Look what I found in the recycle bin

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dchomak
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Well, those 2 German packs had all 5 cells in each pack sitting at exactly 4.01V. They are 2 year old packs and probably cycled many times. We now know that they are not balanced charged. How else can they all be the same unless they self balance?
I just learned something today.

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Remember the issue in serial batteries is not whether cells are balanced – it is whether it is safe for the cells to pass current between cells when there is an active circuit.

For example, in a 2 cell light with lithium primaries in series, if one of the cells drains faster than the other cell, then the lower voltage primary cell may start taking on too much voltage from the better cell during use – when it may not be safe to do so. Same thing with a rechargeable cell that is not in good condition within a group of cells in a series battery, especially when a charge is being applied.

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GottaZoom wrote:
Remember the issue in serial batteries is not whether cells are balanced – it is whether it is safe for the cells to pass current between cells when there is an active circuit.

For example, in a 2 cell light with lithium primaries in series, if one of the cells drains faster than the other cell, then the lower voltage primary cell may start taking on too much voltage from the better cell during use – when it may not be safe to do so. Same thing with a rechargeable cell that is not in good condition within a group of cells in a series battery, especially when a charge is being applied.

I think you are trying to focus on one purpose for balancing. Really you’ve got it backwards I think. In a situation like this, balancing is all about keeping that less-healthy cell “close enough” so that the pack still operates and nothing dangerous happens. If I’ve got one cell that underperforms by 15%, over the course of several cycles we may see the cells get more and more imbalanced, unless there is some mechanism to prevent that. With a BMS we ensure that all the cells are treated appropriately and that both charges and discharges terminate properly on a per-cell level.

The cool thing about cells which can burn off excess charge is that we can overcharge the whole pack in order to get it in balance and forgo the BMS in some situations. What about discharge you say? Won’t an underperforming cell get exceptionally unhappy if we reverse charge it during discharge? Well, it would… except that this is a high drain application. We won’t run into that scenario. As soon as one cell becomes discharged ahead of the rest we’ll feel it in the tool as a lack of power and stop using the battery. Then we throw the thing in the charger and it self-balances again as the waste energy is dissipated as heat. That’s my understanding of the situation.

EDIT: So that’s the primary purpose of a BMS: to allow a pack to continue to operate with less than ideally matched cells. It’s pretty common for cells to not be perfectly matched, look at any pack-pulls thread around here for info on that. The BMS keeps the balance from slowly becoming horrible/dangerous with those low-drain cells. A pleasant side effect of having the BMS may be that it can brick the pack if one cell becomes totally terrible… but that’s not really why the BMS is present in my opinion.

Still taking a break. Smile
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I keep thinking of the recycle bin on my computer when this thread is updated and shows up in the recent posts

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Wow, nice, but I think I would not be brave enough to dumpster dive the recycle bin at my HD.

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Very interesting discussion.
It really is a shame that there is usually no datasheet available for 18650 cells. It would be so nice to be able to find some good data, maximum ratings and a quick description of each cell… That would eliminate the need for us to speculate like that.
Anyway, if someone is interesting and wants me to test something specific on these cells I’ll be happy to do it! (But I opened the pack and separated the cells as 2 were shorted)

My English isn’t perfect but I’m trying to improve it. If you see something that doesn’t sound right or is just plain wrong, please feel free to point it out! Smile

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It’s hard to turn down free but aren’t 1300mah and 1600mah batteries a bit small? That’s before throwing in the unknown condition of these very old things. Would they only be suitable for running things in low mode?

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Hi battery. 

I don't know anything about these particular cells, but most high current cells have lower capacity.  They tend to be hardier and can handle more charge/discharge cycles though.  Some users may have special applications that the compromise is necessary trade off. 

 

Separately,

This whole self-balancing thing is way over my head.  I didn't know it existed and am still skeptical in the case of these particular cells.

 

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ImA4Wheelr wrote:

Separately,

This whole self-balancing thing is way over my head.  I didn’t know it existed and am still skeptical in the case of these particular cells.

