Searching \ for '[EE]:: Sony explains background to recent LiIon ba' in subject line. ()
Make payments with PayPal - it's fast, free and secure! Help us get a faster server
FAQ page: techref.massmind.org/techref/index.htm?key=sony+explains+background
Search entire site for: ': Sony explains background to recent LiIon ba'.

Exact match. Not showing close matches.
PICList Thread
'[EE]:: Sony explains background to recent LiIon ba'
2006\10\24@234441 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
Sony estimates the overall recall action will cost it $US429 million.
9.6 million batteries affected.
4.1M Dell, 2M Apple,  + 5M customer peace of mind  request option.

       http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,127637-pg,1-RSS,RSS/article.html

A laptop catching fire AT an airport was apparently the trigger to the
recall decision.



       Russell.. .

2006\10\26@054527 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Russell,

On Wed, 25 Oct 2006 16:44:39 +1300, Russell McMahon wrote:

> Sony estimates the overall recall action will cost it $US429 million.
> 9.6 million batteries affected.
> 4.1M Dell, 2M Apple,  + 5M customer peace of mind  request option.
>
>         www.pcworld.com/article/id,127637-pg,1-RSS,RSS/article.html
>
> A laptop catching fire AT an airport was apparently the trigger to the
> recall decision.

I have a nasty feeling we may not have heard the last of this!  I wouldn't put it past "them" to ban lithium-powered laptops from aircraft when they
get round to it, which would be somewhat disasterous for travellers until an aftermarket "NiMH replacement for Lithium batteries" industry springs up,
with attendant lousy battery life.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\10\26@065050 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Howard Winter wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Actually, this story seems to be getting bigger and bigger. My sources
tell me that the source of the problem is Chinese cell knockoffs that
cannot be identified from the
high quality Sony cells. This is getting ratcheted up into an
international incident, because diplomats are unable to get China to
close down these cloners.

The IEEE committee and the FAA are leaning heavily toward banning Li-Ion
celled laptops on certain flights. Don't bet your shirt that it won't
happen.

Stay tuned, news at 6.

--Bob.

2006\10\26@084451 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
> Actually, this story seems to be getting bigger and bigger. My sources
> tell me that the source of the problem is Chinese cell knockoffs that
> cannot be identified from the
> high quality Sony cells. This is getting ratcheted up into an
> international incident, because diplomats are unable to get China to
> close down these cloners.


Chinese batteries are pretty scary, and their NIMH cells aren't that much
better.

2006\10\26@140359 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
Capacitors, ICs, etc.  It's not just batteries, but they affect people
in such a vibrant way that it's one of the few that might get enough
attention to prevent the problem in the future.

I predict batteries with holograms, watermarks, RFID chips, and other
anti-counterfeit technology added in the near future.  They'll be more
expensive, but they'll be the only ones allowed on an airplane.
Making cheap batteries is like printing dollar bills - you have the
producers, the "middle men", the launderers, etc.  The battery only
has to function up to spec for a few months.  Then the barriers can
break down, the electrolyte can dry, etc.

I'm interested to know where the supply chain breaks down enough that
bad product can enter the pipeline.  From my end it seems that Sony
--> Arrow --> Assembler --> Me seems pretty tight.  Either Sony trusts
and sells product to a distributer that is shady, or the assembler
trusts and purchases product from a distributer that is shady (or
both).  Alternately the assembler purchases and installs "equivalent"
product without consulting Me.  In the high volume business there
isn't room for many middle-men.  I suppose another method is when
there are shortages and long lead times (and when aren't there?) then
someone completely unknown "sells" their inventory they "planned" on
using but the project was cancelled or changed, etc.  At that point
they could send good Sony samples for verification, then foist all the
bad counterfeit for delivery.

Ah well nevermind then.  Even in a "supposedly easy to protect" supply
line there are numerous ways to insert bad product.

-Adam

On 10/26/06, David VanHorn <spam_OUTdvanhornTakeThisOuTspammicrobrix.com> wrote:
> Chinese batteries are pretty scary, and their NIMH cells aren't that much
> better.

2006\10\26@230320 by John Chung

picon face
So far most batteries from China just suck. The older
ones were not so bad. But now even the duracell and
energizer factories from China produce inferior ones.
Just maybe it has been OEM somehow. I don know about
Panasonic and Sanyo case..

John

--- David VanHorn <.....dvanhornKILLspamspam@spam@microbrix.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> --

2006\10\27@000638 by Matt Pobursky

flavicon
face
On Thu, 26 Oct 2006 07:44:34 -0500, David VanHorn wrote:
> Chinese batteries are pretty scary, and their NIMH cells aren't
> that much better.

