Anyone need help with their battery?

This post is for people who, like me, had battery troubles on Zorin OS. Please chat here to share your thoughts on what Zorin needs to update for its battery and misc drivers.

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Considering your experiences, I think this is a great point. Feedback on something that is not working is crucial to development and improvement.

I know that the display can kill a battery if the brightness is high, but my experience with zorin has been that I’ll maybe get 3.5 hours in zorin light with the brightness all the way down. I thought it was odd that I could go 5 hours in windows, using internet but I’m barely making over half that if I’m just in a text editor and terminal with a few logouts and ins on zorin. I even installed tlp, didn’t change much since I have pcie ssd’s, no peripherals and am not taxing the nvidia card.

Thought it was just my laptop. Asus tuf a17, ryzen 7, 64gb ddr4. Might try changing the refresh rate from 77 to hopefully 60, but that’s why I’m not running 120. The extended battery was supposed to give me 8 to 12 hours, but I haven’t seen one laptop get close to the manufacturers estimates unless you don’t use it.

I can also attest to this on a 2012 Acer notebook computer, and with using older Zorin OS 12.4. I also don't think its necessarily Zorin specifically, I think it has something to do with Ubuntu Linux in general.

Granted, this is an old notebook, but before I switch from Windows 7, my notebook battery still had about maybe 20-minutes of life in the old battery. When I switched to Linux, a week later, my battery couldn't even hold a charge.

So, I did what any sane person would do, I bought a new battery, even for this old computer. I usually keep the notebook plugged in, as I use it like a desktop. I charged up the new battery, but I was noticing something strange.

First, it took an unreasonable amount of time to charge the battery up, especially considering, its not a huge battery, seemed like it took 24-hours to charge, and it would never go beyond 99%. Realistically, shouldn't take more then 2 to 4 hours to charge a notebook battery.

I tested it by pulling the plug after charge. I immediately noticed a huge draw on the battery, as the percentage seemed to go down abnormally fast. I knew my notebook was rated for a 2-hour battery life, but at the rate it was draining with the new battery, it wouldn't last past 30-minutes!

It became clear that something about being on a Linux operating system, was drawing abnormal amounts of power off the battery. When I did research into this, I found many other's were dealing with this same issue, including you guys.

Unfortunately, there was no information on how to solve this, as this is probably on the OS level, and something that Ubuntu is doing, in its handling of power. Furthermore, a few months later, my new battery no longer held a charge.

If the power goes out, my notebook immediately dies. I've heard people say that their notebook fans sound like an aircraft taking off on Linux, which is further evidence of heavy power draw, the fans have to cool the CPU/GPU.

It doesn't mean that I am going to stop using Linux, far from it. But with more and more people talking about this, it is putting a limelight on something strange going on with POWER usage on Linux based operating systems.

Science people, we need to do some science. Testing, lots of testing, in the name of science! lol

Like ST my laptop sits plugged into mains power most of the time. Battery often shows 99%, not 100%. Also when disconnected and run off batt say down to 90%, it shows not charging. I have to run down to maybe 70% on batt before charging is confirmed when reconnected.
I think Power/Battery management is substandard under Zorin/Ubuntu/Linux and could do with improvement. Maybe batt calibration is not correct.
I have never suffered a dead battery or excessive high drain, but the batt certainly drains faster than under Windows on same machine.

I wonder if this will get improved In OS 16? Have you tested your battery with the alpha? Are things improved, or are they still the same.

@StarTreker I'm afraid I have done no Z16 testing yet, for battery or otherwise. I'm still waiting on new USB stick delivery.

This is an interesting discussion for me because I have not experienced it.
On my notebook, the battery usage was the same going from Windows to Zorin- then it did not drain faster. When plugged in while running, it showed as 100%.
Curious.

QUICK SUMMARY:

Chinese made cells die early...

Japanese made cells last longer...

Battery quality might be a factor as well. Not every notebook manufacture, produces battery packs, using quality Japanese cells.

