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OT...Lithium-ion battery inherent defect?

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  • OT...Lithium-ion battery inherent defect?

    Interesting "fact" found mentioned in passing in an electric car article in "Switching Power Magazine" Vol 6 Issue 1 2005.

    Paraphrased, it went as follows:

    "lithium-ion batteries ... have an aging problem, however, about which most manufacturers keep understandably quiet. After a year, some degradation is noticeable, regardless of whether or not you use the battery. After 2-3 years, the battery fails."

    I have to say that I have not (yet) noticed it in my camera batteries, although in computer batteries, I found that the battery may be expensive (and unreturnable) junk as soon as purchased.

    I don't think that my comnputer battery experience is directly what was meant in the article, but it may be the same process. If that battery had been sitting a while, it could be old enough to fail purely from age and not use, as mentioned.

    The magazine is a fairly reputable technical journal, and not given to "internet legends", so I have to take the comment somewhat seriously.

    Anyone know more about this?
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  • #2
    That corresponds with what I have heard about L-ion batteries. It isn't exactly news though. It's known as poor "calendar life". There are improvements happening on that issue.
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    • #3
      I had a li-ion battery apparently last about 10 years in a PLC memory backup situation. I say "aparently" because I was going by the scribbled note on the case that had the last change date. It's always possible it was changed somewhere in between that time frame and the second time the changer didn't write a note about it. It was a small 3.6 volt about the size of a "fat but short" AA as I recall.

      Of course for that matter I don't know if Li-Ion batterys even existed 10 years ago !

      (on edit) Looks like the first one's were available in 1999, so sure enough it must have been changed without notice, which means I have no idea when it was actually replaced and this whole post is for nothing except your possible entertainment !
      Last edited by Milacron of PM; 04-18-2006, 10:35 PM.

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      • #4
        Expletives deleted!

        The biggest problem with Li is that the cells are really intolerant of deep discharge, unlike NiCd's. My notebook battery pack lasted just over a year, and died because I just had to keep working when the battery was announcing that it REALLY wanted to be charged. Since the cells are arranged in series parallel banks, one cell reverse polarizing took out an entire bank. At the time a US$200 lesson, well learned.

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        • #5
          I'm a new member to this forum but I had to reply to this post because I used to do research on Li ion polymer batteries. In short, they do degrade, not so much by loss of capacity but rather their internal resistance slowly increases as they are cycled over and over. (Insulating crud deposits on the current collectors, most noticeably on the aluminum cathode.) If the load is a low resistance one such as a motor, eventually the stored energy starts to heat the battery at the expense of running the motor. In other words, some of the voltage is consumed inside the battery and the voltage available to the motor is accordingly reduced. If the load is a high resistance one such as lights, high resistance heaters, computer circuits, etc. this problem is negligible.

          The above notwithstanding, these are incredibly efficient batteries and are just beginning to make their way into the commercial world.

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          • #6
            Presumably this explains why the camera does NOT have a problem, but the computer does.

            Obviously the computer, with a higher draw would be impeded more by a resistance increase.

            The curious thing is that the computer battery does not suffer from low capacity, but incredible leakage. The battery only lasts 3 days at most, if unused. If not charged every two days, it barely can be turned on. After three, it will not even start up until charged. I haveyet to try taking it OUT to see if it is an internal problem or a motherboard problem (Toshiba Satellite 1605CD, hardly worth fixing)

            The camera, however, has been working since turkey day on one charge. I charged it recently simply because I didn't believe it would run much longer.
            1601

            Keep eye on ball.
            Hashim Khan

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            • #7
              In deep discharge applications, the lithium ion packs may be gone after a few hundred cycles. In shallow discharge, they may last for 10,000 cycles or more.

              I've been getting good results out of one notebook and three cell phones by faithfully putting them back on the charger whether or not they have significant capacity left. Of course, the charger and the Li-ion's internal controller both play a critical role here also. Just plugging it in doesn't always mean it's getting any more charge.

