Repairing Dead Laptop Battery Cells

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ibo

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Nov 2, 2007
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My MSI laptop has a dead battery for a year now and I finally decided to act. The hardest part was getting the batter open. After doing so, I did a little bit of research because of the cells. They turned out to be 9, arranged in 3 parallel, and then the three parallel configurations were connected in series. They are all Li-ion, 3.7V 2400mAh cells with size 18650.
My question is: Where can I find 9 cells that match these characteristics? So far, I have found 2 cells for $10 at DealExtreme. Can anyone recommend me something else, for example, another site?
Thanks a lot
 

JohnWill

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It's very difficult to find OEM Lithium batteries, because of the dangers in charging/discharging and temperature if they're used in an unapproved device. Very few places will sell them at all, (believe me, I've looked).
 

ibo

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Nov 2, 2007
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Well, I thought of that, but you know, it's the satisfaction of doing something that would work counts. But I've read articles where people have actually repaired their batteries and I decided it would work. Another reason is that this battery died in less than an year of usage, and I am not willing to pay $100 for another cheap product. I've better ways to spend my money. :)
 
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The problem lies with varying LiOn cells (or any rechargeable battery type), unless they are matched for capacity in mA/Hr you could end up with an incendiary device (flames) or a very low lifespan of the battery.

The expensive battery packs have all cells selected with the same capacity, by normal manufacture they will vary many %. Without using measured capacity cells (in terms of charge/discharge) then one or more cells can quickly become reverse polarised on discharge . This is why OEM ones are dearer, cheaper ones are often crap.
 

JohnWill

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I did a consulting job for a company last year that designs large scale Lithium battery arrays for industrial applications. They make controllers that monitor each cell voltage and temperature and adjust the charging rate individually for each cell. They had a great video, which I wish I had taken a copy of, that showed what happens when you screw up charging Lithium batteries. They had a cylindrical battery about 8" long and 2" in diameter, it looked like a rocket motor with a 4 foot tongue of flame coming out one end! I wouldn't have wanted to be real close when that one went!
 

mrss

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You might check if any ebay vendors have a replacement battery. I've bought two laptop batteries and both are still running after a year. Price was 1/3 to 1/2 of the HP/Compaq oem prices.

By the way, I have replaced nimh cells into a laptop battery, Given the cost, I could have bought an ebay replacement for the same money. The Li-Ion replacement can get a little dicey too, as mentioned above. Lots of power in them suckers.

Of course, you get the same reliability/safety issues with ebay if you don't buy oem.
 
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Nov 30, 2001
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All I can say is stay away from ebattery.com. I thought I would give them a try in rebuilding or exchange on my Gateway 9550 laptop battery ($69 + $10 for ship in/out) which is half price for new battery. They were to send a prepaid shipping label for my old battery, replace cells with new and return to me. So far the only thing that has happened in over two weeks is that paypal charged my credit card $79.00. ebattery has never sent the prepaid label, will not answer emails and their phone system is a continous circle of BS.

I'm in negotiations now with paypal to get the $79 refunded and finally contacted my Visa credit card to enter a dispute with them.

The argument for rebuilding battery vs. buying a new, but old GW replacement, is it would have NEW cells vs. the old cells as I've bought in the past - they last about 1- year, then kaput. This battery is special for the GW Solo 9500 series and won't fit anything else. Beginning to think it's time for a new laptop.:)
 
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Yesterday I received my battery back from batteryrefill.com (AKA eBattery, Inc. in Ontario, California) and I am quite satisfied with their product. I am now finishing my second complete charge-discharge cycle and the battery has performed better than I expected. The battery was more than six years old and would only last about ten minutes before going into critical alarm at 2% remaining. It now lasts over 2.5 hours, which is better than when the computer was new. The downside is that their customer service is terrible. I mailed the battery on August 28th and got it back on Nov. 3rd. Their website talks about a two week turnover, but you should calculate two months or more. It will be VERY difficult and frustrating to contact them by telephone. I did not know that their Better Business Bureau rating was an F until after I mailed the battery. After two months I was really considering taking the matter up with my credit card company. If the electronics of the battery don't die in the next couple years, I will be very satisfied in spite of the lousy customer service. I am not aware of any other company that does this kind of cell replacement service.
 
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