Of course, none of us are going to know, unless we break apart the battery packs. Quality Japanese cells would be something like the Panasonic brand for example.

Battery cells made in China are typically sub-standard defective knock offs, that don't quite make the cut. But if you put 8 of them together, you have something that can power a notebook, just not very effectively.

I'm thinking there might be something to this argument. Since Acer is a cheaper brand, I am willing to be my notebook battery uses Chinese cells.

I hope that MSI uses Japanese cells, but I haven't really done any research into that. Does anybody using Linux, own an MSI computer, who knows?

I have to disagree with you on the Chinese vs Japanese. Specially since most things are made in China. I have 11 lithium batteries (hobby grade, which means they have worse QC than things going in phones or laptops) all made in China. All are at least 5 years old. All retain charge perfectly with no voltage sag. The key is that I don't let any of their voltages below 3.8 volts/cell, 40% state of charge (SOC).

My two cents is the likelihood of battery performance impact is mostly due to owner abuse and then due to software. Most chemistries have their own quirks. If you leave a lead acid car battery discharged below 20% SOC you're killing it, same with lithium chemistry. Nickel chemistry dislikes residual charge being left on batteries. Most people (not the ones here, since Linux users aren't representative of most people) are sloppy and abuse their batteries - whether lead-acid car batteries or lithium phone batteries. Forget 20%, many users will try to hit 0% SOC. That's my opinion anyway - as with most things, user-error is foremost.

Your exactly right Carmar. Many people kill their lead acid batteries by letting them go dead, and then compound the matter worse, by letting them sit their for lengthy periods.

When you do that with a lead acid battery, it causes the lead plates inside the battery to sulphate. Once that happens, you lose battery capacity. If you lose an entire cell, you also lose voltage.

And yes, Lithium also shares the same concept, that they don't like to be fully discharged. But with a Lithium cell, they enter a protect mode, and don't allow themselves discharged further.

When they enter protect mode, you also can't put a charge on them via a charger, unless you flash zap the battery first to temporary get the voltage up, to allow the main charger to begin charging, due to those protections.

There has been some talk about a new type of battery technology, I don't know much about it yet, but its supposed to be supperior to current lithium batteries. I've also heard talk about super capacitors for cars as well.

Another thing that can kill a lithium battery pack, is if the individual cells get out of balance. I've read at least one review from person who stated he discovered as such, in a notebook battery pack.

While that is an uncommon occourance, manufacture defects are always indeed possible. I would behouve you however to do some research into Japanese made cells.

They are rounouned for their higher quality, strict production standards, and don't allow a battery not hitting its rated voltage out of the factory, to be sold in stores.

Yes, I know there are good and bad products made in China, it depends on what the company requires and how much money the company, puts into the manufacturing process.

However, when it comes to batteries, China is renouned for using batteries that don't hit the rated voltage, where they sag just under by a volt, this causes performance issues in some electronics.

And your right, most users don't treat their computers, equipment, or cars properly. And they always have a classic case of denial. My favorite one, people bring in a 2-cycle string trimmer, say it ran 5-minutes then stopped.

Guess what they did? Yep, they ran straight gas in a 2-cycle engine, killed a 200 dollar trimmer instantly. What hurts more is when somebody buys a commecial 800 dollar Stihl chainsaw and does the same.

800 dollars down the drain in 5-minutes. And customer neglect is not covered under any warranties I have ever heard of, so they eat the cost instantly. I wish more people treated their stuff better.

I also wish more people read the user manuals that comes with machines. But some people think they know it all, and don't need to read a manual. Big mistake, like the 800 dollar chainsaw. lol

2-stroke small engines. I assume @StarTreker has similar stories.

e.g. Lamborghini SIÁN FKP 37 | Lamborghini.com

The trouble with replacement laptop batteries is that you cannot get OEM batteries and have to rely on equivalents where you cannot vouch for quality of the internals.