              One thing is constant however. $180 batteries suck

              Den

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              • #8
                my laptop is 3 or 4 years old now, the Li Ion battery is still good.
                What you need to do is remove the protection circuit and draw lots of current from them, then put them in your car while they cool off. Then be totally surprised when your new Honda mini van is burned down to the ground. Oh yes, one R/C pilot learned that lesson. Was not me.

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                • #9
                  Li Ion batterys are worse than nicads IMHO. I much prefer Nimh (nickel metal hydride) in any application that would require nicads nimh can provide the amps, doesnt have "memory" problem like nicad or simply wear out no matter what like Li Ions. NiMh also weighs about 1/4 the equivalent capacity/amperage nicads. Basically, Lion just isnt worth the bother.
                  “It was not til Leibniz and Newton, by the discovery of the differential calculus, had dispelled the ancient darkness which enveloped the conception of the infinite, and had clearly established the conception of the continuous and continuous change, that a full and productive application of the newly found mechanical conceptions made any progressâ€‌

                  Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nheng
                    In deep discharge applications, the lithium ion packs may be gone after a few hundred cycles. In shallow discharge, they may last for 10,000 cycles or more.

                    Den
                    What you are suggesting is that the NEW battery was actually a used battery....... It was that way from day 1.

                    Or possibly there is a constant load of far more than designed in the Toshiba, or theat the Toshiba is a POS to begin with, which may in fact be the case.

                    I dunno. All I know is that it cost $100 less than your number, but that is still far too much for a bad battery.... Sheesh, ebay purchase reliability from a reputable dealer, in this case, Batteries Plus.
                    1601

                    Keep eye on ball.
                    Hashim Khan

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                    • #11
                      The Li Ion battery "shelf life" issue is half the issue of the Ipod uproar.

                      The other was the difficulty of consumers changing the battery(it involved product disassembly), and Apples attitude of "Screw you, buy another one".

                      There is another issue with the Li-Ion battery life - it has a life of a couple of years WHETHER IT'S USED OR NOT.

                      In other words, a battery that sat on the shelf for 4 years is going to be dead as a doornail despite never being used. This has something to do with Battery Chemistry.


                      HTRN
                      EGO partum , proinde EGO sum

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                      • #12
                        That is what is meant by poor "calendar life". They deteriorate whether they are used or not.
                        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                        • #13
                          Sehr schlect!

                          I am thinking that the Li-Ion batteries just plain suck, and ought to be pulled off the market until they can get it right.

                          What the heck were they thinking?
                          1601

                          Keep eye on ball.
                          Hashim Khan

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                          • #14
                            Don't quote me on this, but i believe the electrolyte they use (an organic based electrolyte although i've heard rumors about research done with new electrolytes that are much less reactive and electrodes made out of lithiated metal oxides) is slightly reactive with aluminum - higher draws and over a long period of time, in my mind anyway, would cause the slightly reactive organic compound to decompose and form non-conductive compounds at the cathode.

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                            • #15
                              It's a conspiracy!
                              Well, whatever. Back in the early seventies, I bought a set of alkaline rechargeables. These worked faithfully for over three years, getting used almost every day, so realistically that was probably about 800-1000 full charge/discharge cycles. The 'high drain' device was my mono casette player, which went to every party, and was the 'system' in the vehicle I drove. It was most often cranked to just below the point of distortion, so it was working to capacity for most of it's life. (just like the four-banger in the van ). Sometimes I would leave the cells on charge too long and they would get quite warm, other times I would top them up until I could feel them heat somewhat. They didn't leak or explode, but they did start to weaken and poop out early after the three years or so. No matter, that co-incided with my purchase of a 'real' car stereo, so at that point the rechargeables went in the trash, and the mono casette player went on the shelf for a few years until I could bring myself to toss it.
                              In any event, it would seem that the alkaline rechargeable technology has gone downhill since then- why should that be? Same reason all this 'new' battery technology isn't a good, stable, reliable thing- this is no different than the pharmacies not wanting to stop selling cigarettes even though it's a proven health hazard. It's all about the money- keep the public paying, and paying, and paying-
                              I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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