Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NICKEL CADMIUM (NICD) BATTERIES, NICKEL METAL HYDRIDE BATTERIES (NIMH) AND LITHIUM ION (LI-ION) / LITHIUM POLYMER (LIPOL) BATTERIES?

Nickel Cadmium (NiCd) batteries operate at 1.2 volts per cell and have less capacity, but around three times more cycle life than NiMH batteries.

NiCd batteries are generally more suitable for high drain and fast charge appliances such as cordless power tools and appliances running motors. Large capacity NiCds are still in use for aviation, solar storage, emergency generator sets and theatre lighting. The large capacity cells are built for reliability and longevity.

Nickel Cadmium has the problem of being hazardous to the environment so they are being phased out around the world with the development of better battery chemistries.

Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries also operate at 1.2 volts per cell and have a higher capacity to size ratio but only have around one third of the cycle life of a NiCd battery. If a NiMH battery is treated like a NiCd battery and deep discharged regularly, it will not have a long lifespan.

NiMH batteries are not known for having the ‘’memory effect’’ problems of NiCds. They are suitable where higher capacity is required in appliances such as hand held radios and power tools. A recent development of Japanese NiMH technology has seen the major improvement of the longer cycle life and charge holding ability of this chemistry under the ‘’Eneloop’’ Sony brand.

NiMH usage is being rapidly taken over by the extensive use of Lithium Ion battery chemistry.

At the moment there are some companies focussing on using NiMH batteries for electric and hybrid motor vehicles and this could then move on to Lithium Ion batteries.

Lithium Ion (Li-ion) /Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol) batteries Operate at 3.6 or 3.7 volts per cell and the Li-ion batteries are basically cylindrical and the Li-Pol batteries are made as flat sheet and very thin batteries.

Their use and application is in all low drain appliances such as mobile cell phones, laptops, personal digital assistants, video and digital cameras and any appliance which requires a very small and compact battery with good capacity.  Li-Ion batteries are now produced with higher drain qualities and high capacity for Power Tools.

Light weight Li-pol batteries have now been developed with very high rates of charge and discharge capabilities for radio controlled hobby and electric vehicle applications.

This lithium battery technology is improving all of the time with major battery units being designed and made for powering and storing power for vehicles.

HOW LONG DO BATTERIES LAST?

The life of a battery depends on its use and abuse.

A general indication of battery life for NiCd, NiMH, Li-ion and Li-Pol batteries are:

Mobile Cellular Phones
Video Cameras
Laptop Computers
IPods / PDAs  
Cordless Power Tools
Hand Held Radios
Cordless Phones
  18 months to 3 years
3 to 5 years
2 to 4 years
2 to 4 years
3 to 5 years
3 to 5 years
2 to 3 years

 

Lithium Ion and Lithium Polymer battery life is generally around 2 to 3 years.

Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) batteries can last from 2 to 6 years depending on the application and charging methods.

HOW DO I KNOW WHEN MY BATTERY NEEDS REPLACING?

Here are some tell tale signs:

  • It only runs your appliance for a short time before it indicates ‘’low battery’’ or it turns the appliance off.
  • It acts erratically – e.g. one day it seems OK – the next day it is not OK.
  • The charger does not seem to charge the battery (the problem could also be the charger).
  • It won’t allow your appliance to boot up or run.

HOW LONG SHOULD MY BATTERY RUN MY APPLIANCE?

The answer is complicated.  It depends on the amperage draw of your appliance (i.e. how much petrol per mile it uses). You should be able to get some information from the manufacturer’s instruction book.

Batteries will draw more ‘’petrol’’ from the tank according to the load that they are put under.    e.g. a laptop computer will draw much more power whilst the hard disk or DVD player is spinning than when the computer is idle with just the screen lit.

CAN I USE A DIFFERENT TYPE OF BATTERY CHEMISTRY WITH MY APPLIANCE?

Battery size is a major factor in size and design of batteries. Some chemistries produce 1.2 volts per cell (NiCd and NiMH) and others 3.6, 3.7, or 3.8 volts (Li-ion and Li-Pol) for the same size cell. Thus you need three times as many 1.2 volt cells to meet the required voltage of one 3.6 volt Li-ion cell.  

Then you have the added problem of charging the different types of batteries with the differing voltages and charging parameters. By using the wrong charger on a Li-ion battery it can cause the battery to explode and catch on fire! Li-ion batteries generally need far more circuitry controls in their charging and discharging than NiCd and NiMH chemistries.

So the basic answer is No. You have to stay with the battery chemistry type that is in the original battery design.

HOW DO YOU EXTEND THE LIFE OF A NEW BATTERY?

The primary recommendation of assuring the longest life for a battery is to make sure it is fully charged before first use.  The latest battery chemistries of Li-ion and Li-Pol are versatile and can be charged at any time and do not deteriorate or suffer with erratic charging patterns and times. The battery chargers are sufficiently sophisticated to fully charge the battery at any time.

Of course, batteries can also have faster life reduction over time by constantly being left on a charger. (e.g a laptop always left on 240 volt AC adaptor power which does not allow the battery to be utilised at any time).