 

Hmm, have you considered the NiMH example I gave earler? Or maybe I didn’t. In that case: Think about NiMH series packs. They don’t get balanced, ever. That’s actually the whole story. Those cells store lots of energy, just like Li- chemistries, but they didn’t need to be balanced. Why not?

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lagman
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wight wrote:
ImA4Wheelr wrote:

Separately,

This whole self-balancing thing is way over my head.  I didn’t know it existed and am still skeptical in the case of these particular cells.

 

Hmm, have you considered the NiMH example I gave earler? Or maybe I didn’t. In that case: Think about NiMH series packs. They don’t get balanced, ever. That’s actually the whole story. Those cells store lots of energy, just like Li- chemistries, but they didn’t need to be balanced. Why not?

NiMH cells (as well as NiCd and Pb batteries) transform the excess energy into heat once full. That’s why they can balance on their own.
Lithium cells on the other hand, act almost like a capacitor. The voltage increases as long as you charge it. Of course, it’ll destroy itself at some point. The termination voltage (4.2V for most batteries today) is just a trade-off between capacity and security/longevity.
That’s why lithium cells (and capacitors) need to be balanced charged, to avoid any deviation that would cause one cell to be charged/discharged higher than the others.
No with the sony US18650V/VT, I noticed a very strange phenomenon, the battery “self discharges” down to about 4.1V. That also causes a battery of cells to balance by itself.
Example: 2S pack: Cell1: 3.95V Cell2: 4.05V
When charged to 8.4V: Cell1: 4.15V Cell2: 4.25V
After some time, both cells will self discharge to 4.1V. So they are balanced again.
I’m pretty confident with my observations, but it would be great if someone else could test this characteristic.

I guess you already know all that, but I just wanted to give all the facts so that we are all talking about the same thing. Smile

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dchomak
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battery wrote:
It’s hard to turn down free but aren’t 1300mah and 1600mah batteries a bit small? That’s before throwing in the unknown condition of these very old things. Would they only be suitable for running things in low mode?

These are new cells and are IMR’s which are a different chemistry that ICR, which are the ones most commonly found in laptops.
IMR’s generally are of lower capacity (mAh) than ICR’s but are more suitable to rough treatment and can deliver higher current levels.
As in most things, there are trade offs. For very high powered flashlights, one may prefer to use IMR’s. There have recently been improvements in the capacity of IMR’s and 2000 and even 2500 mAh versions showing up.
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dchomak wrote:
battery wrote:
It’s hard to turn down free but aren’t 1300mah and 1600mah batteries a bit small? That’s before throwing in the unknown condition of these very old things. Would they only be suitable for running things in low mode?
These are new cells and are IMR’s which are a different chemistry that ICR, which are the ones most commonly found in laptops. IMR’s generally are of lower capacity (mAh) than ICR’s but are more suitable to rough treatment and can deliver higher current levels. As in most things, there are trade offs. For very high powered flashlights, one may prefer to use IMR’s. There have recently been improvements in the capacity of IMR’s and 2000 and even 2500 mAh versions showing up.

I know that but 1300mah 18650s must be pretty old. The Sony VTC3’s are 1600 and those have been around for a while.

I would have figured for high power higher capacity would be more useful because the voltage drops pretty quickly within the first few minutes of high power discharge even on IMR.

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battery wrote:
dchomak wrote:
battery wrote:
It’s hard to turn down free but aren’t 1300mah and 1600mah batteries a bit small? That’s before throwing in the unknown condition of these very old things. Would they only be suitable for running things in low mode?
These are new cells and are IMR’s which are a different chemistry that ICR, which are the ones most commonly found in laptops. IMR’s generally are of lower capacity (mAh) than ICR’s but are more suitable to rough treatment and can deliver higher current levels. As in most things, there are trade offs. For very high powered flashlights, one may prefer to use IMR’s. There have recently been improvements in the capacity of IMR’s and 2000 and even 2500 mAh versions showing up.

I know that but 1300mah 18650s must be pretty old. The Sony VTC3’s are 1600 and those have been around for a while.

I would have figured for high power higher capacity would be more useful because the voltage drops pretty quickly within the first few minutes of high power discharge even on IMR.