I think that's painting all chinese manufacturers with a pretty broad
brush...

I've found some *very* high quality chinese made rechargeable
batteries. In particular, I've found the Tenergy brand to be very
good (price and performance) for both NiMH and Li-Ion cells. That's
the U.S. brand name they use but they are the marketing arm of a
chinese manufacturer.

Their high capacity NiMH cells (I'm most familiar with their AA and
AAA cells) have all met or exceeded their specifications over the
course of the last 2 years in my testing and use. I've spec'd them in
several OEM products for clients and use them in almost all my remote
controls and battery powered devices at home.

I've beat the crap out of their AA (14500), 18500 and 18650 size
Li-Ion cells in the past year and have found them to also be very high
quality. I have one commercial medical device and a military medical
device design that use these cells and they have gone through the
ringer in testing and validation.

Then again, the Tenergy brand has been around for a while and you can
actually get real datasheets for their cells and they have
application engineers too.

I suspect like most things in engineering, the component is only as
good as the company behind it (regardless of where they are located
or manufacture).

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems


2006\10\27@021045 by John Chung

picon face
Anyway to get samples from Tenergy?

John

--- Matt Pobursky <piclistspamKILLspammps-design.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> --

2006\10\27@100923 by David VanHorn

picon face
> I think that's painting all chinese manufacturers with a pretty broad
> brush...


Just speaking from experience.

I've found some *very* high quality chinese made rechargeable
> batteries. In particular, I've found the Tenergy brand to be very
> good (price and performance) for both NiMH and Li-Ion cells. That's
> the U.S. brand name they use but they are the marketing arm of a
> chinese manufacturer.




I'll keep them in mind.

2006\10\27@142004 by Matt Pobursky

flavicon
face
You can buy small quantities of all their batteries, pre-made battery
packs, and several other high quality manufacturers cells like LG
(Samsung) for example, at:

http://www.all-battery.com/

They sell a lot of other "stuff" there too -- LED flashlights,
replacement battery packs, chargers, etc. They have some good battery
chargers and protection PCBs for Li-Ion that I've bought and tested.

Way back when I first started looking at their Li-Ion cells for some
production units I believe they sampled me several pieces. You can
try writing them on form at the contact page on their website. IIRC,
that's how I got them. In the meantime, I've been buying small
quantities for prototyping and testing from their site as it's fast
and relatively inexpensive.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

On Thu, 26 Oct 2006 23:10:38 -0700 (PDT), John Chung wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2006\10\27@142957 by Matt Pobursky

flavicon
face
In general I would agree with you, that was my experience too. For
the past 2-3 years most of my new designs have been battery operated
devices. I had to come up to speed on current battery and charging
technology as many of my client's projects seemed to be going with
the current trend of "smaller, lower power, cheaper" like most
everything in the consumer market, even though they are predominantly
industrial and medical. What happens in the consumer market
definitely pushes what happens in the other markets...

That said, I found the Tenergy cells quite by accident. I was looking
for an online source of Li-Ion cells and Gargoyle turned up all-
battery.com. I got several of their Tenergy brand cells and tested
them and was pleasantly surprised. I also got a sampling of several
sizes of their NiMH cells as I was also evaluating that technology at
the time. They also surprised me in their performance.

It's funny, I watched with much interest as you posted your results
of extensive NiMH testing. My own results tracked with yours almost
exactly. I looked at Panasonic and Sanyo cells as well as several
other non-name brands and even good old Radio Shack cells.
Interestingly, I found the Radio Shack NiMH cells to be about the
worst of the bunch. Somehow, I wasn't too surprised...

Anyway, I've been using the Tenergy cells hard for a couple years now
and have had no early or catastrophic failures with them yet.

Just as a point of reference, I am using a Maha Model MH-C401FS
charger for my AA and AAA cells. It's really an excellent little
charger. It's PIC based, charges 1-4 cells and uses individual
charging and monitoring circuits for each cell. It uses negative
delta V and timer based cutoff and has a fast/slow charge setting. So
far it's worked well with all the cells I've tossed at it (none
killed, most fully charged). Consistent with your findings, it works
best with better quality cells.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems

On Fri, 27 Oct 2006 09:09:16 -0500, David VanHorn wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2006\10\27@143602 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
>
> Way back when I first started looking at their Li-Ion cells for some
> production units I believe they sampled me several pieces. You can
> try writing them on form at the contact page on their website. IIRC,
> that's how I got them. In the meantime, I've been buying small
> quantities for prototyping and testing from their site as it's fast
> and relatively inexpensive.



