How do I replace my computer battery

Can lithium-polymer replace discontinued lithium-ion batteries?

It happens again and again that the manufacturers of classic lithium-ion batteries discontinue certain cell types, i.e. simply no longer produce them. Of course, this is particularly annoying when this cell has been designed into a device and one is dependent on the delivery capability of this lithium-ion cell type.

In my new video I take a look at the challenge there is to replace an obsolete lithium-ion battery with a lithium-polymer battery. What are the advantages and disadvantages and what are the costs involved. If you cannot or do not want to watch a video, you will find everything below in text form.

The world of batteries is turning: from Li-Ion to Li-Po

Do you still know the classic lithium-ion batteries that were built into cell phones at the time and that anyone could remove and change themselves? Perhaps you can even remember when the first prismatic lithium-ion batteries replaced their predecessor nickel-metal hydride.

That was a real milestone for cell phones! The parts got so much lighter and the phones lasted much longer because the new battery technology had a much larger capacity.

A huge advantage to set up a new snake high score! 😉

But enough of the nostalgia, because these well-known prismatic lithium-ion batteries in a steel jacket are slowly disappearing from the market because the manufacturers are discontinuing more and more models.

The big problem with this is that the batteries were not only used in old cell phones, but also in many other applications that are still used and needed today.

Of course, the old steel cup batteries are no longer used in our smartphones because it is simply not possible to produce the lithium-ion batteries as thin as the lithium-polymer batteries. But many of my customers still have devices with the old lithium-ion batteries designed. For example in the field of catering systems, in measuring devices or medical technology.

Discontinued lithium-ion batteries are causing a stir

In my almost 15 years in the world of rechargeable batteries and batteries, I have already seen many discontinuations, changes and further developments of cells, which sometimes cost my customers enormously.

It usually works like this: My customer developed a device a few years ago and successfully launched it on the market. For this purpose, a battery was manufactured and certified, for which a lot of money was spent. So far everything is great, the customers are satisfied with the device and the battery, and so are my customers.

Now the manufacturer of the steel cup batteries that are used in the device suddenly decides not to produce the battery any more. The reason for this is usually that the global demand for these batteries is declining because the new developments focus on lithium polymer batteries and even the production of steel cups is no longer worthwhile with small quantities.

This poses an enormous problem for my customers, because they need an alternative to their current battery that is of comparably high quality and as quickly as possible. He would like to continue to have the devices on the market and in no case be delayed in delivery himself.

Lithium polymer to the rescue!

The good news: From a purely technical point of view, it is absolutely no problem to manufacture a lithium polymer battery and deliver it in such a way that the device does not have to be modified.

The dimensions, the voltage, the capacity and also the connections can be adjusted accordingly. If there is no suitable lithium polymer cell available on the market that has the right dimensions, a customer-specific, customized cell can be produced.

That means, with specially made tools, we can achieve the absolutely identical dimensions as with the prismatic lithium-ion battery. However, this comes with additional costs, as the production of the new tools can cost up to US $ 5,000. In order for this approach to be worthwhile, there should be a certain purchase amount in the order of more than 10,000 batteries per year. Otherwise it will not pay off either for the customer or for the manufacturer of the batteries.

FAQ on switching from Li-Ion to Li-PO

When talking to customers about such projects, further questions usually come up once the basic data has been clarified. I am almost always asked these questions and these are my answers:

"Can I use the previous charger for the device in which the lithium-ion battery has been replaced by a lithium-polymer battery?"
That's fine. The new lithium polymer battery adheres to the specified parameters of the old battery and we can determine the chemical composition ourselves so that the relevant properties are comparable.

"And what about the temperature behavior and the landing and discharge currents of the lithium polymer batteries?"
Here, too, by choosing an appropriate electrolyte, we can ensure that the properties are the same and that there are no disadvantages in terms of performance.

"Do new tests and certificates have to be carried out?"
Oh yes, unfortunately we can't avoid it. Every new lithium battery must be tested and certified. That is the biggest disadvantage when switching from lithium-ion to lithium-polymer, because it naturally results in costs for the customer. But I know the best tips on which certifications are really necessary and useful and where they should be carried out. This saves my customers time and money. You can find out more about this in my blog post on the subject of certification of lithium-ion batteries.

You can rely on Li-Po

The last question usually comes up "Yes, and if we have to have new tools made, the certifications have been paid for and the new battery will run well for a few years, what about long-term availability?"
Sure, customers are afraid that the new battery will also be discontinued and the whole game will start all over again.

But I can reassure you, because we are then no longer dependent on the suppliers of steel cups and as long as the tools exist, the battery can be reproduced for ages. From my point of view, this is a MEGA ADVANTAGE!

Another advantage is the price stability of the lithium batteries. Yes, raw material prices are also decisive here, as is the dollar exchange rate. But compared to conventional lithium-ion, price increases are foreseeable and understandably affect the entire market. It is completely different with the classic lithium-ion cells. A few weeks ago, Sony had a major manufacturing problem and was unable to ship several types of their cells.

This delivery shortage of a manufacturer ensures a price increase of 30% on the entire market within a week! Sure, Sony customers had to switch to other manufacturers and thus caused a general shortage of cells. Fortunately, this cannot happen to us with lithium polymer!

Incidentally, in an older blog post I wrote in more detail about the differences between Li-Ion and Li-Po as well as the advantages (and disadvantages) of lithium polymer batteries.

Problems with obsolete cells ...?

If you too are facing an almost unsolvable problem because your current suppliers are really leaving you down, then just give me a call (+ 49-7151-959-30-22) or write me an email ([email protected] ). We look together to see what options we have. It is perfectly feasible to produce a new lithium polymer battery for an old lithium ion. I just have to know how big it should be, what performance data it needs to have, what quantities are behind it and where it is used. From then on, we are already working on the solution.

Lithium-ion lithium polymer