They could be old, or they could be even higher drain. Frequently it’s a trade off between size, capacity, and drain rate. Since we’re stuck with a specific size we are left balancing capacity and drain rate. To get even more drain rate than the “usual” numbers, more capacity can be sacrificed. That’s what I would assume is going on here, but you could be right – it could just be a cash grab go get rid of some NOS cells, or maybe process advances have made the 1300’s really inexpensive to manufacture.

@ lagman – that all sounds fine, but what happens when one cell is somewhat more out of balance than in your example? I agree 100% that Ni- stuff burns off excess charge as heat. I do not remember for certain whether A123’s LiFe cells burn off excess charge that way, or simply take a high charge voltage and then settle in the way you describe with the Sony cells.

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I think the 13Q’s are just a cheaper low end cell. I see them a lot in Ryobi packs, as Ryobi is a discount line of tools sold by HD. The upgraded drill packs have some of the Samsung 15M’s (1500 mAh) cells.
A couple of months ago, HD had a special buy on 18V, 4Ah drill packs that had 20R’s in them. They were a good deal, a set of 2 – 10 cell packs were $99. That works out to $5 per cell. Almost made sense to buy the packs to harvest the cells.
I bought a pack and sold one and gave the other to a friend. Everybody’s happy.

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ImA4Wheelr wrote:

Man, that pack is scary.  I gotta watch out for that in my future Ridged battery acquisitions.  Thank you for sharing dchomak.

 

vuanhquoc wrote:

they have free battery packs at Home Depot? where can i find them?

The bins are usually in the front of the store near the Customer Service desk.  Most stores frown on people pulling packs out of them.  I’ve been asked if I needed any help several times while digging.  So you need a good excuse like your contact lens fell out. 

Usually confuses them since I wear glasses.

I’ve only ever been questioned once and I explained that the likely destination for the vast majority of the cells inside the packs I was taking was in a hazardous waste dump but that I would take them home for private use, disassemble them myself (not some chineese kid for $.02 a day) and the cells would be used on my personal equipment and the plastic trash recycled. They were more than happy with that answer and I’ve never so much as been approached again.

Please help support my research by giving or sharing. GoFundMe.com/DansDrones

 

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dchomak
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lagman wrote:
dchomak wrote:
lagman wrote:
You have 10 cells in series, you would need at least 11 connections to the charger if the BMS was in it.

That is right, but that pic is of the German 5 cell Ridgid. Sorry, I switched which cell I was talking about.
You are correct, the 40V Ryobi is 2P10S and the BMS is in the pack.
And it’s a mother. As the series cell count goes up, with all the necessary connections between the pack and the charger, it makes more and more sense to include the BMS circuit in the pack. Safety issues aside.

Can you check on that Ridgid pack if there are balance leads going to each cell?
I recently opened a Makita pack found in the bin and found 10 Sony 1600mAh (5S2P) green cells like yours (US18650V). Can you confirm you have the same cells on the following pack pack please?

I noticed on my Makita pack that there is no balancing circuit and no balance leads! I think I know why but I want to see if your pack is the same…

Here is a pic of the older Makita Li-Ion pack, the one I believe you have. There is no BMS and no leads to each cell. This is a 10 cell, 3Ah pac that was not used very much when apparently a pair of cells failed.


The 8 cells that were still good are in excellent condition and each test at over 1500 mAh each.
This next pack is also a Makita, but one of the newer improved packs. It also is a 3 Ah pack. Notice this pack has a BMS circuit and leads going to each individual cell. These newer packs can be identified by the star.


Now the 2 different packs side by side. The newer pack is on the right.

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Tool batteries seem to work just fine in my lights at the beginning of the use cycle. In other words, 1250, 1400, 1500, etc samsungs/sonys are the exact same brightness with most of my one-emitter lights that are not high demand or direct drive —— compared to testing the same light with a 2400-2*** cell. Even tested a bunch with my light meter. The tool batts don’t just last as long at full brightness, which is just fine for me for around-the-house lights. And they seem to charge faster.