My experience with chinese vendors over the last 10+ years, is that the
samples are fine, but in production the product varies, sometimes over a
couple orders of magnitude.

With the batteries, samples were fine, and almost all the cells in
production were fine.
A few of them however, would spontaneously go thermal, and blow out the ends
spewing boiling electrolyte.  We were never able to induce this behaviour in
cells, with uncontrolled charging at 2C, or even drilling charged cells.  My
theory was that insufficient catalyst in the cell, and a nonexistent or
stuck vent left it with a pocket of H2-O2 gas, which recombined rapidly.

Random sampling won't pull up these failures, and we never did figure any
test that could be done to identify them.  We disqualified the vendor,
recalled all previous production, switched to Sanyo cells, and never had a
problem again.

2006\10\27@144854 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
> It's funny, I watched with much interest as you posted your results
> of extensive NiMH testing. My own results tracked with yours almost
> exactly. I looked at Panasonic and Sanyo cells as well as several
> other non-name brands and even good old Radio Shack cells.
> Interestingly, I found the Radio Shack NiMH cells to be about the
> worst of the bunch. Somehow, I wasn't too surprised...


:)  My employers at the time were not so convinced of my sanity..
"But the vendor says they are fine"...  Grrr.
I think that especially with batteries, the best you can hope for is that
you get what you pay for.




>  It's PIC based, charges 1-4 cells and uses individual
> charging and monitoring circuits for each cell.


We couldn't do per-cell charging, we were using 6 cell packs.



> It uses negative delta V and timer based cutoff and has a fast/slow charge
> setting.


Mine was AVR based of course, -dV, timer, max voltage, +dT terminations,
several different charge phases to handle deeply discharged cells, cold
cells, highly charged cells etc.
Basically each charge "phase" switched to the next phase dependent on how it
terminated.
Thermistor in the pack of course.

Ran into interesting problems trying to charge NIMH cells in vehicular apps,
where the ambient temperature can be past the "don't charge" limits.  Not
charging in these conditions wasn't acceptable since the competition charged
their cells in the same situations.  :-P
They never mentioned to the customer that this was damaging the cells
though.


> So
> far it's worked well with all the cells I've tossed at it (none
> killed, most fully charged). Consistent with your findings, it works
> best with better quality cells.


Yup.
The thermal plume was the best indicator of cell quality I could find, and
of course you'd have to run a full cycle on each cell to pick that up.

2006\10\27@151211 by Charles Craft

picon face
I'm about to order a Li-ion battery for my laptop.

$50 generic off of eBay (with good feedback) or $100 generic from Tiger Direct?

{Original Message removed}

2006\10\27@152700 by David VanHorn

picon face
On 10/27/06, Charles Craft <.....chuckseaKILLspamspam.....mindspring.com> wrote:
>
> I'm about to order a Li-ion battery for my laptop.
>
> $50 generic off of eBay (with good feedback) or $100 generic from Tiger
> Direct?


No way to decide on quality from the information supplied.
Good luck. :)

2006\10\27@160600 by Matt Pobursky

flavicon
face
On Fri, 27 Oct 2006 13:34:32 -0500, David VanHorn wrote:
> My experience with chinese vendors over the last 10+ years, is that
> the samples are fine, but in production the product varies,
> sometimes over a couple orders of magnitude.
>
> With the batteries, samples were fine, and almost all the cells in
> production were fine. A few of them however, would spontaneously go
> thermal, and blow out the ends spewing boiling electrolyte.  We
> were never able to induce this behaviour in cells, with
> uncontrolled charging at 2C, or even drilling charged cells.  My
> theory was that insufficient catalyst in the cell, and a
> nonexistent or stuck vent left it with a pocket of H2-O2 gas, which
> recombined rapidly.
>
> Random sampling won't pull up these failures, and we never did
> figure any test that could be done to identify them.  We
> disqualified the vendor, recalled all previous production, switched
> to Sanyo cells, and never had a problem again.

Yeah, I remember you saying this before and it has stuck in my mind
ever since.

Maybe I'm just cynical (or experienced or old?) , but I don't believe
going with a "name brand" like Sanyo or Panasonic guarantees that it
won't or couldn't happen with them too. See Sony. ;-) That said, I'm
always interested in making the products I design as safe as possible
and still meet the performance and cost specifications.

