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I have a personal laptop (Lenovo Z470) at home and what I like about it is that its battery management software has a setting called "Best Battery Health" which makes the laptop stop charging at 50% battery capacity. It's useful because I used my laptop 8+ hours a day, everyday. Although I total discharge it about once a month.

Now I have a new job and a new laptop was provided me, an Acer Aspire E1-572G. Its battery tool doesn't have that feature, and googling didn't come up with any results.

So do you guys know any software that does the same thing on Acer notebooks? Or if it's not the best practice (to keep the battery at a certain level), what is? I'm asking because I'll be using this laptop the whole day. Any recommendations? Thank you.

PS: I noticed on my Lenovo notebook, when I set it to Best Battery Health then reboot to Ubuntu, the battery threshold remains, so I'm thinking it's not totally a software thing. It may be hardware-related, too, but I don't know. Thanks again.

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You would think that in this day and age, this functionality would be built into the battery circuitry so that we don’t have to worry or even think about it. If they can make it so that a laptop only works with their own batteries, surely they can make the battery take care of itself. –  Synetech Jan 8 at 1:28
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Short answer: No and no

Long answer:

I was skeptical of this affirmation so I did some research and stumbled with this article. And it brought back vague memories from back when I studied physics about condensers.

Now before we start, I want to point out that to my understanding, saying battery is fully charged makes just as much sense as saying a balloon is fully charged; this limit is too extreme since it's where it's the limit where it explodes. So the battery is never fully charged.

Give this graph I found a look: It's very descriptive. voltagetimecapacitor

When connecting the battery to a specific voltage by using your charger, the charge behaves as you can see in the graph over time. It charges the battery quick first and then slower until it reaches a point it will charge so slow we don't consider it charging anymore. This is probably the moment your laptop says battery 100%.

If you charged the battery using a higher voltage, you'd raise this limit, the battery would charge faster and it would have a longer discharge duration at the expense of making the battery "suffer" and hence reduce its life. Too much voltage and KABOOM BABY!

On the other hand, if you use a lower voltage to charge the battery, it would take the same time to charge it to... let's say 50% of last scenario (and it would be limited there), so you'd have less juice through the day but the life of the battery would be prolonged. I bet your laptop would also state the battery is at 100%, even though it now has half the charge as before.

You could also "fast charge" it to that 50% using that higher voltage, but that's going to make the battery "suffer" as well. Back to the first article, I found there this other graph as well: voltagecharges

So in conclusion, you shouldn't focus on charging your battery less to improve its life, but to charge it slower by reducing the voltage (which will put a limit to how charged it gets hence charging it less).

But on the other hand all new batteries probably have internal mechanisms which regulate all of this so you don't even need to think about it.

Oh, and about programs to limit this; it MUST be supported by acer from the BIOS. If it isn't around, then it's probably just not supported.

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Woah, this question made me learn a lot about batteries by doing some research, and now I understand why the hell they designed my external phone battery charger to charge so extremely slow (takes about a full day) using less voltage than an USB. I'm now wondering if computer circuitry works with a varying voltage... –  brunch875 Jan 8 at 2:04
    
I understand. But how do I lower the voltage of my charger? And also, is it safe to leave the laptop plugged in even if it says 100% on the battery level? –  d4ryl3 Jan 10 at 1:29
    
It's okay to leave it plugged, it disconnects itself when 100%. As for lowering the voltage of the charger you could use a different charger if it fits. Now then, you also have to check the current it provides so it's enough but doesn't fry your computer. On the other hand I don't know that much about electricity and I discourage you to do it... –  brunch875 Jan 11 at 2:01
    
From what I've read around the internet, it's fine as long as the amperage is higher or equal to your old charger. Even with numbers like using 4A when before you used 1.9A. Be also careful with the polarity of the connector, it must match. –  brunch875 Jan 11 at 2:08
    
Okay then. I'll leave it plugged in the whole day. Hey, I've learned a lot from you answers, too. Thanks. –  d4ryl3 Jan 13 at 1:21
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