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Li-ion Battery Regeneration??

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bruisedquasar Page Icon Posted 2005-08-07 5:30 PM
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Has anyone heard of greatly exending the life of Li-ion batteries by discharging them as low as possible and recharging 2 to 3 times in a row? A major contributor to a PDA site I frequent tells users things like this about batteries that runs counter to everything I have read from top authorities.

He claims that he uses a resistor to discharge li-ion cell phone and PDA batteries (and then recharges notebook battery packs with an inexpensive (Canadian Tire) car battery charger) He claims that the electronic memories do not either allow or perform a true full charge.

He also claims that contrary to popular belief, Ni-Cads are not the only batteries with memories, li-ions have memory too, something that runs counter to everything I have read or been told about Li-ions. He makes remarkable claims such as how he has rejuvenated old laptop batteries that were "dead" and that his method works 50% of the time on "dead" li-ion battery packs.

He says he completely discharges his PDA and Notebook batteries once a month or two 2-3 times in a row and greatly extends charges this way, that he takes packs that are down to running a device for only an hour and gets them to run several hours a charge like new.

In another post, he admitted he does not know if his car battery charger is a lead-acid battery charger or not! Knowing cars use lead-acid batteries is pretty basic knowledge isn't it? He also claims it helps him to have his batteries and charger near a heater to warm the battery up!

I question what the battery industry claims about their batteries myself, as I discovered long ago that there is a way to greatly extend the life of alkaline batteries that are supposedly not rechargeable and allegedly dangerous to try to recharge. For instance, I have a small Short Wave radio I like (it has extraordinary AM station pull and stabilizing capacity) that will deplete two alkaline D batteries in 20 hours of use. I manage to use the same set of batteries for hundreds of hours by simply charging them immediately after each days use in a ni-cad battery charger. If I accidently leave expensive brand name batteries (Duracell, Ever Ready, etc) in the charger for a few days, the cases will leak but I can leave off-brand inexpensive ones in for days with no breaks (Dollar General, etc). This is raw. I intend to remove them after two hours or so. I also greatly extend the life of romote control toy AAA batteries by recharging them for an hour immediately after the toy begins to slow down.

This radical departure from what battery firms and battery experts claim does make me wonder if the fellow is onto something but I have read too many accounts of li-ion packs exploding due to overheating and I have not heard anyone else claim they have memories.

What do you think?

--Bruised

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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2005-08-07 5:41 PM
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very interesting.

can you ask him if the method worked *long term* too?
this method (discharging fully) helps the batteries of my toshiba subnote recover, but i'm not sure if it's a long-term effect. it's worth noting too that i don't mean full discharge as discharging them to 0 V. no way! just down to 3 V or so.

same applies to heating up the li-ion batts.. they sure will perform better under warmer circumstances but it decreases their capacity in the long run.

anyway i'm pretty sure the stuff the so-called battery experts say aren't all true.
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2005-08-07 6:10 PM
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I spent quite a bit of time writing and researching this CESD, reading commercial & non-commercial stances, asking people who know:
http://www.hpcfactor.com/support/cesd/h/0015.asp

The process you speak of is called Priming, and it is recommended that you do this with Li, though not too often.

The best thing that you can do in such situations is get yourself a battery discharger / charger to automate the procedure for you. With a Lithium based cell, you don't wwant to leave it discharged for any longer than is necessary. It can cause problems with the charge circuit.
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bruisedquasar Page Icon Posted 2005-08-07 6:11 PM
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I know what you mean Cmonex. I learned long ago to suspect what you hear from big firms with big bucks at stake and from official experts. Use what they say only until you have better information, then proceed with caution.

What sparked my brake lights is when this person betrayed lack of pretty basic battery knowledge, namely that cars use lead acid batteries. His car charger by definition must be a lead acid charger. He replied to a user's incredulous question about using a lead acid car battery charger on little notebook battery packs (specifically older IBM thinkpad and Compaq packs) with the admission that he did not know car batteries use lead acid! This makes him sound like a wild trial and error experimentor. Of course, they make their valuable discoveries but I am not going to jump on what they say in case they just have not blown themselves up ---yet!