The only two chemistries which can have noticeable life shortening problems are Nickel Cadmium batteries which should be deeply discharged before recharging – and Sealed Lead Acid batteries which should be constantly recharged at every opportunity. They should not be discharged lower than around 30% of their capacity for an extended and full life.

All batteries have different charging systems and parameters and there is no ‘’one-fits-all’’ charger available. Use the charger that is specifically designed for the appliance.

HOW DO I BEST DISPOSE OF MY OLD BATTERIES?

Most responsible battery retailers will accept old batteries for disposal and/or recycling.
Lead Acid batteries are recyclable for their lead content.

Australia now has a very high temperature furnace for the recovery of Nickel from NiCd and NiMH batteries. Up till recently all of these batteries had to be sent overseas for processing.

Battery Works and its staff takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously and is a very proud GREEN COMPANY and it will accept old batteries for recycling or responsible disposal. Old batteries can be sent or delivered to the head office in Nundah, Queensland at the sender’s expense.  No charge is made for this handling service.

HOW DOES A STOLTZ BATTERY COMPARE TO THE MANUFACTURER’S ORIGINAL BATTERY? 

The Stoltz brand of batteries ensures that they compare equally or surpass the original manufacturer’s brand products. 

Stoltz batteries are carefully made in China to international standards in selected factories that use the highest quality components to ensure the longest possible battery life.  These factories pursue continuous and rigorous testing to ensure that capacity readings are true and accurate.

Stoltz batteries are not the cheapest in the Australian market as Battery Works insists that quality comes first, regardless of price.

WHAT IS THE WARRANTY ON A STÖLTZ BATTERY?

All Stoltz batteries have a twelve month warranty, from date of purchase. This warranty does not cover instances where any water or physical damage by consumer or customer is evident. Many batteries today contain delicate electronic circuitry and should be treated with care.

All of Battery Works products and goods and services come with a guarantee that cannot be excluded under the Australian Consumer Law. All customers are entitled to a replacement or refund for a major failure and compensation for any other reasonably foreseeable loss or damage. Battery Works customers are entitled to have the goods repaired or replaced if the goods fail to be of acceptable quality and the failure does not amount to be a major failure.

The product warranty is issued by Battery Works, 186 Kerry Road, Archerfield, 4108  Tel: 61 7 3266 6122  Email: sales @battery.com.au
To make a claim under warranty customers should speak to the vendor where purchased and return the goods to the place of purchase within the warranty period. Should the goods be faulty Battery Works will bear the expense of the return of goods and the customer should provide written evidence of the cost of return. Battery Works can arrange a reply paid service and this arrangement can be set in place and instructions given by contacting Battery Works as above. 

MY BATTERY DOES NOT SEEM TO HOLD ITS CHARGE. WHAT CAN I DO?

In charging a battery there are two components – the battery itself and the charger. Both should be looked at for possible cause.

You should first return to the retail store where the battery was purchased with the appliance and the charger so that both can be checked.

Your retailer should check, if possible, to see if the charging appliance or circuit is working with a charging voltage slightly above the required voltage of the battery.
Then they can test the battery itself to check that the voltage of the battery increases after a short period of charging. 

Should the battery have a fault then it should be immediately returned to Battery Works and it will be promptly and urgently replaced if still within the twelve month warranty period. 

Batteries should be only charged with a charger that has been specifically designed to charge that particular battery.

Battery Works has an extensive range of chargers for laptops, power tool batteries and Sealed Lead Acid batteries.

How Do I Find The Battery I Need?

Finding the correct battery is easy if you follow a few guidelines.

  • Find the battery model on your original battery. This is usually found on a sticker attached to the casing of the battery. It may require a close look and could begin with something like Spares No, P/N (Part Number) or the word Model. Generally model numbers are shorter than 10 digits. The battery model is the most helpful piece of information you can have.
  • When searching our website for an item, the dots and dashes must be included in the correct places or the search facility will not find the item. The brand, followed by a space and the model number will narrow the search substantially and will allow you to find what you are looking for.
  • Find the model of your device if there is no battery model number. This can usually be found either in the most conspicuous place on the face of the equipment or on the compliance sticker in an out-of-the-way place. This is the second-most important piece of information you will need.
  • Things that won’t help – the serial number – leaving your battery in the device (sometimes they are really difficult to remove) – the numbers written on the charger (unless you are looking for a charger and not a battery) – very long numbers and letters strung together.
  • When looking for a charger or AC adaptor, the battery model will not help. The model of the equipment and/or the model of the charger/adaptor will be the most helpful information you will need. The size of the plug is also relevant.
  • Other things that may help are – the voltage (V) of the battery – the Milliampere (mAh) rating (or Watt-hour (Wh) rating) – the colour. Sometimes a model will have batteries assigned to it that are of different voltages, so this will be important.
  • When working out what battery you need, you will find that there may be more than one battery that fits.
  • Sometimes equipment comes with a low capacity battery, but there may be one of higher capacity available (capacity = how long a battery will run the equipment).
  • Places you could find a model number
    • Under a mobile phone battery in the phone housing
    • The neck of the power tool battery
    • In the equipment manual
    • Asking Google online