I find so many of the Ryobi, makita and other tool packs that I sure wish they used 2800 samsungs or 2900 panasonics!! I did see some new packs that said they contained 2400 and 2600 mah batts. They are just too new to make it to the recycle bins yet, so I don’t know what’s in there. When I do find one, BLF will be the first to know what they contain!!!

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Tool pack cells are IMR type and generally have lower capacity, but can deliver more amps. For very high powered lights with multiple emitters in parallel, they may be preferred.

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dchomak wrote:
lagman wrote:
dchomak wrote:
lagman wrote:
You have 10 cells in series, you would need at least 11 connections to the charger if the BMS was in it.

That is right, but that pic is of the German 5 cell Ridgid. Sorry, I switched which cell I was talking about.
You are correct, the 40V Ryobi is 2P10S and the BMS is in the pack.
And it’s a mother. As the series cell count goes up, with all the necessary connections between the pack and the charger, it makes more and more sense to include the BMS circuit in the pack. Safety issues aside.

Can you check on that Ridgid pack if there are balance leads going to each cell?
I recently opened a Makita pack found in the bin and found 10 Sony 1600mAh (5S2P) green cells like yours (US18650V). Can you confirm you have the same cells on the following pack pack please?

I noticed on my Makita pack that there is no balancing circuit and no balance leads! I think I know why but I want to see if your pack is the same…

Here is a pic of the older Makita Li-Ion pack, the one I believe you have. There is no BMS and no leads to each cell. This is a 10 cell, 3Ah pac that was not used very much when apparently a pair of cells failed.


The 8 cells that were still good are in excellent condition and each test at over 1500 mAh each.
This next pack is also a Makita, but one of the newer improved packs. It also is a 3 Ah pack. Notice this pack has a BMS circuit and leads going to each individual cell. These newer packs can be identified by the star.


Now the 2 different packs side by side. The newer pack is on the right.
!{width:100%}http://i1166.photobucket.com/albums/q609/dchomak/P1050554_zps7ac95bd7.jpg!


I somehow missed your post…
Thanks for the pictures! The first pack looks exactly like mine… no balance leads.

My English isn’t perfect but I’m trying to improve it. If you see something that doesn’t sound right or is just plain wrong, please feel free to point it out! Smile

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That second Makita pack, with the star, has the same cells and the balance circuits. 2 weeks ago I charged and discharged each pair of cells individually with my B3100 and some alligator clips. Each pair of cells measured in the 2900’s mAh. Almost as good as new! When I was finished with my tests, I fully charged them each to 4.20V. Now 2 weeks later they are each sitting at 4.15V. I don’t know why that pack was discarded, the cells are healthy, maybe the BMS circuit is faulty and it will not charge on a Makita charger. Maybe the pack is bricked.
I am not yet ready to believe that the Sony’s self balance. On the other hand, how does that Ridgid and older Makita pack get away with not having one?

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dchomak wrote:
…I don’t know why that pack was discarded, the cells are healthy, maybe the BMS circuit is faulty and it will not charge on a Makita charger. Maybe the pack is bricked. I am not yet ready to believe that the Sony’s self balance. On the other hand, how does that Ridgid and older Makita pack get away with not having one?

I guess the self-balancing is fine when new – it’s when the resistance levels of the cells vary that it would possibly become a problem -> try not to bang my batteries around.

I had an old 5 cell Makita pack go bad with less than 10 charges (one cell reportedly will self drain and then the pack will not recharge you don’t regularly recharge them). Perhaps the balance updates help avoid the non-recharge problem? Anyway, took it by one of their factory shops where they can read recharge info on their packs – they did a free exchange with a 10 cell – happily I now know it has the star and new wiring – thanks for that info! Will be interesting to compare old and new 10 cell packs as they age.

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I just read through this thread and wanted to say that I have some Sony US18650GR 18650 laptop pulls (N.O.S. HP 9 cell Pack) that seem to discharge down to about 4.1V after I charge them up to 4.2V.  I just noticed this behavior a week ago.  I wonder how much capacity I'm losing with them self-discharging down to 4.1V.  I did a capacity test (from 4.2V) on my new OPUS and got about 2600mAH on two of them.  Interesting that others are seeing the same behavior on similar Sony's.