You can read his several posts at BAS society (BE300.org) forum under the solutions topic. His user name is "Starkindler".

By the way, he claims his methods extend battery life as well as rejuvenate dead li-ions and significantly extend use time per charge.

If you read the posts, I am interested in what you think. So, you find modest temperature increases, such as in room temperature helps li-ion charge time? He says charging near a room heat source extends charge usage time.

---Bruised
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wallythacker Page Icon Posted 2005-08-07 7:08 PM
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FWIW, I used to salvage lead acid batteries by dumping their contents, shorting them to 0 volts, refilling with distilled water and charging them @18-24v for a week. It worked 50% of the time.

I'd really like to know the truth about Lions. I have some abused 10 year old Nicads that are still strong and babied 2 year old nimhs that are dead.

I have a 6651 pack that's basically dead and I'm gonna experiment with it. What first? Discharge to 0.1 v with a resistor? Freeze it first? Try to charge it up first?
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2005-08-07 7:24 PM
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C:Amie - 2005-08-08 12:10 AM

I spent quite a bit of time writing and researching this CESD, reading commercial & non-commercial stances, asking people who know:
http://www.hpcfactor.com/support/cesd/h/0015.asp


ok, can you help me with this one:

"Lithium batteries can be stored for up to 10 years as long as they are given monthly top-up charges."

(lithium or li-ion?)
but my real question is that is it true? where did you read it? it's really good news if that's true!!! i read everywhere that li-ion can't live longer than 2-3 years regardless of usage, and if you use it at all or not.
i *know* 2-3 years isn't true, it must be longer than that (experience..), but have no idea how much is that. 10 years of storage sounds really good
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2005-08-07 7:26 PM
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bruisedquasar - 2005-08-08 12:11 AM


You can read his several posts at BAS society (BE300.org) forum under the solutions topic. His user name is "Starkindler".

By the way, he claims his methods extend battery life as well as rejuvenate dead li-ions and significantly extend use time per charge.

If you read the posts, I am interested in what you think. So, you find modest temperature increases, such as in room temperature helps li-ion charge time? He says charging near a room heat source extends charge usage time.

---Bruised


thanks for the information, i'll look at his posts
i meant usage time, not charge time. i mean.. the time while you can use the battery
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2005-08-07 7:30 PM
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wallythacker - 2005-08-08 1:08 AM

I'd really like to know the truth about Lions. I have some abused 10 year old Nicads that are still strong and babied 2 year old nimhs that are dead.

I have a 6651 pack that's basically dead and I'm gonna experiment with it. What first? Discharge to 0.1 v with a resistor? Freeze it first? Try to charge it up first?


0.1V? doesn't sound a good idea at all!!
experiment with it but with *caution*

yeah the truth about li-ions.. no one knows exactly i guess they're still too new..
just an example: they didn't know ni-mh's have memory effect (though to a less extent than ni-cd's)... now we know it but you can still find incorrect information on this.. and ni-mh is older than li-ion...
can you tell me how were your ni-mh's abused and babied?
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sophisticatedleaf Page Icon Posted 2005-08-07 7:35 PM
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Something tells me that recharging a lithium battery with a car charger would make it explode, and recharging alkalines with a nicd charger would also make them explode, because they all have completely different properties!

And about lithium chips not allowing a full charge, isn't that in place specifically to prevent them from overcharging and - once again - exploding?

Also, discharging lithiums 2-3 times a month probably isn't that great of an idea.

Though I would like to hear more about the distilled water inside lead-acid batteries to restore them, how does that work? (heh, for some reason that is the only one that sounds reasonable)
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2005-08-07 7:37 PM
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The implication is lithium based cells, so either.

If there wasn't sufficient imperical evidence, and I hadn't heard it from enough people, I wouldn't have recorded it. I'm not in the habit of spreading lies around.
Also note that it is referring specifically to storage, and not general use with periods of storage.

