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Li-ion & Lithium batteries' sizes & charging

Posted on 2013-12-31
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http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=rechargeable+Li-ion+battery

Q1:
Can Li-ion batteries (such as the ones listed in above url) be charged using
the normal AA Ni-MH batteries?  Or is their physical dimensions/size the
same as AA batteries?

Q2:
What are the advantages of rechargeable Li-Ion batteries over rechargeable
Ni-MH?  Can be recharged more times?  Less likely to leak?  Longer lifespan?
Energy output per dollar purchase value is better than Ni-MH?

Q3:
What's the difference between Li-Ion & Lithium batteries?  I read that one
of them is now barred from shipping via air, so which one is that?

Q4:
Can I join Li-Ion batteries serially to get higher output Voltage?  Can it
be joined/mixed with Ni-MH batteries?

Q5:
Can provide a link that I can buy a charger for rechargeable Li-Ion
batteries?  Ideally one that does rapid charging
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Question by:sunhux
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14 Comments
 
LVL 97

Assisted Solution

by:Experienced Member
Experienced Member earned 936 total points
ID: 39748776
Q1. I think you mean using an Ni-MH charger. I would only use the charger recommended for Li-Ion batteries. They charge differently. If you mean charge one battery with another battery, that will not work in general.

Q2. Li-Ion batteries do not have a memory like Ni-MH batteries, hold a charge longer and so then to power a device longer. Li-Ion batteries have a longer life than Ni-MH batteries (3 years vs. 1 year in a typical computer).

Q3. I do not know. I just use Li-Ion batteries.

Q4. For the same type of batteries, yes you can join them serially. Do not mix types because current depletion is different. Stay with the same type.

Q5. I will look around. I always just use the manufacturer's chargers as these seem optimal (they want their batteries to last and to work well).

... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 49

Assisted Solution

by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 1064 total points
ID: 39748803
Q1:  ... be charged usingthe normal AA Ni-MH batteries?

Do you mean charger instead of batteries?  If so, the answer is No.  Different charging procedures - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel%E2%80%93metal_hydride_battery#Charging and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery#Charge_and_discharge

Q2:

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel%E2%80%93metal_hydride_battery#Comparison_with_other_battery_types

Lithium-ion batteries have a higher specific energy than nickel–metal hydride batteries,[30] but they are significantly more expensive to produce.[31] In October 2009, ECD Ovonics announced that their next-generation NiMH batteries will provide specific energy and power that are comparable to those of lithium ion batteries at a cost that is significantly lower than the cost of lithium ion batteries.[31]

Lithium battery lifetime depends on how you use them.  Temperature also plays a factor.  Best is to not fully discharge them and then recharge.  An approximation is to charge to 80% and recharge when at 60%.  However this is not possible for small cell batteries.

Also see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium-ion_battery#Battery_life

This doesn't fully answer your question though.  Note that you should carefully read both of the two linked articles.

Q3:
I believe they are the same.  Stand to be corrected.
By themselves Lithium batteries are banned from shipping by air.  In an appliance such as camera or laptop they can be.  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_battery#Air_travel

Q4:
Yes.
Probably not.  The batteries have different chemistries, behaviours and different amperage outputs.  Keep to the same type if you are building up voltages.

Q5:
More information required.  What size battery are you looking at?
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LVL 49

Assisted Solution

by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 1064 total points
ID: 39748811
Further comments.  Rapid recharging of any battery usually means a shorter ilfespan.
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39749532
Oh, I never knew rapid charging will shorten batteries' lifespan.

I'm contemplating to get Ultrafire's Li-Ion battery at dx.com
but Amazon has given very poor ratings for it:
http://dx.com/s/3000mah+Ultrafire+18650+Li-ion+Rechargeable+Battery

Q1:
> Do you mean charger instead of batteries?
Yes, I meant the charger ie to use NiMH's charger to charge Li-Ion batteries.
So this won't work?

Q5:
I'm looking at the Ultrafire 3.7V Li-Ion batteries.

http://dx.com/p/bty-rechargeable-1-2v-3000mah-ni-mh-aa-batteries-4-piece-95839
The NiMH batteries above doesn't have enough voltage & got very poor
ratings at Amazon, one person says it's about 1800mAH only instead
the 3000mAH.  If I plan to join the batteries together serially to charge
up the RoadPro Hotpot, I'll need a lot of NiMH batteries serially so with
the 3.7V Li-Ion, I'll probably need only four pcs:

  http://www.amazon.com/Roadpro-12V-Hot-Pot-oz/dp/B000667QL4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1388567531&sr=8-2&keywords=hot+pot+battery+powered
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LVL 97

Assisted Solution

by:Experienced Member
Experienced Member earned 936 total points
ID: 39749742
Q1:  Yes, I meant the charger .... So this won't work?

