Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A guide to rebuilding your laptop battery

Laptop owners realize that their laptop batteries start losing their efficiency after a certain period of time. Your laptop battery has a certain lifespan. Once it reaches itsstipulated lifespan,you won’t be able to get backup time that you used to get when your battery was new.

If you are displeased with the performance of your laptop battery, you would think that it’s time to get a new laptop battery.  However, laptop batteries are very expensive, and you may be shocked to know that a new laptop battery may cost 1/3rd the price of your laptop. You may wonder if there is any solution that would solve your battery problem and also enable you to save some money.  The solution to your problem in this case is rebuilding your laptop battery.

Your laptop battery is made of cells. Modern laptop batteries have 6cells or 9 cells. Rebuilding a laptop battery means replacing the cells inside the battery. You should be extremely careful while disassembling and assembling the battery. Let’s take a look at the steps involved in rebuilding your laptop battery

Tools required:
  •  Screwdriver
  •  Compatible replacement cells
  •  Soldering iron
  •  Glue
Disassembling your laptop battery:
The disassembling part is the toughest task in the whole procedure of rebuilding the laptop battery. The battery pack is sealed, and the plastic halves are strongly glued together, which makes the disassembling task a bit tough. You can use a screwdriver to separate the two halves.
  • Put the screwdriver in the split between the two halves of the battery pack. The split between two halves can be located on the side of the battery cover. Try to unglue a small section by turning the screwdriver. You may need to apply force to unglue the section and create a rift between two halves of the cover. Once you have opened a small section of the battery covers, continue with the splitting procedure until both the halves are separated from each other.  You will need to scratch the plastic in the split ofthe two halves.
  • Once the covers are separated, you can get a clear view of what is inside the battery.  You will be able to see 6 Li-Ion cells and a circuit board that has all the safety circuits. You need to make a detailed examination of the way the batteries are connected.  You will see two batteries connected in a parallel fashion to forma group. You will be able to see three such groups of batteries connected in series.
Removing the cells:
  •  Lift the cell with the help of the screwdriver. You will be able to see a metal connector joining both cells. Remove the connector from one cell with the help of a cutter. Proceed to the second cell joinedwith the connector and remove the connector. You should be careful while removing the connector as one of the cells is connected to the PCB. Keep the connector aside, as you would need it to connect the new pair of cells.      
  • Repeat the procedure with next set of cells and continue removing the cells until you have removed the last pair. You should remove the last cell with utmost care as there is a PTC (thermistor) attached to it.
  • Carefully remove the safety circuit board from its slot and keep it aside,as you will need it later.
Re-assembling the battery:
  • Heat the soldering iron. Take the new cell anddesolder thecontacts that are attached to the cell. Remove the wires that are attached to the cell, but be careful not to remove the white coating on the terminals that protect the cell from a short circuit.
  • Take the old battery and remove its heat shrinkable outer coating.Use that coating around the new batteries. Remove the white protective coating from the old cell and put it on the new cell. Repeat the procedure for all six cells.
  • Once the cell is ready, you need to solder two cells together in series. Repeat the procedure with the other four cells. At the end, you will have three sets of cells joined together in series.
  •  Take one set of cells and connect one end of it to the PCB. You should be careful about the polarity. Place the cells in the battery casing in their original setup. Fix the PCB in its slot. The second set of cells should be connected to the back of the first set, while the third set of cells should be connected to the back of the second set.
  • Use a multimeter to check for short circuits. If the multimeter beeps and you can see a number on the display, then it shows continuity between the points. 
  • Take some glue and apply it to the edges of the battery covers. Join the covers and press them firmly against each other. You can also use a clamp to hold the battery covers together firmly until the glue dries. 

·         Once the glue dries, you can insert the laptop batteries in the slot and start recharging them. Let them charge for at least 12-14 hours before the initial use.

You can easily rebuild laptop batteries by following the instructions given. It is necessary that you understand and note down the polarities while disassembling the battery. You need to maintain the same polarities while fixing the cells in the battery. You will be able to save a good amount of money by doing the rebuilding task all by yourself.