I have a battery for Pinkie here that just holds the RAM charged. The device is seldom turned on, and given sporadic topup's when I remember. The battery itself I believe came with the 720 back in 2000.
My other & main 720 which gets heavy use, cradled a lot of the time and sees rapid discharges frequently past what my document consideres 'optimal' (I'll hang my head in shame, but there's not a lot you can do about it out in the field). The rest of the time it goes through what I outline in the document. This battery was obtained new in March 2004.

Which one lasts longer?
Yup, the one in Pinkie.
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2005-08-07 7:42 PM
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C:Amie - 2005-08-08 1:37 AM

The implication is lithium based cells, so either.

If there wasn't sufficient imperical evidence, and I hadn't heard it from enough people, I wouldn't have recorded it. I'm not in the habit of spreading lies around.
Also note that it is referring specifically to storage, and not general use with periods of storage.

I have a battery for Pinkie here that just holds the RAM charged. The device is seldom turned on, and given sporadic topup's when I remember. The battery itself I believe came with the 720 back in 2000.
My other & main 720 which gets heavy use, cradled a lot of the time and sees rapid discharges frequently past what my document consideres 'optimal' (I'll hang my head in shame, but there's not a lot you can do about it out in the field). The rest of the time it goes through what I outline in the document. This battery was obtained new in March 2004.

Which one lasts longer?
Yup, the one in Pinkie.



eh.. i suspected you meant it for plain lithium. they're said not to be rechargeable.. they're not the same as li-ion. it might be true of li-ion incidentally though..
the longest life time of a li-ion battery i heard of is seven years. of course it doesn't hold full charge, maybe half of it. only the calibration went astray (so you can no longer know how much is left of the charge at a given time). not too bad...


your experiences are certainly interesting
though i don't think the battery you bought in 2004 was actually "new". it must have been sitting on the shelf (without a top-uo charge at all) for years. you should count that too. li-ion doesn't like that kind of storage..
btw for how long do your batteries last? for example the one you're actually using?
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2005-08-07 7:47 PM
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ProgramSynthesiser - 2005-08-08 1:35 AM

Something tells me that recharging a lithium battery with a car charger would make it explode, and recharging alkalines with a nicd charger would also make them explode, because they all have completely different properties!

And about lithium chips not allowing a full charge, isn't that in place specifically to prevent them from overcharging and - once again - exploding?

Also, discharging lithiums 2-3 times a month probably isn't that great of an idea.

Though I would like to hear more about the distilled water inside lead-acid batteries to restore them, how does that work? (heh, for some reason that is the only one that sounds reasonable)


well you can charge AA's but it isn't always a good idea i wouldn't dare to try it myself!

discharging li-ion.. ah it happens sometimes for example once my 728 turned on (or wasn't it turned off at all?) with the wlan card inserted, and when i noticed it it was already fully drained to 5.996 V lasted 13 hours (the first 6-7 hour with heavy usage, wlan, etc., the second half probably with screen off)...
so ... it isn't so easy to protect your li-ion batts!
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2005-08-07 7:55 PM
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C:Amie - 2005-08-08 1:37 AM

I have a battery for Pinkie here that just holds the RAM charged. The device is seldom turned on, and given sporadic topup's when I remember. The battery itself I believe came with the 720 back in 2000.
My other & main 720 which gets heavy use, cradled a lot of the time and sees rapid discharges frequently past what my document consideres 'optimal' (I'll hang my head in shame, but there's not a lot you can do about it out in the field). The rest of the time it goes through what I outline in the document. This battery was obtained new in March 2004.

Which one lasts longer?
Yup, the one in Pinkie.


oh some other comments.. li-ion apparently likes slow discharge (and hates fast discharge especially at 1C or more - you don't have to worry about 1C discharge rate in a hpc though )
and yes there's a thing you can do to prevent full discharge: get a spare battery!!
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C:Amie Page Icon Posted 2005-08-07 8:09 PM
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well... you try telling a H/PC not to discharge quickly when you're watching a video in TCPMP
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2005-08-07 8:10 PM
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hm, i can't tell if he's right on the BE forums.. but he uses the resistor method only on dead batteries it is AirIntake by the way.. not starkindler
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