First laptop cell salvage experience

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GottaZoom
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First laptop cell salvage experience

Battery ID help, please. Are the batteries described below oem versions from LG Chem in Korea? Somebody else make them for them? Since there were in a Dell pack, are these generally considered decent quality for routine flashlight use?

Got a recycled dell battery pack yesterday [Rating 14.8v 32Wh (min 2.1Ah on other side)] and pried it apart this AM. Inside were 4 * 18650 batteries with blue wrapper and dot matrix printing:

lgc5318650
h32610xxxxx
ik211d3s3 (The s3 perhaps is the 2200mAh version)

Initial readings (edit, 2 different tests with meter) were:

3.7v at rest; 10.4mA draw on DMM battery test (worst of the 4)
3.9v at rest; 10.9mA draw on DMM battery test (remaining 3)

All 4 batteries tested good on volts and the DMM’s simple draw test. Just a quick try in a couple lights suggest they deliver wattage a little better than my crappy UFs. I’ve marked and coded them so that I keep track of how they do.

I’ll charge them up today and let them sit for a few days to see if they drop very much, then cycle them into a regulated light and do a run test before recharging and putting them into a regular rotation.

Since the batteries all tested good (preliminary), I’m too cheap to tear the blue wrapper off and see what is underneath.

LOL, the pack might have fit my wife’s Dell mini, so I probably should have checked that before tearing it apart (edit: found it would not have fit) – but hey, maybe it was a bad circuit in the pack and it looks like I got 4 zero cost spare batteries for a few minutes effort. If her pack goes bad, she’ll buy a new pack and I might get a couple more spares. Smile

Edited by: GottaZoom on 10/03/2012 - 09:39
scaru
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RecycledElectrons wrote:

GottaZoom wrote:
Tested out as:
3.7v & 10.4Ah draw on DMM battery test (worst of the 4)
3.9v & 10.9Ah draw on DMM battery test (remaining 3)
All 4 batteries tested good on volts and the DMM's simple draw test.

 Are you saying that from a starting voltage of 3.7V, the worst 18650 gave 10.4AH in a drain test? That seems silly, so I think I misunderstood.

Do you mean that under a 10.4A load, the worst one dropped to 3.7V when fully charger?

Can you please clarify?

think what he means is he shorted them and they delivered 10.4 amps at 3.7 volts. 

GottaZoom
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Sorry it wasn’t clear. The 2nd reading is a separate battery test on one of my meters, not a measured tail cap draw rate.

The static voltage reading was 3.7v on DMM as they came out of the pack (before charging). So far, the first 2 batteries charged up to 4.2v with no problem.

The a battery strength test (where a charged 1.5v battery expected value is 4.0mA and a 9v battery is 25mA). This is some type of minimal charge status measure where the meter can test the charge state for typical primaries (unknown small resistance load?). Sometimes this reading will show a cell can’t take any resistance and are really worthless. Anyway the salvage batteries has about the same value as my other UF lion batteries, so they passed this minimal load test.

It’s not a test like running an LED to test for max draw that the battery can handle. (The table says the batteries are limited to about 2Ah, if I’ve found the right manufacturer.)

EDIT: Note the battery test reading is in milliamps and not Amps.

Nobody ever seen or used this brand of 18650 batteries?

GottaZoom
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Update: the 3 better batteries all charged up to 4.2v and the worst of the 4 came in at 4.1v when I charged it today.

The 2 batteries I charged yesterday are still at 4.2 after 24 hours of rest, dropping maybe 3 hundredths of a volt vs. fresh off the charger.

fishinfool
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Those are very good numbers.  The battery pack must not have been that old.

 

Don wrote:

"But as I said long ago, you are more likely to be killed by a dead fish dropped by a seagull in the Sahara Desert than by a lithium ion

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fishinfool wrote:

Those are very good numbers.  The battery pack must not have been that old.

 

Yeah, I was pumped to get these – most important thing to me will be to see if they:

- hold charge
- discharge close to target capacity
- recharge well

They will never go into any multi-cell light, either.

Told my son and he pulls out an old HP pack with 6 Sanyos that he’s been sitting on for a couple years.

All of them were in the 3.4 to 3.6v range when he pulled it apart (I think he charged the pack in his wife’s laptop first). Brave/naive soul said they would all draw about 1.4-1.6Ah on his Harbor Freight DMM with skinny leads in an XML light set on high. He’ll be putting them in the 18650 charger outside to see if they will go up to 4.2v next.

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Update:

Well, all of the LG batteries held voltage very close to charge level for several days (4.2v for the best 3, 4.1 for the worst 1).

Today I started some discharge tests using my E1320 modified 2100 using the high (not turbo) setting which runs a little under 1A with these batteries.

I’ve done 3 so far, but the suspect/worst battery shut down at about 10 minutes and now reads 0.8v. That one will get recycled without further testing.

So far, two of the good batteries ran almost 3 hours and still had ~3.2v left and recharged normally. Capacity seems higher than expected – getting a real number will have to wait for a better charger.

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Congratulations on the find.

~ Ledsmoke ~

Dutch humor:

[quote=djozz]

 I do not think that the BLF-community ben

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>>>> I expect the other good ones will be similarly OK.

I am so totally lucky to have a Goodwill computer store around the corner from me where I am staying in OC Calif before going back to Death Valley. They charge a couple bucks per used pack. I have had the best luck with Dell power packs. Batteries have been Panasonic, LG, Sanyo and Sony. Usually a couple bad cells per pack but the percentage of good vs bad is amazing. I have spent $22 and have 46 great batteries. All hold a 4.1x charge for 30 days or more. I did get a couple packs with weird rectangular Moli batteries, but now I know what dimensions to look for. I also get packs from friends. I just pester the heck out of them. It’s amazing how many people have unused power packs laying around. But it’s also amazing how lazy people can get about mailing them. I have really had to pester them.