It won't work. That is, use the charger mated to the battery type.

Q5:  I suggest you use Li-Ion batteries. At the current time they are better than NiMH in nearly every respect. That is why PC makers use them.

I hope this helps.

... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 49

Assisted Solution

by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 1064 total points
ID: 39750062
The NiMH batteries above doesn't have enough voltage & got very poor
ratings at Amazon, one person says it's about 1800mAH only instead
the 3000mAH.  If I plan to join the batteries together serially to charge
up the RoadPro Hotpot, I'll need a lot of NiMH batteries serially so with
the 3.7V Li-Ion, I'll probably need only four pcs:

I think you need to reconsider what you are doing.  If you look at the specs here https://www.skingco.com/showproduct.aspx?ProductID=34&CategoryID=4&SEName=5021-road-pro-12-volt-hot-pot you will see that the Hotpot requires 12 volts and 11 amps to warm up water.

You won't be doing that with any of your battery choices.  The UltraFires only give 3000mAh which is 3A and the NiMH 1800mAh (1.8A) and those are nominal voltages, not the actual voltages.

To get the voltage and amperage required you'd have to have both a serial and parallel battery scheme.  This gets very messy and complex.

Again, I suggest you reconsider what you are doing.
0
 

Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39751455
> To get the voltage & amperage required you'd have to have both a serial & parallel battery
So the other alternative is using Lead Acid battery?  (those types used for cars)?
It's rather bulky & I'm looking for one that's small (less than 1kg) & rechargeable.
Is there any?
0
 
LVL 97

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by:Experienced Member
Experienced Member earned 936 total points
ID: 39751464
Lead acid batteries are a very different technology than Li-Ion. They generally have shorter charge lives (unless current draw is very low) and need more constant charging.  They need to work upright unless very well sealed and designed to work in any direction. I do not know any of the latter.

They need to vent (even "sealed" batteries) else the gases inside can build up.

I saw some lead acid batteries in my searches on your behalf. Google for lead acid batteries. They do exist in small sizes but be aware of the considerations above.

.... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 97

Assisted Solution

by:Experienced Member
Experienced Member earned 936 total points
ID: 39751483
I did look on Google. There are all kinds of small lead acid batteries. You would have to look, compare and make a choice.

... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 49

Accepted Solution

by:
dbrunton earned 1064 total points
ID: 39751896
I'm looking for one that's small (less than 1kg) & rechargeable.
Is there any?

No.

Consider this one - http://www.amazon.com/UPG-UBCD5745-Sealed-Lead-Batteries/dp/B001DL7D1O  Delivers 12 volts and 18 AH and weighs 12 lb.  The AH rating means it will deliver about 1.8 amps for about 20 hours at the rated voltage.  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_%28electricity%29#Capacity_and_discharge for discharge rates.  So it might deliver 11 amps over 1 hour without problems.  It won't like it though.

Consider the length of time in your calculations that you want to use the Hotpot.  It takes 50 minutes to bring it up to boiling temperature from a starting temperature of 70 deg. Fahrenheit.  That is 132 watts of power being used in about 50 minutes.

You are wanting a battery with a high discharge rate of 11 amps for an hour and that is light and easily rechargeable.  Nope.

Look at some other method.  

You haven't specified how much water you actually want to produce and whether you want it boiling or not.
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LVL 97

Assisted Solution

by:Experienced Member
Experienced Member earned 936 total points
ID: 39751919
There are small ones on this page:

http://www.chargingchargers.com/batteries/small-sealed.html

Some are lighter than 12 pounds at lower voltages.

There is a decent collection here, but again, remember my concerns over lead acid above.

.... Thinkpads_User
0
 

Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39753779
I don't need the water to be boiling; 60 ounces at
98 Celcius to mix into a pail of water (of 40 litres)
of water at 26 Celcius to make the pail of water
reach 35 Celcius enough for me to bathe
0
 

Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 39753788
The link from Thinkpads_user has some good lead acid batteries :
the one of 12V & 12A looks close to what I need but the weight
& size of it exceeds what I'm hoping for (ie less than 2.2 pounds
or 1 kg)
0
 
LVL 49

Assisted Solution

by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 1064 total points
ID: 39754577
1 cup of water is 8 fluid oz.

2 cups is 16 fluid oz.  It is going to take 35-45 minutes to bring that up to about 98 deg. Celsius.  See the figures at https://www.skingco.com/showproduct.aspx?ProductID=34&CategoryID=4&SEName=5021-road-pro-12-volt-hot-pot

You need 8 cups of water (64 fluid oz) which will take 4x as longer as the 2 cups to warm up.
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