-Garry

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garrybunk wrote:

I just read through this thread and wanted to say that I have some Sony US18650GR 18650 laptop pulls (N.O.S. HP 9 cell Pack) that seem to discharge down to about 4.1V after I charge them up to 4.2V.  I just noticed this behavior a week ago.  I wonder how much capacity I’m losing with them self-discharging down to 4.1V.  I did a capacity test (from 4.2V) on my new OPUS and got about 2600mAH on two of them.  Interesting that others are seeing the same behavior on similar Sony’s.

-Garry

I’d definitely like to hear the results of your capacity test from a rested 4.1v.

Still taking a break. Smile
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garrybunk wrote:

I just read through this thread and wanted to say that I have some Sony US18650GR 18650 laptop pulls (N.O.S. HP 9 cell Pack) that seem to discharge down to about 4.1V after I charge them up to 4.2V.  I just noticed this behavior a week ago.  I wonder how much capacity I’m losing with them self-discharging down to 4.1V.  I did a capacity test (from 4.2V) on my new OPUS and got about 2600mAH on two of them.  Interesting that others are seeing the same behavior on similar Sony’s.

-Garry

Nice of you to join the thread Garry.
I must point out though that the Sony’s we’re talking about are drill pack IMR’s

wight you asked me earlier how I handled rummaging through the recycle bins and I gave you my answer. However, a couple of days ago I got caught off guard. While I was poking around in one at HD, I heard one of the girls behind the returns desk ask me what I was doing.
I looked up and dead panned “I’m looking for an old sandwich or something, I haven’t eaten in a couple of days!” She looked at me and laughed and said “Oh there was a half in there earlier, but I already ate it” We both laughed and I went back to my business. :bigsmile:
I pulled out these 2 brand new Ryobi packs, thrown in the bin by HD. I haven’t taken the 10 cell pack apart yet, but it reads 17.65V or an average of 3.53V per cell. The 5 cell pack had 1 dead cell, the other 4 at 3.61V. I don’t know if it was just a bad cell, or that channel on the BMS leaks. I see either all the time.

2 days ago at Lowes I found an unopened 8 pack of Duracell AAA’s. The date on the pack was 2012 and they are 7 year cells. The only thing I can think of is that someone thought that date was an expiration date, like on food. Got them just in time, yesterday 2 of my remotes needed new cells’ Smile
That is Lowes parking stripe in the background, shot this outside in the lot.

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Wish I knew of places in ga I could go thru these bins

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zach8935 wrote:
Wish I knew of places in ga I could go thru these bins

home depot has no stores in its headquartered state?

The Journal of Alternative Facts TM

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Do they just let you go thru the recycle bins or do you have to ask? Only real recycle bin for battery packs round here is best buy

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zach8935 wrote:
Do they just let you go thru the recycle bins or do you have to ask? Only real recycle bin for battery packs round here is best buy

i’ve never done it so i don’t know, i’ll defer to other members who have

The Journal of Alternative Facts TM

"It is critical that there is a credible academic source for the growing and important discipline of alternative facts. This field of study will just keep winning, and we knew that all the best people would want to be on board. There is a real risk in the world today that people might be getting their information about science from actual scientists"

 

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zach8935 wrote:
Wish I knew of places in ga I could go thru these bins

It seems the drill packs from all the manufacturers have a recycle number on them
1-800-822-8837. I used that number to find this site.

http://www.call2recycle.org/

Type in your zip code and all the recycle bins in your area show up.
In my area, all the Home Depots and Lowes use this same service.

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dchomak wrote:
zach8935 wrote:
Wish I knew of places in ga I could go thru these bins

It seems the drill packs from all the manufacturers have a recycle number on them
1-800-822-8837. I used that number to find this site.

http://www.call2recycle.org/

Type in your zip code and all the recycle bins in your area show up.
In my area, all the Home Depots and Lowes use this same service.

That info is awesome! Been dumpster diving for over 30 years and wish there was a site I could just type in a zip code and “Gold “ could be found.

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