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Lithium-ion Battery Packs

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  • Lithium-ion Battery Packs

    One of the many advantages of Li-ion batteries is that they will not quickly self-discharge. Milwaukee for example claims that after 6 or more months the battery packs retain 90% of their charge. Is this tru of the Ridgid 24v batteries.
    I have a pair that are down to about 5% power after sitting idle for 90 days. Anybody have a comment.
    Graham McCulloch
    http://www.shortcuts.ns.ca

  • #2
    Re: Lithium-ion Battery Packs

    Yup, they should all pretty much be the same in that respect. I think the Ridgid batteries use the same cells as Milwaukee (ie TTI owns both companies) and probably similar electronics inside.

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    • #3
      Re: Lithium-ion Battery Packs

      The cells themselves, hold their charge a very long time. However, the cells have electronics attached that constantly monitors the individual cells and this circuit drains the cell.

      These circuits can do all kinds of things. They can "balance" the cells so that one, in series, does not develop a lower or higher voltage. They can measure voltage, current and temperatures of the individual cells. They can measure and report the true power used and left, and even keep track of the charge cycles (Milwaukee does that with their batteries....not sure if TTI doe something similar with Ridgid.)

      I believe some cells are designed such that the battery circuit is not connected unless the battery is attached to a tool or charger because some equipment I have doesn't seem to lose any charge when the batteries are left to sit for months. Others use more power.

      In my experience the Ridgid monitoring circuit uses more power than average, and, like you suggested, can nearly drain a battery in 3 months. This is a little frustrating because it nullifies one of the advantages of Lithium battery technology...the long shelf life.

      In fact, I've found you can greatly reduce the self discharge of NiCads by refrigerating them...to the point that they last better than the Ridgid Lithium cells. This won't work for the Ridgid Lithiums because the cell isn't the problem, the electrical circuit is.

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      • #4
        Re: Lithium-ion Battery Packs

        I have 2 of the 24 volt kits and have the same shelf-life experience with all 4 batteries, except in hot weather.

        If the battert gets to be 80F or hotter, the battery will lose a bar the next day I test it. I haven't tested to see how much it loses in hours. In cooler weather I will have 4 bars for 5 to 7 days.

        Don't know about extreme temperatures as I do not normally keep them in the vehicle.
        Last edited by onlycordless; 10-23-2007, 11:24 PM.
        http://www.cgiconnection.com/download

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        • #5
          Re: Lithium-ion Battery Packs

          FYI the cooler you keep Lithium Ion batteries the longer they will last. You should never store them in a hot vehicle if you can help it.

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          • #6
            Re: Lithium-ion Battery Packs

            Originally posted by onlycordless View Post
            I have 2 of the 24 volt kits and have the same shelf-life experience with all 4 batteries, except in hot weather.

            If the battert gets to be 80F or hotter, the battery will lose a bar the next day I test it. I haven't tested to see how much it loses in hours. In cooler weather I will have 4 bars for 5 to 7 days.

            Don't know about extreme temperatures as I do not normally keep them in the vehicle.
            I left my Ridgid 24V LI batteries in the truck overnight in freezing conditions last winter. They were both toast the next day and I didn't have the charger with me. When I got home and threw them on the charger they revived in a few minutes.

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            • #7
              Re: Lithium-ion Battery Packs

              Originally posted by roadrashray View Post
              I left my Ridgid 24V LI batteries in the truck overnight in freezing conditions last winter. They were both toast the next day and I didn't have the charger with me. When I got home and threw them on the charger they revived in a few minutes.
              They don't work to well when frozen. :-)

              I have a story like that. Used to leave my laptop in my vehicle overnight (had to take it home from work as it wasn't safe to leave them locked up there.) When winter came and I started plugging my laptop back into the workstation in the morning it would make weird crackling sounds. I kind of ignored it...then it didn't boot. I took a closer look and realized it was covered with condensation. The crackling was the electronics shorting out inside it. Luckily it recovered and I never left it out in the car overnight again.

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