Do the failures you've seen happen after the product has been in
service a while? Curious here as with the medical and military
devices we specify a multiple charge/discharge cycle test on all the
cells and/or packs as part of our production test procedure. The
first few cycles are in a custom battery charger/load tester I
designed and the final cycle is in-circuit, primarily to test the on-
board charger. We've caught some bad cells this way but have never
had any fires or cells venting.

This is a very interesting subject to me and you've done a lot of
practical work in this area so I value your opinions.

Matt Pobursky
Maximum Performance Systems


2006\10\27@160728 by Mark E. Skeels

picon face


David VanHorn wrote:

> [SNIP]
>
>Yup.
>The thermal plume was the best indicator of cell quality I could find,
>


...thermal plume? What do you mean by the term, "thermal plume?"

Mark

2006\10\27@184734 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
> ...thermal plume? What do you mean by the term, "thermal plume?"


The thermal event that happens at the end of charge. It's a pronounced spike
on the good cells, and more of a linear rise on the cheap ones.  I suspect
this is relative to the catalyst being there.

2006\10\27@190305 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
>
> Maybe I'm just cynical (or experienced or old?) ,


I'm all three :)  Old enough to have done it all, young enough to remember
most of it.




> but I don't believe
> going with a "name brand" like Sanyo or Panasonic guarantees that it
> won't or couldn't happen with them too. See Sony. ;-)


True, but I do feel it's less likely, and experience has borne that out.
The recall cost for us was hideous.  Imagine calling all your customers and
telling them that your battery packs are so dangerous that you don't want
them to risk shipping them back to you.  We discovered that the fine for
first offence on shipping unvented cells was $250,000.
And frankly we weren't interested in taking any liability. We had them put
the batteries in metal buckets and take them to a recycling center.



> That said, I'm always interested in making the products I design as safe
> as possible
> and still meet the performance and cost specifications.


It's good not to knock off paying customers!



> Do the failures you've seen happen after the product has been in
> service a while?


It's so hard to catch them..
One in particular, I personally ran through three cycles, then charged, and
shipped overnight to a client.  He was on the phone with me, when he plugged
in the battery, and a few seconds later I heard "OW OW Shit that's HOT".  I
was then literally telling him wether to cut the red or the blue wire.

The ones we tried to induce the failures in, never did.

We had one go while we were out to dinner, just sitting idle with the
printer drawing maybe 30mA. It took two layers off the 4 layer PCB when it
blew.



> Curious here as with the medical and military
> devices we specify a multiple charge/discharge cycle test on all the
> cells and/or packs as part of our production test procedure.


A good idea. That also makes sure the batteries are ready to go when they
arrive and don't need any conditioning cycles.


> This is a very interesting subject to me and you've done a lot of
> practical work in this area so I value your opinions.


Shall I send a resume? :)

2006\10\27@234606 by John Chung

picon face
Thanks Matt, I will bookmark this page.

John

--- Matt Pobursky <EraseMEpiclistspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTmps-design.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> --

2006\10\30@040446 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
On Fri, 27 Oct 2006 18:03:03 -0500, David VanHorn wrote:

>...
> We had one go while we were out to dinner, just sitting idle with the
> printer drawing maybe 30mA. It took two layers off the 4 layer PCB when it
> blew.

I've just had a horrible thought:  What powers heart pacemakers?

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\10\30@043058 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Howard Winter wrote:
> On Fri, 27 Oct 2006 18:03:03 -0500, David VanHorn wrote:
>
>  
>> ...
>> We had one go while we were out to dinner, just sitting idle with the
>> printer drawing maybe 30mA. It took two layers off the 4 layer PCB when it
>> blew.
>>    
>
> I've just had a horrible thought:  What powers heart pacemakers?
>
> Cheers,
>
>
> Howard Winter
> St.Albans, England
>
>
>  
I don't believe lithium cells ever got FDA approval for pacemakers.

--Bob

2006\10\30@092536 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
> I've just had a horrible thought:  What powers heart pacemakers?


One would hope that anything that went into a pacemaker would be top
quality, and thoroughly tested.

Gargoyle tells us true:
http://www.apexbattery.com/mdi-2000-pacemaker-battery-sealed-lead-acid-batteries-mdi-batteries.html

Lithium Iodine Cells apparently are the real thing.


'[EE]:: Sony explains background to recent LiIon ba'
2006\11\17@023651 by Tamas Rudnai
face picon face
Just found these videos, so you do not have to try this at home :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeWq6rWzChw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isUHViMaLEg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gboge17PNBk

Tamas


On 10/25/06, Russell McMahon <apptechspamspam_OUTparadise.net.nz> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

More... (looser matching)
- Last day of these posts
- In 2006 , 2007 only
- Today
- New search...