I also have been checking the home despot and Lowe’s battery recycle bins for li-ion tool packs, HOPING for 26650s, but no luck in that dept. yet. Not many people use those battery recycle bins. I’m seeing like maybe 20 batteries a day dropped off at two locations. Looks like the rest of the batteries are going into the landfill Sad Lots of those NiCad Ryobi tool power packs, though, get dropped off. I can speak from experience that those Ryobi packs don’t last long. Looks like it’s not just me!

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Thanks Ledsmoke!

Ubehebe wrote:
I am so totally lucky

You are so totally lucky! I’ve seen a total of 1 laptop pack at Lowes in 4 or 5 visits and we only have a generic merchandise GW store, but I’ll try it anyway. Thanks!

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>>>> I’ve seen a total of 1 laptop pack at Lowes in 4 or 5 visits and

Don’t discount computer packs from friends. It literally seems that everyone who has a laptop also has a spare pack somewhere gathering dust. A friend gave me THREE! I thought I hit the jackpot. Unfortunately, they were so old that they were Nicds! But it just goes to show you how long people hold onto these things.

The real hard part is getting friends to mail them to me once they say: “I think I have a couple SOME where.” If you show too much interest in their packs, they seem to start thinking that you’re not telling them the whole story and that you might be selling them somehow for big bucks. Then they want a “couple bucks” for them — like $10 or so. Which just doesn’t work with postage because of the bad cell factor.

I just keep pestering them until they beg, borrow or steal a pack to mail to me — just to get me to stop pestering them. I’ve even had good luck posting a pack plea on Facebook to people who are only really a friend of a friend.

I wish I could find someone in a laptop store who’d give me their busted packs instead of tossing them. Ah! The stuff of dreams!! Wink

.

.

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Ubehebe wrote:
Don’t discount computer packs from friends

Thanks . . LOL, my wife started a long weekend visit with family yesterday so I emailed her to check after your last post. She might even check their GW store while there.

Can’t wait till she finds out about the protected IMRs I just ordered and wonders what the heck!!! Smile

Ubehebe
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In the LA/OC area they have special GW computer stores.

http://www.goodwillsocal.org/green-services-recycling/computer-stores/

I don’t know if they do that everywhere, but a quick look online show there are others.

Austin, TX:

http://www.austincomputerworks.org/store.html

Pennsylvania:

http://www.goodwillswpa.org/computer-store

Sounds like an ideal vacation for me. Drive from GW store to GW store looking for packs. Woo-hoo!

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Ubehebe wrote:
Sounds like an ideal vacation for me. Drive from GW store to GW store looking for packs. Woo-hoo!

Call ahead first – $20 a pack and only 1 8-cell 18650 pack in stock at the closest GW computer store I could find. I passed even with Japanese cells. None in our local general merchandise store.

Ubehebe
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>>>>>Call ahead first – $20 a pack and only 1 8-cell 18650 pack in stock at the closest GW computer store I could

$20 a pack. EEEEEK. That’s ridiculous.

But at the goodwills around here, once a week they drop the price to half on items with a certain-colored tag. So — for example — the packs at my store have all differently colored labels, depending on which day they came into the store. Blue, orange, yellow, green, etc. So all the packs with a blue tag will go half price on “blue week.” That would drop em to $10. ALMOST worth the chance, but not really. IF yur GW uses that system.

Which isn’t to say that I don’t take chances because I do. I could easily end up with four packs with dead cells, but it just hasn’t happened yet. And won’t because I have more than enough pack pulls at this point to continuously run several flashlights until 2020. But when you’re paying anything for the packs, you can both luck out and strike out. I have been eceeedingly lucky because I have been exceedingly picky about which packs I take. I did get a couple packs where half the pulls are bad. I have learned to really carefully check the dates and go with the newer stuff with higher-mah cells and less chance that the packs have been used to death.

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Ubehebe wrote:
>>>>>Call ahead first – $20 a pack and only 1 8-cell 18650 pack in stock at the closest GW computer store I could

$20 a pack. EEEEEK. That’s ridiculous.

. . . I have been exceedingly picky about which packs I take. . . . I have learned to really carefully check the dates and go with the newer stuff with higher-mah cells and less chance that the packs have been used to death.

Steering yourself to better luck is always the best plan . . also good advice above for others just venturing into this arena.

- Look on exterior of the pack for cell country of origin
- Divide pack volts by 3.6 or 3.7 to estimate # of serial cells
- Divide pack mAh by 2 or 3 to estimate cell mAh (which will typically be around 1800 to 2600 for l-ion)

Some pack shapes will make the number of cells fairly obvious if you can judge battery length and have the number of serial cells (most recent for me was pretty easy to see it was 4 cells long and 2 wide)

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Ubehebe wrote:
>>>>>Call ahead first – $20 a pack and only 1 8-cell 18650 pack in stock at the closest GW computer store I could

$20 a pack. EEEEEK. That’s ridiculous.

Had a very nice chat with the manager . . he seldom has more than a few on hand. When he has popular models he keep them for people who don’t want to buy new and he sells them for that because so many packs are a lot more.

Said every once in a while somebody screws up and send him a pallet . . then he normally he sends most back to Dell for recycling but he’d consider a low price if he was loaded down with a lot. So I’ll stop by when I happen to be close enough to not make a special trip so full of disappointment.