Could hibernation kill the laptop battery


My laptop is running Arch Linux and I purchased a battery late last year. However, over the last few weeks, my battery life has declined rapidly (from over 2 hours to less than 1 hour). Over the course of two weeks, the "capacity" (according to KDE) has gone from 99% to 43%.

During the time I owned the battery, I replaced my hard drive with a Samsung SSD and enabled the self-encryption feature. A byproduct of the SED is that the system has to go into hibernation instead of sleep when the lid is closed. As a student, I move my laptop around quite a bit, meaning that I tend to open and close my computer fairly frequently. I am wondering if repeated hibernation could have damaged my battery or caused it to drain more quickly.

At this point, the battery should not be going bad, as I bought it less than 6 months ago. I have tried to keep the battery as healthy as possible, as I unplug the computer overnight, and I avoid draining it to the point of shutdown.

Best Answer

There are more things to consider that could kill/drain your battery life. Its not only Hibernation mode that will decrease the life of your battery. Hibernation mode is infact better than sleep mode.

By buying yourself an SSD you have already increased the batterly-life on the storage part. Since it needs less power according to a question on Quora.

Simple mathematics shows that the SSD is still going to be more power-efficient. Using my figures:

5V 500mA for, say, 45 mins in every hour of operation amounts to 112 Wh per hour (mechanical)

5v 1A for, say, 10 mins every hour amounts to 50Wh per hour (SSD).

That means that, given the way I use my laptop, the SSD is saving me better than 50% in power which has a notable effect on battery-life.

Because you might be interested in how to maximize battery life here are some tips.

Use Hibernation instead of Sleep

  • Sleeping will use some power to keep the RAM running to get you back where you left off.
  • Hibernation mode will save the system state to the SSD and turns itself off using almost no power at all.

Use fewer Startup Programs and Lighter Software

  • Don't use a screensaver. They are pointless and drain your battery.
  • Run fewer programs in the background.
  • Use less resource intensive programs. Heavy programs tend to use more CPU causing it to drain battery power faster than a program that is very lightweight.
  • Try to not maximize your ram usage to 100%. If your computer fills its RAM and needs more memory, it will move data to the page file on its hard drive, and this extra hard drive usage can drain battery.

Things you can do in windows/linux

  • Use the power troubleshooting tool in Windows 7 and 8 which scans and fixes your computer from common battery drains
  • For linux an application like TLP can boost your battery life.
  • Turn on Power Saver in the windows Power Options
  • Lower the screen brightness
  • Disable Bluetooth and Other Hardware Devices that you don't use.
  • Change your power plan options to turn off display after 5 minutes not used.

The usual tips for boosting battery life on a Windows laptop apply to Linux laptops, too.