery life has become shorter. The life span depends on the energy usage and can vary from as little as 6 months to as much as 48 months (30%), although in exceptional cases this can be longer (we just replace an original battery from 2004).

Batteries will be drained of power when used for a longer period of time. They will drain faster when devices are switched on and off frequently, so sometimes keeping the device on will actually extend the life of your battery.

Cars and Other Vehicles

High temperatures affect the life of the battery. If temperatures can be controlled the life of the battery may be extended. A recent study revealed that relocating the battery outside the engine compartment has increased its life by nearly eight months. Manufactures are looking at ways to relocate the battery away from the heat of the engine. Use of additional insulation may be an alternative.

Keeping the battery charged at all times is also very important to your battery life. Due to the driving habits of some individuals, some batteries are undercharged. This can lead to sulfation, where lead sulfate gets accumulated, reducing the battery's capacity. Electrolyte levels will have to be checked frequently, especially during the hot months when the natural fluid expansion in hot weather will push excess electrolytes from the battery. An external battery may be used for charging. If the fluid level is low, use distilled water, or in a pinch use rain water as regular tap water contains chemicals and minerals that are harmful for your battery.

Portable Electronic Devices

Battery life can be increased for iPods, cell phones, laptops etc. by lowering the brightness when not necessary. For example, when using these devices in a dark room, it is not necessary to set the brightness to 100%. The brightness can be lowered enough so that the screen can be seen without exerting any strain on the eyes can be done. The amount of time the backlight stays on can also be decreed. For iPods it does not have to stay on for 10 seconds, 2 seconds should be good enough. Laptops can be set in hibernate mode when not in use.

One most important point that not many people are aware of is that turning down the volume increases battery life. Use headphones that are louder and leave the volume at 50%.

Background applications are power hungry monsters. Stop everything that is not being used. Defragmenting the hard drive once in a while helps reduce file scatter on the hard drive and uses up less power. Send the computer into standby mode after a certain period ofactivity as it preserves battery. Although, standby resume also uses some power but not as much as starting up. Interestingly, leaving a CD or DVD in the drive can decrease battery life, as it hogs power whenever the drive spins up.

In Wi-Fi Applications

Battery life in Wi-Fi apps can be prolonged by either increasing battery capacity or reducing Wi-Fi product power consumption and through control methods. It is easy to increase battery capacity; however, due to technological limits, it may lead to an increase in cost and size of the battery. That brings us to the option of reducing power consumption, which can be done by prolonging the standby time and shortening the time of the active cycle. You can also turn off the WiFi on the iPod when not in use as it consumes a large amount of life.

These techniques of low power consumption can improve battery life dramatically. Most of them are common sense usage techniques and can easily be made part of our daily lives.